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.

Restrictions of Redbird Reloads


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.

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.

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.

Target MasterCard Gift Card is similar to Vanilla Visa Gift Card, But….

My order at arrived. It’s Target MasterCard gift card. When I placed the order, there were no purchase fee, and somehow REDcard 5% discount was applied (see detail here.) The back of the package says almost the same as one from Target Visa gift card.

Select any 4 digit PIN at first use………………………………………..Card issued by the Bancorp Bank…………………………..For card information, the Cardholder Agreement, refunds, or to request a replacement card, call 1-800-698-4952 or visit…………………………………

The only difference is that “pursuant to license by MasterCard International.” instead of “pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.” I can check the balance, reset PIN, and assign ZIP code in the same website,

You can do the same things in the websites, and, for Target Visa or MasterCard GCs, and vice verse. It means that all those cards, Vanilla, One Vanilla, Target Visa and MasterCard GCs, have all the same features.

So, I thought I could reload American Express Serve with these gift cards at Family Dollar. But, it failed. After I swiped the card and entered PIN, a PIN pad said, “invalid card number.” I tried another card, but it was the same result. Only a week ago, I loaded with Target Visa GCs at Family Dollar. So, unless POS system has changed since them, the problem is it’s MasterCard.

target mastercard gift card at family dollar

Well, now I need to spend all GCs by purchasing. When I visit Walmart, I will try to use the card at Walmart ATM. I don’t think it will accept it, but it is worth a try.

MasterCard Gift Card & Target REDcard & Target Gift Card

shipping confirmation on target mastercard gift cardThe order I placed yesterday has been shipped. I bought MasterCard Gift Cards online, but Target didn’t charge a purchase fee and applied 5% REDcard discount.

I checked the site today. It seems that “No fee” deals has ended, but 5% REDcard discount is still available.

A purchase fee of a $100 MasterCard GC is $6, and REDcard discount is $5.30. So, it’s not a good deal unless if you can use other payment methods and still get 5% REDcard discount.

target mastercard gift card with redcardFirst, I changed the payment method into the other credit card. When I did, the page was automatically refreshed, and REDcard discount disappeared.

Next, I chose REDcard again to let it reappear 5% discount, and then clicked Target Gift Card. I entered numbers and clicked “save & continue.” 5% REDcard discount was still there. I got Target GCs with around 7% discount. So, if the order goes through, I will get $100 MasterCard GC for around $93!

From my experiences, I’m pretty sure that I would be able to place an order and receive a confirmation email. The point is, after that, whether or not Target would cancel the order.

I got canceled some orders of Visa GCs before. (I tried to buy Visa GCs with Target GCs.) I received a confirmation email and then a cancellation email minutes later. But this time, I guess the order will go through. That’s because REDcard discount doesn’t appear when Visa GCs is in the cart. That means MasterCard GCs are treated as a regular merchandise (at least for now.)

However, I decided not to order. If I didn’t order twelve GCs yesterday, I would be excited to perform this experiment. I don’t want any potential problem while twelve GCs are on the way.

I will perform the experiment some other time.

$100 Target MasterCard Gift Card for $95

target visa gift card no feeThe Visa gift cards have arrived today. I checked the balance, and they have the correct amount on each card. I ordered the GCs on November 5th. I paid $150 for $100 and $50 Visa GCs. They didn’t charge a purchase fee on that date. That was a perfect opportunity of manufactured spending, but they started charging a fee next day and keep doing so since then.

However, I found another new gift card today. It is MasterCard. They have the denomination of $25, $50, and $100.

target mastercard gift card

The listing page still shows that $100 MasterCard GC costs $100.

target mastercard gift card no fee

When I added it to a shopping cart, there was another surprise. 5% of REDcard discount was applied on this order!!!

100 target mastercard gift card for 95

I don’t care if this is an error. I don’t want to miss this opportunity, but I don’t know about Target MasterCard GCs. Can I load my AmEx Serve with them at Family Dollar? Do they have PIN, anyway? And probably, Target limits on a number of cards you can purchase. So, I purchased moderately.

$100 MasterCard GC x10 + $25 x1 +$50 x1

The total of value of GCs is $1075. There is no fee. REDcard discount is $53.75. I spent only $1021.25!

I don’t know if this deal (or maybe an error) will last. You’d better check out today.

Visa Holiday Gift Card available online now at Target

visa holiday gift card at targetI have been checking the site since I spotted new Visa gift cards at Until last night, there had been the listings with no details. And they were out of stock. And last night, it appeared to be available. To know if it was in stock, I simply clicked an add-to-cart button. The card was added in the shopping cart. It means that Visa Holiday GCs have started being for sale. I went back to the page and checked the details of the card with hope that there were some promotions. But, still nothing (no description at all.)

I went back to the shopping cart to remove the GC, but I found something very strange in the cart.

  • subtotal: $100
  • estimated shipping: Free
  • tax: not yet calculated
  • your total: $100

Where is a $6 purchase fee? Will I get Visa GCs with $0 purchase fee? Is this a part of the promotion or just an error?

no fee visa gift card at targetI proceeded to checkout. The final page (one click away from completing an order) showed the same. The total was $100. I added another one ($50 Holiday GC) and completed an order.

It could be just an error. I thought Target would cancel the order. However, I received an email of the shipping confirmation. The cards are on the way!

And I check the site tonight. Target charges a purchase fee now. I don’t know whether it was a mistake or promotion, but I don’t care. I do care that I should have bought more GCs last night.

GCs from Target can’t be use for Walmart swipe reload (to BlueBird/Serve). But Family Dollar accepts these GCs.

Target REDCard Secret


My cell phone is Boost Mobile. It is a prepaid phone. You can pay a monthly fee by credit or debit cards online or buying Reboost card (prepaid card) and then adding money to your account online. Paying a monthly fee or purchasing a Reboost card are subject to sale tax. To save money, I was paying a monthly fee in the following methods:

  • Paying with Chase Ink Cash credit card directly at boostmobile.com5% cash back from credit card
  • Purchasing the total $200 or more Reboost with Chase Ink Cash at Staples5% cash back + 1% statement credit from VisaSavingEdge
  • Purchasing Reboost with REDcard at Target5% discount
  • Purchasing Reboost with Target Gift Cards at Target – No discount when purchase. But I got Target GCs with discount (6-7%)

All these transactions incur a sale tax. Sale tax where I live (Queens, NY) is 8.875%, and some part of North Bergen, NJ is only 3.5%. So, every time I visit there, I buy several Reboost cards at Staples or Target. In store only, there is no listing at As for, there have been a listing, but never been available to purchase (see details here.)

And now I found that Reboost card (email delivery) was available online. I’d like to conduct an experiment for which I have longed.

Experiment: Get 5% REDcard discount WITHOUT using REDcard

Target offers 5% REDcard discount almost all items including gift cards. Except for Visa or Target GCs, you can get 5% discount on the purchase of GCs. Online, create your account and enter your REDcard info and you will see 5% discount automatically applied when you add items to the cart. In billing section, when you choose other credit cards, 5% discount disappears. However, when you choose Target Giftcard or PayPal, 5% discount stays.

Let’s continue with PayPal. 5% discount ($1 in this experiment) is described as “Promotion on Boost Mobile Prepa…” in PayPal website. But the discount disappeared when I returned to

Next, I tried to choose Target GCs. But, first I needed to clear up PayPal payment information by logging out and in again. After adding an item to the cart, I also needed to choose REDcard and click “save&continue” to make 5% discount reappear. Then I chose Target GCs, and 5% discount stayed until the final page. I checked out and received Boost Mobile redemption code within an hour.

target redcard secret


Everything was fine. The amount deducted from Target GC had 5% discount. I successfully entered the code and added money to my Boost Mobile account. Target GC I used for this purchase, I bought it with about 7% discount. So, this transaction is about 12% off deals!

12%!?…. Wait a minute. It is not only 12%. It’s more because there was no tax. When I buy Reboost cards in stores, stores charge a sale tax. When I pay online directly with credit card, Boost Mobile charges a sale tax. So, there is extra 8.875% discount in this transaction.

I tried to do the same thing on purchase of Target MasterCard GC, but it didn’t go through. Target doesn’t allow to use GCs for the purchase of MasterCard GCs and Visa GCs. I could check out but received an email of cancelation minutes later.

Since Target MasterCard GCs appeared online, Target still offers 5% REDcard discount on the purchase of Target MasterCard GCs. Purchase fee of $100 GC is $6, and the discount is $5.30. If there is a way to compensate the loss ($0.70), it will be a way of manufactured spending to consider.

So far, I haven’t found a cash back portal that pays on the purchase of gift cards at