It happened for a few weeks in April. 5% discount IS applied to GC purchases, except for Visa, MasterCard, Amex or Target.
It seems that Target implemented a new rule on gift card purchase. 5% REDcard discount is no longer applied to
any GC purchases.
Target Gift Card
5% discount had been never applied on Target GCs purchases. So, the change doesn’t affect on Target GCs purchases.
Visa Gift Card
A few weeks ago, Target started selling high denomination of Target Visa gift cards ($200 and $400) online. And 5% discount was applied to these purchases. I believe this deal had been available for a week or two after their debut at Target.com. However, this deal ended last week. The VGCs of other denominations have been available since way before. But 5% discount wasn’t applied on these GCs purchases.
MasterCard Gift Card
The available denominations of Target MasterCard gift cards are $25, $50, and $100. It had been several months that they sell MCGCs, and 5% discount was applied when you check out with REDcard. This deal have ended at the same time as $200&$400VGCs’ deal ended.
3rd Party Gift Card
The 5% discount had been applied on 3rd party GC purchases for years, but
it’s ended as well.
Cash Back from Portals
Generally, you don’t get cash back on GC purchases. Back then, ShopDiscover ( a former version of Discover Deals) paid cash back on GC purchases except Target GCs. I used to buy a bunch of VGCs through it. After ShopDiscover stopped being a partner with Target, I couldn’t find any cash back portals that pays on GCs purchases until yesterday.
I purchased one 3rd party e-GC yesterday. The main purpose of this purchase was to make sure if I can still buy 3rd party GCs with Target GCs, and just in case I clicked a link on one portal site. The order went through successfully. And the portal site sent me an email that told me I earned cash back. I checked my account and saw a pending cash back posted.
Soon after, I purchased one $400 VGCs with a regular credit card, via the same portal site, hoping for the same result. I received an email as well. This time, however, it clearly says that the amount of cash back is $0.
5% REDcard discount is no longer applied to ANY GC purchases. You can still use Target GCs for GC purchases except Visa and MasterCard. So, you can still save money on GCs (again, except Visa and MasterCard) by paying with Target GCs which you buy with discount at eBay, cardpools, etc. Cash back deals vary by portals and GCs you purchase.
This story is limited to online purchases . I don’t know outcomes for in-store purchases.
Updated 05/02/2015 – I noticed that 5% REDcard discount on 3rd party GC purchase is back again. I haven’t actually checked out, but the discount appeared in a cart after I choose REDcard as a payment method. I did that for several 3rd party GCs and confirmed that the discount was applied. Unfortunately, it didn’t applied to Visa, MasterCard, and Target GC purchases.