New Target REDcard (REDbird) Memo/Email – Move Along. Nothing to See Here!

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target redcard memo

New REDcard & Amex for Target Memo

Note: As of October 13, 2015 the Target REDcard (REDbird) can only be loaded with cash in-store at Target. This means that neither debit cards nor gift cards can be used to load REDcard any longer. For more info about the changes and where to go from here, see: REDbird Postmortem: An MS Path Forward

I just got back from lunch and noticed that quite a few readers had emailed me regarding an email that was sent out to REDcard and Amex for Target cardholders. Since so many people had questions, I thought I would address it.

Here is the text of the memo:

We wanted to let you know that you will no longer be able to load your Target Prepaid REDCard® by American Express at Target stores with a Target GiftCard or a non-Target branded credit card. You can continue to load your card with cash or debit at Target stores.

You can also add money to your Target Prepaid REDcard® by American Express online through direct deposit or transfer from your linked debit or bank account.

What Does This Mean

The memo specifically addresses two forms of payment that can no longer be used. The first is Target gift cards and the second is non-Target branded credit cards. The truth is that neither of these methods has been available since May 5, 2015. In other words, they haven’t been working since the changes last month and this is not a change from the way things have been working.

Cash & Debit Cards

The memo states that cash and debit cards CAN be used to load REDcard. This is great news because it reinforces what we have learned for the last month. Quite a few readers thought that this language meant the end of pin-enabled gift cards, however those cards are considered debit cards and should continue to work.

Of course, many people have been reporting that some stores are checking their name against the debit cards to make sure they match. Since gift cards do not have a name, these stores are denying the loads. This is definitely happening, but it is on a store by store basis. Based on the language in today’s email, there is nothing that indicates pin-enabled gift cards are going to be blocked by the system.


While today’s email came about a month too late, it just reinforces how things have already been working. Based on the language in the email, I don’t anticipate any changes being made, since it describes the policy that has been in force since early May. Pin-enabled debit cards have been working wonderfully for me at Target and I don’t expect that to change based on this memo.


Shawn Coomer
Since 2007 Shawn Coomer has been circling the globe with his family for pennies on the dollar. He uses that first-hand knowledge and experience to teach others how to achieve their travel dreams for the least amount of money possible.

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  1. In case you were about to head to Target to load Redbird, their electronic network for Redbird has been down since late yesterday (06/11) evening, still down, this has happened a couple of other times also, should be back up soon, Target is aware of it obviously.

    If you don’t feel like monitoring threads around the internet, I will update this post of mine (bottom of it) once there’s confirmation that the network is up and running again:

  2. Pin enabled gift card used to work right after the May cut off but last week i wasn’t able to liad with VGC from staples ar the same two Target store that worked in just two weeks prior. I think more amd more target stores will stop allowing VGC loads.

    • Yeah, the memo pretty much sums up what we’ve already known. If anything it’s a good thing for those with pin based gc because there’s no grey area regarding debit card loads.

      It doesn’t make much of a difference to me though because I’ve long since moved back to Serve. In the past month alone I’ve utilized gross $360 profit in amex offers between Home Depot and Smart & Final from the switch, so at least short term I can’t complain. Plus I still have a working Kate near me for pin-based gc loads.


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