Month: December 2014

Activate A Permanent Target Prepaid REDcard

A permanent Target Prepaid REDcard (AKA Redbird) has arrived today. It took less time than I had expected. There are more than five days left in this month. So, I was happy because I could online-reload $1000 ($200 x 5) with a debit card in December, but there was a problem.

After linking my bank account, I linked my PayPal Business Debit MasterCard (PPBDMC). The link was successful, but I couldn’t add money. It shows the following message,

We’re sorry, your card issuer declined this transaction. Please call the number on the back of your MasterCard for additional information.

I assumed that $200 is too much for the first transaction. So, I changed the amount to $20, but it was the same result. I don’t know what else to do. So, I called the number on the back of PPBDMC.

They told that the transaction was declined by the line of PayPal Extras MasterCard credit card, which I set for backup funding source when there is not enough money in PayPal account. The rep also told me that if I changed backup funding source to my bank account, it should go through. The rep was trying to connect my call to credit card department for me, but I told him I was going to change backup source to my bank account and hanged up. Because I didn’t want to talk with them about the details of this transaction.

I set backup funding source to my bank account and then tried reload $200. But it was still all the same result. The last option was to use PayPal Balance. However, I keep the balance of this PayPal account zero all the time so I can use linked credit or prepaid gift cards for purchases through PayPal, such as eBay.

I transferred only $50 from my other PayPal account. Then I tried to reload $20. Finally, it went through. I guess I will need to reload from PayPal account for a couple of times, and then they may allow to use backup funding source for Redbird reloads.

Loading A Temporary Target Prepaid REDcard

a permanent redbird is on the wayI registered Target Prepaid REDcard (AKA Redbird) yesterday. A permanent card is now on the way. Until the permanent card arrives, I can use a temporary card for reloads, purchases, ATM use. A balance of my temp card is $1. The person who bought the temp card loaded $1 when activated at his or her local Target store. (I bought the temp card on eBay. Click here to see details.)

Now, I can load money up to $1500. I took AmEx GC and Visa GC to Target and planned to make two reloads with them. First, I went to the customer service. I told the clerk that I wanted to load $500 to the temp card. She swiped my temp card on a register that is facing to them. Then a PIN pad that is facing to customers says, “Slide your card.” I did it with AmEx GC. After I had signed on a PIN pad, the clerk asked me to hand her the AmEx GC. Then she typed something on the register (probably the last four digits of the card.) Nothing else can check, anyway. There is no name on AmEx GC, and there is no name on the temp card, either.

She gave me back both cards with a receipt of reload. My first reload to Redbird was done successfully. It was very smooth. I was worried if they don’t know how to load or refuse to load. Because in the state I live (NY), Redbird hasn’t been available for purchase yet.

After that, I bought some groceries with the temp card in the same store. And then I tried to reload at a cash register which I just bought groceries. However, the cashier told me that I had to go to the customer service for reload. I didn’t want to go to the customer service again. So, I left the store without the second reload.

This was what I had never expected. I assumed that I could have it loaded at any cash registers as well as the customer service just like at Walmart for Serve reload. I thought back a little while and tried to remember what blog posts and forums said. None of them mentioned about such a thing. So, I guessed that the cashier didn’t know how to reload or that the store instructed cashiers to send customers to the customer service for reload. To make sure of it, I went to the next Target store which was only a mile away.

At the next store, I went to the customer service first because I wanted to make sure that I could use Visa GCs for reload. I brought two $200 Visa GCs which I had bought at Best Buy. This time, I asked a store clerk to load $400 and make a payment split into two. The process was the same as the previous one until I swiped the first card (Visa GC.) A display of PIN pad prompted to enter PIN, but the clerk told me to press “Cancel”, which is a red button at the bottom left corner of PIN pad. And then a display (touch screen) showed “Debit” and “Credit.” I was told to press “Credit” and signed. I did the same for the next card.

It’s very impressive. These two reloads were made with GCs, and they were used like credit cards. But, Target’s POS system recognizes the cards as prepaid GCs and even shows the remaining balance of GCs on the receipts. It is very useful when you have Visa, MasterCard, or AmEx GCs that have a small amount. I receive a lot of GCs as forms of rebate from Staples, Newegg, TigerDirect, etc. They usually have small amounts, and many of them are not whole numbers. (often, $7.99, $86, etc.)

In that store, I made a small purchase with the temp card and then asked to load at the cash register. This time, I successfully had it reloaded. I used one $200 Visa GC and entered PIN (used as debit card.) Here is the receipt (on the left.) As you see, it doesn’t show the balance of GC.

receipt of redbird reload

When you use Visa or MasterCard GCs like credit card for reload by split payment, Target’s POS knows the amount of GCs. So, maybe I don’t have to tell the cashier the remaining balance of GCs. I wonder if it automatically drains the remaining balance and up to how many cards Target allows in a single transaction. I will find out later.

Say Goodbye to Serve, Hello to Prepaid REDcard

A final transaction of American Express Serve has been completed. Now, it’s time to close Serve and register Target Prepaid REDcard (AKA Redbird.) The transaction was a withdrawal of a remaining balance from Serve account to my bank account. In Serve, it was completed within 24 hours. However, in my bank account, it was pending for a few days. It might have been OK to close Serve account in this period, but I took precaution of waiting for the transaction to complete in both accounts.

After I chose a reason for closing an account from a drop-down list and wrote about Redbird in a box below, I successfully closed Serve account. They gave me a sad (crying) face.

Serve closed

Let’s move on to Redbird’s registration. I typed temporary card number and security code and my date of birth. And then my name, address, SSN, email address, etc. I did it within minutes after closing Serve account, but I was able to register Redbird. No information of a person who bought a temp card was necessary. (I bought the temp card on eBay. Click here to see details.) After verifying the email, the registration was completed.

redbird registration complete

Now, I can add money to the temp card, up to $1500 and use it at Target stores. Everything was done as I learned from FrequentMiler’s Blog. However, I overlooked one thing. It’s that I can’t link a debit card or a bank account until I receive and activate a permanent card. It’s 19th of December today, and it will take 7 to 10 business days for the permanent card to arrive. So, I can’t reload online with a debit card this month. I might be able to do a few reloads, but not full of 5 times (5 days.)

loading temp redbird

Tomorrow, I will go to Target store and reload with credit, debit, and Visa GCs.



Newegg Free $5 Promotional Gift Card Offer and Amex Offer

newegg gift card promoNewegg offers free promotional gift card when you purchase physical Newegg GCs. Get $5 promotional GC with purchase of $25 (limit 2), $50 (limit 1), and $100 (limit 1) Newegg GCs. Newegg charges $1.99 for shipping. When I added two $25 GCs to the cart, the shipping cost was $2.99. And then I added $50 and $100 GCs. The shipping cost was still $2.99. So, the total is $202.99, and you will get the total $20 promotional GCs. Promotional GCs will be emailed four days after invoice.

If you haven’t redeemed Amex Offer “Get $25 statement credit for $200 or more purchases by 12/31/2014,” it’s a good time to use your American Express card. Once you buy GCs (redeem Amex offer), you don’t have to worry about a deadline or minimum purchase.

Newegg is an online retailer of computer hardware and software. But, they also sell games, cell phones, watches, apparel, tools, etc. You can redeem Newegg GCs for their merchandises. In case you don’t find any items of your interest, there always is an option to buy third party e-GCs with Newegg GCs. Click here to see the list of retailers of 3rd party GCs at

You may also pick any free-after-rebate items. You can find something that is free-after-rebate anytime. Mostly, you receive Visa GCs as a form of a rebate.

There are many options to liquidate Newegg GCs. So, whenever this type of offer is available, you should redeem it.

$50 PayPal Business Debit MasterCard Promotional Credit Received

Today, I received an confirmation email that I earned $50 PayPal credit of this promotion. The terms of the promotion was simple. Use PayPal Business Debit MasterCard (PPBD) for purchases of more than $5000 between around end of September and November 15th. Only signature purchases are eligible for the promotion.

I’ve spent at least $5000 during the promo period, but an amount I actually spent for *normal* purchases is $1500 or so. For the rest of it, I used for online reloads to American Express Serve and Chime Prepaid Card. I’ve reloaded Serve for $1000 each in Oct and Nov. And for 15 days from the beginning of this promo, I load Chime Prepaid card  for $100 each day. Back then, Chime didn’t charge a fee for reloading the card with PPBD. But after Oct 8th, they charge 3% fee. I haven’t been using PPBD for Chime reloads since then.

By only online reloads to Serve and Chime, I would earn $30 credit by online reloads. So, $1500 is a spending to get extra $20 credit. It is like 1.3333% cash back. It doesn’t sound great, but you can also earn 1% of PPBD’s regular cash back.

And, since I set PayPal Extras MasterCard credit card as funding source of PPBD, I also earned 1500 points (worth $12.50 for cash back=0.83%, $15 for gift card on sale=1%.)

What’s more? What I bought was $2000 American Express Gift Card. Topcashback offered 3% cash back for AmEx GCs at that time.

Considering all cash back, this was a very good offer. But I haven’t seen any other offers from PPBD. Unlike PPBD, PayPal Extras MasterCard credit card often sends me special offers, such as “Get $10 free GC for $50 or more purchase on eBay” and “Earn 3 x $10 statement credit for $50 or more purchase on eBay.” You can easily redeem these offers by purchasing GCs from the sellers “giftcardmall” or “paypal_digital_gifts.”

MoneyPak and Vanilla Reload Pack will end

I received an email today. It is from American Express Serve.


We are writing to inform you of a change to the terms and conditions of your American Express Serve® Account. Please review the change below:

Beginning February 1, 2015, MoneyPak® will no longer be available for purchase. Beginning April 1, 2015, Vanilla® Reload PIN will no longer be available to purchase. However, you can still easily add cash* to your Serve® Account directly at the register using Vanilla® Reload Swipe Load.

You can still add money to your account in many other convenient ways including Direct Deposit and free cash reloads at the register at 27,000 CVS/pharmacy®, Family Dollar®, Walmart® and participating 7-ELEVEN® locations. Click here to learn more.

You can review this change in the Consumer User Agreement here.
Thank You,

The American Express Serve Team

MoneyPak and Vanilla Reload PIN are reload packs. You purchase and add money to them at stores. And then you can reload your prepaid cards online. These products have existed for a long time, and they are also well-known that they are used for frauds and scams by crooks, especially MoneyPak. I believe they will stop selling their products due to such activities by crooks, not manufactured spending.

These changes won’t be any impact on me because I simply don’t buy them. Since they charge lower fees than Visa/MasterCard/AmEx GCs do, they are better items for MS. But I just can’t find stores that allow to use credit cards for purchases. Besides, I will close Serve account in a few days in order to register Redbird.

As the email says, it seems that you can still add money by using Vanilla Reload Swipe Load even after April 1, 2015. As far as I know, a store that currently use VR Swipe Load is Family Dollar. They don’t sell VR PIN since they started using VR Swipe Load. The question is “Will the stores currently selling VR PIN be using VR Swipe Load after or by April 1, 2015?”

And the point is that whether stores will allow to use debit cards for reloads or not. I have visited 8 Family Dollar stores in my neighborhood and tried to use Visa GCs for reloading Serve. Half of them allowed, and the other half refused and said “Cash Only.” From this example, when other stores start using VR Swipe Load, you will need to make sure if your local stores allow to swipe not only cards to be loaded, but also cards to pay.

However, I don’t really care now. Again, I will close Serve and open Redbird soon. Redbird can be reloaded only at Target stores. My last transaction of Serve (withdrawing the remaining balance to my bank account) was completed. But I don’t see the same transaction in my bank account yet. Just in case, I will wait until this transaction shows up in my bank account.

Temporary Prepaid REDcard arrived, Closing Serve Account

temporary prepaid redcard packageI received my eBay order today. It is a temporary version of Target Prepaid REDcard (AKA Redbird.) In the package, there is a temp card and folded paper written of cardholder agreement. A card number and a security code of temp card are covered with tape. With the numbers, you can register for a permanent card.

temporary prepaid redcard

But first, I have to close Serve account because AmEx doesn’t allow to have both cards at the same time.

Before closing the account, take advantage of Serve for the last time. Redbird can’t connect to Amex Offer. Redeem all offers you are interested while you have Serve. And, remember you have to make sure that statement credit is posted.

Use another advantage of Serve, $200 x 5 online reloads with credit card. It will be the last online-reload with credit card, which is very easy and comfortable MS that AmEx officially allows. Reload online $1000 with debit card as well. I think I will be able to reload another $1000 to Redbird in the same month. So, it may be the total $2000 reload online with debit card only this month.

When you close an account, you need to make the balance down to zero. It will be easily done by paying bills and withdrawing to bank account. But, remember it takes days for these transactions to complete.

When I order a temp card on eBay, I had already done 0nline-reloads and Amex Offers, but there was one pending transaction that I canceled the order at It took more than a week to be cleared. After it had been cleared, I withdrew the remaining balance to my bank account. Now, I am waiting for that transaction to complete.

Check and double-check all of these. Close an account by clicking “Close Account” located at the all the way bottom in Profile page when everything is good. Otherwise, you can’t close. You will see this page.

closing serve

Target Prepaid REDcard through eBay

I have been waiting so long for Target Prepaid REDcard (AKA Redbird) to show up at Target stores in the state (NY) where I live. However, there have been no sign of it. I asked store clerks several times, but they don’t even know its existence.

Since I don’t have family or friends in states where Redbird is available for purchase, I was just waiting, but I can’t wait anymore. I ordered a temporary card on eBay.

I’ve read and re-read all posts related to Redbird in Frequentmiler’s blog. According to the posts, it doesn’t matter if the information of the purchaser and a person who register don’t match so you can ask someone to buy a temp card for you. When you active (buy) a temporary card, you give your name, address, BOD, and SSN to Target. They check your ID. So, name, address, and BOD are supposed to be real, but SSN isn’t. I guess all eBay sellers use made-up SSNs when they activate temporary cards.

There are some different types of listings. Some sellers sell non-activated temp cards. The prices of non-activated cards are around $10 less than activated ones. If you order these cards, you will need to activate at Target store for yourself. And reportedly, there are some cases where temp cards may not be activated in states where Redbird is not available. Besides, I wonder how they got those cards. I don’t think they got them in the right way. You’d better avoid dealing with them. And also, there are sellers who lists temp cards that have been activated and loaded only a penny! I just don’t want to deal with such people.

The card I ordered is a temporary card that has been activated and loaded $1. The seller offers an option to send pictures of front and back of temp card via email so I could register online right after a check-out. I asked a physical card in the package to be sent by mail, though. One of the reasons for that is I have never seen the package other than ones in pictures. I just want to see it and touch it and open it. The other reason is that I can’t close Serve account right now. Recently, there are many good Amex Offers. I rushed to redeem all good offers, but statement credit from some offers hasn’t been posted yet. Even if I get information of temp card via email, I won’t be able to register right now.

Advantages of Serve

Both Serve and Redbird can reload in-store up to $5000 per month and online reload with debit cards up to $1000 per month. However, Serve has an advantage over Redbird by $1000 online reloads with credit card. And Serve can sync up with Amex Offers, but Redbird can’t.

Advantages of Redbird

Conversely, the advantage of Redbird over Serve is you can receive instant 5% discount for purchases at Target. And Target currently allows any types of payment for in-store reloads. 5%-discount alone isn’t great because I already have REDcard debit. But you can add money with reward credit cards and then use the card for 5% discount. That means you can get more than 5% discount for Target purchases.

When I compare each advantage, Redbird is more beneficial to me than Serve. There are several Target stores in my neighborhood, and I shop there very often. As for Walmart, it is not far away but further than Target, and I buy something there only when I visit for reloading Serve.

There is a couple of other reasons that I chose Redbird over Serve. I don’t buy less Visa GCs than I used to. The source of Visa GCs was mainly I used Chase ink Cash credit card for those purchases to maximize the rewards. Chase ink Cash offers 5% cash back for purchases at office supply stores up to $25000 annually. It is unlikely for me to use that much for merchandises. So, I used to buy Visa GCs from time to time. However, I don’t need anymore since Staples started selling eBay GCs. eBay is a great place to buy discounted GCs. I spend a lot for discounted GCs on eBay.

Here is another reason. Before eBay GCs showed up at retail stores, I had been using AmEx GCs for eBay purchases. When I buy AmEx GC, I earn credit card reward and cashback from shopping portal. But AmEx GCs spending slowdown now because of eBay GCs. Redbird would recover the spending speed of AmEx GCs or rather boost up by reloading Redbird with AmEx GCs.


There are two types of listing of Redbird on eBay.

  • Non-activatedSellers will send you an unopened package, which is exactly in the same condition hanged on GC racks in Target stores. You will need to take it to Target store and have it activated. As some sellers say in listing pages, you may have trouble activating it at the store where Redbird isn’t for sale.
  • Activated & Loaded: Sellers purchased at their local Target stores and had them activated. Temp cards are loaded at least $0.01. Shipping options vary from one seller to another. Some sellers send the whole package to you, and some sellers send you photos of temp cards. There are also sellers who let you choose one between these two options.

Third Party Gift Cards at

There is a new Amex Offer for Newegg. “Earn $25 statement credit on $200 or more purchase at, Limit 1 per card.” I frequently shop at Newegg, but buy only free-after-rebate items. Usually, they don’t add up more than $200 because free-after-rebates are very timely and don’t exist many of them at the same time. So, I decided to buy Newegg Gift Card. I entered the website and click “Gift Cards” tab. Then I got to know that Newegg sells third-party gift cards.

3rd party gift cards at newegg

Here is a list of gift cards

  • 1-800-Flowers
  • 1800PetSupplies
  • 2K GAMES
  • Activision
  • Aeropostale
  • AMC Network Entertainment
  • American Airlines
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • Applebee’s
  • AT&T
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Bass Pro
  • Bath & Body Works
  • BedandBreakfast
  • Belk Inc.
  • Black Angus steakhouse
  • Brinker International
  • Brookstone
  • BUCA, Inc.
  • Build A Bear Workshop
  • Burger King
  • Burlington Coat Factory
  • Cabela’s Inc.
  • Callaway Golf
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Claim Jumper
  • Columbia
  • CVS
  • Deep Silver Inc.
  • Disney Club Penguin
  • Domino’s
  • Electronic Arts
  • Fairway Rewards
  • Foot Locker
  • FragranceNet
  • Gap Inc.
  • Gilt
  • Golfsmith
  • Great American Days
  • Groupon
  • Hibbett Sports
  • Hulu
  • Hyatt Corporation
  • IHOP
  • IMVU
  • Jagex Ltd.
  • Kmart
  • Kohl’s
  • Landry’s, Inc
  • Lands’ End
  • Lobster Gram
  • Maggiano’s Little Italy
  • McCormick & Schmick’s
  • Microsoft
  • NetDragon Websoft Inc
  • Newegg
  • Nexon
  • NFL
  • Omaha Steaks International
  • Overstock
  • Papa John’s
  • PlayStation
  • Pro Am Golf
  • Rain Forest Cafe
  • Red Robin
  • Regal Entertainment Group
  • Rixty Inc
  • Roblox
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Shutterfly
  • Skype
  • Spa Week
  • Sports Authority
  • Steak’n Shake
  • TGI Friday’s
  • Timberland
  • Ubisoft
  • Warner Brothers
  • Westgate Resorts
  • Zeevex

It seems that all of them are e-gift cards (email delivery) except for Newegg GC (there are both physical and electrical Newegg GCs.)

While browsing gift cards, I happened to see this deal. “Free $5 Newegg promotional GC on $25 physical GC purchase, limit 1.” The deal is for a physical GC purchase only and costs you $1.99 for shipping.

free 5 promo gc on 25 gc at newegg

I added $25 Newegg GC and $25/$50/$100 Kmart GC (email delivery) to the cart and checked out. The total is $201.99, which is eligible for Amex Offer.

Online shopping portal sites don’t offer great cashback on Newegg purchases. But it’s good to know that Newegg sells third-party GCs, and it’s useful when Amex Offer and other similar deals are available.

Updated: Newegg charged this transaction separately ($26.99 for Newegg GC and $175 for Kmart GC.) It’s been hours since I placed an order, but I haven’t received Kmart e-GC. So, I canceled them. Then I made an order of $200 Newegg e-GC. You can choose from $10 to $2500. I purchased one $200 e-GC so there is no way to separate the transaction this time.

Cyber Week Gift Card Deals on eBay

In this cyber week, there are a lot of gift card deals on eBay. Even if a deal is not for the card for stores you are not really interested, just buy the cards and sell them to gift card exchange sites, and you can make a little money.

For example, Gap. This week, eBay sells $100 Gap gift card (email delivery) for $80. Limit to 2 per person. It is 20% discount deal!. Gap gift card is relatively popular. So, you can expect a good price for sale.

You can check the price and find the best offer at When I typed “gap” in the search box, there were four hits, “Baby Gap” “Gap” “Gap Kids” and “Gap Option.” You can use all these gift cards at Gap. It’s very interesting that they deal with them separately and offer different prices.

The best rate is 82.5% from Monster Gift Card for selling “Gap” gift card. There is one problem, though. They don’t accept e-gift card (e-code). To work around this, you may need to find the sites that allow you to sell e-codes. Cardpool, ABC Gift Cards, and GifCards accept e-codes of selected stores. While Cardpool and ABC Gift Cards accept e-codes at less price by 5% (of face value of GCs), GiftCards offer the same price as physical GCs. The rate of GiftCards for Gap GC is 80.5%.

If you sell two $100 e-gift cards, the profit will be only $1. It would be OK, considering eBay Bucks you earned and cash back or reward from credit card that links to your PayPal account. I used eBay GCs for Gap e-gift cards purchase, which I bought with 10% discount earlier. However, I’d like to make the maximum profit.

From my experience, the store’s GCs, which the sites (Cardpool, ABC Gift Cards, or GiftCards) accept both physical and electrical GCs, may have special features. For examples, you can combine all Target GCs with mobile app. You can also consolidate Best Buy GCs by purchasing a brand new Best Buy GC. And it works with Gap GCs as well.

Gap GCs can be redeemed at not only Gap but also Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, Athleta. It means you can buy other store’s GCs with Gap e-codes. So, I needed to go back to and check the rate again.

  • Gap 82.5% Monster Gift Card
  • Old Navy 82% Monster Gift Card
  • Banana Republic 81.5% Monster Gift Card
  • Piperlime 80% Monster Gift Card, Junkcard, Cardpool, ABC Gift Cards, Gift Card Zen
  • Athleta 80.5% GiftCards

After all, Monster Gift Card’s 82.5% for Gap GC is the best. I went to and checked out a $200 Gap GC. This comes with a decent gift card case.

gap gift card with case

I bought $200 GC for $160 on eBay and sold for $165. I paid $160 with eBay GC that I bought with 10% discount. The total profit is at least $21. Plus, eBay Bucks and you may have earned cash back from a shopping portal site for e-code purchase on eBay. And you may also find a portal site that pays out cash back for Gap GC purchases at, but don’t abuse on this one.