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.