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We love a good Target savings hack! And the Target RedCard is one of the best. You can use this card to save 5% on each and every Target purchase, on top of unlocking some other pretty rad benefits. And from time to time, they do a sign-up bonus where you can get a $40 off $40 coupon that you can use once in-store or online.
There are some things you should know before opening a Target RedCard, though. Especially because you have more than one option. There are three options to choose from, with all three still saving you 5% on all of your Target purchases.
Before we get into it, make sure you download the KCL app so you won’t miss a single one of our Target deals.
Once or twice a year, Target offers $40 off your next $40 Target purchase when you sign up now for the credit or debit version of the Target RedCard.
We saw this deal recently offered in May 2023. Through May 27, 2023, you could’ve received a coupon for $40 off a purchase of $40 or more if you applied for a credit or debit RedCard either in-store or online at Target.com. This offer was not valid for RedCard Reloadable accounts. If you signed up for this by May 27, the coupon will be sent to you along with your RedCard and you can use it once in-store or online until June 26. To redeem the coupon, you’ll need to upload it to the Target app and be fully enrolled in the Target Circle loyalty program.
There are exclusions to the coupon, so make sure you read the fine print.
What is the Target RedCard?
There are three types of Target RedCards: The Target RedCard debit card, the Target RedCard Reloadable Account, and the Target RedCard credit card. They all offer the same perks and benefits, but they operate very differently behind the scenes.
Target RedCard Debit vs. Credit vs. Reloadable:
Target RedCard Debit Card
The Target RedCard debit card acts a lot like the debit card you use with your bank account — except you can only use it at Target. You will have to link this card to your checking account before you can start spending.
Then when you make a purchase, that money will automatically be pulled out of your associated checking account.
There are no annual fees, but if you overspend and overdraft your checking account, you may end up owing money via overdraft fees to your bank. You may also end up owing return payment fees to Target, but they don’t explicitly lay out how much these fees would be for the debit card option.
The debit card and Reloadable options allow you to make a fee-free cash withdrawal at checkout. You can take out up to $40 cash, and the money will be drawn from your checking account.
Target RedCard Reloadable Account
The Target RedCard Reloadable Debit card acts much like the RedCard debit card. Instead of linking the card to your checking account, you preload your Target RedCard Reloadable account at Target with cash.
In addition to loading the card with cash, you can get your paycheck or government benefits up to two days early when you set up direct deposit to your Reloadable account. Plus, this benefit is free.
There aren’t many fees with the RedCard Reloadable account. Reloading your card is free. If you want to use the Mobile Check Capture service and choose to reload your money in minutes, that can have a fee. To avoid this fee, just choose “Money in Days” instead. Also, if you use an out-of-network ATM, that will also get you a fee. You can check out all the RedCard Reloadable information and fees here.
Like the Target RedCard Debit card, you can get $40 cash back when you check out at Target. The money will be deducted from your reloadable account balance.
This option doesn’t perform a credit check. All you have to provide is your social security number to verify your identity. You also have to be over 18 and have a valid email address.
Sign up for the Target RedCard Reloadable Debit card.
Target RedCard Credit Card
The Target RedCard credit card is a lending product that can also only be used at Target. When you spend money on the card, you’ll have to pay in full within 25 days of the end of your billing cycle. Otherwise, you’ll owe a whopping 22.90% APR on your balance.
If you must have the credit card, make sure to pay off the balance in full each and every month. Otherwise, the savings you rack up through your RedCard benefits will be completely wiped out.
Applying for a credit card can put a small dent in your credit score. However, sometimes people see this number jump back up after a few months of on-time payments. Because while new credit inquiries are negative on your credit report, expanding the amount of credit available to you often helps push your score up — as long as you’re keeping on top of those payments.
There’s no guarantee you’ll be accepted for a Target Redcard credit card just because you apply. While the store does set its minimum required credit score quite low, you’ll also need income and a decent debt-to-income ratio to get approved. If you apply and aren’t approved, you’ll end up with that ding on your credit report with none of the positives.
TIP: Your debt-to-income ratio looks at how much money you make vs how much money you owe on debts. Many lenders like to see this number below 36%. Target doesn’t get that explicit, but under 36% is a good goal to strive for regardless of why you’re crunching the numbers.
RedCard Perks & Benefits
All of these in-store RedCard benefits apply regardless of whether you have a debit card, credit card, or reloadable account.
Get 5% off most Target purchases.
This is the big one! When you use your RedCard, you’ll get 5% off your Target and Target.com purchases. Whether you’re purchasing household staples or splurging on Starbucks, these savings can really add up over time.
There are some exceptions you should be aware of, though. The 5% off doesn’t apply to:
- Target gift cards and prepaid cards
- GameOn gift cards
- Gift of College gift cards
- Lottery gift cards
- Shipt membership fees
- Wireless protection program purchases
- Deposits on mobile phones
- Gift wrapping services
- Taxes and shipping charges
- Target Optical eye exams and protection plans
You do get the 5% off on glasses and contacts, though. And yes, the 5% off also applies to clearance items. It even applies to specialty gift cards, which means you can effectively get 5% off your Disney vacation by purchasing Disney gift cards at Target.
In most states, you can get 5% off alcohol, too, with some rare exceptions like the state of Indiana.
Get an extra 30 days for returns.
There are a few exceptions to this perk, as well:
- Some electronics purchases
- Target Optical purchases
- Contract mobile phones
- All other nonreturnable Target items
Get free 2-day shipping.
When you buy with your RedCard, many orders you place on Target.com will come with free 2-day shipping. Nearly all orders will come with free standard shipping.
Depending on where you live and what you’re purchasing, there may or may not be a minimum order amount. In the past, there was a $35 minimum order threshold across the board, but there aren’t any universal rules right now that are that specific.
Bear in mind that if you’re ordering with Shipt, you could potentially run into a delivery fee.
Access extra RedCard-exclusive deals.
Target doesn’t have a schedule for releasing these deals, and you might not be able to access the same ones as your friends, depending on your purchase history and geographic location.
How to Apply for the Target RedCard
You might be offered a RedCard application at checkout. If this happens and you consent, be sure to understand if you are applying for a debit card or credit card. A credit card application could have an impact on your credit report, whereas a debit card application shouldn’t.
To apply for the Target Reloadable account, you can only do this online.
If you want to apply more proactively, you can do so online with either the debit card or credit card option.
To apply, you’ll need basic identifying information, like your name, date of birth, and address.
For the debit card, you’ll also need to supply information for the bank account you’d like to link to your RedCard.
For the credit card, you’ll also need to provide income information on top of consenting to a hard pull on your credit.
Is the Target RedCard Right for You?
This is a card you can only use at Target. If you shop there frequently, the perks could make it a great option for you. We love it for the savings it offers frequent shoppers.
We’d recommend the debit card over the credit card, simply because there are fewer potential negative consequences. As long as you don’t overdraft your checking account, there are no fees. With the credit card, if you miss a payment or pay late, you could end up paying sky-high interest, incurring fees, or even damaging your credit report. If you want pure protection from fees, then stick with the Target Reloadable account.
Target is a store where it’s easy to overload your cart, which is another reason we like the debit and reloadable option over the credit option. If you have any type of shopping addiction or simply make one big trip where your eyes are bigger than your wallet, the fallout can be more devastating if you’re running things as credit rather than debit.
That said, credit cards aren’t bad for all people. If you’re responsible with credit and are looking to build up your credit history, the Target RedCard credit card is just one of many that could help you meet your goals.
EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this article stated that the $40 off $40 coupon could be used twice, once online and once in stores. That information was incorrect, as the coupon is a one-time use only. We regret the error.