Joanie Demer | 

Everything You Need to Know About Target Drive Up for Curbside Groceries

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Target Drive Up is one of my favorite curbside services. The Target app makes the entire process simple, and it doesn’t stress me out with down-to-the-minute pick up appointments.

Plus, you can use a lot of the same savings strategies you’d use in-store even if you’re using curbside pickup. Target Drive Up is the real MVP… Between grabbing the orders within two hours, adding on a Starbucks order to your pick up order, and now even doing your returns at Drive Up! What more could we need?!

Before we get into all that and more, be sure to download the KCL app so you don’t miss any glorious Target deals! And for more deals and better savings, discover Target coupons and know the ins and outs of the Target Coupon Policy and the Target Return Policy.


1. Use the app to place your Target grocery order. It’s free!

hand holding cellphone with app in car at target drive up parking

To place your Target curbside pickup order, you will need to download the Target app. Not only is the app free, but the entire Drive Up service is free. There are no extra fees. You’ll pay exactly the same amount as if you went into the store and picked out your items yourself.


2. There are no minimum order requirements for Target pickup.

Unlike Walmart’s $30 order minimum on pickup orders, Target Drive Up grocery pickup doesn’t have a minimum. So a $10 run to replenish your fruit basket won’t cost any more than going in store.


3. Using EBT for your Target curbside grocery order is hit and miss.

The storefront of Target.

EBT is tricky. At the beginning of the pandemic, many states had laws that prohibited stores from allowing SNAP purchases on curbside grocery pickup orders.

But partway through the pandemic, localities in states like Pennsylvania lifted this restriction, allowing people to use EBT even if the order was Drive Up.

Even in the markets where state and local laws have changed, Target still doesn’t offer an EBT payment option at checkout. But if you’re high risk and thinking there’s just no way you’re risking your life over seeing the inside of a Target store, there is a work-around.

You will have to call the store before you place your order. The store manager may or may not be willing to accommodate you by allowing the store associate to come out to your car to retrieve your EBT card and PIN. They’d then take the card back in the store and process it as an in-store purchase, bringing your groceries with them on the way out.

This is a strategy that has worked for individual shoppers in real life. But it’s definitely not official policy.

If your local Target isn’t willing to do this, you may want to call around to other grocers who will not make you risk your life simply because you’re resource-thin. If you’re in an area where the laws have changed throughout the pandemic, they may even accept SNAP payments through their own apps.


4. Select Target Drive Up as you add items to your cart.

A graphic of two phones displaying the steps for choosing the Drive Up option in the Target mobile app.

As a default, your order will be set to Pickup. Here’s the difference between Drive Up and Order Pickup:

  • Order Pickup is for items you grab from the customer service desk inside the store, and available through the app or
  • Drive Up is the curbside pickup option where an associate brings your order out to your car in the parking lot, which you can only do through the Target app.

When you add an item to your cart, you will then be given the option between the two: Pickup or Drive Up. Make sure you pick “Drive Up” on every item. If you mess up, you can fix the setting in your cart before completing your order.


5 . Save 5% on your Target curbside pickup orders with your RedCard.

A person's hand holding up a Target RedCard in front of a plant.

You KNOW we’re gonna get into the savings!

If you use your RedCard to pay for your Target pickup order, you’ll save 5% just like you would on an in-store order.


6. You can use most Circle offers & coupons on Drive Up orders.

A graphic of two iPhones displaying two different Offers saved on the Target Circle app.

In the Target app, view the Circle offer you wish to redeem. Then, look at the icons under the heading “Valid when you shop…” to see if the offer qualifies for Drive Up.


7. Stack Circle deals with gift card promos to save even more.

A graphic of two iPhones displaying the user's Cart and Checkout page on the Target Circle app.

Most of Target’s gift card promotions are eligible for Drive Up in the Target app, too. Plus, Target Circle percent-off discounts can be used in the app.

In the example above, the gift card promotion was “Spend $30, Get $10 Target gift card.” I bought two items, used two 10% Circle offers, and received my $10 gift card.


8. Look for $10 off promo codes on your Target pickup order.

A person sitting in a car that is parked in the Target parking spot for Drive Up orders, looking down at a phone.

Target promo codes for grocery pickup aren’t as common as with their rival, Walmart.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Keep an eye out for Target deals like “$10 off a $50 Pickup Order,” which they’ll advertise in checkout areas and on their own promotions page.


9. Stack rebate apps on top of Target Circle offers, too.

A person's hands holding a cell phone displaying the Fetch Rewards app, with groceries laid out on a table below it.

To save even more, you can use rebate apps to get even more money back on your purchase. Here are the rebate apps you can take advantage of with Drive Up:

  • Ibotta – Connect your Target and Ibotta accounts for automatic rebates every time you use Drive Up.
  • Fetch Rewards – Connect your email account to earn rewards on digital receipts from Target.

Some of these apps are going to require receipts. Target automatically emails an itemized digital receipt to your email with every Drive Up grocery pickup order. You can also look up your digital receipt under “Purchases” in your Target account.


10. Most Target weekly ads are available for curbside pickup orders.

Most of the Target weekly ad deals, gift card promos, and BOGO offers are available for Drive Up. Just tap the deal in the “Target Circle offers” section of the app, and it’ll show if the deal is available for Drive Up.


11. You can’t use manufacturer coupons on your Drive Up order.

A woman holding out a stack of manufacture coupons. The coupon on top is for $2 off Tide Pods.

Target doesn’t take manufacturer coupons at Drive Up. That includes printable coupons or newspaper coupons. Also, dollar-off manufacturer coupons in the Target app can’t be redeemed on Drive Up purchases.


12. Identify the deals that apply to Drive Up orders.

A graphic of two iPhones displaying two different offers on the Target Circle app, one which works for all types of Target shopping, and the other that only works in-store.

Figuring out which deals apply to Target Drive Up orders is a breeze. When you click on a Circle offer, for example, you’ll see a set of icons for every type of order. If the Drive Up icon is lit up in color, that offer is eligible.

In the “Top Deals” section of the app, you’ll want to look for offers that say they’re available “with same-day order services.” These services include:

  • Target Pick Up (in store)
  • Target Drive Up
  • Target Delivery


13. Target grocery pickup gives you all the payment options.

A person's hands, one holding a Target gift card, and the other holding a Target RedCard, in front of a Target bag.

You may not be able to use EBT with Target grocery pickup. But you can use virtually every other method of payment, including:

  • Your RedCard.
  • Credit cards.
  • Debit cards.
  • PayPal.
  • Apple Pay.
  • Gift cards.


14. Your pickup order may be ready in 2 minutes or 2 hours.

A person loading bags of groceries into the trunk of a vehicle next to a Target shopping cart.

I’ve experienced both. If the store’s not super busy, you may get that notification that your order’s ready within minutes of placing it.

If it’s a busy time of day, you may have to wait the full two hours before your order’s ready.

That doesn’t mean you must be there in two hours, though. It’s not a set time slot. Just when your order will be ready.


15. Let Target know you’re on your way.

A graphic of two iPhones displaying the Target Circle app's options for notifying Target that "I'm on my way" and a page to provide a description of the car.

When you’re ready to pick up your curbside grocery order, you have the option to let Target know you’re on the way in the app. This gives them time to get your order ready so you won’t have to wait for them to find it when you show up at the store.

This isn’t a mandatory step, though. I personally don’t feel like giving Target access to my GPS location at all times, so I just wait a few more minutes after I’ve told them I arrived.


16. Let Target know you’ve arrived for your pickup order.

A person standing next to a Target cart, reaching into the open trunk of a vehicle parked in the Drive Up parking spot outside of Target.

When you do arrive at Target, park in one of the Drive Up spots. Then, get out your app and tap the button to let Target know you’re there.

You’ll be asked:

  • The number of your parking space.
  • The make, model, and color of your vehicle.
  • Where in the car you’d like to have your items dropped off.

Throughout the pandemic, Target has done contactless curbside pickup really well. After you enter your information, you’ll be taken to a white screen with a four-digit number.

Keep your windows rolled up as the store associate brings you your order. Then, hold up your phone through the window and they’ll type the number into their own mobile device. Then, they’ll place your order in the trunk or back seat or wherever you told them to put it in the app.


17. Authorize someone else to pick up your Target curbside order.

A graphic of two iPhones displaying the Target app's pages for adding an authorized person to pick up an order for you.

Target recently added a “Shopping Team” feature in its app. You can use this feature to authorize someone else to pick up your order. Go into “settings” and click on “Shopping Team.” You’ll then be asked to enter the other person’s name and email address.

From there, it’s up to them to follow up on the email and add themselves to your team. They should be able to pick up the order just the same as you.

Honestly, before they added this feature I was already having other people pick up my order. I’d have them text me their parking spot number once they arrived at Target.

Then I’d go in the app to tell them “I” was there. I’d take a screenshot of the white screen, and then text it to my person so they could hold it up to the window for the Target associate.

It wasn’t hard. But the Shopping Team feature does make the process that much easier.


18. Add a Starbucks Drink to your Target Drive Up order.

Someone at the Target drive up picking up their Starbucks order

Since November 2022, Target has offered Starbucks orders to be added to your Target Drive Up order at select stores across 24 states. Come October 2023, this option will be available nationwide.

How to order Starbucks with Target Pickup

If your Target store is participating, here’s how you can order Starbucks when picking up your Target order:

  • Place a Drive Up order via the Target app. When you get the alert that your order is ready for pickup, tap “on my way.”
  • Once you’re en route, you’ll have the option to place an order from the Starbucks menu.
  • Park in a Drive Up parking spot and tap “I’m Here” in the app.
  • A Target associate will bring out your Target and Starbucks order right to your car.

And don’t forget: You can take advantage of all the Target Circle deals on Starbucks drinks when they happen, and yes, from your car as well.


19. You technically don’t need to tip for Target Drive Up services.

A person showing their phone to the employee at the Target Drive Up

Target associates are paid a full wage, unlike most servers and delivery drivers. You are not required to tip them for their services.

Some workers may even be told to refuse tips. So if you get rejected after trying to be nice anyways, don’t get all bent out of shape over it. They’re probably just trying to follow their local store rules.


20. Target will hold your grocery pickup order for a day.

The Target Drive Up sign in the parking lot in front of a Target storefront.

For a Target Drive Up grocery order, they’ll hold on to your items until the end of the next business day.

You’ll always be refunded in full for any orders that you do not pick up.


21. Wine moms rejoice. You can order alcohol through Target curbside pickup.

Two bottles of Cupcake Vineyards wine sitting on the top of a Target shopping cart in the Beer & Wine aisle at Target.

If your Target sells alcohol (and/or liquor), you can add it to your Drive Up order. It qualifies for the RedCard discount, too.

An asterisk here that in select circumstances, this policy might not work because of state law or laws in your locality surrounding alcohol.


22. Claim price adjustments on your Drive Up order for 14 days.

a woman holding a recepit standing in line at the target returns

While Target doesn’t let you price match with the Drive Up associate in the parking lot, they will give a price adjustment after you complete your pickup if you find an item you purchased at a lower price within 14 days.

According to Target’s price match policy, Target stores price match, select online competitors, and local printed ads.


23. Select markets will get Target curbside exchanges in the fall.

A woman standing in line at the Target return counter.

Target is planning on rolling out curbside exchange capabilities in select markets in the fall. In these areas, it’s reasonable to assume that you might be able to claim price matching on the day of your order rather than going back in later for a price adjustment. But we’ll just have to wait and see.

See something we missed? Leave your questions about Target grocery pickup services in the comments!

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