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.






This breaks my tiny heart 🙁


Here’s my data point. Hubs went into target here in VA where there’s been no problem. The customer service rep with whom he has chatted before was apologetic and explained that due to money laundering the debit cards were no longer accepted. He even had one with his name on it. She hinted that a real bank debit card might work but that she couldn’t tell him the amount that would be accepted. But he didn’t he didn’t try that. Sounds very discouraging.


Just tried as a test with a real debit card for just $50. Didn’t work either (livermore, ca)


Could be a system glitch for now then. If it doesn’t even work with debit, will it only be cash?



I don’t know if its a glitch but it was definitely a FAIL. My go to guy tried two registers and each time came back with error never seen by either of us. I thought it was a US Bank Mastercard thing but after reading this post I see there is more to it.


Not going to get too jumpy. Last week it took almost 10 minutes to get a single load. Read: a single load. I didn’t get a failure or a reject, just a single swipe. Each step kept bogging the system down. Just my two cents: Lots of recent changes with Chip enabled machines, perhaps the software they have is bad and the debit load process is whacked out. They might just be upgrading software. I’m still hopeful.




Last visit I had I told them to hit K8 key and it worked. But that was a week ago


Hopefully we hear back soon, I have $2000 to take to Target on Friday.


Add to previous post. Location was Tucson Arizona


I just tried unsuccessfully to load at a target two times each with these three types of debit cards:

-Vanilla prepaid visa
-USbank prepaid visa
-Bank of America personal checking debit card

Same error each time. Loaded many times at this store with no problems.


it worked for me this morning when the store first opened. Maybe it is a software rollout?


also had a load failure today








I was unable to reload REDbird at a St.Louis Target last week from either VV or a prepaid debit MC. Supervisor claimed that the 3rd party card issuers were blocking the loads. Seems unlikely since the MC worked later that night to reload Serve.


This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end


Was told the same thing this morning – no debit loads allowed. Will keep hoping though! I manage 11 redcards and hate to go through switching with the 5 non family members cards i’m using.


@Emily I had the same issue on Friday with the billpay, then on Sun, it was working fine.






Anyone else have issues with Bill Pay online going to a “Technical Difficulties” page?


This morning I asked for the manager of local Target. He couldn’t figure it out so he called headquarters and they put him hold to ask their supervisor. They came back with: Debit loads of any kind will no longer be permitted. So that leaves cash only for store loads. They said debit loads would be accepted online but only $200/day–$1,000/month. Ugh!!!

Mark O

Does this work with gift cards too…$1000 is better then nothing if it does.

Greg The Frequent Miler

No, online loads do not work with gift cards. You may be able to sneak one or two in, but then you’re likely to have your account frozen.






Interesting. Yesterday I visited the 2 Targets I usually make my redbird loads at in Maryland. One told me that they are no longer accepting third party debit loads (and she showed me the notice they received. Just a handwritten memo). The second store which is usually more reliable said they can try the load but redbird loads have been bringing down their registers as of late. $1000 load went through no problem though.

I’m guessing it’s just a glitch. Hopefully thing return to normal soon. But we always need to be prepared for the worst.


Oh noes






did not work for me @ 2 locations in Los Angeles


I had problem loading Debit cards over the weekend in Miami area while i was visiting but when i swiped the card bottom up it worked fine. I found out from flyertalk post.

Greg The Frequent Miler

I would hold off on switching to Serve until we know for sure whether this is a temporary glitch or a new policy. However, if you want to be prepared you may find this post useful:


Excellent suggestion. Let’s hope some positive news comes out shortly.


Phone reps said loads were cash only even when they were accepting CCs so that doesn’t mean anything.

Mark O

I will be holding off buying GC until the dust settles!


Wish I had! Waltzed into Target this morning with $3.5k that I had just bought at the mall and bam, no dice.

Time to read up on all the Family Dollar, Serve, BB posts I’ve been ignoring for the past year. 🙁


Just got back from Target, didn’t work for me either. Wish I had peaked FM before i left