Posted by William Charles on October 6, 2014
Manufactured Spending

Published on October 6th, 2014 | by William Charles

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American Express Launches Prepaid Target REDcard Similar To Serve/Bluebird

American Express look to be serious about going after the massive underbanked/unbanked market (as high as 10 million households). They already have a number of prepaid products such as Bluebird, Serve, AmEx for Target (AFT) & AmEx Campus Edition. It looks like they’ve decided to add another string to their bow with the release of the Target REDcard. You can view more information on the official website by clicking here or you can read our summary below.

  • This card is in the same family as Serve & Bluebird. It’s only possible to hold one of these at a time, we’re unsure what the transfer process is like but we’d imagine it will be similar to that of moving from Bluebird to Serve.
  • To get this card, you must first purchase the temporary card in store at a participating Target and then register than temporary card online. This card seems to only be able in a few select states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas,  Colorado, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire New Mexico, North, Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin. If you have any data points of other states this card is available in, please let us know in the comments section. To view which stores in those States have the tempoary cards click here then scroll to What retailers sell the Prepaid REDcard?.
  • No paper checks, you should be able to use the Bill Pay feature to have checks mailed out to anybody you want.
  • Reload limits:
    • “Cash” loading at Target: $2,500/day and $5,000/month
    • Online debit card reload: $200/day and $1,000/month
  • Card comes with a number of Target benefits (these are the same benefits that any regular Target REDcard holder gets):
    • 5% off your purchases at Target and Target.com (excludes gift card purchases)
    • Free Shipping on Target.com
    • 30 Extra Days for returns

Our Verdict

I imagine that this additional product will unfortunately mean the end for the AmEx for Target card which has been a great way to manufacture credit card spend without too much hassle. At this stage I’ll be keeping my Serve account because of the increased functionality of having it linked with Softcard (and the awesome $50/month promo). I can see this being a good option for those who don’t have easy access to WalMart or for those who do have access to a WalMart but with long lines or impossible to deal with staff.

How useful this card actually is will be dependent on what they consider “cash” is for counter loads, with the AFT it’s possible to use a credit card but they also charge you a loading fee so I doubt that those will be allowed. What are your thoughts on this new product? Will you be switching?

I’d also recommend bookmarking/revisiting these two pages for more upcoming information on this card:



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Greg
Greg

Heh, I wish they would have called this “Redbird” which is a common southern name for a Cardinal.

Eric
Eric

This card is being referred to as Redbird on the FT forums.

Dan
Dan

I spent my day visiting two TGT’s and looking for the temp card to purchase. I was only able to find applications behind the counters. My ideal situation would be to buy Vgc from staples/GCM.com using my amex plat card and load them onto the tgt redcard at their cashiers counters. Any idea if its possible or am i doing it wrong? ps: i did apply and mail the application in, waiting 10days.

Ny
Ny

Good to know about there being applications. I tried my local target and they had no idea what I was talking about. If I can’t find an app I might drive to Tucson from Phoenix to get one.

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