Posted by Chuck on February 17, 2015
Manufactured Spending

Published on February 17th, 2015 | by Chuck


$400 Visa Gift Cards Spotted in Target

$400 Visa

Okay, it’s not a $500 Visa gift card, but I spotted $400 Visa gift cards in Target. Comes with a $6 activation fee.

target $400 visa 2target $400 visa 3

                                Front and back of card

The highest denomination used to be $200, but they now added the $400 denomination. All the cards are fixed denomination cards, not variable load cards.

[UPDATE 4/12/15: I now see that this same $400 Visa gift card is actually being sold online at as well.]

The usefulness of Target is the fact that many Target stores code as grocery stores and some credit cards earn category bonused rewards for grocery spend. See the Visa Supplier Locator to see if your local Target store qualifies.

There are a few things hindering the usefulness of this find:

  • It’s only a $400 denomination. For the same $6 fee, you can buy a $500 Visa gift card at your local supermarket.
  • The cards are issued by Bancorp. Vanilla Visa gift cards issued by Bancorp are known to have problems functioning as PIN-based debit cards in Walmart. Though I once tested out the Target Visa gift card in Walmart with an PIN and it worked, that experiment was a while ago and doesn’t reflect the new Walmart reality.
  • If you have a convenient Target nearby, chances are that you have a REDbird card or an Amex for Target card, and you’re able to run enough Target spend that way.

Target Gift Cards

The main redeeming factor here would be if it were possible to purchase the Visa cards with a Target gift card, making an easy way of liquidating Target gift cards. In my experience (from a while ago), the Target system is hardcoded not to allow this. I even tried purchasing a Visa gift card along with some detergent, and the system allowed the Target gift card for the detergent, but left the cost of the Visa gift card to be paid with a regular credit card. I tried using a Target REDcard, but I don’t believe it got the 5% discount.

One other thing we’ll mention is that Target also started selling $100 Visa gift card online with a $6 activation fee. I previously wrote that I experimented buying the Visa card with a Target gift card. While the system initially accepted the order, it got cancelled a few minutes later, see Visa Gift Cards at – why it’s NOT Awesome, and more Target and Walmart Gift Card Experiments.

Final Thought

Despite its limited usefulness, I found it interesting that Target opted for a $400 denomination. This is apparently a thought-out decision based on the payment processing costs of a $406 transaction. They decided that $400 was still worth it for  them.

Somewhat related: I always assumed that the retailer keeps the activation fee (in this case, $6) and the entire card value is  passed on to the Visa card issuer. If that’s the case, it would seem that Target pays less than 1.5% in payment processing fees. Alternatively, they figure some people will pay cash or use a debit card which has very minor fees.

However, Devil’s Advocate has a post where he theorizes that the retailer actually gets an additional percentage of the sale. This would also explain Paypal’s strong crackdown on the use of MyCash cards, since they’re actually losing money on each one. And it would explain the occasional fee-free Visa or Amex gift card sales which arise occasionally.

Update: Frequent Miler let us know on Twitter that people have also spotted $500 cards since at least late 2014 as well.

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I bought a $200 gift card as a test when I first saw it at target. Your statement is correct in that it causes issues at Walmart. I had trouble with it accepting my pin at the bluebird kiosk. To test and make sure my pin worked, I went to buy a candy bar. It wouldn’t allow me to use the card as debit, only as a credit transaction.

Later, I tested it at another grocery store and the pin worked fine, so it seems like these might just be incompatible with Walmart’s system.

The only way I see this being remotely useful is for the minority of folks for whom some Targets code as ‘Grocery stores’. For such folks, buying these Visa gift cards with a 5% cashback card and then immediately loading them to RedBird or AFT would be a good idea…wonderful way to save time and extra trips to Target…

Why would you spend $6 buying a VGC at Target to load it to Redbird when you can directly load Redbird with the credit card?

There may be a limited benefit with Citi recognizing the purchase as Grocery, after one has exhausted the $1500 limit other cards have capped. Am I wrong about that?

Can you tell me which Citi cards give 5% on groceries?

I had noticed these a while ago in northern IL but not in my neck of the woods in southern WI. I periodically checked stores around me but your post intrigued me enough to stop and check once again. They were in stock finally. Interestingly, the ones at my local Target have very similar packaging but are not Bancorp-issued. They actually say they are issued by Target Bank. I bought a $400 to try out tomorrow at my local kate. If this version loads to Serve it will be another easy diversification option. Thanks for the heads up!

Around Middle Tennessee the cards are also Target Bank and not Bancorp. Just saw it for the first time yesterday – bought one with CC but noticed when the clerk scanned the card that the register flashed a message that they “Could Not Be Bought with Target Gift Card.” Wanted to load to Kate today, but she was down. Will let you know of (hopefully) success.

Has anyone tried to reload this gift card to Target Redbird? If any issues, please share?

I just loaded my redbird with this target VGC. No issues at all.

Anyone know if you can purchase these Target VGC with AGC?

I just loaded today with a $200 gift card no problem. It freaked me out when I realized the issuer of the card was “Target Bank.” But I went for it and it went through without an issue.

Got some of the Target bank ones from the amex offer but they have to be loaded $49.99 at a time at Kate…too much effort

Walmart POS is apparently declining VISA CC payment for Vanilla VGC (and possible Vanilla MCGC as well). So it’s a no-go trying to take advantage of the Chase Freedom VISA Q4 bonus at WMT. It’s been mentioned elsewhere that Amex apparently could be used (max of 2 Amex CC per GC) to pay for Vanilla GC at WMT. After the Vanilla failure, I bought 3 Green Dot VGC and liquidated them at the post office soon after. The fee is the same $4.94. The WMT store employees are mostly too scared to figure this out–just kept muttering “It won’t work on VISA (but is it the VGC product, or the VISA payment card?)” or outright refused to process the transaction.

I see only $200 VGC for $6 fee at Target brick-n-mortar. The $400 VGC at is no longer available.

Are you sure green dot work at po? I just tried and it ran as credit… Do they work at walmart for mo? Thanks

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