Breaking: Target REDcard Workaround

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Yesterday we wondered if it would be the last day to use credit cards for fee-free reloads of the Target Prepaid REDcard (aka the Redbird).

This morning we found out. I went to my closest Target store in Mondawmin Mall in Baltimore, which just last week was the site where protesting, rioting and looting broke out. I attempted to reload my Redbird with one of my favorite credit cards – the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card by American Express.IMG_3943I was going to start at the Customer Service desk, but there wasn’t anyone there to help.IMG_3946I went over to a register and asked to load $500. The transaction looked normal until it came to the screen where it said that you can’t use Target Gift Cards to reload, but then there was a second phrase added in – prohibiting the use of third party credit cards.

I swiped my Starwood Preferred Guest American Express, and the load was denied.  I then asked if I could use a debit card – knowing that I had a $500 Simon Mall Visa Debit Gift Card.  I swiped the card, and used the last 4 digits printed on the card for the PIN.  I was amazed. THE TRANSACTION WORKED.  So the new workaround is to purchase Simon Mall Visa Debit Gift Cards and then load them on to the Redbird.IMG_3947A $500 Simon Mall Visa Gift Card has a purchase fee of $3.95, so I consider it about $8 per thousand of manufactured spend.  My local Simon Mall will allow me to purchase up to $10,000 in cards per day, plus $3.95 per $500 card, resulting in a total charge of $10,079.

Bottom Line:

While this workaround is not nearly as easy – or free – as the Redbird was just yesterday, it still keeps my manufactured spending going. Has anyone else had their credit card reload rejected at Target?  Any other creative workarounds?


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  1. Ive gone ahead and forwarded this blogpost to target IT and to metabank among others.

    Well actually I havent, but since its on the web….

    Point is all you bloggers gotta shut the eff up about these gigs and theyd last a lot longer. When are ppl gonna learn?

    I guess never

  2. Why not just use the Amex for Target card? This has always been loadable with credit cards for a $3 fee, up to $1000 per load. Empty at a fee free ATM.

  3. Not sure I’d call this tactic a “workaround”.
    Finding another way to directly use a cc by a different sequence of buttons is a workaround.
    Using a known method is not.

  4. Wow – a lot of ungrateful people reading this blog. Thanks for posting – that was my exact question was whether or not this workaround would work (as it has with Bluebird). Don’t know why, but Target seems a lot more accessible than Walmart to me (WM cashiers seem to be incompetent on an epic scale, and even though Targets can be just as bad their systems are generally simple enough to pick up the slack).

    Anyway – what I got out of this:
    – Prepaid Debit cards WILL work
    – Simon Mall $500 option is probably the best for meeting minimum spends (though I’ll continue to grind out $200 Visas from Office Supply stores using my Ink)
    – I don’t need to switch back to Bluebird

    For the haters – the info about loading Bluebird with prepaid debit cards is so laughably widespread across the internet I see no need to be in such a tizzy over confirming Redbird. We all knew the easy CC loads were going to end, the debit loads probably will eventually as well. 95% of you people wouldn’t even KNOW about the Redbird option (or some contribution to maximizing the option) if someone hadn’t blogged about it. Even if you are some sort of super-point-generator who discovers all of this on your own, being angry about the free flow of information doesn’t change anything.

  5. I have heard about Simon mall gift cards but have not tried to purchase them. Can you do that online or do you have to go to the mall in person?

  6. So if Simon cards work, would Sunnies from WM work as well? I can buy them with the discounted AGC’s which is the only way it makes sense $$. $8 per $1000 is $200 for 25K miles, too rich without the 2.25% discount from the AGC’s from time to time.

  7. If we keep yappin about it all online, these things COULD happen to all of yiz in a matter of months! And just because something is already out there being talked about doesn’t make it right. Time to STOP TALKING!

    All it takes is one more bullet here or there and things die fast.

    Look at our recent history, wont you?

    CCs that do it now stop taking debit pymnts

    cvs limits to $400 a day

    wg goes cash only in every other state it’s not already

    rite aid goes out of biz

    supermarkets all stop carrying meta, like safeway has in most areas

    ST is dead

    Redbird goes cash only

    Blue bird and serve cancelled

    All grocers go cash only for mos

    Ax gc limited to one $1k order a week

    Simon and macerich max sale of gcs are $2k a day pp

    Gc to repeal the pin law by end of year

    Staples now max one gc of any type per person per week

    Ink now 1-2x at office supply

    Spg deval and lowest cat 1 is now 12k a nite

    AA and UA go rev based

  8. No luck at my local Target. They have said “no 3rd party cards” – and they even gave me a copy of the internal memo. Which basically, means you name needs to be on the card. I’m going to try my other local Target and see what happens. They made me to to the Customer Service desk – regular check-outs won’t do it.

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