Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.
We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.
Target is one of the most recognizable companies in the U.S. Dubbed as the 11th-best retail brand by Brand Finance in 2021,1 it’s no wonder lots of Americans find their way back to Target time and time again.
As one of the largest retailers in the U.S., Target also enjoys tremendously high customer satisfaction and NPS scores (how likely a customer is to recommend Target to a friend or colleague), akin to what you’d see at Costco.
Its locations across the U.S. have clothing, toys, electronics, home improvement goods, and pharmaceutical products, and some even have grocery sections! Whatever your needs, Target is likely to stock the items you are looking for.
But before you make a Target run, take a minute to figure out what the best credit cards are for shopping at Target. In this guide, we’ll show you the exact steps to figure out which credit card is best for your needs.
If you follow our guide’s detailed explanations, including key tips on how your purchases at your favorite Target location code, you’ll be massively rewarded with lots of points.
Let’s get started!
Whenever you make a purchase using your credit card, numerous things are going on behind the scenes. One of these things that happens is that your purchase gets categorized depending on what the merchant category code (MCC) is.
And your merchant category code can vary depending on which exact merchant location you shop at. In the case of Target, your in-store purchases will count as 1 of the following 2 categories:
So why is this important? Well, if the Target location you routinely shop at is coded as 5411, then you can actually get bonus points as you would with other grocery stores and supermarkets.
On the flip side, if your local Target location is coded as 5310, you may want to use a different credit card.
So how do you figure out what merchant category code your Target location falls under? Unfortunately, this has gotten a lot harder than it has been in the past.
Before, we’d simply use the Visa Supplier Locator Tool; however, this has since been taken down, so the best way to figure out which MCC your local Target falls under is to make test purchases on your credit card.
In the past, you’d see specific locations by MCC as shown in this image:
Nowadays, it requires a lot of trial and error to figure it out.
Sadly, Amex specifically excludes Target as a supermarket, even if it initially codes as a supermarket, so this would generally only work on non-Amex cards. We’ll have to look for cards that offer bonus categories at supermarkets that aren’t Amex cards.
As a last general rule of thumb, you should strive to shop at a Target that codes as a supermarket, as long as it’s not too far out of the way. In the next section, we’ll be showing you our recommendations for the best personal credit cards for shopping at Target.
|Card||Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee||Benefits for Shopping at Target|
|Citi Premier® Card||
|Citi Double Cash® Card||
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||
|American Express® Gold Card||
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express||
Frequent flyers will enjoy 3x ThankYou Points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels.
The Citi Premier® Card is an excellent option for anyone looking for an all-around travel rewards credit card. The card helps you earn points fast with great 3x bonus categories such as restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airfare, and hotels. Plus, it offers access to airline and hotel transfer partners, doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and has a reasonable annual fee!
Our favorite credit card for Target purchases is the Citi Premier card. In our experience, Mastercard is very generous about categorizing Target locations as grocery stores and supermarkets, which is a huge boon.
To begin, this credit card offers an awesome bonus that is worth several years of the annual fee alone.
But you’ll find that this card is incredibly rewarding for numerous bonus categories:
In addition to these immense bonus categories, you’ll get an annual hotel savings benefit of $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) through thankyou.com once per calendar year, World Elite Mastercard benefits, purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, and access to the Citi Concierge and Citi Entertainment.
There are also no foreign transaction fees with this contactless card and no fees for authorized users.
As we mentioned, the Citi Premier card earns ThankYou Points — moreover, this card has the ability to transfer points to a large list of travel partners.
But having the ability to earn 3x Citi ThankYou Points on a huge laundry list of useful bonus categories with a modest annual fee is incredible — Citi ThankYou Points are worth around 1.6 cents each, according to our valuations, which means that your 3x points are equivalent to a 4.8% return on spending.
The Target RedCard is one of the best credit cards for big spenders at Target. And although you won’t get a return on spend that is higher than the card choices above, you will get the opportunity to earn a 5% discount on Target purchases, regardless of how different locations may have varying merchant category codes.
You will save 5% on most Target and Target.com purchases with the Target RedCard. It’ll also get you free 2-day delivery on most purchases, as well as an extended return policy.
Some exclusions of the 5% savings include:
There’s no annual fee for this card, and the Target RedCard applies the discount automatically at the time of purchase, instead of rewarding points or cash-back after your purchase.
However, this card has very high interest rates, doesn’t offer any travel benefits, and is strictly only usable at Target locations and Target.com (unless you are upgraded to the Target RedCard™ Mastercard that can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted).
Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!
The Citi Double Cash® Card has long been one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market, and the card now has the ability to earn Citi ThankYou Points!
This means that cardholders of the Double Cash card will now earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou Points. This means each billing cycle, you will earn 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on purchases and an additional ThankYou point for every $1 paid on your purchase balance as long as there is a corresponding balance in your Purchase Tracker.
Citi has turned the Double Cash card into a top choice for those who are looking for an everyday, no-fuss credit card.
Our next choice is the Double Cash card, which is actually one of the most potent rewards credit cards out there.
On the surface level, you might not think there’s anything particularly special about this card. You might think that the 2% cash-back you’d earn (1% at purchase and 1% when you pay, earned as ThankYou Points) might not be anything to write home about, but this card is special for a few reasons.
Earning 2% on all purchases (with no caps) is unmatched for a no-annual-fee credit card.
The Double Cash card offers fraud alerts, zero liability for unauthorized purchases, and much more.
This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.
When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.
The Freedom Unlimited card is one of our favorite credit cards for everyday purchases. Why? Because you can earn a minimum of 1.5% cash-back on all purchases, regardless of the bonus category.
You can also convert your rewards to Ultimate Rewards points, which is one of the most valuable currencies in the world.
With the Freedom Unlimited card, you’ll earn:
But the most valuable benefit is that with an Ultimate Rewards credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you can convert your cash-back to Ultimate Rewards points at a 1%-to-1x ratio.
You can also redeem your Chase points for cash-back, Amazon purchases, gift cards, merchandise, and travel booked through the Chase travel portal. But the value you’d get with these redemptions is limited compared to the value you’d get with transfer partners.
Get 2x miles plus some of the most flexible redemptions offered by a travel credit card!
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the most popular rewards cards on the market. It’s perfect for anyone in search of a great welcome offer, high rewards rates, and flexible redemption options.
Frequent travelers with excellent credit may benefit from this credit card that offers a lot of bells and whistles. And it offers easy-to-understand rewards earning and redemption.
The Capital One Venture card is known for offering excellent, straightforward rewards with the ability to transfer to travel partners, this card is continuing to grow in popularity.
You’ll find great travel insurance benefits like lost luggage coverage, roadside dispatch, and travel assistance services. The card also comes with key credit card benefits like purchase protection, return protection, and no foreign transaction fees (rates & fees).
We are big fans of Capital One Miles. Although the miles aren’t quite as valuable at 1.8 cents each, they are still very valuable as one of the transferable rewards programs.
You can redeem Capital One miles for statement credits, travel purchases, experiences, gift cards, and more.
But without a doubt, the best way to use Capital One miles is to transfer them to partners for flights like Lufthansa first class. Depending on the partner, you’ll transfer your miles mostly at a 1:1 ratio and sometimes a 2:1.5 or 2:1 ratio.
Hot Tip: The best cards to use at Target may not be the best ones to use at other big-box stores. See our helpful guides on the best credit cards for shopping at Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco, and home improvement stores.
This is the best card for food lovers who dine out at restaurants (worldwide), order take-out and want big rewards at U.S. supermarkets!
If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.
The American Express® Gold Card is a game-changer.
With this card, you can earn 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants and you’ll also earn 4x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x.
There isn’t another card on the market that offers a 1-2 punch like this. Of course, there are several other benefits of the Gold Card as well, including extra monthly dining rewards and more.
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome bonus offer of up to 90,000 points with the Amex Gold card. The current public offer is 60,000 points. (This targeted offer was independently researched and may not be available to all applicants.)
The Amex Gold card is one of the best cards you can have for daily spending, particularly for dining and supermarkets around the world. However, even though the Amex Gold card offers superb rewards, an awesome welcome bonus, and fantastic benefits overall, Target is specifically excluded as a bonus category, which means you’ll earn 1x Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on Target purchases.
To start off, this card offers an excellent welcome bonus to accelerate the number of points you’ll earn in a flash.
But beyond that, the Amex Gold card earns:
Beyond that, the Amex Gold card offers up to $120 in dining statement credits per year (up to $10 per month) at participating restaurants, including GrubHub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and participating Shake Shack locations.
Also, enjoy up to $120 per year in Uber Cash ($10 per month) for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S.
You’ll also get access to premium travel benefits like The Hotel Collection, which is a benefit program offering elevated travel perks when booking a 2-night stay at included properties, like a room upgrade at check-in (if available) and a $100 hotel credit.
Also, the Amex Gold card offers amazing benefits and protections, like the lowest hotel rate guarantee (for rates booked with AmexTravel.com), secondary car rental insurance, access to Amex Offers, a complimentary ShopRunner membership upon enrollment, and even access to the American Express Auto Purchasing Program.
We love earning Amex Membership Rewards points because they’re the most valuable transferable currency out there.
Worth around 2.2 cents each, Amex Membership Rewards points can be used for cash-back, gift cards, travel bookings via AmexTravel.com, charitable donations, merchandise shopping, and more.
This cash-back card offers a capped 3% at U.S. supermarkets, 3% at U.S. gas stations, and 3% on U.S. online retail purchases!
If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.
When it comes to cash-back credit cards, there are dozens of options to choose from. So what sets the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express apart from the rest?
This card is excellent at earning cash-back on your everyday purchases at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and on U.S. online retail purchases. So if you regularly spend money on everyday purchases, this could be the perfect card to add to your wallet.
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card is great for shopping at target.com. While it only earns 1% cash-back when you shop in-store, you’ll earn 3% cash-back at U.S. online retailers, like target.com on up to $6,000 in purchases each year.
Since most of us do a lot of our shopping online these days, this card makes it easy to rack up lots of cash-back rewards. Additionally, the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card also offers these benefits:
What if you happen to shop at Target or Target.com a lot for your business? You’ll want to make sure you’re separating your business transactions from your personal purchases, so that’s when a business credit card can come in handy.
Let’s talk about our favorite business credit cards for shopping at Target.
|Card||Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee||Benefits for Shopping at Target|
|The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express||
|Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card||
|The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card||
|U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card||
Earn Membership Rewards for your business spending the easy way: get 2x points for the first $50,000 in purchases per year.
As a business owner, getting a credit card that maximizes each dollar you spend does not have to be complicated or expensive. Especially when you opt for The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express.
With the Amex Blue Business Plus card, you’ll earn 2x Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases throughout the year (up to $50,000; 1x thereafter) and receive purchase protections and no-additional-charge employee cards all for no annual fee (see rates and fees).
The simple and straightforward earning structure makes it a great fit for those looking to earn flexible rewards, without having to fixate on which purchases earn the most points.
Let’s take look at all that the Amex Blue Business Plus card has to offer.
Our top business credit card choice for shopping at Target is the Amex Blue Business Plus card.
Offering 2x Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases (up to $50,000 per calendar year), this is the most rewarding business credit card for Target purchases. After that, you’ll earn 1x points.
You will find a 0% introductory APR on purchases (as shown in the table above) that will help your business temporarily avoid interest payments on purchases.
This credit card is one of the only Amex cards that offers access to Membership Rewards with no annual fee. And with no-fee employee cards, and access to Amex Offers, this card is a no-brainer to have (see rates & fees).
The Ink Business Unlimited card is a stellar option for business owners looking for a no-fuss uncapped 1.5% cash-back card without an annual fee.
As a business owner, you likely keep pretty busy and probably prefer a credit card that just keeps things simple.
If so, the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card might be just the card for you. From zero annual fee to a flat cash-back rate, the card is a no-frills option that you don’t have to think twice about.
Don’t forget too, 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter
The Ink Business Unlimited card is one of our favorite business credit cards because, in addition to the huge welcome bonus, you’ll find top-notch earning potential across all business purchases.
With this card, you will earn 1.5% cash-back on your business purchases with no caps.
This card is one of the few no-annual-fee cards that provide primary rental car insurance! Other benefits include no-fee employee cards, zero liability fraud protection, purchase protection, extended warranty, and more.
1.5% cash-back isn’t necessarily fantastic by itself, but this credit card’s rewards can be converted to Ultimate Rewards points if you have an Ultimate Rewards credit card like the Ink Business Preferred card at a 1%-to-1x ratio.
That means your 1.5% cash-back can be converted to 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points, which is worth a 3% return on spend.
Take control of your cash-back with the Amex Blue Business Cash card, and earn 2% cash-back on up to $50,000 in purchases each year.
Looking for a way to keep tabs on your office supply costs and business travel expenses while earning cash-back? Then The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card could be a good fit.
This card offers expense management solutions that are designed to give companies more control, along with a much clearer picture of their business spending. In doing so, the more you spend, the more cash-back you can earn.
The Amex Blue Business Cash card is an impressive straightforward business credit card with an emphasis on cash-back rewards. So if you find yourself needing cash-back for your business purchases made at Target, this card is a great fit for you.
There isn’t any need to pay attention to bonus categories because you’ll earn 2% cash-back on all eligible purchases (up to $50,000 per calendar year). After that, you’ll earn 1% cash-back.
One of the biggest benefits of this credit card is that the rewards are totally automated — all cash-back earned is credited onto each statement so that you don’t need to worry about redeeming your cash-back.
Our very last credit card is the U.S. Bank Business Leverage card, which comes with the ability to earn 2% cash-back in the top 2 categories where you spend the most each month.
These rewards are automatic, so they’re adjusted based on your spending habits, which can change from month to month.
The bonus earnings are uncapped, and there are a total of 48 categories, including discount stores and wholesale clubs and grocery stores and supermarkets.
Both merchant category codes 5411 and 5310 are covered under the definitions in the bolded categories above, which means that all of your Target purchases should earn 2x points.
Other benefits include no-fee employee cards and no foreign transaction fees.
Target is one of those retailers that could be thought of as a wholesale club or a grocery store, depending on how you look at it. But in the eyes of credit card processing companies, they will almost always be categorized under 1 of 2 merchant category codes (which vary by location):
If your local Target falls under MCC 5411, you can use a card like the Citi Premier card.
However, if your Target falls under MCC 5310, you’ll want to use a solid everyday spending card like the Double Cash card, Freedom Unlimited card, or Capital One Venture card. For any target.com purchases, the Amex Blue Cash Everday card would be a solid choice.
If you’re strictly looking for discounts at Target and no other benefits, the Target RedCard might work for you.
For business credit cards, we’d recommend the Amex Blue Business Plus card, the Ink Business Unlimited card, the Amex Blue Business Cash card, or the U.S. Bank Business Leverage card.
Whatever the case, there are numerous credit cards that will help you accumulate lots of rewards, whether you’re looking for points or cash-back.
For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.
The information regarding the Target RedCard™, Target RedCard™ Mastercard, and U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information for the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, click here.
Yes! Target accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Diner’s Club International, debit cards, EBT cards, Target RedCard, Target GiftCard, third-party gift cards, Affirm, and PayPal.
Yes. In addition to Discover, Target accepts all third-party credit cards, gift cards, gift certificates, mobile payments, Alipay (in select stores), Target RedCard, cash, debit/ATM cards, and EBT cards.
Target stores accept cash, Target RedCard, third-party credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, JCB, Diner’s Club International), debit/ATM cards, EBT cards, contactless pay, gift cards, gift certificates, merchandise vouchers, multiple payment methods sales, personal checks, rebate checks, WIC program, mobile payments, Alipay (in select locations), and Campus Cash (in select locations).
On the Target.com website and Target app, you can pay using the Target RedCard, third-party credit cards, third-party debit cards, Target GiftCard, third-party gift cards from American Express, Discover, Visa, and Mastercard, Affirm, and PayPal.
No. The 5% discount isn’t in the form of cash-back. It’s a 5% discount that is taken off of your purchase at the time of purchase (e.g. at the register or check-out kiosk).
The best personal credit cards for shopping at Target are the Citi Premier card, the Target RedCard, the Double Cash card, the Freedom Unlimited card, and the Capital One Venture card. The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card is great option for target.com purchases.
The best business credit cards for shopping at Target are the Amex Blue Business Plus card, the Ink Business Unlimited card, the Amex Blue Business Cash card, and the U.S. Bank Business Leverage card.
Was this page helpful?