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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.

There are some things you should know before opening a Target RedCard, though. Especially because you have more than one option.

Before we get into it, make sure you download the KCL app so you won’t miss a single one of our Target deals.

 

Target RedCard at a Glance

Type of REDCardAPRFees
Target REDCard Debit CardN/APotential overdraft fees and return payment fees
Target REDCard Credit Card22.90% APRLate payment fee of $40
Returned payment fee of $29

 

What is the Target RedCard?

There are two types of Target RedCards: The Target RedCard debit card and the Target RedCard credit card. They both offer the same perks and benefits, but they operate very differently behind the scenes.

 

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 with 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 option is the only one that allows 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 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 a 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 is 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 will also need income and a decent debt-to-income ratio to get approved. If you apply and are not approved, you’ll end up with that ding on your credit report with none of the positives.

PRO 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 or credit card.

 

Get 5% off most Target purchases.

A person's hand giving their Target RedCard to a Starbucks employee above a drink carrier with three Starbucks drinks sitting on the counter.

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, this savings can really add up over time.

There are some exceptions you should be aware of, though. The 5% off doesn’t apply to:

  • Prescriptions.
  • 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.

A man talking to an employee at the Target guest service counter.

Target’s return policy is typically only 90 days. But when you make a purchase with your RedCard, the return period bumps up to 120 days.

There are a few exceptions to this perk, as well:

 

Get free, two-day shipping.

Two packages shipped from Target sitting in front of a front porch step.

When you buy with your RedCard, many orders you place on Target.com will come with free, two-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.

RedCard holders are eligible for “exclusive extras,” which are essentially just freebies and additional deals that are not available to the general public.

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.

 

Pros & Cons of Target RedCard Debit Card

ProsCons
  • No interest because it’s not a credit card. Payment is immediately taken directly from your checking account.
  • No annual fee.
  • Save 5% on most of your Target and Target.com purchases.
  • Get an extra 30 days for returns.
  • Get free shipping on most Target.com orders.
  • Qualify for “exclusive extra” deals
  • There aren’t too many cons. One of the only potential negatives you may come across is overspending and overdrafting your checking account. But you can avoid this problem by not spending more money than you have available in your checking account.

 

Pros & Cons of Target RedCard Credit Card

ProsCons
  • No annual fee.
  • Save 5% on most of your Target and Target.com purchases.
  • Get an extra 30 days for returns.
  • Get free shipping on most Target.com orders.
  • Qualify for “exclusive extra” deals.
  • If you use the card with perfect responsibility without messing up even once, it could positively impact your credit report. But you’re only perfect until you’re not. Be sure to read the cons.
  • If you make a late payment even once, it could negatively impact your credit report in a pretty big way.
  • If you do not pay off your balance in full before the due date, the interest you will be charged will completely erase any savings the card helped you achieve.

 

How to Apply for the Target RedCard

Honestly, 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.

If you want to apply more proactively, you can do so online for either the debit card or credit card option.

To apply, you will need basic identifying information, like your name, date of birth and address.

For the debit card, you will also need to supply information for the bank account you’d like to link to your RedCard.

For the credit card, you will 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 less 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.

Target is a store where it’s easy to overload your cart, which is another reason we like the debit 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.

Everything You Need to Know About the Target RedCard