REDbird Debit Loads are not Working: Here Is What We Know & What We Don’t


redbird load fail

Note: As of 10/13/15 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”

Many people on both Flyertalk and Reddit have reported that debit loads to REDbird are not working as of this morning. There have been some mentions of a recent software update, however that hasn’t been confirmed.

Here is what we know:

  • People have reported loads we working fine as of yesterday.
  • There are dozens of reports from across the country that debit card loads are not working as of this morning.
  • I have seen at least two reports of normal bank issued debit cards failing in addition to gift cards.
  • Cash loads seem to be working.

Here is what we don’t know:

  • We don’t know if this is a policy change or a glitch. The fact that bank issued debit cards are not working provides some hope it is just a system glitch.
  • One Flyertalk member says a Amex phone rep said loads are now cash only. This has not been confirmed elsewhere and may just a case of an uninformed phone rep.
  • There have been reports of a recent software update, however I haven’t seen widespread confirmation of this.

I will update this post as we learn more, but I wouldn’t recommend jumping to any conclusions. For now, it is simply too early to tell what this means.

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[…] Sometime on the morning of October 12th 2015, REDbird in-store debit loads stopped working.  Cash loads continued to work, but debit loads did not.  And, it wasn’t just gift cards that failed — regular bank debit card loads failed as well even though cash loads continued to work.  We reported this issue on Monday: REDbird Debit Loads are not Working: Here Is What We Know & What We Don’t. […]


Sorry to break the bad news, but at least knowing for sure is better than the stress of uncertainty: As of October 13, 2015 Redbird is officially dead. Yes there is a Target memo and yes I saw it. Go to and click on Blog to read the details (you can also click on my handle here to get to my website).

I’m not including the link to my post here simply because I know that posts with links require approval before they appear; I wanted to get the news out to end the Redbird MS-agony so to speak.


Time for FM to write another post on how to liquidate visa gift card

any insight on t mobile reloadit will be helpful


just switch to Serve, if the redbird is indeed dead


What a time….i just bought a red card 10 days ago and MS around 3000 and need to do 3000 more.

Did any one tried chip enabled debit card ? ( i think this is the last one not tried )


I did, no luck (its mentioned just two comments above). Others did too and reported on the MS-web.


Then need to drain the redbird and close and open one vip( no fees for TX )


Can i get a refund for red card bought from u ? :p


Ha, let’s see if Target will refund us, plus the inconvenience fee for emotional distress since we’re all anxious due to the uncertainty since yesterday 😛

Since you mentioned it, thank you to you and every one else who bought one from me!

As soon as I fond out the news I suspended the sale on so people who didn’t know about it didn’t buy one. I put a note with red font on all relevant pages of my site stating the news and that I would not put it up for sale until things clarified for certain. I still have a bunch, in fact many of them I activated yesterday all day, hence I didn’t know about the news until later in the evening. Yeah the irony, I know. Plus I have a stack of Vanillas, kept putting it off for loading because I was too busy activating (I don’t do both in one trip at a particular Target store). Not complaining though, I’m grateful it lasted this long.

Just out of curiosity, late in the evening yesterday, and today in the am as well, I check a couple of competition to see if they had done the same. Nope, they were selling business as usual without any notification about what was going on. Back in May when Target killed credit cards I was selling them via email delivery…I turned away several unsuspecting buyers once I found out. It made me feel that much better about myself and that counts too (not just money)!

Greg The Frequent Miler

Just to provide a new data point: I tried today at around 1:30pm ET with a Simon Mall gift card. No luck.


On that note, we still need more data points, def today and tomorrow (its only day 2 today).

When trying to load look at the cashier computer screen (or ask them to show it to you, it can be somewhat tilted even behind the service desk counter) so you can confirm that if it denies it is the same error message (see here the pic I took yesterday:

If you have them, try to load with an emv chip bank issued debit card, a non-emv bank issued debit card and with different types of pin-based prepaid/gift cards and with cash (small amounts). Also, ask local management to see if they have heard anything, hopefully today (if not by tomorrow) some of them bothered to call corporate and got some insight that they are willing to share.

I did all these last night at the stores I tried to load (after I found out about it being dead):

1) Cash loaded fine (it my first cash load), the receipt and email looked the same as with loading with gift/credit cards before.

2) Both debit cards and the pin gift cards (Vanilla and Meta) gave the same error message.

3) Local Target management had no clue, they all were doing educated guesses and basic troubleshooting steps (i.e. it is maybe a network/debit card issue, etc).

On one of the tries last night I even had the Target manager select debit on her screen during loading, just to rule things out. All that changed was that it didn’t prompt me to select debit/credit, but gave the same denial error message.

What other things do you suggest we/people for troubleshooting and data points purposes?

P.S. If you read this comment of mine on other blogs, sorry for the repeat, just trying to generate as much data points as possible so the dust settles, along with people’s anxiety about this.


Anyone try today yet?


Yeah, several people reported on various blog/forum posts today that they tried to load with gift/prepaid and debit cards and got the same error message.

It is only day 2 though so more data points will be needed today and tomorrow.


THanks, didn’t see anything here yet


Oh no, just got a second Redbird. Fingers crossed. ….




Hope it gets sorted soon.


Of course it will be, I’m sure within today or tomorrow.

Personally, I read yesterdays event to mean that this is the end, that is that Redbird is dead. You can read all my reasoning (educated guesses) at, click on the Blog tab.

Sure would love to be wrong on this though.


Hopefully it’s a glitch. Mon was a bank holiday. Maybe someone thought this would be a good day for a system update. If not, let’s catch our breath and move on. It’s a game of chess.


If you want to read it, I put together my educated guesses/speculations (ramblings that is) about why I think Redbird is dead; pros and cons of possible reasons for it being dead or not, along with a picture of the error you get as of Oct 12th:

If you read the entire article you’ll see the irony about me just commenting now about it.

Needless to say, I sure do hope that I’m wrong about reading the events of the day. We can all benefit from that, from me being wrong about this and Redbird continuing to live on.