Target Redcard: How does $72,000 in manufactured spending every year sound?

12 thoughts on “Target Redcard: How does $72,000 in manufactured spending every year sound?”

  1. Interesting use of the Red Card here…never even though of that!

    I guess one more advantage would be that it is pre-paid, so when their data gets compromised your regular cards are safe =P. I’m still enjoying their year of free identity theft monitoring (along with several others).

    Out of curiosity, how would you pay a mortgage with one of these. IIRC most lenders (including my own) don’t accept credit cards for payment.

    1. Hey Brian,

      The Redcard web site mentions the bill pay capability – honestly I haven’t tired this part of the card, so I can’t exactly explain exactly how that works. But apparently, it’ll act kinda like a bank account for your bill pay services.

      As long as you fill the card via credit card, this can be a gold mine to rack up those rewards points.

  2. This is very interesting and my brain sure is churning.

    Brian, if you follow the link above you will see that it offers a free bill pay service.

    Steve, When I click through to the link it says you can add money to the card in the following ways:

    Direct Deposit
    Cash Reload at all US Target store locations
    Checking or Savings Account
    Debit Card

    Are you sure you can still load it with a credit card? Or maybe they removed this feature.


    1. Hey Gen Y!

      Actually, Target doesn’t advertise the fact that you can fill the Redcard via a credit card – only that cash can be loaded in-store. However, if you walk up to one of the registers with your Redcard, they do currently accept payment via a credit card.

      That said, I DO expect this loophole to get closed at some point in the future – perhaps after they roll out the Redcard nationwide, but of course, that is completely speculation. But for the time being, credit cards are accepted in-store.

      It’s a great way to manufacture spend. 🙂

  3. Indeed the REDcard (aka Redbird) is as of now the King of MS (manufactured spending)!

    I have been using this extensively for the past 3 months, and also provided it online for people who don’t have it at their local Target store (since it’s still on a testing market basis, but can be used nationwide). Here’s a few things to point out about it:

    – You can only have one permanent registered card/acct per person, however that also means that anyone in your family over 18 can have one, since there’s no credit check that applies.

    – If you have a similar prepaid American Express account in your name, namely Serve or Bbluebird, you can’t register for the REDcard online until you cancel Serve/Bluebird.

    – You can bill-pay anyone via REDcard, companies or individuals; they will mail a check if they can’t send the payment electronically (not a good idea to billpay yourself though).

    – You can technically unload (use/drain) the entire $5K monthly credit card load (pay) limit to your checking account and/or cash via ATM, however IT IS NOT recommended; it’s suggested to keep these kind of activities to a minimum, or REDcard (and perhaps the credit card companies) might limit/close your account for not using it as intended.

    — For bonus/points/miles/cashback purposes you don’t need to do this; just pay the credit card bills or other bills, though try not to do a closed loop, i.e. don’t pay the same credit card with which you loaded the REDcard account.

    – You don’t have to live in an area where the temporary activated REDcard can be obtained in order for you to have a permanent REDcard account; you can have someone send you a picture of an activated temporary REDcard (you register online with the card numbers) or obtain one online…many people provide them online for a fee (for their service), including myself.

    1. Thanks for the info NoonRadar, my statewide Targets do not offer the RedCard here yet, but I am travelling to Colorado for a wedding, where it is offered. It sounds like I can stop by a Target there and pick one up and bring it back to my hometown.

      I am interested in using it to bill pay my mortgage and utilities that won’t take a credit card (without an extra fee, which defeats the purpose). Cool beans!

      1. I was reading a bit closer, it looks like I would have to go into a Target on a regular basis to load the card via a credit card? Is this correct? It would be nice if it could be linked online from my CC to the RedCard.

        Is there a concern for the credit card being used is an AMEX card and the RedCard is through AMEX? It notes that debit cards have to be Visa or MC branded…..

        1. You can load it Redbird at Target with up to $2.5K a day (except a couple of stores in NYC) but yes, you can only load it with a credit card at a Target store. There’s no online credit card loading with Redbird, there is a $1K/month debit cad loading online, in addition to the credit card loading at the store, which itself falls under cash loading (believe it or not).

          I wrote a REDcard (Redbird) FAQ post a couple of days ago, take a look for other such general questions:

        2. Ed,

          Yes, if you’re using a credit card to load up your Target Redcard, you MUST do it at one of your local Target stores at the cash register (or at customer service, either one).

          I am not aware of any stipulation regarding the type of credit card that you use to load up the Redcard. I don’t have an AMEX credit card either, so…

          I would be highly surprised if you couldn’t use your AMEX card to load up your Target Redcard.

  4. How did you come up with $72,000/yr manufactured spending when you can only spend $5,000/month. Wouldn’t that only be $60,000 a year? How do you spend the other $12,000/yr??? Am I missing something here?

    1. D,

      Good catch, I wasn’t clear in the article where the additional $12,000 comes from. The card can also be loaded with up to $1,000 from debit cards, and if you use a debit card that offers rewards, (like the Suntrust Delta debit card), this counts as a part of your manufactured spending potential.

      I will add this to the article so the math will appear to actually add up.

      Thanks for the note.

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