Target REDcard Credit Card Review – Everything You Need to Know

Target Store

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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 credit card offers several benefits that may appeal to responsible cardholders who regularly shop the retail giant.

The Target REDcard at a Glance

Main Benefits 5% savings on most Target purchases
(applied automatically), Free 2 Day Delivery on Online Orders
Annual Fee$0
APR25.15% (variable)
Late Fees/Penalties $28-$39

Applying for the Target REDcard

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.

Potential applicants should have a fair credit history. In general, it looks like a FICO credit score of 615 or higher is recommended but not required.

Other things to note before applying for the Target REDcard Credit Card:

  • You must be at least 18 years old and have a U.S. address to apply
  • To apply, you’ll need your social security number and one of the following: driver’s license, state ID, or military ID

REDcard Rewards

The Target REDcard credit card is unique in that it gives shoppers a 5% savings on almost everything bought with the card* from Target and 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 credit card applies your discount automatically — no points to earn or rebates to wait weeks to receive. And there’s no annual fee! All Target REDcards 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 Cartwheel 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.

Other Target REDcard Benefits/Features

There are a number of additional Target REDcard features you can enjoy:

  • No annual fee
  • FREE two-day delivery on most purchases made with your REDcard at
  • Target adds 30 days onto the regular 90-day return policy (so 120 days to return) when you use your REDcard
  • Early access to special events, products, and promotions like seasonal sales (think Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc.)
  • “Exclusive extras” like special items, gifts, and cardholder anniversary offers (subject to restrictions)
  • No foreign transaction fees: Shoppers can make purchases at international Target locations without racking up additional charges. (There are lots of other cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees either)

Target REDcard Fees & Drawbacks

The biggest drawback of using a Target REDcard is that it is only accepted at Target stores and 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.

Other Rewards Based Cards (Our Recommendations)

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!

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 travel rewards card on the market.

The current sign up bonus is worth $625 when the points are used for travel expenses (flights, hotels etc) through Chase’s travel portal.

You will earn 1pt/$1 spent at Target stores as well as 2pts/$1 spent on ALL dining and travel purchases.

Remember, the points you’ll be earning with this card are extremely valuable, but only when used correctly!

Additional Target Card Options

Target REDcard Debit Card: In addition to the REDcard credit card, Target offers another option: the REDcard debit card, 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 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, as well as the 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

Logging in & Managing Your REDcard Account Online

REDcard holders can access account activity, manage PINs, set alerts, and add authorized users at

If you’re environmentally-conscious, this is also where you can enroll in paperless statements.

Final Thoughts

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 Cartwheel 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 card 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® Card, 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:

  • Prescriptions, over-the-counter items located behind the pharmacy counter, and clinic services at Target
  • Target Optical™ eye exams
  • Target gift cards and prepaid cards; Stockpile and Gift of College gift cards
  • Previous purchases
  • Certain restaurant merchants in Target stores, such as D’Amico & Sons Italian Kitchen, Freshii, and Pret A Manger
  • Target credit account payments, Target Debit Card cash-back and cash advances on the Target Mastercard
  • Gift wrap and shipping and handling charges on purchases
  • Wireless protection program purchases and deposits required by mobile carrier
  • Where otherwise prohibited by law



How does the Target REDcard work?

Simply use your Target REDcard at checkout in Target stores or and your 5% savings is automatically applied. You can also stack this savings with additional Cartwheel deals and Target’s subscription service discount.

Does the Target REDcard have an annual fee?

No, the Target REDcard does not have an annual fee.

What credit score do I need for the Target REDcard?

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.

Can you use the Target REDcard anywhere?

The Target REDcard Credit Card and the Target REDcard Debit Card can only be used at Target stores and The Target Mastercard can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

Can you use the Target REDcard at Starbucks?

If the Starbucks is located inside a Target store, you can use the card and get 5% off on your Starbucks purchase.

Erin Miller

About Erin Miller

Erin currently maintains her status as Alex's adventure-seeking partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points through content creation & relationship management.
She caught the travel bug just after high school when her grandmother took her on a two-week, whirlwind trip around Europe. That was that - she's been gallivanting around the globe ever since (22 countries & counting)!


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  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


  1. Can I used my mastercard red card outside USA without any extra charge for foreign money?

    • Hi Lucy, according to FAQ answers from Target at the following webpage,

      Q: Is there a fee for using the Target Mastercard outside the United States?
      A: No, Target will not charge an International Service Assessment fee for purchases made outside of the United States.

      You may want to call the number on the back of your card and speak with a customer service representative if you are still unsure.

  2. Can I use the target 5% and use my own credit/debit card to pay instead of the REDcard?

  3. jedi_boy · February 20, 2019 · Reply

    “Plus, the Target debit card is not accepted online, rendering it useless anywhere but actual Target stores.”

    According to Target’s website under the benefits and program rules for the Red Card, this is not true:
    “When you use your Target Debit Card, Target Credit Card or Target™ Mastercard® (each, a “REDcard™”) at Target stores or, you will receive 5% off on your purchases.”

    • Hi jedi_boy, looks like this piece needs an update – thanks for the heads up! At the time it was written/last updated, the terms and conditions did not include rewards for purchases via We’ll hop right on it! 🙂

  4. William Monson · June 18, 2019 · Reply

    Which Credit Bureaus does Target’s Target RedCard report monthly to??

    • Christine Krzyszton · June 25, 2019 · Reply

      Hi William. The credit bureaus Target uses depend on the state you live in. Transunion and Equifax are the most common ones I found mentioned when doing a web search.

  5. M. Dee Roland · July 28, 2019 · Reply

    Can I pay off my Target Redcard with a VISA?

    If not, can I get an automatic deduction from my checking account for the bill each month?

    Does interest accrue from date of purchase or date bill is due to be paid?

    • Christine Krzyszton · July 29, 2019 · Reply

      Hello M.Dee. Please be advised that we are not affiliated with the Target REDcard Credit Card. We are Upgraded Points, a blog specializing in maximizing credit card rewards, points and miles. I was able to confirm, however, that a Visa card is an acceptable form of payment for your Target RedCard. You can call the number on the back of your card to inquire about setting up an automatic payment, find out about pricing, and how interest charges are applied to your specific account. You can also request a copy of your card agreement to be sent to you so you’ll have it for future reference.

  6. I would like to obtain a target MasterCard. How can I obtain one?

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