A glimmer of hope for REDbird? No, not really.


American Express sent emails to Serve, REDcard, and Bluebird cardholders today to let them know that they will be taking away the ability to link a new bank account to fund your card.  My response was a shrug.  Who would want to fund their account that way, anyway?

However, several REDbird cardholders sent me copies of their emails which contained an interesting nugget.  The email said (bolding is mine) “You can continue to easily add money through Direct Deposit, Debit Card, and Cash Reloads at any U.S. Target store.”

That makes it sound as if debit loads at Target are allowed.  If that was true, we would be back in business with the old perpetual point machine: use credit card to buy debit gift cards; use debit gift cards to load REDbird; and then use REDbird to pay credit card bills.

REDbird Hope

Unfortunately, I do not read it that way.

“Direct deposit” is not something that is done at Target.  So, I believe that the commas are particularly important here.  I believe that the email is simply saying that you can add money through each of the following methods:

  • Direct deposit
  • Debit Card (meaning online debit loads with a real bank debit card, not a gift card)
  • Cash Reloads at Target

Whether or not Target allows debit as a means for paying for “Cash Reloads” (as they used to) is up to Target.  And, at this point I don’t see any reason to believe that Target will change its mind.

Here’s the email:

REDbird REDcard

Hello XXXXX,
We want to let you know about some changes to the terms and conditions of your Prepaid REDcard® by American Express Account:

  • Funding & Transfers
    As of October 28, you will not be able to link a new bank account to your Prepaid REDcard Account to add money. However, you will still be able to transfer money out of your Prepaid REDcard Account to a bank account.
    If you currently have a linked bank account, nothing will change – you’ll still be able to add money from that account.
    You can continue to easily add money through Direct Deposit, Debit Card, and Cash Reloads at any U.S. Target store.1
  • Early Direct Deposit
    Now you can get access to your money up to two days faster* with Direct Deposit. You can automatically add all or part of your paycheck, government benefits and federal tax refunds to your Prepaid REDcard Account.

You can also review these changes in the Consumer User Agreement here.

The Prepaid REDcard® by American Express Team

Customer Service
Privacy Statement

1 Reloads are not currently available at Target stores in AR and NC.

*Faster access compared to standard payday electronic deposit and subject to your employer submitting paycheck information to the bank before payday. Your employer may not submit paycheck information early

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.

Prepaid REDcard by American Express is issued by American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., 200 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10285, licensed to engage in the transmission of money by the New York Department of Finance and other state money transmitter regulators. Click here for information about addressing complaints regarding our money services business, lists of our money services licenses and other disclosures.
© 2015 American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Target and the Bullseye Design are trademarks of Target Brands, Inc.

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