I experienced some difficulties with redbird reloads at my local Target stores. The closest store from my home started not accepting credit cards and prepaid cards as payment for a redbird reload yesterday. And today, I went to the other store. They don’t accept prepaid cards, but still accept credit cards.
Details at store#1
It’s the store I go the most frequently because it is the closest from my home. Until yesterday, they accepted any type of payment methods for redbird reload. A reload is available at guest service only. I visited yesterday and tried to use a Visa gift card for reload. A clerk asked me to hand my ID and the cards and started asking other clerks if VGC can be used for a reload. There were three clerks at that time, and apparently a manager was absent. They discussed for a minute and ended up with opening a file (=a manual.) And then, it came to conclusion that acceptable payment types were cash or debit only, no prepaid cards. I could glance at a page of the file. There was a big letter saying “NO CREDIT.” It seems that they just started new policy on that day. I didn’t carry any debit cards. So, I had to leave the store without loading.
Details at store#2
Today, I went to the other store. This store also used to accept any types of payment for reload, but now they don’t accept prepaid cards. I went to Guest service and asked a clerk to add $500 to the card. Then, the clerk called a manager. Probably, only a manager or some clerks allow to do a reload in this store. (it wasn’t like that before, though.) I handed to the cards (redbird and VGC) and my ID. Then, she told me that the card has to have my name on it while she was touching on a surface of VGC. At least, I could use my credit card in this store. And I’m not sure if personalized Amex GCs are accepted. Amex GCs are very convenient when it comes to redbird reloads. That’s because they never get declined. You can always add a maximum amount, $1000, without worrying about a fraud alert. So, when I get a personalized Amex GC, I will go and find out if they still accept it.
Rules vary by stores
I have reloaded at many stores. Each store has a different policy about redbird reloads. Some stores allows only one reload per day. Probably, this prevents people who has multiple (family member’s or friend’s) redbirds from loading all at once. And some store had already had “Cash or Debit” policy since last December. (I got redbird last December.) As long as I can tell, the policy is not standardized. I believe that there still are many stores still accept VGCs.
Switch back to Amex Serve
If all stores accept only cash or debit, I will close rebird and open Serve again. (even if stores accept prepaid cards.) I used to have Amex Serve. It was very comfortable to load the card at Walmart ATM, without having it done by clerks.
I believe the rules of redbird reloads are changing at more stores and getting stricter in the future. As long as any of my local stores accept credit cards, I keep a redbird.