The REDbird Life-cycle [Infographic]


Note: As of October 13, 2015, the Target REDcard (REDbird) can only be loaded with cash in-store at Target. Gift cards and/or debit cards no longer work to load REDcard. For more info, see: Here is the REDbird memo, “Cash is the only tender guests can use”

As of May 6, 2015, Target no longer accepts credit cards for in-store REDbird reloads. For more information, please see “REDbird Post Memo Answers“, and “REDbird grounded. Now what?

REDbird, the new Target Prepaid REDcard, is a terrific new alternative to Bluebird and Serve.  Like Bluebird and Serve, REDbird is a prepaid reloadable card and is a reasonable fee-free checking account alternative.  In addition to no-fees, it offers 5% off all Target purchases and fee free shipping from  Best of all, it allows free credit debit card reloads at Target and free bill pay (see “REDcard changes everything”).

REDbird is different, at different times

One unusual feature of REDbird is that it works a bit differently depending upon which stage of its life cycle its in.  When you first buy it, the card is little more than a gift card.  Once you register it online, it gets additional capabilities.  And, once you receive your permanent card in the mail, it can do even more.  To help explain this, I teamed up with Travel Is Free to develop a fun infographic, shown below.


Note that the ability to load REDbird with credit cards is an almost too good to be true benefit since it makes it incredibly easy to earn credit card rewards for free.  So, no one will be surprised if Target someday takes away that capability.  We don’t know if that will happen within weeks or years, but it is likely to happen someday.  UPDATE: It happened.  See: REDbird grounded. Now what?

See more cool stuff

If you enjoyed this infographic and want to see more, see Travel is Free’s InfoGraphics page.

Read more about REDbird:


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[…] out Frequent Miler’s post on REDbird (and the InfoGraphic version), or his Complete Guide to Bluebird, Redcard and […]


I have been loading my RedCard here in TEXAS without any issues.
The main issue I have had : my cards thinking this transaction is fraudulent. I have since fixed the issue – call up your card company and request the fraud alert to be raised to $1001. Trust me it works on Barclay, Chase, Discover, Citi and American Express – I have tried them all and haven’t had any issues yet.

Another thing is most fraud alerts are sent via e-mail/text/phone call or instant notification thru their dedicated apps on your phone. If you get one you can approve it and then swipe again without fail.

Happy rewards hunting everyone! I am currently getting 40k points a month! 2 RedCards using the Barclay Arrival Plus (2 points per $).
If you have any questions feel free to ask.


Sorry about this misinfo above, I have 2 cards and get 20k a month not 40k.


A friend picked me up a temporary Redbird card and mailed it to me. Before registering online for a permanent card, do I understand correctly that I first need to go to a local Target store and load the temporary card?


When your friend picked up your card for you, they should have loaded the card with at least $5 at the register per the instructions lined out by Frequentmiler.

As long as that person didn’t just “pocket” the card and walk out with it without actually going through the steps at the register, you shouldn’t have to do anything special with it now at Target in order to register it correctly online.

I’ve gotten cards for both my wife and myself and registering online is a breeze and totally unrelated to loading in-store, with the exception of the initial activation that should happen when the card is first obtained from the original Target (that would be “when your friend picked the card up for you”).


Wow, Jeff, thanks for the quick reply. He’s travelling right now, so I’ll have to wait to hear back from him as to whether he activated it at the store…I am beginning to think he did not, since the card is still in the paper jacket and my guess is that they’d need to remove that to activate it. (sorry, newbie here). Thanks again.


No problem, happy to help 🙂

Even though I guess there’s no real “value” to the card if you don’t load anything to it, I would still think it would be kind of awkward for your friend to just walk out of the store with it.

Fortunately for you, being still in the jacket isn’t really an indication of whether or not your friend activated it. Mine sat here by my computer in the jacket (after I activated it in Oklahoma) for 6 weeks while I settled up and closed out my Bluebird account. They don’t have to pull it out to activate, so hopefully you’re good.

One thing I WILL tell you – even though Targets are *all* supposed to be “trained” on reloading, my experience has been that Target employees range from wildly incompetent to the occasional “no problem”. I’ve also had one encounter with a very crabby employee who tried to tell me it was “against the rules” to load funds to a Target card (and he was at the Customer Service Desk!). So…be prepared to deal with misinformation and just be patient while they figure it out. And if you get a crabby jerk to deal with, don’t burn our thriving forest down to take down one bad tree…just go to another Target and remember that poor person has to see himself in the mirror every morning 🙂


How do I liquidate the money on the card? (other than paying bills and buyin stuff at Target)?


Does Redbird come with a routing and account number?


A Friend sent me a PrePaid Redcard in the mail. It was NOT activated in the Target store. There is NO money on it either. She simply paid $5 for the Card and that was it.

Can I ACTIVATE it at my Target which does NOT sell the Prepaid Card yet? Since she paid for it??

Or do I have to wait until my Target store carries it?

Waiting for your kind reply, Kim


Does the $1000 with the temp card (post initial load) count towards the monthly $5000 limit when you start using the permanent card?


I successfully loaded a visa gc (about $167). Then I read on ft that your account will be closed by the first or second time for doing that.I was surprised since debit is accepted, but thought twice before trying again. Any experiment results on this issue?


Yeah, FT must be referring to online. I’ll head to the store. I’m pretty sure this was what you said in a previous post, but for GC, this is another up to 1k/mo in addition to $5k cc load, right? Thanks!


When you say that you can pay credit cards bills using your red cards, or utilities, which you wouldn’t be normally allowed to pay with credit cards, what do you enter for routing number and account number? Those are the questions asked when I want to pay my CCs or utilities.



someone posted on FT (with only one post in their history…) that REDBIRD goes no can do cc Dec 1

just sayin


Great,thanks. I’m going to drive to Maryland tomorrow to get one.


Must you close your BB account before purchasing a red card at Target? Or does it have to be closed before you register it online?


Bought a card this weekend in MD. Chase annoyingly rejected my 500 load as fraud. So loaded a small amount with my bank card. Had no trouble registering it online.

Went to load 1000 with credit card today in NYC (where red cards not sold), total failure. No CC rejection from Chase this time and the computer had me sign, but then failed.


We can withdraw cash for free? So after loading the redcard with $5000 every month with a credit card for free, I can withdraw it all in cash for free?


So I went to the Target near me in northern NJ. This target is listed as having the RedBird target card. I went there and the rep at customer service said they don’t have that card yet and it hasn’t come to NJ??? I don’t understand why the place is listed but this person claimed that the card is not at their store. What should I do? Call their customer service?


cards not available in NJ