You Can Still Load Target Prepaid REDcard With PIN-Enabled Gift Cards [Expired]

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Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Update:   You can no longer load Target Prepaid REDcard with debit cards or gift cards.

It’s official, you can no longer load the Target Prepaid REDcard directly with your credit card.

You Can Still Load Target Prepaid REDcard With PIN Enabled Gift Cards

Add Funds to Your Target Prepaid REDcard With Gift Cards

I’ll explain how to load your card and which gift cards work!

The New Way to Load Your Target REDcard

Much like AMEX Serve and Bluebird, you can add money to the Target Prepaid REDcard with the PIN-enabled gift cards.

You Can Still Load Target Prepaid REDcard With PIN Enabled Gift Cards

Loading Your Target REDcard With Gift Cards Is an Easy Way to Meet Minimum Spending Requirements!

Here’s how it works:

1.   Buy at gift card that has PIN capability with your credit card

2.   Select a PIN  (on some cards you can use the last 4 digits of the card!)

3.   Visit your local Target and tell the cashier you’d like to load your Target Prepaid REDcard with a debit card

4.   When prompted, slide your gift card and enter the PIN

You can add up to $2,500 per day and $5,000 per month.   Keep in mind, these gift cards typically charge a ~$5 to ~$7 activation fee.  So this method isn’t free.

Which Gift Cards Work?

You can use Metabank and US Bank gift cards you find in places like grocery stores, office supply stores, and Simon Malls.

You Can Still Load Target Prepaid REDcard With PIN Enabled Gift Cards

You Can Add Money to Your Target Prepaid REDcard With Metabank and US Bank Gift Cards

Or Vanilla Visa gift cards.

You Can Still Load Target Prepaid REDcard With PIN Enabled Gift Cards

Vanilla Visa Gift Cards Also Work!

But do NOT buy AMEX gift cards!

You Can Still Load Target Prepaid REDcard With PIN Enabled Gift Cards

AMEX Gift Cards Do NOT Work!

Earn Bonus Points Too!

You can also earn bonus points when you purchase your gift cards with credit cards like:

This is a good way to earn miles and points by using the Target prepaid REDcard to pay bills (utilities, loans, rent, etc.) that can’t normally be paid with a credit card!

Bottom Line

The Target Prepaid REDcard can NOT be loaded directly with a credit card any longer.  This was a convenient and free way to meet minimum spending requirements.

But you can still add funds to this card with PIN-enabled gift cards.  Buying gift cards with credit cards at grocery stores and office supply stores will help you meet minimum spending requirements

Although you’ll pay fees per gift card, you’ll still come out ahead because of the sign-up or category bonuses.

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53 responses to “You Can Still Load Target Prepaid REDcard With PIN-Enabled Gift Cards [Expired]

  1. Excellent post

  2. Thanks for the article!

    Perhaps it is just in my area – Denver… but I was able to load 4 of the $500 American Express Gift Cards you show without a problem at Target recently.
    It that stops working …. is there any other means of unloading these cards outside of regular spending?

  3. I remember the unmitigated NIGHTMARE it was to try to load pin-enabled gift cards onto Bluebird at Wal-Mart — with the checkout person calling the customer service person and the manager, etc. and all the mean glares behind me. They did not know how to process the things to work. I can totally see this being the same way at Target. I hope not, but that’s usually the way it goes.

  4. There is a promotion going on in Office Depot till 16th May, where you get $20 off of $300 and it limits 2 per customer. Check your local office depot ad. This would help churning.

  5. Are there even grocery or office supply stores that will let you buy GC’s with CC? I thought that was basically dead unless you knew someone “on the inside”.

  6. subscribe

  7. Enjoy the ride before its completely dead. Doubt MMS even knows how to MS anymore now that all the easy avenues are gone. Might as well suck up whatever affiliate revenue streams you have left before it disappears. Good luck lemmings! Don’t get stuck with GCs you can’t liquidate!

  8. You are not allowed to purchase Vanilla Gift Cards with your Chase Ink Plus.

  9. He mentions loading AMEX Serve with Visa PIN cards too – I thought AMEX killed that ability – only AMEX cards and debit cards in the name of the account holder?

  10. Robert Hanson

    @josefismael Yes, there are many grocery stores that will let you buy VGCs with ccs. The cards that usually run into problems with this are the “reloadable” cards like GreedDot, and Reloadit. The basic GCs shown in the article are usually fine to purchase with a cc.

  11. Can you load the prepaid Redcard by using a target gift card?

  12. can you still load gift cards to Serve?

  13. Will only the Vanilla VISA GCs work for loading the REDcard? I was looking to purchase GCs from (for the $20 statement credit) and found Vanilla MasterCards in the $200 increment…

  14. Why won’t Amex gift cards work? B/c they don’t have a PIN?


  15. I am maintaining an up-to-date list of working gift cards for Redbird, as reported on various blogs:

    Please let me know via a comment on that post if you have tested a different type of gift card from what’s mentioned there. Thank you.

  16. I went to 3 target in the San Jose area. Two of them told me they don’t accept gift cards (that I bought at Office Depot) even Vanilla gc. They said my name must be on the gc. The third target asked me if I’m going to use credit or gift card. A coworker went earlier and had no issue loading gift cards at the same target store. So it all depends on the customer service rep and the manager.

  17. How can we tell before we buy a GC, that it has a PIN?

  18. Went to Office Depot to take advantage of the $20 rebate last night. They were sold out of the $200 VGC’s, but was able to pick up three $100 Vanilla VGC’s. Went to the nearby Target to load my redcard and got a generic decline. I am under the impression that I can use anything for the pin the first time. Logged into the Vanilla card account this morning and it is showing the following:

    05/07/2015 07:47 PM INCOMM 970200 Denied : Delayed Redemption $100.00

    Anyone know what would cause that?

  19. Daniel,
    Based on what I know, it take at least one hour after you buy the VGC for it get credited with the balance. If you went right after buying – in less than an hour then that could be the issue.

  20. PD,

    Thanks so much for the reply. I did some more research and that was the best answer I could find, but nothing definitive.

  21. VVGCs work perfectly. You set up your pin number at register as all the money vanishes. No need to go online like in the past to create a pin or call the GC customer service. Set up in during first use. It works within 15 minutes of purchasing. The reps at the store by me know the game.

  22. Pingback: Earn $4 on Target REDcard from Sunshine Rewards

  23. Isn’t there a load fee with Target Red Card? So you’d pay for an activation fee to buy the debit/gift card and then pay another fee to load to a Red Card?

  24. No the load fee is for the American Express for Target (different than the Prepaid Target Redbird) and the American Express for Target has also gone to cash or debit only.

  25. I just tried to purchase a Visa Vanilla GC from Office Depot because of their $20 off deal. The system wouldn’t let me buy them with anything but straight cash. (Office Depot in Las Vegas, Blue Diamond store)

  26. I think my question still stands. In order to get miles/points, instead of using credit directly with Redcard and pay a load fee, we now have to buy a prepaid debit card and pay the activation fee wherever it’s purchased and then the load fee at Target?

    I didn’t see a Red Card, so I thought American Express for Target and Target Redbird/Redcard are the same, just called differently or nicknamed differently… what’s the difference?


  27. Hmm, upon further reading on other websites and rereading this blog, I get it that the Target Prepaid Redcard, much like Bluebird has no load fee.

    So, the American Express for Target we got and registered for (waiting on a permanent card) would need to be closed in order to get the Target Prepaid Redcard right? And they only have one design (not like Visa debit cards) right?

  28. @Wynn you can have the American express for target card and a target prepaid redcard at the same time. Target’s redcard , amex serve, and amex bluebird are limited to one of the three at a time.

  29. Pingback: How to spend $20,000 in 90 days for your AMEX Business Platinum | Miles per Day

  30. What are the disadvantages of doing smaller transactions using square? I would figure if you keep it under $5k it shouldn’t quite flag anything. Right now they are giving $1k of free processing. This way you don’t lose the 2.75% essentially slowly recycling. It may not be a great way to rack up the miles but will sure help covering the required spend.

    I used this link for the $1k free processing

  31. Pingback: The AMEX Business Platinum $20K Challenge | Miles per Day

  32. @JonCski, I bought a Vanilla Visa gift card with $500 on it yesterday and went online to make sure it was activated. However, when I went to Target, It did NOT work. As you said, when you enter the pin, it sets it also since it would be the FIRST time to use the card. However, it kept telling me INCORRECT PIN and I had to leave. SO ANGRY. I called Vanilla visa and they claimed that it should not work anyway if it is “loaded” on to something else. Since redcard is loaded, I know that when cc cards were ok, it was a “purchase”. What happened? Perhaps the game is over, and they recoded even Pin enabled gift cards? Like I said, we tried 4 times. Just kept saying incorrect pin.

  33. I just went to my local target and they are rejecting loading GC gift cards…I love redcard cuz i am able to pay my mortgage…what would u suggest to use..should i go back to bluebird?

  34. I don’t understand (I haven’t tried the VGC yet) what the problem is when they “wont let you use a gift card”. Just tell them you want to load the Redcard with DEBIT. Never even mention “Gift Card”. They don’t have to see the card. It’s a debit card. I send my girlfriend to the store all the time with my debit card and PIN, with my name on it. It’s irrelevant, she has the PIN.

  35. The gift cards are coded differently. It’s not a matter of the cashier “seeing” the card. It’s how they are hard-coded in the system.

  36. Dawn, not all store registers are coded to differentiate (or discriminate against) pin-based gift cards vs debit cards as funding methods for prepaid accts like Redbird/Serve/Bluebird. For instance, Walmart is known to have coded its registers to differentiate–and reject–some types of pin-enabled gift cards when they are used to load Serve. On the other hand, there’s no reports of Target having hard-coded its registers to reject any type of pin-based gift cards for loading Redbird.

    In theory, so far the Target registers should accept ANY pin-enabled gift card for loading Redbird. I am maintaining an up-to-date list of specific types of gift cards that people have reported as working for Redbird, take a look at it periodically as I will keep updating it if new credible info is reported on blogs:

  37. To load RedBird using visa GC, can i load my wife’s redbird or my wife has to be present

    In short are they asking for ID to load or not

  38. Tried loading my RedBird at a Target in San Jose, CA with a PIN enabled VISA gift card but was denied. The girl at guest services referenced a notice they received to not allow 3rd party cards.

  39. Can you load a red card with a personal check? Like could I mail a check to American Express Centurion Bank, 4315 South 2700 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84184. And will they deposit the money into the account?

  40. For anyone who needs an easy 1k extra spend, you can sign up for a Square account right now as they are doing a promotion to process the first 1k for free (usually a 2.75% fee). Just signed each person in my family up for one and swiped our credit cards for 1k each — worked like a charm!

    Here’s the link for the promotion:

  41. So why couldn’t you use the “square” to “purchase” funds off your rewards card (without having to cash advance), then take that cash over to target and reload the prepaid Red-card? Question though?? how does square pay the individual that owns the square? – check, paypal, etc…?

    I found someone that can purchase my prepaid red-card, but now that they do not accept CC payment to reload and have been told by numerous Target stores that you can only reload with cash or a debit card, and no using gift cards with pin#. – trying to find a way around…. GOTTA KEEP FIGHTIN THE MAN!

  42. @Stephanie (“For anyone who needs an easy 1k extra spend, you can sign up for a Square account right now as they are doing a promotion to process the first 1k for free (usually a 2.75% fee). Just signed each person in my family up for one and swiped our credit cards for 1k each — worked like a charm!”):

    Looks like you’d need to include what amount you pay yourself through Square in your income, for those of us small business/independent contractors. I don’t make a ton of money doing contract work, and am not sure about recommending this method….

  43. Great tips! It seems like a great way to save some money at Target – will definitely have to give this a shot. Thanks for sharing!

  44. Just a heads up for those folks that may want to use Square (or any similar CC processor)……swiping your own card violates both the processor’s and the CC’s terms. That would amount to a cash advance being processed as a charge.

  45. @Tom we made the comment in the transaction as “rent” … I think thats fairly reasonable. 1K for rent? They don’t have a rule where you can’t use for non-business purposes, so that is one way to get around it. Just make sure you are swiping each other’s cards and not your own!

    @Dave I have visa (all chase) and they count the transaction as normal charge and not a cash advanced

  46. @Kathleen — Square will automatically deposit the funds to the account info (bank) that you set up on there at the end of each business day

  47. Pardon if this was already asked but do MyVanilla (reloadable version-$4/load) debit cards reload with CCs and if so, will these cards work with Redcard loads?

  48. I have always used cash to reload my PP redcard and I cant even do that anymore?

  49. Hi all, I wrote a detailed guide on how to load Redbird with the newly upgraded registers (via K8):

    If you’ve already loaded with the new POS, please take a look at my post and if you see something that I missed, or if you had a different experience, let me know via a comment there so I can update the guide. Thank you.

  50. Just heard from Target Redcard that starting 10/12/2015, target will only accept cash for loads. No more giftcard/debit card loads. Can anyone verify this?

  51. Julie, that’s true, here’s more info about it and my take on yesterday events:

  52. Just received a notification that REDcard can no longer be loaded with a debit card at Target Stores. This takes REDcard off the table for me.

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