Target Redcard Will Officially Continue to Load With Debit Cards

A month ago I wrote The Death of Redbird when Target stores received memos that they would no longer allow reloads of the American Express Target Redcard by credit card.

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. That ended.

American Express has sent emails confirming this to both Target Redcard holders and to American Express Target cardholders underscoring this. They emails are substantially similar for both products. But there is a saving grace.

We wanted to let you know that you will no longer be able to load your American Express® Target Card at Target stores with a Target GiftCard or a non-Target branded credit card. You can continue to load your card with cash or debit at Target stores.

You can also add money to your American Express® Target Card online through direct deposit or transfer from your linked debit or bank account.

It appears that loading via debit card will not go away any time soon as it is specifically mentioned as an option in this email.

(HT: Will Run for Miles that this was sent to American Express Target cardholders as well.)

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. Twice in the past week, at 2 different Target stores (one on Long Island, NY, and one near the Jersey Shore, NJ), I’ve been turned away when trying to reload my Redcard because my “debit” card did not have my name on it. This afternoon, I’m going to visit my usual Target, and I’ll report back.

  2. No problems in loading up Redbird with gift cards here in CO. I don’t even show them the card I just swipe and enter a pin.

  3. Wow! @kathy, good luck! How come your debit card doesn’t have your name on it? Did you just get it from the bank recently and I presume they’ll be mailing you new debit cards (with your name on them) soon?

  4. When you say Debit card I have a gift card that clearly says Debit on it. Does not have my name just debit I wonder if this would work.

    On another note I have not seen much about Evolve latley. I was paying the 3% they added to most credit and gift cards. I received a personal email telling me since the Gift/Debit card was not registered I could no longer use a card like this. I had two $50.0 gift cards. One with and one with I logged on to each web site and registered the cards. I tried to pay with the mygiftcard, card, evolve would not accept the card. I used the Visa go wallet card and the card was accepted. The one with mygiftcard only showed GIFT CARD. The other one showed Gift Card and Debit.

  5. Well the big question is “Which kinds of debit will be allowed?”

    I mean, BB technically allows debit loads at WM, even though you can’t use your Vanillas there.

  6. The Target registers are not hard coded to reject any type of debit or pin-based gift cards (unlike Walmart that is hard coded to reject Vanillas $50+) but a few stores, mostly in big cities, have implemented human-enforced restrictions, like not letting you load if your name is not on the card you’re paying with and/or if that name doesn’t match the name on Redbird. They started to do this well into the credit card days of Redbird, since the beginning of Feb; the Atlantic Ave store in Brooklyn (NYC) was the first one to disallow credit cards then. Other stores lowered the daily load limit.

    I maintain a list of known gift cards that work here:

    Also, the Redbird network was down for less than 24 hours and came back up Fri, 06/12 after 5 pm EST. That’s why some people couldn’t load during that time window.

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