Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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It happens nearly every time you step up to the checkout: the salesperson asks if you’d like to save 10%, 15%, or 20% off your purchase by applying for a store credit card.
Unfortunately, many store-branded credit cards often have high interest rates and low minimum payments, offsetting the discount in the end. That’s why your answer should usually be “No, thanks.”
However, The Target RedCard™ offers several benefits that may appeal to responsible cardholders who regularly shop the retail giant.
| 5% savings on most Target purchases
(applied automatically), Free 2 Day Delivery on Online Orders
You can apply for the Target RedCard online or by mail. With the online application, you simply fill out a few forms and submit your information. You may be approved instantly, or your application may require further review. It can take up to 7-10 days to find out if you have been approved for the card.
Other things to note before applying for the Target RedCard:
The Target RedCard is unique in that it gives shoppers a 5% savings on almost everything bought with the card* from Target and Target.com including groceries, apparel, home goods, and more. The 5% discount even applies to purchases at Starbucks located within Target stores.
Unlike many cash-back credit cards, the Target RedCard applies your discount automatically — no points to earn or rebates to wait weeks to receive. And there’s no annual fee! All Target RedCard are chip-and-PIN cards for higher security.
A special note about pharmacy purchases: Your 5% store discount does not apply to pharmacy purchases. Cardholders used to earn discounts by filling a certain number of prescriptions and paying for them with the RedCard. However, CVS now runs all Target pharmacies, and this specific RedCard reward benefit is no longer in place.
Stacking Discounts: Smart shoppers make an effort to stack discounts and receive additional savings on top of the 5% RedCard discount. For instance, when you sign up to have essentials delivered as part of the Target subscription service, you save 5% for using the service plus 5% for using the card — a total discount of 10%.
Also, look for Target Circle discounts of 5% to 50% off merchandise on top of the 5% RedCard discount. Take note, though, that the 5% RedCard discount pertains to the amount spent on the card after all other discounts are applied.
There are a number of additional Target RedCard features you can enjoy:
The biggest drawback of using a Target RedCard is that it is only accepted at Target stores and Target.com. Of course, if you already do most of your shopping at Target, that’s not a big deal.
APR: Another caveat is the high APR associated with the card. At 23.90% (variable), this can be extremely dangerous for those who carry a balance. The interest and fees can quickly outweigh the 5% savings.
The Target RedCard usually comes with a pretty low minimum payment that can be paid back over a long period. This means you could rack up a ton of charges on the card, but incur hefty fees due to the high APR since you’re only required to pay off a little at a time.
Late Fee: Target states users will pay a late fee of $24 when any amount due remains unpaid after the payment due date. All subsequent late fees will be $38 until you reach the minimum required payment by the due date for 6 consecutive billing periods.
Returned Payment Fee: Users are charged $27 each time a check or other payment order is not honored by your banking institution.
Are the fees on the Target RedCard worth it? If you’re a responsible cardholder, then yes. If you pay the card in full every month (avoiding the high APR) and make your payments on time (avoiding the late fees), then the card can provide significant value — especially when you consider there is no annual fee.
A Possible Concern: It’s important to note that when you utilize a Target RedCard of any kind, you’re authorizing the company to gather information about your purchases. In turn, Target may then utilize this data to send you coupons and advertisements specifically geared to your spending habits (thus enticing you to spend more at the store).
While Target isn’t the only company with these practices, they’re a major player in the data collection game with illustrious techniques that set the company apart in the retail sector. In other words…they’re very good at this. Whether or not you’re concerned is really up to your personal privacy standards.
The Target card is a great option when making purchases at a Target store, but — the card is not accepted outside of Target.
We recommend also using a card that’ll give you cash-back and rewards when making purchases at other stores, restaurants, online – or practically anywhere.
In other words, don’t just get rewards at Target – earn rewards on ANY purchase!
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.
This card is great for those who want to earn cash-back with U.S. supermarkets, U.S. streaming subscriptions, transit, and U.S. gas stations.
If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a stellar cash-back credit card for those looking to maximize every purchase they make.
With bonus categories like U.S. supermarkets, select streaming services, U.S. gas stations, and transit purchases, this card rewards you for the items you spend the most on in a big way! For those looking to earn up to 6% cash-back on their purchases, this could be the card for you!
Alternatively, if you love to travel (or would like to travel more!) you could sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card which is arguably the best travel rewards card on the market.
You will earn 1 points per dollar at Target stores as well as 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining, and 2x points on all other travel purchases.
A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.
Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.
Remember, the points you’ll be earning with this card are extremely valuable, but only when used correctly!
Target RedCard ™ Debit: In addition to the Target RedCard, Target offers another option: the Target RedCard Debit, which is linked to the cardholder’s checking account.
The Target debit card offers the same 5% savings benefit as the credit card. Additionally, users can withdraw up to $40 in cash-back per transaction. However, since this is a debit card, you can’t use it to build your credit. Similar to the credit card version, this card can only be used at Target and online at Target.com.
Target Prepaid REDcard: The Target Prepaid REDcard by American Express can be loaded with funds each month by the user, who can then use those funds like a regular debit card. These funds can be added via bank account, debit card, cash, or even direct deposit from your paycheck. There are no fees associated with adding money to your prepaid card.
Cardholders will receive the same 5% savings benefit at Target stores and Target.com, as well as the Target.com free shipping and extended returns benefits.
Additionally, cardholders receive free ATM usage at U.S. Target stores. Cardholders can reportedly bay bills online to major utility companies, phone providers, or landlords, and can also create subaccounts to manage expenses for other users like family members.
Plus, since the Target Prepaid REDcard is sponsored by American Express, it also gives you access to benefits like purchase protection, a roadside assistance hotline, a Global Assist®Hotline,5 and Entertainment Access®.
Target Mastercard: Some Target RedCard holders may receive a notification from Target to upgrade their Target RedCard to a Target Mastercard.
This upgrade allows users to receive all the standard benefits of the Target RedCard, while also allowing them to utilize the card for standard purchases anywhere Mastercard is accepted. Of course, the 5% discount does not apply to other merchants — it remains exclusive to Target and Target.com.
Target RedCard holders can access account activity, manage PINs, set alerts, and add authorized users at target.com/myredcard.
If you’re environmentally-conscious, this is also where you can enroll in paperless statements.
The Target RedCard offers loyal customers an opportunity to save 5% on purchases, or even more if they look for chances to stack discounts with Target Circle and Target subscription services.
However, be careful! If you get behind on payments, this card’s high interest rate & fees can negate the 5% savings. It’s best to pay off the balance every month or choose the Target RedCard Debit version instead.
Alternatively, if you don’t spend at Target very often, there’s likely a better cash back card out there for you.
Want to be a REALLY savvy cash-back earner? Combine the Target RedCard with another great option like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, or The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. This way you can earn between 1%-6% cash back at tons of other places!
*5% Savings Exclusions:
The information regarding the Target RedCard™ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Simply use your Target RedCard at checkout in Target stores or Target.com and your 5% savings is automatically applied. You can also stack this savings with additional Target Circle deals and Target’s subscription service discount.
No, the Target RedCard does not have an annual fee.
You should have a fair credit score to be approved for the Target RedCard. Most reports state a FICO credit score of 615 or higher is recommended but not required.
The Target RedCard and the Target RedCard Debit can only be used at Target stores and Target.com. The Target Mastercard can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
If the Starbucks is located inside a Target store, you can use the card and get 5% off on your Starbucks purchase.
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