As of May 6, 2015 Redbird can no longer be loaded with credit cards or Amex gift cards.
I’ve been getting lots of emails lately about whether I’ve had success loading my not-so-recently acquired Redbird card. I picked up the card last month when I was in Michigan and found out soon after that Redbird cards have been appearing in Target stores in the Bay Area and Sacramento. The process of activating my Redbird cards was a bit of a hassle, but three of them arrived in the mail and I was finally able to put them to use recently. Since there were plenty of reports out there about successful Redbird loads, I wasn’t anticipating any problems.
As usual, I went to the customer service register, where I tend to experience fewer issues loading my Amex for Target card than at check-out. The cashiers actually know what a prepaid card looks like and don’t freak out when I want to load $1,000 onto it. The process was the same as Amex for Target – the cashier swipes your card, you sign for the purchase, and then he/she types in the last 4 digits of the card (no ID check in my case). I loaded $900 using my Barclay Arrival Plus card, which seems to be a safe amount that avoids fraud alerts, and it went through without a problem. I loaded another card for $800 using my U.S. Bank-issued Club Carlson Visa and it went just as smoothly.
During this trip, I did end up using my Redbird card for actual purchases, which is a habit all of you should be getting into to avoid account closures – regardless whether the recent report of a Redbird shutdown was a hoax or not. Besides, that 5% discount really adds up if you’re buying all of your essentials at Target. I don’t know about you, but no matter what I take to the Target register, it always comes up to $60. It could be a pack of gum and chapstick and it will always be $60.
Remember, you can use your Redbird outside of Target, which can be quite lucrative. If you’re loading Redbird with a credit card that codes Target as a grocery store, you can generate a substantial bonus on your everyday spending through Redbird.
To get back to the point, loading Redbird shouldn’t be an issue, regardless of whether your home state sells them or not. I would still be careful not to focus on this card purely in terms of a manufactured spending tool. Mix in some regular spend, use it for a 5% discount on your shampoo, groceries, or bath towels. Remember, this is Target – a shopping utopia where everything is perfect and easy, unlike its evil counterpart Walmart, which made manufactured spending a pain in the a** for everyone with their long lines, broken Bluebird kiosks and terrible customer service. So be nice to your Redbird card and it will be nice to you.
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