Reviews Target Redcard review

Target Redcard review

Published: October 12, 2017
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Retail Rating:
2.9 rating
2.9 rating
2.9 / 5
Yearly Savings: 2.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.7
Rewards Flexibility: 5.0
Features: 3.0

In a nutshell:

The Target Redcard is a no-brainer for loyal customers of the discount retailer, but its typically high APR means cardholders who don’t pay their monthly balance in full might end up negating the store card’s savings and other benefits.

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Rewards Rate
5% discount at Target and Target.com

Sign-up Offer
None

Annual Fee
$0

Average Yearly Savings ($1,325 monthly spend)
$191

APR
23.9% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Discount applied automatically at the register – you don’t have to obtain certificate to use on future purchase
  • Stack more discounts on top of 5% discount

Cons

  • Can only use card on Target purchases

Other Notable Features: Free standard shipping in all states with no minimum purchase; extended return policy; sync with Cartwheel app to find more discounts; additional 5% off Target subscription orders; EMV chip technology; early access to special events, products and promotions; exclusive extras, including special items, offers and 10 percent discount coupon each year

The Target Redcard credit card – courtesy of the upscale discount chain that launched a thousand memes – offers straight-forward rewards in the form of an automatic 5 percent savings on just about everything Target sells in-store and online. Savvy shoppers will also love the ability to stack even more discounts on top of those rewards by way of Target’s Cartwheel app.

But like most store-branded cards, there’s a catch (or two): With an APR of 23.9 percent, less-than-responsible cardholders could end up owing more than they can afford when carrying a balance from month to month. Plus, Target addicts expecting an enticing sign-up offer will be left sorely disappointed.   

Clear-cut rewards
If you scoff at the idea of rotating bonus categories or having to update your earnings preferences every few months, you’ll appreciate the Target Redcard’s no-nonsense rewards policy. Cardholders enjoy a 5 percent discount on most Target and Target.com purchases. (Some categories of purchases are excluded, such as gift cards and certain restaurant merchants in Target stores.) The discount is applied automatically at the register or online checkout – you don’t have to obtain a certificate or wait until a future purchase to use it.

The Redcard can only be used at Target and Target.com, so you won’t earn any rewards on purchases made elsewhere. The retailer does offer a MasterCard, though it’s not something you can apply for outright. It’s considered an upgrade Target might offer you later. However, despite the ability to swipe the card anywhere MasterCard is accepted, the only added perk you’ll receive is no foreign transaction fee. While that makes the Target MasterCard a good option for international travel, all it really means is the opportunity to incur more debt at the same high interest rate.

Target’s Cartwheel app
Target aficionados are undoubtedly well-acquainted with the chain’s free Cartwheel app, which lets you filter and save in-store Target coupons without having to worry about printing paper coupons. Discounts range from 5 to 50 percent off (or specific dollar amounts for one-time use) and can be searched by category or collection. You can also hunt for specific product offers by scanning the item’s barcode or typing its name into the app’s search bar. Once you’ve added one or more offers to your Cartwheel list, the app will generate a personal barcode you can scan at the register for immediate savings.

By paying for your purchases with the Redcard, any discounts found via the Cartwheel app are instantly combined with the card’s 5 percent discount (as well as any manufacturer or Target mobile coupons you might have). Further, you can sync the app with your Redcard to make it even easier to save.

New perks for card members
In addition to automatic savings, the Target Redcard comes with free shipping on Target.com items, plus 30 extra days (beyond the standard 90) to return both in-store and online purchases. When you use your Redcard to pay for Target Subscriptions – a program that delivers you everyday essentials on a set schedule so you never run out – you’ll enjoy an additional 5 percent savings on top of the free shipping and 5 percent discount that already applies to all subscription orders.

Also, Target recently layered on some new perks to try to boost the appeal of the card. You now get early access to special events, products and promotions, and extras including special items and offers, plus a 10 percent off coupon on your card anniversary each year. Time will tell whether these special events and promotions hold much value, but this is at least an incentive to sign up for the card besides the 5 percent discount.

High APR
Regardless of an applicant’s credit score, the Target Redcard has a flat (and hefty) APR of 23.9 percent. Even with no annual fee, the APR is much higher than what you’d find with a general-purpose rewards card. If you’re worried about running up avoidable interest charges, consider opting for the Target debit card instead. Since the debit card uses your existing checking account to pay for Target purchases, it eliminates the risk of accruing unmanageable debt while still giving you the benefit of the credit card’s 5 percent discount and other perks.

Why get it:

  • You go to Target intending to buy toothpaste and toilet paper, but walk out with two carts’ worth of merchandise instead.
  • You’re a bargain shopper who already uses Target’s Cartwheel app for added savings.
  • You want to save money on everyday purchases conveniently delivered right to your door.
  • You don’t plan to carry a balance from month to month.

How to use it:

  • Download Target’s Cartwheel app to stack discounts on top of the Redcard’s automatic 5 percent rewards.
  • Save even more on necessities by using the Redcard to pay for Target subscription orders.
  • Pay your balance in full every month to avoid paying higher-than-average interest.
  • Visit the REDcard page to see the latest deal for card members, and sign up for emails to be alerted about exclusive offers, events and promotions.

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