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REDbird Might Be DEADbird
Update: REDbird is dead. I have seen a memo stating Target’s new cash only policy. To help, I have posted a detailed resource describing a path forward including, how to liquidate cards, switch to Bluebird/Serve and more. I highly recommend giving it a read.
Yesterday I was perhaps the first blogger to cover the widespread reports on Flyertalk and Reddit about debit loads not working with Target’s Amex REDcard (REDbird). At the time I said I was hopeful it was a glitch due to the fact that neither gift cards or normal “bank issued” debit cards (cards linked to a bank account) were working.
I spent much of the day yesterday watching forums and reading about the experiences of others. Eventually we learned that cash loads were working, which was a bad sign since it meant the system itself was working. That didn’t convince me entirely though, until I read report after report of people calling Amex and being told that debit loads in-store were no longer allowed. Yikes!
Of course some of these accounts came from forums where people have been known to misinform, but by the evening, even trusted sources such as the Bengali Miles Guru Tahsir had heard the same thing:
— BengaliMilesGuru (@TahsirAhsan) October 13, 2015
Then there is NoonRadar. This guy has sort of been the REDbird guru over the past year. He started out by selling the cards and has grown into a great resource. He has as much inside information as me (which I believe to be none), but I know he is an honest person. He shared this tonight on his blog:
I’d love to be proven wrong tomorrow or the day after, but I think Redbird is dead. RIP!
NoonRadar only said what I have been thinking all afternoon. This morning I said that I believed it was an error and I did. After hearing what has happened today, I no longer believe that is the case, but this isn’t the end of the story.
A Hint From the Past
The final thing I have been thinking about is this comment from October 5 on the blog:
A quick question off topic but I think it might be useful. Do you know that target red card cannot be reloaded by debit card from Oct 4th? It will be cash only or chip enabled debit card. Thanks. Hope you can help me verify.
I reached out to others and no one had heard of this so I moved on and didn’t write about it. People often write in with stuff that doesn’t turn out to be true so I am careful about what I publish. With yesterday’s news, it seems like he may have known what he was talking about. Yes the dates were wrong, but the information seems to be spot on.
I Would Wait
While I now believe that debit loads of all kinds to REDbird are dead, I would still wait for confirmation. MS is an emotional “sport” and we all tend to jump into action too quickly. I fully acknowledge that the evidence is not looking good, but as someone who has been doing this for awhile, I am still going to wait it out a little while longer. Not out of false hope, but out of being prudent.
Most importantly I want you to know that this post isn’t written to scare you or to be sensationalist. I encourage you to read the accounts of others and listen to what they have been told. Make the decision for yourself. Either way, we will know soon if this is something temporary or something more permanent as I now believe.
Once again my point here is not to scare anyone. Later today I’ll share some resources on alternate ways to liquidate gift cards and I’ll also detail how to switch from REDbird to Serve/Bluebird if you so desire. This battle is far from over even if Target ends debit card loads.
Yes this is a blow for the MS community, but it definitely isn’t a death blow. There are more ways than you realize to liquidate, so don’t you worry. Perhaps it will take a bit more effort going forward to learn about MS and what needs to be done, but it is still entirely possible if you want to work at it.
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