The Death of RedBird: Target’s RedCard to Stop Taking Credit Card Loads Tomorrow?

Dan’s Deals is reporting that a memo was sent to all Target stores stating that — effective tomorrow — credit cards may no longer be used to load funds onto a REDcard.

That’s sad, though assuming it’s correct (and apparently several people are confirming with their local Target stores) it was also inevitable.

The best deals never last. You enjoy them while they are around. The Redbird Target card was too useful and easy to last forever in its current form.

In this case it was possible to load $5000 a month onto a REDcard using your credit card. It would be a purchase, you would earn miles, and you could easily unload the funds back to your bank account or pay off your credit card.

This was even easier than the old approach to Bluebird, as Vanilla Reloads weren’t even necessary (no expense to buy an intermediary card, and no challenge in finding them).

I expect that registers will be hard coded not to accept credit cards for Redbird Target’s REDcard any longer. I would not be surprised if it remains possible to load with a debit card, however, and that means it will likely still be possible to load the card via PIN-enabled gift cards. One extra step and a slightly higher cost.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. sadness. well, there goes fee free ms in an easy way. now will have to resort to more convoluted methods.

  2. I just this minute bought $10,000 worth of Amex gift cards (with 2.25% rebate on TopCashBack). Can I no longer use them? hoooo.. boy

  3. “tassojunior says:
    May 5, 2015 at 11:37 am
    Will Bluebird still be good for $2000/month?”

    Still good for $5K with GC! So were back to around $50 in fees to make the spends.

  4. How credible do you think this report is, Gary? So far we have Dan’s Deals reader, and Dan’s local Target manager, plus scattered reports of Target employees saying that it is so, or that they have heard nothing.

    What do you think?

  5. dans deals is horrible. While this may be true, I won’t believe it until its official

  6. Just went to City Target in Seattle today to load $2500. Worked like a charm. Will report back tomorrow when I try for round two.

  7. I really hope Edward’s post is a joke and not a ridiculous attempt to kill a deal other people like. Don’t anybody call.

  8. Autolycus,

    It is not a joke. I use my Redcard to make sign-up bonuses easily and so I am greatly interested to know if credit cards will be blocked from now on. I am going to do a last reload tonight either way just to be safe. But I would like to know definitively before the night is over.

  9. We clearly all want to know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but calling customer service isn’t going to change anything. CC loads will either be allowed tomorrow or they won’t. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by calling and asking if CC loads are ending. Only harm can come from it. There certainly doesn’t need to be a survey of random telephone representatives. What does that accomplish?

  10. @Edward –

    That loud noise you hear is people across the internet collectively slapping their foreheads with disgust. If true (and not a troll … here I am feeding the troll) you DONT CALL AND SPEAK WITH THEM!

    Repeat the rules of fight club
    you don’t talk about fight club

    Repeat the rules of MS
    you don’t call and as the CSRs about the techniques.

  11. The manufactured spenders made a cardinal error with redbird. They painted a target on themselves from the time they hatched their scheme.

  12. Carl C,

    I am not a troll, just someone without as much experience on this as you. That’s why from my perspective it caused no harm to get a sense from Target whether they were ending the credit card reload. It won’t CHANGE anything that actually occurs. Their corporate decision has already been set. Calling does, however, give me incentive to make a last reload tonight. And that’s why I called. I am happy to know what to do.

  13. oh crap, this means all of you redbird users will pour back into bb and stuff kate until it dies.

  14. The sooner Darth Chocolate is banned from all travel blogs and threads, the better. 😉

  15. I learned how to cash out my Vanilla Visa pre-paid card using a PAY PAL BUTTON.It does have a fee but is useful tool when you want to get cash or use up the remaining balances on a bunch of cards.You don’t have to order a Square Device or a Google Wallet card it is pretty much instant.
    Here is the You Tube link:

    I have never heard of doing it this way until now.I thought i would share the link for the people who do not know about this method.

  16. @Edward I echo Carl C: DON’T CALL THE AIRLINE/TARGET/ANY OTHER CSR. EVER. You are correct if they HAD made the decision it wouldn’t change anything. however, if they HAD NOT made the decision there is no reason to bring it to their attention. It would only make them more likely to make the decision. Granted, this will die soon if not now, but there is no reason to hasten its death. The rumor alone should be enough of an incentive to make a reload. CSRs are wrong half the time anyway so I wouldn’t trust what they say.

  17. @Ben H thanks for the advice. Lesson learned! For what it’s worth, I did a $2500 reload tonight and the checkout lady confirmed they were stopping credit card reloads. There was a lot of foot traffic reloading there too. The checkout lady said they were stopping credit card reloads on prepaid only, “until they fixed their system”. Not sure what she meant but it was another confirmation that this is happening.

  18. Gone in Orlando. Tried to load a card about 8:15 tonight and the register wouldn’t accept any credit card for a load.

  19. Is it definite on the Debit card loads to be maxed out on the RedCard at $200 a day? Per the website that is the max, but unsure if anyone has tried this yet now that credit card loads wont work.

  20. @Jason: The $200 daily debit load maximum is for _online_ debit loads, for a debit card linked to the Redcard account. The monthly maximum is $1000 for same.

    There WERE not, that I’m aware of, different maximums for in-person debit card loads vs. credit card loads. $2500 / day, $5000 per month.

    As of today, we’re not yet sure what exactly the deal is. Will prepaid / VGC still work, as a debit card. OR were they being processed as credit card and thus they’re dead?

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