Gift Card

Close Redbird, Open Serve due to more restrictions to reloads

When Target stopped accepting credit cards for Redbird reloads, I decided to close Redbird and open Serve. I thought which one to open (Bluebird or Serve.) After some research, I have chosen Serve over Bluebird. Serve is the only card that you use credit cards for online reload. They used to accept any credit cards. But now, they only accept Amex credit cards. And if you use Amex-issued credit cards, you can’t earn the reward. To earn a reward, you have to link non-Amex issued credit cards, such as Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express Card. I don’t have any non-Amex issued credit cards now, but I will apply in the future.

I made a plan when Target changed the rule of Redbird reloads. Here my original plan goes:

  1. load Redbird to the limit by 5/10
  2. unload completely by 5/12
  3. wait 3 to 5 business days for the last transaction (it’s most likely a withdrawal to my bank account) to complete
  4. As soon as the last transaction completes, close Redbird and apply Serve
  5. load Serve to the limit by the end of this month

However, I found it too busy to load Redbird. It took more time than the plan, and probably there was no enough time to load Serve. So I decided to do this next month.

Now, I have time to reconsider Redbird benefits over Serve. Here is some benefit of Redbird:

  • Target is the store I go very often
  • Target accepts Vanilla VGCs

There are only two benefits, but they are enough reasons for me to keep Redbird. I had once changed my mind and decided to keep Redbird. However, Target store in my neighbor applied their own rule. They don’t accept prepaid cards. Probably, this rule has been applied since May 6th, the date all Target store in the U.S. stopped accepting credit card for reloads. On the top of that, they don’t accept PayPal Business Debit card, which my name is embossed. A clerk said, “We only accept cash or debit cards issued by major banks, Chase, Citi,…..”

At that moment, my mind’s made up, I will close Redbird and open Serve for sure. Because of this store’s own rule, the closest Target store that accepts GCs for reload is now 20+ miles away. (there are seven other stores within that range, and they had already stopped accepting GCs even before May 6th.)

If you can buy Vanilla VGCs with credit cards at drug stores, or somewhere else, Redbird still has the advantage over Serve on that point. But my local drug stores don’t accept credit cards for payment of a large amount of GC purchase. The place I can comfortably buy is $400 VGC charges $6 fee; it’s 1.5%. You can use AmexGCs for the purchase and buy multiple GCs at a once. Keep it in mind, it’s always better to have many options for your MS. I may be going to use for Serve reload via Family Dollar. (I haven’t been to FD since I closed Serve for opening Redbird. I hope this option is still alive.)

Will I double-MS next month?

There was a forum post. It said that he or she had to wait for 30 days to apply a new card (Serve) after closing an old one (Bluebird). I used to have Serve and closed it for opening Redbird. As soon as the last transaction of Serve completed, I closed Serve. And then I applied permanent Redbird. It was about 10 minutes after closing Serve and was succeeded. So I was able to double-MS that month. In terms of switching Redbird to Serve, I couldn’t find the specific information. But big deal, I will close Redbird, anyway. For a possible double MS, next month, I will need to load and drain Redbird as soon as possible.

Target No Longer Accepts Credit Card for Redbird Reloads


A new rule was reported in many forums and blogs on May 5th, and it’s implemented on May 6th in all U.S. Target stores. It’s hard-corded. The POS system won’t allow credit cards as a payment for Redbird reloads.


Before this new rule, several Target stores in my neighborhood already had their own rules. For examples, “Cash or Debit Only” “No Credit Cards” “No Prepaid Cards (gift cards)”, etc. However, there are many other Target stores in my neighborhood. So, I didn’t have much trouble reloading Redbird until yesterday. Loading with credit cards was the main benefit of Redbird for me (and I suppose, for the most cardholders, too.) I mostly used AmexGCs for reloads. It was really easy to reload $1000 without worrying about a decline by a bank. You didn’t have to deal with fraud alert as long as a GC has enough balance on it. Now, the benefit is gone, and this new rule is hard-corded and nation-wide. There is no way to get around it.

Current Accepted Payment Methods

Target accepts Cash or Debit for reload. Reportedly, the system allows PIN-enabled gift cards. But I think some stores don’t accept gift cards because of store-specific rules. And I don’t think split payment works anymore. When I asked split payment, transactions of each card were treated as credit. (see details here) So, from now on, you will need to make separate transactions with each gift card.

What is the best now? Redbird or Bluebird or Serve

The main benefit of Redbird is gone. I’m going to close Redbird and open Bluebird or Serve. I’m still thinking which one to open, but I’m sure I will close Redbird. The new rule makes Redbird inferior to Bluebird and Serve for the following reasons.

Too Mush Hassle for reloads

You can’t use AmexGC anymore. For MS, the only option is to use PIN-enabled gift cards. I will use many $200 VGCs from BBY. 25 reloads ($200×25=$5000) every month are too many hassles. Besides, most local Target stores allow to reload at guest service only. Regular cashiers are not allowed, or simply they don’t know about Redbird. Each store has only one guest service. This means I have to go and ask the same clerk for multiple reloads. It’s not comfortable. Bluebird and Serve can be loaded by a kiosk at Walmart. You need to separate transactions with each gift cards, but it’s not a big deal because what you deal with is a machine. Even if a kiosk is out of order, regular cashiers know how to load.

5% REDcard discount isn’t that great

5% instant discount sounds nice, but you can get more discount by purchasing TargetGCs from gift card resellers. It’s not difficult to find 5% or even 6% discounted GCs. If you buy those GCs with reward credit cards, an overall discount would be more than 5%. In case discounted TargetGCs are all sold out, keep in mind that Staples sells e-codes online. If you have Chase ink business credit card, you will earn 5x bonus reward on the purchase. So, 5% discount is not exclusive, and even more discount would be possible.

Amex Offer

Recently, Bluebird has been able to be connected Amex Offer via Twitter, Facebook, etc. And Serve has been also able to do it quite a while. Only Redbird can’t. Maybe in the future, but I don’t want to wait for something uncertain and miss good Amex Offers.

My Plan

I used to have Serve. I closed it for opening Redbird. From my experience, you can apply a new one right after closing the existing one. In order to close the account, you need to unload the card completely, by bill pays or withdrawing to linked bank account, which takes 3 to 5 business days. For this month, I have already done $1000 online reload, but in-store reload is only $1400 so far. I will load as much as possible in this week and unload completely next week. Then I will close Redbird and open Bluebird or Serve. There have been some minor changes to these cards since I got Redbird. So, I will need to review all benefits of both cards to decide which card is better for me.

Free $10 Target GC with a $50 Applebees GC purchase


Target has a promotion. You can get free $10 Target gift card for a $50 or more Applebees GC purchase. They offer this type of deal occasionally, but this deal is 20% back. It is a high return. It’s available both in-store and online. The offer ends on April 18th, 2015.


They say, “Quantities limited.” So, when GCs are out of stock, they stop this promo. And it seems that you can get only one $10 Target GC per transaction. At, when I add a $50 Applebees GCs in a cart, a free $10 Target GC appears in a cart, too. But even if I change the quantity of Applebees GC, there is only one free Target GC in a cart. And, I don’t know what’s going to happen to in-store purchase.

How will you receive Target GC?

Online, you will receive an electric gift card. During a check-out, you need to enter an email address to which you want them to send EGC. The email address doesn’t need to be the same as one from your Target’s online account.

In-store, you will probably receive a physical gift card. And most likely, it’s a paper card without a silver scratch. All numbers are exposed from the beginning. Be careful with these GCs. Target reuse them over and over. If some crooks keep the numbers, they can snatch the amount of GCs. I suggest moving the balance to another GC as soon as possible. If you don’t have one, you can buy new GCs with GCs.

Is it profitable?

I just don’t want to use GCs at a restaurant. I’m not interested in saving money at a restaurant by using GCs. All I care about this promo is if it’s profitable when I sold to GC exchange sites. At the time of writing this post, the highest rate is 76.5% from If you sell $50 Applebees GC, you will receive $38.25. Say you shop at Target very often, and consider $10 Target GC as cash ($10USD). After you sold, you would have $48.25.

It’s a loss of $1.75. However, you should know a few things about GC purchases at Target before a conclusion.

Things you should know about GC purchases at Target

Cash Back Portal – You may earn cash back from a portal. I bought 3rd party EGC a few days ago. Portal site sent a confirmation email, and pending cash back was posted. (Soon after, I bought $400VGC via the same portal site. I received a confirmation email as well, but this time, it says $0. See details here.)

5% REDcard Discount – 5%-discount used to be applied on 3rd party GC purchases, but no longer applied. This change happened just a week ago. Online, I can’t find any GCs with 5% discount applied since then. I don’t know about in-store purchases.

Pay with Target GCs – You can use Target GCs for GC purchases except Visa, MasterCard, and American Express (available in-store only.) Although 5% REDcard discount is gone, you can get 5% or more discount by using Target GCs. You can find 4 to 6% discount GCs at GC exchange sites. Buying and using discounted GCs might as well get a discount at check-out.

So, is it profitable?

Say you buy a $50 Target GC with 4% discount at You save $2. Then you buy and sell a $50 Applebees GC at the rate of 76.5%. You have $38.25(check)+$10(TargetGC)+$2=$50.25. It is slightly profitable. Considering with credit card reward from the transaction at GC exchange site, it is a good deal. And there may be cash back from a portal. Most importantly, I can carry out an experiment of cash back portal without losing money.


I purchased one $50 Applebees GC with Target GC, via the same cash back portal site from a few days ago. So far, I have received a confirmation email from Target. That’s it. Not yet, an email of $10 Target GC nor an email from the portal. I will update a result here when I receive.

Update 4/15/2015

I received $10 Target eGC next day. And almost the same time I received an email from the portal site. Unfortunately, the amount of cash back is $0. Cash back for the transaction of the other gift card from a few days before still exists in my account, without clawback (still pending, though.) Depending on gift cards, you may earn cash back with GC purchases.

5% REDcard Discount no longer applied to GC purchases

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 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.

Stop&Shop Promo 2X Gas Reward for Visa GC purchases


This week (3/20-3/26), Stop and Shop supermarkets has a promotion of gas reward. You can earn 2X gas reward point on Visa gift card purchases.

s&s gas reward promo on vgc

Basic of Stop&Shop Gas Reward Program

Save 10 cents per gallon for every 100 points. You can earn 1 point for every dollar spent at Stop&Stop. Points will expire in 30 days. It’s redeemable at Shell gas station, up to $2.20/gal discount for a single fill-up (limited to 35 gallons.)

Details of the promo

S&S occasionally has a promotion on VGCs purchases. This time, it’s only 2X gas reward point. Last year, there was 5X and then 4X and then 3X. It’s getting lower and lower, but it’s still a good deal. You should look for $25-$500 variable VGCs and load max $500. A purchase fee of variable VGCs is $5.95. If you find a store that allows to pay with your reward credit cards, it’s much better. $500 VGC purchase gives you roughly 1000 pts (=$1/gal, up to $35 saving.)


S&S gas reward is more valuable than it used to be. That’s because gas prices recently got lowered. Regular Unleaded is around $2.49 in my neighborhood. So, maximum redemption ($2.20/gal) almost covers most of gas expense. If you have Amex Bluebird/Serve/REDcard, you can easily liquidate VGCs. I plan to buy 4 VGCs during this promotion. Please remember that points will expire in 30 days. So, consider how much gas you need for the next 30 days and don’t buy more VGCs than you need.

400 TRG VGC Online

Recently, $200 VGCs are spotted in my local stores. And I have seen only one $400 VGC once. TRG VGC’s denominations are $25, 50, 100, 200, and 400. Purchase fees of $100, $200, and $400 are the same, $6. If I buy $400 VGC with my 2% cash back credit card (Citi Double Cash), I would earn a slight profit. It’s only $2.12.

However, Double cash tends to decline large purchases. I used to use the card for redbird reloads, and there used to be no problem if the amount was less than $250. But now, it declines even $200 reload. So, I came to conclusion that $2.12 profit was not worth a try. And I put back $400 VGC in a shelf and left the store. (I put it back all the behind of the other gift cards to hide just in case I change my mind or want to see it again, etc.)

Days later, I checked website and found $200 and $400 VGCs available. Surprisingly, 5% discount is applied on this purchase. I checked out three $400 VGCs with redbird. The total is $1157.10. In an hour, I received a confirmation email. I’m waiting for the next email for shipping.

TRG VGCs have the same feature as Vanilla VGCs. You can’t register your name and address. All you can do is assign ZIP code. I have used Vanilla VGC for redbird reload once. So, TRG VGCs can also be used as long as stores allow reloads with prepaid cards.

I don’t know how long this deal continues, but TRG MCGCs 5% discount is still going since November, 2014. (You can make a profit with MCGCs because the highest denomination is $100.)  I hope it continues for a long time as well.

Updated 04/06/2015

5% off deal seems to be ended. Last weekend, $400 and $200 VGC was both sold out in the website. And today, I found they were available. I tried to check out, but I noticed 5% discount wasn’t applied. I checked MCGC and found out that they were also no discount. I bought seven $400 VGC during this promo (or error?) I was a little too optimistic that this promo would continue much longer because MCGC had been continuing for months. I should have bought more.


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.”

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.