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The Silver Lining in this REDcard Situation
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
Yesterday I reported that credit card loads to Target’s REDcard (REDbird) would end as of today. Over the course of the day yesterday more evidence came in that seemed to confirm it. By the time I went to sleep last night I was 98% sure credit card loads were over.
This morning reports have been coming in from across the country that credit card loads are not working. Some people report the register saying “$0 available to be loaded for this tender type” while others are saying the register says that you can’t load from Target gift cards or third party credit cards.
Is There Actually Good News?
Either way, credit card loads to REDcard are dead. So what should you do next? First off, read my post about not freaking out. Now that you have done that, I have some REALLY GOOD NEWS for you. Pin-enabled prepaid debit cards are still working to load REDcard.
This means that Visa/Mastercard pin-enabled gift cards that are purchased at grocery stores, drug stores and malls should all continue to work to load REDcard. While this will work similar to Walmart, there is one key exception. Target likes Vanilla.
My Short Term Strategy
The other day I wrote about my Vanilla problem. You see, a lot of the local Office Depot stores have $200 Vanillas Visas, but those are a pain to load at Walmart since you can only do it $49.99 at a time. On the other hand, the local Officemax stores carry easier Metabank cards, but they only have $100 denominations here.
While I am still sad about losing credit card loads to REDbird, it just became my preferred Vanilla liquidation method. Right now since I can purchase Vanilla Visas at Office Depot for a discount and earn 5X, I am still doing really well. In fact, I am doing better than before.
While the Vanilla solution works for me this month and next, once all of those cards are liquidated then I have to decide which of the three products (Bluebird, Serve, REDcard) works the best. I’ll tackle that in a later post once I have time to contemplate these developments a little more. With that said, preliminarily I like having a card that can easily liquidate Vanilla (and help me avoid Walmart), so REDcard still looks attractive to me.
The fact that pin-enabled gift cards work at Target to load REDcard is a blessing in my view. Thankfully it overlaps with the fantastic Office Depot/Officemax sale, which takes a bit of the sting of the loss away. Things may be a tiny bit harder than yesterday, but it could be so much worse!
Feel free to share your REDcard loading experiences in the comments.
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