REDcard Testing, Post Cinco de Mayo Memo

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Yesterday I broke the news with the confirmation of a Target memo that May 5th would be the final day to load REDcards with a credit card.

Last night I did my final REDcard loads via a credit card.

This morning I went back to test the waters. Here are the results:

-Credit cards are indeed hard coded so that they can’t be loaded to REDcard, even if the cashier tries.
-Credit cards are also hard coded so that they can’t be loaded to the older American Express for Target cards, even if the cashier tries.
-I was able to use a Vanilla issued Visa gift card (like those sold at Office Depot and 7-Eleven) by using the last 4 digits of the card number as the PIN.
-I was able to use a Metabank issued Visa gift card (like those sold at Office Max and Staples) by using the last 4 digits of the card number as the PIN.
-I was not able to use a Staples Visa rebate card as the last 4 digits didn’t work as a PIN.
-I was not able to use an AMEX gift card as it also doesn’t have a PIN.

So not all is lost. They were very easy-going about loading gift cards to REDcard. And you are able to use multiple gift cards in one transaction using split tender.

You can still load $5,000 of Visa gift cards onto each REDcard per month.  If you have an Ink card that’s 25,869 miles per month if you buy the Visa gift cards at an office supply store earning 5 points per dollar.  Yes, you’ll pay $173.75 in gift card fees as opposed to it being free previously.  But being able to obtain miles for that cheap is a bargain.  A first class award in a lie-flat bed on an 11 hour flight Newark to Honolulu is just 30K Singapore miles.  Or a Singapore suite from JFK to Europe is 57K miles.

Of course when the gift cards go on sale the numbers change completely. Currently you can get gift cards for below face value at Office Max and Office Depot.  Or you can just buy gift cards online from Staples.

Don’t have an Ink card yet? The Ink Plus and Ink Cash cards are both offering 10K more points than normal for signups by 05/25.

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95 Comments On "REDcard Testing, Post Cinco de Mayo Memo"

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dan, can I load 5 $200 visa gift cards( got them from staples) at one time?


I thought for the Vanilla cards, i thought any 4 digits will work as the pin.


For vgc does each card need to be a separate transaction? No split tender or auto drain like when it was used as cc is there?


Thanks for the update. Would there still be a daily limit of $2,500 when loading gift cards?


Just note that the it may trigger a tax problem with 200 transactions and over $40k in a yr.


So how do I get rid of amex gift cards???


Can you get red cards in New York yet?


@eric: yes
@Welder: yes
@Dg: I hit by mistake that last yr, wasnt pretty.

rc seller


i can get u a red card in ny.. text me 530-435-5695


@Wiz23: Not Yet


@eli: Return them for a refund?


Same question as Anonymous – Can the VGCs be done with multi-drain (which required ‘credit’ option), or did the hard coding block that, and now it’s just single swipes with debit?

Thanks for the research!


Could gift cards be loaded online?


how do I get the coupon off cash cards at office depot ? does it automatically come off?


Dan can you please provide pics of which kind of gc’s work and which dont? I remember hearing that there are many types of vanillas etc and some wont work


Is there any way to use credit cards on line ? I live in Israel


How about Debit Cards? Debit cards have pins. That way i can just put money onto them?

My friend sells for $20

@wiz23 u want for $20


From this post – it appears office max policy wont allow for CCs to buy gift cards. Is this universal? If yes, then this route is lost, too.


Who operates this flight?
“A first class award in a lie-flat bed on an 11 hour flight Newark to Honolulu is just 30K Singapore miles.”


For those of us that dont have INK, I have found the best alternative is to use the Everyday Preferred Card at Shoprite, Stop & Shop, or any other grocery that sells VGC and MGC to get 4.5 MR points per dollar on the first $6,000 in spend (after 30 transactions in a month) and 1.5 points per dollar thereafter.
Or, using the Premier Rewards Gold card for shopping at those grocery stores to get 2 points per dollar for purchasing VGCs or MGCs.


@shlomo: the current office depot / office Max promo is automatic at the register. No coupon needed.


Just hit target and loaded 2 cards @ $2500 each with a credit card!!!!


@dan, how does it work out to $173 for 5k?
Isn’t it about 3-4 bucks per $500 gift card?

Sam Finkelstein sells $500 gift cards.


What about VGCs issued by Sunrise Banks?


I had a similar related question – I got $3500 for being voluntarily bumped off a delta flight. I’ve been trying to understand the best way to get cash for them. Can anyone advise? Can I take them to a post office and buy money orders? Any and all suggestions would be appreciated greatly.


Do you get 1099 if you did 200 transactions a year?
Any transaction or only loading?
Is this the same in blubird and serve?


thanks lee – do I have to ring up 2 at a shot ? or if I buy 10 it will work?

Please explain

@Dg Says:
May 6th, 2015 at 12:25 pm
Just note that the it may trigger a tax problem with 200 transactions and over $40k in a yr.

Can you please explain?


@ben will you wish to share your whereabouts? If it’s hard coded that’s impossible . Are you sure u used a credit card and not a debit?


@Ben: city and state please?


So you pay your credit card with the card? Trying to figure this out.


Used SPG. its a credit card. the point of my post was: it must not be hard coded. You may have to shop around but as of now there are target stores (In NJ) accepting credit cards.

not so simple

so you first have to run to an office depot store and purchase dozens of gift cards , then run to a target to cash them out and when you get home pay that one off & then you have to do this multiple times per month ………..yes , you can get miles, but you are spending so much time to get it . it may be YOUR full time job , but many others have a real full time job and families and wont allow for so much running around like this , unless you live next door to an office depot and target


With all due respect to “Ben”, the preponderance of evidence indicates that Target is not allowing credit card loading effective today. Move along.


Will the $400 prepaid visa card at target work?
it is only $6.95.

Dan G

Wow I just cancelled my serve card. Can it be reactivated?

IN target

Are there any gift cards in target that can be bought that would work?


Is it possible to load money from a tmobile prepaid debit card onto the red card? (ETF tmobile rebate)


I used VGCs issues by Sunrise Bank, VGC bought at Staples and VGC bought at Office Depit and all of them worked.


doesnt their system specifically say that you cant load with a GC? the teller checked the person in front of me in line to see if his card was a GC.

David R

@not so simple: Read the post; you don’t have to run anywhere to buy gift cards.
@Terrence: If you want to get 5 points per dollar with the ink card, you have to buy them at an office supply store. Do you know of one that will sell you a $500 card and let you pay with a credit card? Office Max and Staples only sell cards up to $200. Office Depot does not accept credit card payment for their $500 cards, but they do for their $200 cards.


@David R: Just need to hit some spend thresholds for amex cards.
What fees am I looking at?

David R

@Terrence: If you buy twenty five $200 Visa or MasterCard gift cards and pay a $6.95 fee for each one, you will have paid $173.75 in fees. If you paid with a Chase ink card, you will have earned 25868.75 Chase Ultimate Rewards points [(200 + 6.95) X 25 X 5].


@David R: I don’t need to buy them specifically at office supply stores.
I’m just lookking to buy anything that loads onto redcard (post memo) for the least amount of fees possible.
What’s the cheapest GC out there and where do I pick it up?

Thank you for your help.


so cinco demaio commemorates the death of RD


The link says that there is no tax event by loading the RC. Can you please explain what you are referring to? Thanks.


Which debit cards give points?


Yep, I am confused by the tax issue:
“There is no tax event in loading your RedCard. Even if it was reportable, it would only get a 1099 if, in a year, you did more than 200 transaction AND gained more than $20,000.”

$5k/month *12 = $60k
$5k/month *12 = 25 *12 = 300 transaction (with $100s we are dealing now as most OM stores are out of $200 vgcs this is even worse :))

Both criteria reached. What happens next?

David R

@Terrence: Are you an AAA member? If so, try an AAA office in the mid-Atlantic region during May or June. There’s no fee.


@David R:

Are not those card traceable? Just do not go overboard..


@Dan Can one use prepaid gift card (like Visa) to purchase a money order?


While INK is the way to go, for those of you without INK, you can still get 6x points at Office Max. Using the United Mileage Plus X on a $200 spend will get you the 200 points on whatever CC is used. Plus another 800 points using the app. Plus another 200 points if you are a united cardholder.
(linking the INK will not get an additional 5x, as its not catagorized as an office supply)

And the points on United MileagePlus X are instant!


does anyone know if u can use the serve or bluebird and reload a credit card to load a 1000 dollars or what ever amount to get the sign up bonus of spending 3,000 dollars in the first 3 mnths ?!~?! dan any sugestions ,does the serve still work or blue bird online help u towards bonus offers and without gaining points for the spending or gain ???? thyanks


@notsosimple – right the whole idea of casing out giftcards at Family dollar or Target and using Credit card to load serve which still works if it is already linked in there via softcard – is to meet minimum spend – U have bills to pay a month say 5-10g that don’t take credit card u put gift cards in to serve and pay them thru there & then u get ur minimum spend done and u get ur 50k bonus and on to the next card –

7-10 cards a year slow and steady and repeat the ones u can & on it goes.

The idea of going crazy to load $,000 in gft cards to generate 25k in points when in half the time and effort u could have gotten a new 50k card – its ridiculous.

The only ones who its worth it is if u don’t have or cant get many cards to get sign up bonuses and you want to get some points so u go crazy everymonth to generate 25-35k points – until u get shutdown or the system shuts down and now u r stuck with figuring out what to do next

Slow and steady – approximately 50 cards over 5 years and around 4 million points 😉


did $6,500 on serve this month no probleM

Direct CC mastercard load $1,500 and then 10 giftcards of $500 each

3 family dollar stores in my neighborhood. Pay my bills from serve for companies or payees that don’t take CC and a check is mailed.


@notsosimple @david rDavid R Says:
May 6th, 2015 at 1:59 pm
@Terrence: If you buy twenty five $200 Visa or MasterCard gift cards and pay a $6.95 fee for each one, you will have paid $173.75 in fees. If you paid with a Chase ink card, you will have earned 25868.75 Chase Ultimate Rewards points [(200 + 6.95) X 25 X 5].

So for those of us not interested in 25!!!!! $200 Visa cards that after purchase need to be cashed out individually all to earn 25k in points we simply sign up for a card spend s few grand in it or use charge smart it 500 gift cards with family dollar and then on to the next card when we run out of cards to apply for we can start doing David’s way of 25 cards at 200 each!


@Ben: where was the store you used to load it?


I did 4 cards in the last 5 weeks 200k points

$6500 serve / family dollar. Had enough running around so paid mortgage on cgargesmartand dud a quick spend on the PRG which only needed1,000 spend fir 50,000 points.




I just bought one on eBay for less than $10





$6K cap…would barely last a month for MS purposes.

At some stores.

You can’t officially buy GCs with a GC, so that won’t work.


@reb yid: it does-last 4 are the easiest


Can i buy $500 visa giftcard on online ?

Any tricks ?

Does Chase citi Amex treat this as a regular purchase ?

Thanks in advance.


How is the REDcard superior to Bluebird for cashing out gift cards?



It isn’t really better anymore- the only advantage is that Target is WAY easier to deal with than Wal-Mart. But the truth is, Serve is now better than both of those, because there is still the $1,000 credit card load ($1,500 if you haven’t closed SoftServe, with the ability to still use ANY credit card not just AMEX) plus the ability to use AMEX Offers- which may seem like not much, but come SBS and it’s $150 per Serve card. So, Serve has all the advantages now and seems to be the way to go. Though REDcard was fun for a while…

Or make 2xs as much

@MH @notsosimple @david rDavid R Says
Or you can do both types of spend…

Please explain

@CtownBin. What do you mean on SBS you get $150 I thought it was $30 (10×3)?


I mean I get there are lots of newbies on this site,but less than 5 seconds of google searching or just common sense would give you the answer
you have EWR which is hub to just one airline and the hint of nonstop so ots clear as water it has to be a Singapore Airlines 380 flying suites (not!)…


is it confirmed that they will not stop even visa gift cards?


@Please explain: Each Serve account can have 4 AUs. 5 x $30 = $150.


@shteig: Obviously they can change the rules at any time, but I had no problem loading a VGC this evening in a Brooklyn store.


@Please explain:
Serve allows a maximum 4 SubAccounts, plus the main card- that’s 5 cards total per Serve account. 5*30=$150.


@Please explain:
Serve allows a maximum 4 SubAccounts, plus the main card- that’s 5 cards total per Serve account. 5*30=$150


I went to Target in Jersey City, NJ this afternoon and their system is updated to longer take cc for Redcard.


@Dg: @BW:


So is treated like cash advance on Amex?
Thanks in advance!


Can OVGC from CVS be loaded onto redcard anyone?


@anon: can u please confirm that since your answer is ambiguous. do you mean its working? I live near the area and tried yesterday morning and failed to load redbird thru cc.


Do Amex gift cards work?


If you file taxes jointly with your spouse does the 40k limit apply to both of you together or each of you separately?


Will MasterCard GC work as well? If so what would the PIN be? And will they work for Bluebird as well?


How do I add money to my Prepaid REDcard Account?

You can add money to your Prepaid REDcard Account in many convenient ways:

Direct Deposit — an easy and free way to add all or part of your paycheck or government benefits check to your Account.
Cash — a convenient way to immediately add cash to your Account.
Free Cash Reloads at the Target register: Add cash for FREE at any Target location in the U.S.8 You can add as much as $1,000 or as little as $0.01 for FREE to your personalized card. Just give your Prepaid REDcard and cash to the cashier and your money is immediately added to your Card. It’s that easy!
Bank Transfers — add money from any U.S. issued checking or savings account.
Debit Cards — add money from your debit card at the register or by linking it to your Prepaid REDcard account online. Please note: Gift cards cannot be used to add money.

it says this on the REDcard website. do some cashiers still allow you to load with a gift card even tho it says this?


@Thor99. No, I went there to confirm Ben’s assertion that NJ Target stores haven’t caught up w/ the other Target stores, but I couldn’t load Redcard w/ cc.


went to target junction in bklyn this morning with visa gift card. they did not allow reload to target red card


If I want to open a serve account does that mean I have to close my red card account !? And to load onto serve or red card is it allowed with using a visa gift card–the ones that staples sell for a 6.95 fee for 200$ ,or is there any place besides office depote meaning where I culd buy it online and have no fee involved?? and with having a serve card x5 how do I earn that with sbs !?


If I have a amex cc on file by serve and need to spend 3g will it work to get me my bonus offer of 100k , meaning does it show as a purchase cash advance !? And if it shows a cash advance is that good enough !? Please advise !!


@eric , dan u wrote back for eric yes , but I thought gift cards don’t work at target by ave h in brooklyn , is that true that it doesn’t work !? Or it works to load onto to serve a visa gift card!? Pls rply thnks



If you can find PayPower Visa GCs, the fee is 3.95 and they can be loaded to Serve/BB/RB


Can someone please explain how to do split tender with gift cards?



@Greg: sure…lets say you have 2/$500 visa gift cards. You tell the cashier you want to load $1k on your redcard. you than tell her you would like to pay in two transactions of $500 each. she puts it in the system and you pay down the amount due that way. You can tell her you would like to split the tender is she will understand.



Does she have to know anything special to split it up, especially since I am probably going to do $200 increments.

Do you know?

@aaron does this work when the cards are being loaded as debit cards?