I was hurriedly going through the checkout lane at Target picking up some items on my way home from work when the cashier sprung a question I’ve heard a zillion times:
“Are you going to be saving 5% with your REDcard today?”
I shook my head, “No,” after which she asked me if I knew about the REDcard. I quipped at her my understanding of it being a Target Visa card that saves me 5% on my purchases. I told her that I didn’t like to use credit cards, but thanked her for the offer. I was surprised when she corrected me by stating there was a Visa REDcard credit card, but there was actually a debit card version that I could link to my existing checking account.
I politely declined again, but left the store thinking I needed to check into it further.
When I got home, I searched the internet and found the following information about the Target REDcard Debit Card:
- Connects To Existing Checking Account: As the cashier had stated, I could connect a Target REDcard to my existing checking account. Each purchase made at Target with the REDcard, the amount is deducted directly from the linked checking account.
- Discount At Target : Each purchase made at Target is discounted 5% when the method of payment is the REDcard.
- Free Shipping: Purchases made online at Target.com with the REDcard will not incur any shipping charges. Customers can have an item shipped to the store for free even without a REDcard, but it’s much more convenient to have it shipped right to your doorstep.
- Return Policy: Purchases made with the REDcard allows for an extra 30 days to be returned if you’re not happy with the purchase.
- No Fees: There are no fees of any kind imposed by Target to have and use a REDcard.
After reading the benefits of having a REDcard, I started searching for negative reviews regarding the card and found the following:
- Can Only Be Used At Target: Because the card is not associated with a processing network such as Visa or Mastercard, it can only be used at Target.
- Transaction Speed: Many REDcard users state that transactions did not post immediately. Sometimes it took a few days for purchases to post to the account. This shouldn’t be a problem for me, since I reconcile my checking account almost on a daily basis.
Here are some additional observations of my own:
- Target is doing this simply to attract people to come through their doors. The REDcard is essentially just a creative way to give customers a never expiring 5% off coupon along with a few other minor perks. It isn’t a huge discount, but every little bit helps, and it helps to build a loyal customer base.
- I do the majority of my shopping at other retailers where products are generally cheaper. However I do shop at Target for a handful of products that are not carried at my primary shopping outlet. As with my Costco membership, if I decide to go ahead and get attach a REDcard to my checking account I need to make sure I don’t shop there just to get a 5% discount. If a product costs 10% more at Target than somewhere else, but I buy it at Target at a 5% discount, I’m still paying MORE for that item.
I had known about the Target REDcard for years, after all, the cashiers mention it literally every time I shop at Target. However, I misunderstood the details, not understanding that I didn’t have to get a credit card to save 5%.
While 5% isn’t a huge discount, I don’t see any downsides to getting one.
Did you know that you could link a Target REDcard debit card to your existing checking account? If you already have one, what is your experience in using it?