I’m Not Switching Back From REDcard To Serve. Yet.

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I broke the news last week that Target would no longer allow REDcards to be loaded with a credit card.

That took a lot of the luster off the card, but at least you are still able to load gift cards to it.

Promotions like the current Office Max and Office Depot deal make this very lucrative.  While Visa gift cards normally carry fees, they are actually sold below face value when they have promotions like this.

Loading $10,000 on gift cards onto 2 REDcards in 2 days is a quick 50,000 miles when you buy those gift cards on an Ink card earning 5 points per dollar.  Of course if you and your spouse did that spending on 2 new Chase Ink Plus cards that would mean 170,000 points with the current limited time offer for the cards that runs until 05/25.

Loading the gift cards onto REDcard isn’t a major pain because you can load them all in one transaction.

If you have 5 of the $200 Visa gift cards from Office Max just give your REDcard to the Target cashier and ask to load $1,000 from your debit card. Then swipe one of the gift cards (which function just like a debit card) and enter the last 4 digits of the card number as the PIN code. The machine will then ask you if you want to load the full amount from that card. Just select no and tell the cashier that you want to load $200 from the card.  Do the same thing with the rest of your gift cards until you get to $1,000.

The funding limits are the same as with a credit card, $1,000 per transaction, $2,500 per day, $5,000 per month per REDcard.

Even without a gift card promotion it’s still worth paying for gift cards. You can buy $200 Visa gift cards online from Staples for $206.95.  Buying 1,035 miles for a $6.95 is still a ridiculously good deal.  That like paying $200 for a lie-flat business class seat nonstop from Newark to Hawaii (30K Singapore miles to fly on United at a cost of 0.67 cents per mile), $200 for a night at normally $1,500/night Park Hyatt hotels from Sydney to the Maldives, or $384 for a Singapore suite from JFK to Frankfurt.

So REDcard still works fine for my purposes. However Serve does has advantages over REDcard.

The biggest one is that Serve comes with 4 additional users and each qualify for AMEX Offers and Small Business Saturday.

Serve can also be loaded via gift cards at WalMart ATM machines, but those machines are often permanently down in many Walmart stores.

You can also load $1,000 from AMEX cards onto Serve online. You don’t earn miles for AMEX issued cards, but the spending does count towards meeting the threshold for signup bonuses.  There are also non AMEX-issued AMEX cards, like the Citibank American Airlines AMEX that would earn miles for online loads to Serve.

The major advantage of REDcard over Serve for me is that Target employees are happy to load my giftcards onto REDcard.  At Walmart they make it seem like I’m a criminal for doing so.

REDcard can also accept loads from Mastercard and Vanilla Visa gift cards that are difficult to load to Serve.

So for now I’ll stick with REDcard.  But when my local Target stores decide to disallow gift card funding I’ll make the switch without a doubt.

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74 Comments On "I’m Not Switching Back From REDcard To Serve. Yet."

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in NY (spring valley)they said NYS law is, that the name on the(gift)card you are using, has to match the name on the RED CARD…..what is the solution?! ….gift cards dont have names on them!!!


There’s no such law. Go to another Target.


Why is .0067 at Staples, better than. 005 at gas stations?

Dr Moose

Any area that the WM would not allow loading BB with VGC, I’m gonna assume that the Target in the area will give the same issues.


I guess it depends on the gift card selection at your local gas station and whether they take credit card.

And it depends on how many free gift cards you can stock up on during promotions from office supply stores.

@Dr Moose:
That’s not true.
But NYC metro is going to be tough for all of this stuff.


Dan ,anyway to cash out amex gc? thx


Dan. Can we still purchase a Amex Red Card? If available, does all Target stores sell them. Thank you

Dr Moose

It’s one and the same


Is it possible to load Amex Gift Card to Serve or RC?


Buy Visa/MC gift cards with the AMEX GC.

Still only select stores.

@Dr Moose:
There are nasty WMs everywhere.
A nasty Target is rare outside of NYC metro.


Yes and match better.
AMEX gift Card not asking pin code. its like swiping CC.


Exactly why you can’t directly load Serve or RC with it.


Dan, why you comparing with Serve? What about Bluebird? Is it not the same like Red Card and plus AMEX offers?


Serve is basically Bluebird but also allows some funding online.



@dan is there a difference between the visa vanilla and the mastercard vanilla?can both gift cards be loaded on the red card or just visa?


Both work fine for REDcard


@Dan: Are the rules (limits, types of GCs, etc.) for Serve at WM the same as BB at WM? I know their attitude is the same; I’m asking about the rules. 😉
Thank you.


@Menachem_m: and why is 1035 points better than using PRG at Shoprite, Stop & Shop or any other grocery to buy $500+5.95 variable load VGCs to get 1012 MR with less than half the hassle loading?


Dan, I got approved now for 2 citi AA credit cards , witch I need to spend on the 6,000$ in 3 months.
Witch one is best for me serve or target ?


Just got back from Target queens (20th ave) where employee and manager told me only “bank-issued” debit cards.


Can you use the Visa gift cards that are $20-$500 or they have to be the $100 or $200?


Dan I see on the target website ,that I can apply for a redcard credit card ,or a redcard debit card , witch one should I choose ,didn’t you said that I can only apply at a target branch for a redcard ?


MC loads at WM are YMMV.
Vanilla loads at WM are limited to $49.99.

That works if you have PRG and the store doesn’t limit how many you can buy.

Depends on which is more convenient for you.

Price you pay for NY living. Go to another store.

All work.

Neither, you need the REDcard AMEX, only sold in select stores.



Dan how can I pay off my chase credit card bill with my red card ?


What’s with all the witches today?


dan, any links for the citi aa amex card?


Just go to pay bills, choose Chase, and enter your credit card number.


Should be here:


1. does the American Express for Target(not the temporary one) does that work for loading debit cards?
2. How do you cash out the Target card after?


I refilled my Redcard in Pikesville the night before they stopped allowing cc’s. I also unloaded a gift card I had. The cashier allowed me to use the GC but said that store policy is not to allow GC’s whatsoever. Most of the other cashiers in the store couldn’t care less so I’ll try to stick with them next time. Just pointing out that, officially, GC’s are not actually allowed.

Tzvi s

@Mike: log in to your red card account click on the menu (3 horizontal lines at top right of page) click on pay and transfer then click on pay bills then go to the bottom of the page click add payee type in the name of your bank (click on whatever says credit)
put in the number of your credit card twice then you can pay it any time using steps above (don’t need to add it again)


I can’t find what the funding limits for Serve in store with gift cards?

David R

@nick: @Dan: I did not see it at that link. It could be they are not accepting new applications for it.


I already have a Chase Ink Business Plus. Can I open another one and get the welcome bonus again?


@YDStern: $5000


Still able to load my Serve with my linked Mastercard for $1,500 per month – originally did through Softcard & never delinked – worked fine at beginning of May.

$500 per day Max at Family Dollar – 2 of them right near each other and load vanilla cards on to serve no problem what so ever.
I have done around 15k the last 3 months.So its 2 stops in and out very quickly 5x a month or 5 swipes at the machine and make sure u or the cashier don’t mess up!!

I guess everyone does what works for them 🙂


Dan, not seeing it anymore did they pull it?


Dan,when reloading 5 vgc at target. do I have to tell them another 200 After each swipe? can’t I just press no and then swipe the rest myself?



There’s no such policy. Officially she made that up.

Same as REDcard as I wrote in the post.

@David R:
That link shows which stores sell them.
As I said, you can’t apply online for it.

For a new business, sure.
Will be tough to get the same card for the same business, but it is doable.

Not viable for those who switched from Softcard to REDcard.

You need to tell them the amount each time.

smell the coffee


ive been a long time follower, and u do have many worthwhile ideas and deals… but when it comes to the redcard, i think you have to stop misleading people regarding store policies…
you are probably correct regarding the rules that the employees making u on the spot like limits(in general) or requiring a name on the card or accepting gift cards… i know its all complete BS. but at the end of the day for any1 in the ny metro area, this probably will not work. (even before the cc ban, they very often didnt allow it here)… dont tell people to go to a different branch… they got to go out of town, not down the block to the other branch…


@smell the coffee:
Plenty of posts on DDF of NYers having success.

Sure it’s more difficult. That’s the price you pay for NYC living I guess.


target on belt parkway said one gc per day

what happens if i reach spending limit on the ink card ,think its 50,000 after that it no longer, 5 x


After $50K/year it’s time to get another Ink 😀


Dan please help

Going to israel before Yom Kippur. Can’t decide between

Delta w a stop in rome

El al direct

Both business class.

Delta has better planes and better business class seats and helps me keep my silver status
Delta is slightly cheaper

Is it worth the stop?

What would dan do?
It’s just me and my husband.


I dont get your response re:PRG. Who said anything about Vanilla? You can buy $500 MGC or VGC at groceries, get 2x spend and load RC in half the time it takes to load Staples $200 GCs with similar amount of MR to UR.


I’m having trouble just getting gift cards with a cc in NYC area. Every time I try to get a $500 vanilla card cashier says cash or debit only. Walgreens, cvs, family dollar. I haven’t tried the Office Depot yet. Any advice how to acquire the $20-500 vanilla card with a cc?

David R

@nick: @Dan: @David R: @Dan: I was commenting before on nick’s inquiry about the citi aa amex card and Dan’s response with a link where to apply. The link shows many credit cards, but not the citi aa amex card. I have the card, but I don’t think it’s available for new applicants.

David R

@Mike: Leave the NYC area. But in or out of NYC, don’t bother with the $20-500 vanilla card from Office Depot.


@Mike: cant tell you about Vanilla but Metabank or US Bank Visa and MC can be bought at any large grocery chain.

coffee smeller

not disagreeing about the cost of living in ny, just feel your posts should be more clear… i know some ppl got it done in ny, but its few and far bet….


Buying these 200 and 500 vgc are impossible if u live in nyc anyone have any other way of getting them? Text me 917-946-3404 and also DAN even if we buy them in staples site it’s $7 each card I will only be making 7$ profit each card it’s pennies.


@David R:

I’ll try the Office Depot in long is for $200 I just hate the fees and # if cards needed. I want to load 3k on redcard. I was down south last week and saw a $400 vanilla I should have snatched it up. I want to primarily pay mortgage with cc through target red card bill pay and naturally earn points with marriott card. I just got the red card 2 weeks ago and now they decide to take away cc ability.


I think a HUGE problem is that people are calling it gift cards (which they really are) but work like debit cards, which Target allows. You just need to say it’s a debit card and move on.


dan , if I load serve with amex fidelity credit card will I get points for that?


Dont waste your time. No CC to buy GC at OM/OD on LI


Great Info.. Thank you.

Question on the American Express Gift Cards – purchased some on line.

Where to unload these? Redbird still take them? If not. …what to do?


@hvaces42: Yes I found out last night I bought a mcgc with cc at om and target rejected it. The manager said it’s showing as a gc even tho I was typIng in a pin. If Anyone who has been successful in NYC/LI the past few days spell out your procedure and location. Thanks


Dan, don’t come to Brooklyn then 🙂 the target stores here only allowed 1k per day when cc was allowed and asked for Photo ID and also needed a “special manager” to load the card by guest services. Lets see if this gift card loading option flies, i doubt it as they are lazier than lazy


Haven’t you learned anything from today? You need to figure out stuff yourself and not be spoonfed everything. That’s what kills it! When you post locations of things for all to read,it just makes everyone flock there!


Have an extra target prepaid red card to sell. Not looking to make money just cover the cost. $5.01 and shipping.



I would love that!


Today I was denied a reload from, a Visa gift card after the guest services person input it. I called Amex and was told denial was because it was gift card, not a bank debit card.


redcard closed my acctn today; not sure why; i purchased a visa debit card (with a pin) @ staples , and loaded to the redcard ; all went thru fine;
this the email i got from them:
(i call the 800#, but the rep. didn;t want to explain anything other than refering me to the email)

During a recent review of your Target Prepaid REDcard® Account we noticed activity that was in violation of the Prepaid REDcard Member Agreement, section:

Section 5 and Section 15D

Due to the violation, your Account has been closed.

If you have any questions, please call Account Protection Services at 1-800-555-4318.


Target Prepaid REDcard by American Express

Customer Service I Privacy Statement

We kindly ask you not to reply to this e-mail but instead contact us via Customer Service.

See the Prepaid REDcard User Agreement for complete Prepaid REDcard terms and conditions.

NYC red

I’ve come the conclusion that it all depends on who you get at the guest services or at cash register. One only allowed 1k another allowed max and other store only allows 200. All with SMGC flawlessly.


dan, I’ve been using the g_c technique with red card for a couple months no prob not here in california that is until today. I went to 1 target date older policy use a no longer accepting any kind of gift card even if baby debit on there to do prepaid love. So into second target didn’t know the policy but they tried to do the debit card 200 a pop in the computer blocked the computer recognize it now only as a gift card I think target catching on. Anything justindan, I’ve been using the g_c technique with red card for a couple months no prob not here in california that is until today. I went to 1 target date older policy use a no longer accepting any kind of gift card even if baby debit on there to do prepaid love. So into second target didn’t know the policy but they tried to do the debit card 200 a pop in the computer blocked the computer recognize it now only as a gift card I think target catching on. Anything suggestions?


You always talk about using the Visa $200 gift card from Staples. Does the Amex $200 gift card at Staples work equally well?


Dan, Which non AMEX-issued AMEX cards, like the Citibank American Airlines AMEX that would earn miles for online loads to Serve you know?


I see you can buy the target pre paid red card on ebay and amozon their is a big difference in prices. What is the deal, if i pay $39 on Amazon or $22 on ebay what am I getting? Just the card that I can get myself in Target, or is something already on the card?
What is the difference with the redcard directly from the Target website?


I went last night to Target in Valley Stream, NY, to load Gift cards onto Red Card. (I hadn’t gone since last month)

They told me that their system was updated about 2 weeks ago and that the system won’t let them reload the pre-paid target card. they said the since the store doesn’t sell the cards, they don’t load them.

anyone else experience this? anyone else in NY able to load?


Can anyone confirm 100% that Amex credit card loads into Serve do count towards minimum spend requirements? Dan has posted that yes they do, but I have heard different. I signed up for a 75k Amex Gold offer but need to spend $5k in 3 months and I am relying on this tactic as I have already loaded $2k. Anyone with Serve that can confirm please help. Thanks!


1 – Does loading Serve with Amex Costco get Costco’s TrueEarnings cash back?
2 – I’ve heard Serve can now be loaded only with Amex cards, but I’ve also heard it can still be loaded using Barclay cards. True?
3 – I can try loading with Barclays, but I also heard (!) that loading with wrong cards will freeze Serve. True?


Yes it worse


A target in Jersey told me they will only accept 3 visa gift cards a day, so that means $600!! What is this?


@Anon: u

just a question

do you have post on how to load money onto a serve card (which credit cards let you reload onto serve) and how to repay bills with the serve card..? does this still work?