Posted by Chuck on May 6, 2015
Manufactured Spending

Published on May 6th, 2015 | by Chuck

38

REDbird: What’s Left?

Credit Cards No More

As we know, REDbird stopped allowing credit card loads today. This was heavily reported yesterday on many blogs, based on a memo which was circulating in Target stores saying that as of May 6, 2015 credit cards loads would no longer be allowed.

Today, many people tried loading REDbird with a credit card and the system won’t allow it. It’s hard-coded not to allow credit card loads. All credit card, including Amex cards, are being reported as getting declined by the Target register. “$0 able to be loaded for this tender type”. This makes Amex gift cards much harder to deal with as well.

The only credit card that still remains questionable is the Target credit card (issued by TD bank) which may possibly still work. This doesn’t matter, however, since the card does not get any type of rewards for the purchase. Though the card receives a 5% discount on Target purchases, prepaid load don’t get the discount. Similarly, the purchase of Visa/Mastercard/Amex gift cards and the purchase of Target gift cards do not get 5% off by paying with a REDcard in my experience. (Third-party gift cards, however, do get the discount as we reported here.)

It’s possible that the temporary REDbird cards can still be purchased with a credit card, much the way Visa gift cards can be purchased at Target with a credit card.

Debit Cards

Numerous reports are already out from today indicating that Visa gift cards with a PIN work fine at Target since they are processed as debit cards. Even Vanilla Visa cards which don’t work well at Walmart are working just fine at Target. Additionally, I’m fairly confident that PIN-based Mastercard gift cards will work without a hitch. (Remember that this week and next Vanilla Visa cards can be purchased highly discounted at Office Depot.)

We have not seen any reports yet of Target employees making problems with using Visa gift cards as debit cards, most will just follow what the register will allow. Note, however, that there are a few Target stores who were not allowing temporary cards – cards with no name on them – to be used even when they were allowing credit card loads. For now, those stores will probably still not allow the use of temporary prepaid cards to be used with a PIN as a debit card and they may continue requiring a card with a name.

All prepaid debit cards with PINs appear to be working at Target. Some cards take time to activate so don’t assume it’s not working if you’re within the first 24 hours.

[Note that Staples Rebate cards state that they don’t have a PIN and as such won’t work as a debit card in Target or anywhere else. Since it’s a rebate card, they are probably exempt from the legal obligations of supplying a PIN. One report mentions trying the Staples Rebate card by using the last 4-digits as the PIN and it didn’t work.]

Auto-Drain

As we know, the Target register is able to automatically drain prepaid cards so that you don’t need to tell the cashier to split it up for you. Just swipe your card and the system will ‘eat up’ whatever is left in the card and prompt you to pay the balance with another card.

In my previous experiments, the Target system does not auto-drain prepaid cards when processing them as debit. This means that when loading REDbird with multiple prepaid cards, you’ll have to load each card as a separate transaction. Alternatively, the cashier can manually split the total purchase amount between the multiple cards.

This has been confirmed today by a Flyertalk member. He notes that you can swipe your prepaid card without telling the cashier anything. When the system asks you if you want to put it all on the card, hit ‘No’. Then tell the cashier how much you want on the card ($500/$200/whatever). The cashier will type in the amount and lower the total amount owed. You can then swipe the second card.

Amex for Target

Another part of the bad news coming out of Target now is that Amex for Target cards were being reported as swept together with the new rule and won’t be able to be loaded with a credit card. This is in spite of the fact that Target is not taking a complete loss on the credit card processing fees due to the $3 load fee that comes with each load.

FrequentMiler reported yesterday that the memo specifically included AFT in the new rule and there are already a few reports coming out today which seem to confirm this (1, 2, 3). We’ll update this when we get more positive confirmation, but I’m convinced that AFT is the collateral damage of REDbird and can no longer be loaded with a credit card.

AFT, in particular, is basically dead now since it would be very hard to justify the fees and hassle of loading/unloading AFT just to liquidate gift cards. Until now it’s use was for racking up credit card spend which was often worth the time and money spent on the AFT loads/unloads.

I’m not throwing mine away since you never know when you’ll be in a pinch and need an additional unloading venue. It’s always worth having a backup.

RIP Amex for Target.



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Rufus
Rufus

Any idea if I can unload AFT balances to a redbird?

Voodoo
Voodoo

Do you think AFT could be used to load Redbird since it may not be a “third party” credit card? Then at least we could drain our AFTs easily. Agree that going forward AFT is no good.

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

Well, that was one bandwagon I wish I jumped on way earlier. I missed out on many months of easy heavy MS. I was just convinced it wouldn’t last as long as it did. When serve online CC load was announced as being discontinued it forced my hand like most folks. Probably why Target took action. I’m sure there was stampede in RedBirds. I’ll take the cooperative and generally reliable experience of loading RedBird vs. Serve Wal-mart with broken Kate’s and nutty cashiers/managers any day.

T
T

anyone know of the success rate of loading RB with OneVC card (embossed numbers)? I know its worked before but other than this article I have not heard anything else about it.

Rich
Rich

Can you clarify what works for auto drain?

“As we know, the Target register is able to automatically drain prepaid cards so that you don’t need to tell the cashier to split it up for you.”

“In my previous experiments, the Target system does not auto-drain prepaid cards when processing them as debit.”

Dan
Dan

What is the load limit, monthly/per transaction for debit cards? Is it the same as credit or what? I know the online load limit for debit is 1000 per month, but what about in store?

Fafa123
Fafa123

I can confirm that MCGC with a pin loads redbird. Tried it today once told no cc.

NoonRadar

I put together a bunch of data points from reports around the blogosphere today on this post: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NoonRadar/posts/QZ1eCSFrdCG

I will update it as new info is reported in the next few days, reflecting new/diff vetted data points.

P.S. I would differ with Chuck on how to load multiple gift cards in that I would tell the cashier that I am loading with debit cards, as opposed to just swipe, in part to preempt cashier interventions and mistakes. I would also tell the cashier that I’m doing split tender and doing, for instance, a total of $600 via 3 separate debit transactions of $200.

This is all very preliminary though and more data points will smooth out the wrinkles on best ways to load gift cards as debit and things to avoid.

Dan
Dan

Can paypal debit card load from the register? Before the CC cancel, I had been using it for online load, but any idea if it can be done from the register?

Steve
Steve

I may be the only MSpender that conceal carrys…dude I have $10K worth of gift cards on me!

Dan
Dan

Went to Target yesterday to load Vanilla Visa GC with pin. it does not work. it gives an error message, “Only $0 authorized for this type of card.” Any way to work around this error?

DMAN
DMAN

No, it’s true. Same thing happened to me today. I had purchased and activated a vvgc a day beforehand and today went to load $500 (which was full amount on the vvgc, and it kept saying “INCORRECT PIN”. Tried 4 times, and then CS guy got suspicious and said, can I see your card? I just walked of stating, “I forgot my pin, I need to go to my bank”. And yes, from the start I told them I am loading my “DEBIT” card. So annoyed. I also had bought a OneVanilla GC as well, but am worried to even attempt loading that one out of fear the same exact thing will happen?? Both cards are from Bancorp and say the pin is “set” upon first time using it. I had entered my pin as “0000”. Anyone think maybe it was just that combo of #s that didn’t work. I PRAY that is why it did not work.

Stephanie
Stephanie

For anyone that still needs to meet minimum spend, Square is actually running a promotion right now where you can get 1k processed fee free if you sign up for a new account

Here’s the link: (link removed)

I unfortunately already had an account, but was able to sign up with a family members info (with their permission of course) with no issues

William Charles

Square is known for shutting down accounts and holding money, also please don’t add referral links unless we specifically say you can. I’ve removed yours.

trackback

[…] we know, Target stopped accepting credit card loads for REDbird and Amex for Target (AFT) prepaid cards. All loads now need to be done […]

Craig
Craig

Doesn’t work.

Target refused to move money on 7/20 from a Visa gift card to the RedCard debit card at 2 different locations.

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