RedBird is awesome! My experience using Target’s Prepaid Card

A few days ago I finally received my permanent Target Prepaid RedCard (aka RedBird) and have been using it now for a few days, and I have to say so far the experience has been awesome.

RedBird

Red Card is the new prepaid Amex product sold and reloadable at Target stores. If you’re not familiar with the product, here are a few pointers:

  • You can currently buy a card only at a physical Target store. Online purchases are not available. You can find locations where it is currently sold here.
  • The card can be loaded and reloaded with either cash, debit or credit card.
  • Reloads with cash and credit cards can only be done at any Target store.
  • RedBird offers free bill pay and free ATM withdrawals at AllPoint Network ATMs.
  • Automatic 5% discount applied at the register for most purchases made at Target when y0u pay with your RedBird card.
  • $1,000 maximum load per transaction, $2,500 maximum load per day, and $5,000 max per month.
  • You can only have either BlueBird, Serve, or RedBird. If you have either BlueBird or Serve currently open, you will have to close it before registering your card online.

The greatest feature of this card is being able to reload it for free by using a credit card, so you can earn points by using a credit card to add funds, which you can then use to pay bills such as mortgage, car, student loans, utilities, and other expenses that normally you would not be able to pay with a credit card. Since Target allows the use of credit cards, currently all transactions with any type of credit card are ringing up as Target purchases.

Getting a RedBird card if Target isn’t currently selling them in your state:

If your state doesn’t currently have stores selling the card, you’re going to have to get someone else to purchase one for you. Since my brother was visiting South Carolina, I had him pick up a card for me by using his information, which I then changed online when registering my temporary card and signing up for a permanent card. The temporary card can be purchased by loading as little as $1, although there are reports of the system having trouble with less than $1, so I’d recommend at least a few bucks.

Adding money to the card:

I received the permanent card on October 31st. Since it was the last day of the month, I could only load up to $2,500 on it, and I really wanted to take advantage of this. The first thing I recommend is calling your credit card and warning them that you’re about to make a large purchase at Target, to avoid having the transaction declined through a fraud alert. So I called my credit card and gave them some info, such as the approximate amount of my future purchase and the name of the store, and then headed to Target.

When I tried to add $2,500 to the card on a single swipe, the register gave the cashier a warning that the amount was too small. So then we tried $1,000 (I remember reading this on Frequent Miler’s article) and then amount went through just fine. I then did another $500 load, and then a third one for $1,000, and I was done.

Target-reload

All transactions went through very smoothly at that point, and I received an email confirmation besides the store receipt. I then did some grocery shopping at the store, and the register automatically took out 5% off the entire bill.

Billpay:

After I got home I used some of the funds to set up new bill pay accounts for a couple of merchants I needed to pay, which I had been writing checks for in the past. It was very easy to set up (just like Serve and BlueBird), and I was able to clear some of the money out of my account right away.

Cash withdrawal:

The following day while visiting the store I also made a $300 cash withdrawal at the store’s ATM. Proceed with caution here. It is generally recommended that you don’t load a bunch of money on your card and then walk down a few steps to the ATM and withdraw a bunch of cash. It’s not a good practice, as it can be viewed as abusing the system. In my case I legitimately needed the cash to pay a contractor who was working on our house, but I wouldn’t go around draining your account via this method.

Conclusion:

With the demise of Amazon Payments and some Serve transactions starting to ring up as cash advances, moving to RedBird seemed like the next natural move for me. I did keep my wife’s Serve account open since I want to have the flexibility of using one or the other. There is a school of thought out there that generating up to $5,000 in spending each month for free via credit card cannot last forever, and I tend to agree with that idea. However, given that access to this card is currently limited and it is a new product, I’m planning on riding this pony for as long as it lasts. For those of us who play the miles and points game, we all know that it is a constantly evolving game, and if and when this well dries out, another one will open up.

HT: Thanks to Frequent Miler for having taken the time to research and experiment with this new product. Head out to his website for a much more in depth analysis of the ins and out of this card.

Do you currently have any experience with RedBird? If so, we would love to hear your thoughts.

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2 Responses to RedBird is awesome! My experience using Target’s Prepaid Card

  1. Tom says:

    Great article! very informative. Will definitely get this card. I had a few questions though. Would there be a bank account number associated with this card just so I can pay off any type of loans online that require a bank account number? Or would I have to order a check to be sent to the lenders? Please advise. Greatly appreciated.

    • NoonRadar says:

      Tom, Redbird (REDcard) had an act nr + routing nr, but that can only be used to deposit money into Redbird.

      You can pay off bills online by logginng to Redbird and adding a payee (like you would do with a checking acct) or you can also log in online to the website of the utility/bill/loan and input the Redbird acct nr, if they accept credit card payments.

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