REDcard Target Blues–Loading Hiccups 02.17.15

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REDbird

REDcard “REDbird” Target Prepaid Card

I have wanted to get the REDcard Target prepaid card, AKA REDbird for a long time. Here is a very short post about my first dreadful experience with this wonderful product.

Since I live in NYC, where this bird doesn’t fly, I had to look for outside help.

One of my FB secret group members hooked me up with it, and I became a proud owner of three REDcard Target cards. It is extremely easy to buy this card for someone else and register too, so I registered it for my wife first. I’m operating three accounts right now: BB, Serve, and now REDcard. Decided to give it a testdrive with my wife’s account first and see how it plays out.

Here is what happened today at Target in Brooklyn. I got there around 6-6:30PM.

1. Went to the CSR register. They called the manager immediately as soon as I whipped out my REDbird.

2. The manager came over and demanded to see my wife and her ID. Luckily, we were together, so it wasn’t a problem. So, for this store, at least–forget loading several cards at a time. Each cardholder must be present.

3. First $1K got denied by my wife’s CC–fraud alert. My fault, as we hadn’t called ahead. Wife hates making these calls.

4. Called Chase and cleared up the fraud alert. Swiped, went fine, got a receipt.

5. Swiped again for another thou. Went fine, got a receipt.

6. Swiped for another $500. System unavailable. The register froze.

7. Went to another register and swiped again. Same story.

8. Called REDcarto check the balance. $1 with all the pending transactions (the way it was before entering the store)!

9. WTF???

10. Had my wife call the REDcard. Got a lecture from an overseas CSR that I shouldn’t have used a credit card, since it’s not allowed: cash/debit only. Listened in obedient silence.

11. Eventually was told that they would take care of the, and they did. The funds are in wife’s REDcard account right now, although I did end up with loading $2K instead of $2.5K.

12. There are only three Target stores in Brooklyn. One (Atlantic Terminal) does not accept credit cards altogether. That leaves two others. And at least the one I’ve been to today requires the cardholder to actually BE THERE!

13. Yes, I know I’ve said it already.

14. Checked the FT REDcard thread, and it seems there were similar issues reported at approximately the same time. Maybe I just got extraordinarily unlucky. Or lucky that the load went through eventually.

15. I am not converting my other two accounts (BB and Serve) until or unless I find other Targets that are going to work for me, and until we know it was just a glitch and not the drastic change of policy.

16. WTF!!! Again!

Sorry for a long rant. Any similar experiences? Comments, please.

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16 Responses to REDcard Target Blues–Loading Hiccups 02.17.15

  1. NoonRadar says:

    I haven’t had any such issues (I’m not in NYC) but there have been sporadic reports as of recently of computers messing up at Target for the Redbird loads. I’d suggest looking at the receipt after each load, it shows the current balance; if this is not accurate definitely don’t proceed with another load. You can even login to Redbird online on your phone(while at Target) if you want to make sure the load went through.

    Also non-round numbers might help with preventing fraud alerts/freezes from your credit card, until it learns your behavior.

    Personally I do less than $1K each trip as to not bring too much attention to this (being extra MS-responsible I guess) but it’s not a burden either as I have many Target stores nearby.

  2. Sean says:

    I have not had this experience either. At my local target the workers are still surprised as they haven’t seen or heard of the card. I also have only had one issue with redcard when adding my bank account and trying to transfer funds to it. I never leave the store until I check the receipt and check my email for the confirmation email with the transaction id. That might just be me though. Good luck! I also never load more than 2k a day. Hope that helps.

  3. John says:

    Andy,

    Which Brooklyn Target are you referring to that spouse needs to be there?

  4. Traveler says:

    So far Redbird has been good to me. 5K load for Jan. & Feb. with no problems. I still have a BB in my wife’s name but I have heard reports (FrequentMiler) that the end is coming to BB- Hope they are wrong.

  5. ak says:

    I had so issues on my first loads in CA. $1000 each time and $150 left on another amex gift card. But, the cashier at customer service was well aware of this card and I got the distinct feeling (from hush conversations in the background with another cashier) that they knew all about it’s advantages.

    I think the end is nigh… take advantage while you can.

  6. Sean says:

    Andy,
    I’ve used Redbird at the Brooklyn College location and no issues with loading however two recent changes;
    1) I am no longer able to load at the cashier, now being directed to CS.
    2) balance no longer shows on my receipt, at least not the last two times I was there. Previously my receipt provided a balance even if I made a purchase at Starbucks in the store.

    And one more thing, the young lady at CS called a manager to input something into the system before completing the transaction.

  7. NoonRadar says:

    Hi all, I wrote a step by step guide on how to load gift cards to Redbird with the new Target registers (K8): https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NoonRadar/posts/82eSPgNCGi5

    If you’ve already loaded with the new POS, please take a look at my post and if you see something that I missed, or if you had a different experience, let me know via a comment there so I can update the guide. Thank you.

  8. Andy Shuman says:

    Sorry for the delay, traveling right now and barely have time to update the blog. Be back on Tue and get to it, promise. Thanks again!

  9. P says:

    What’s the latest in the RB land for New Yorkers?
    I have two RB, but haven’t loaded them since they banned CC.
    I know that GC are the option, but I’m not sure if they allow it in NYC.
    Considering switching to something else (Serve?).
    Any recommendations?

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