Marcus Lawrence | 

You Save Less with Target Cartwheel These Days — Here's Why

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Update: Target Cartwheel is now Circle, and while Circle offers are comparable to Cartwheel offers, there are some notable differences, like the ability to earn 1% cash back on every purchase. Learn how Target Circle works.

OK, Target shopper. You love Cartwheel. You love the hundreds of discounts and deals literally at your fingertips. Great.

Ya gotta know, though — they’ve changed the game on you a little bit. And your Cartwheel savings aren’t what they used to be.

Early in the year, Target made a subtle, yet important change to the way Cartwheel savings are applied to gift card promos.

How has Target Cartwheel changed? Here’s what you need to know:

Bookmark the KCL Target coupons page and check out the essential guide to Target Circle savings.


Target USED TO apply Cartwheel discounts to the full cost of a qualifying product in a gift card promo.

For example, if you bought two items for $10.00 each that earned you a $5.00 gift card, your 10% Cartwheel discount would be applied to the $20.00 purchase price. That’s a $2.00 savings.


Now, Target factors in gift card savings before applying the Cartwheel discount.

In the same scenario, the 10% Cartwheel discount would be applied to the cost of the products minus the $5.00 gift card value. So, that 10% would be applied to $15.00 instead of the full $20.00 — only $1.50 savings.


Here’s how it works when you add manufacturer coupons

Manufacturer coupons are still worth their full value and are applied after the Cartwheel discount.


Multiple Cartwheel offers in one gift card promo make things really spinny.

Be warned. This is about to get next-level krazy. You can quit here and rest assured our writers and editors are triple-checking the math on every deal. But, if you want to understand why the numbers may not seem to be adding up — read on. . .

When multiple Cartwheels come into one gift card promotion, like a 5% off two products and a 10% off one product, things get really complicated. In the example below, the gift card promo requires you buy three products. In order to calculate the Cartwheel discount, you must first determine which portion of the gift card should be attributed to each product.

  • The subtotal of the three items is $38.00.
  • Each $14.00 item represents 37% of the subtotal.
  • 37% of the $10.00 gift card is $3.70.
  • $14.00 minus $3.70 is $10.30.
  • 5% off $10.30 is $0.52

Five percent off $14 would have been worth $0.70. But now, as part of this gift card promo, it’s only worth $0.52 thanks to the new Cartwheel calculations.


UP NEXT: Walmart Making BIG Changes to Savings Catcher

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