Are you the type of consumer who can’t make it a week without shopping at Target? If so, you may want to consider taking your relationship with the retailer to the next level with a Target RedCard.
The Target RedCard store credit card offers a 5% discount on almost everything you buy at the retail giant, both in the store and online.
But is the best rewards credit card for your everyday shopping needs?
Team Clark will try to answer that question with this card review as we explain the different Target RedCards (yes, there’s more than one) and compare this store credit card to cards from rival retailers Walmart and Amazon.
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What Is the Target RedCard?
The Target RedCard credit card is a no-annual-fee store credit card that offers 5% off purchases made at Target and on Target.com. It also provides free shipping opportunities for Target.com shoppers.
This iteration of the RedCard cannot be used for purchases anywhere but the retailer’s stores and website.
It is on Team Clark’s list of best credit cards for shopping rewards.
Understanding the 3 Different Types of RedCard
This review is solely about the Target RedCard store credit card, but the term “RedCard” does requires some clarification.
Target has three different cards that carry the RedCard branding, and that can be confusing.
Let’s take a minute to clear that up:
Store Credit Card
This is the card we’re reviewing in the article.
It is a store credit card that gives a 5% discount on purchases at Target and on Target.com, but you can’t use it anywhere else.
And since it isn’t a full-fledged credit card, it also does not come with things like introductory APR periods, welcome bonuses, balance transfers or the like.
Again, this is the credit card that we’re reviewing in this article.
Store Debit Card
If this card design looks frustratingly identical to the store credit card, that’s because it is.
The debit card version of the RedCard looks the same as the credit card, and it also gives you a 5% discount on purchases. But it functions differently on the back end.
This RedCard links to your personal bank account for withdrawals after each purchase. (Be warned that these can take 2-3 days to process, so make sure you keep sufficient funds in your bank account to cover purchases.)
You also can also use it to withdraw cash at the Target register — up to $40. (But you can do that with any debit card.)
You can apply for the debit card here.
You cannot apply for this card as a new Target credit seeker.
Instead, it must be offered to you after a successful period with the Target RedCard store credit card.
Presumably, eligibility for the Mastercard product is determined by TD Bank USA, which is the card issuer for the Target RedCard.
This card carries the benefits of the store credit card, but you can use it anywhere that takes Mastercard.
You can find the Mastercard guide to benefits for this card here.
Card Specs and Perks
Now that’s cleared up, back to the store credit card: This version of the RedCard can be used only for purchases in Target stores, with select in-store partners and on Target.com.
Here’s a rundown of the benefits and rewards you can expect from this card:
Top Cardholder Benefits
- 5% Discount: This applies to most purchases made in store at Target and on Target.com. There are some exclusions such as eye exams at Target Optical or prescriptions filled at the in-store pharmacy.
- Starbucks and Gift Card Deals: You’ll also get a 5% discount for Starbucks purchases inside Target stores as well as a 5% discount on gift cards for places like restaurants and movie theaters. If you’re an avid Target shopper, you’ve probably already browsed those cards while waiting in the checkout line.
- Free 2-Day Shipping from Target.com: In what is assuredly an attempt to compete with Amazon, Target is promising free two-day shipping for purchases made with your RedCard on ” thousands of items.” Even if you don’t get free two-day shipping for your item, you will get free standard shipping.
- Extra Time to Return Items: RedCard users get an additional 30 days to return items purchased at Target. So if you’re weighing the usefulness of a new purchase, you may get the extra time you need to make your decision if you buy the item with your Target RedCard.
- Savings on Clearance and Deals of the Week: You’ll get a chance at an additional discount on Target’s clearance items and the Target deals of the week by purchasing with this card.
- Annual 10% Coupon: This is a discount awarded on the anniversary of your card membership, but you have to sign up for Target marketing emails to get it.
- Exclusive Deals and Offers: You can get extra coupons and deals that are exclusive to RedCard members. These offers change over time.
- Annual Fee: None
- Balance Transfer Fee: Not applicable
- Cash Advance Fee: Not applicable
- Foreign Transaction Fee: Not applicable
- Returned Payment Fee: Up to $29
- Late Payment Fee: Up to $40
Target RedCard vs. Walmart and Amazon Credit Cards
Are you trying to decide between getting the RedCard or a credit card from another of the country’s top retailers?
If you’re not married to the idea of shopping at Target all the time, both Walmart and Amazon have store-branded credit cards that are worth investigating.
The Capital One Walmart Rewards Card and the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa are elite store rewards cards that have earned spots on a variety of Team Clark’s “best” lists, including rewards credit cards and shopping rewards.
But how do they stack up against the Target RedCard store credit card?
Here’s a handy card comparison to help you decide:
|Card Characteristic||Target RedCard Store Credit Card||Amazon Prime Rewards Visa||Capital One Walmart Rewards Card|
|Annual Fee||None||None (Prime membership required)||None|
|Able to Use with Other Merchants||No||Yes||Yes|
|Store Rewards||5% off Target and Target.com purchases||5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases (Prime membership required)||5% back at Walmart.com, 2% back in Walmart stores|
|Store Reward Type||Discount off purchase||Cash back redeemable on Amazon account||Reward points redeemable for cash back, statement credit, travel and more|
|Non-store Rewards||None. Store card only.||2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, 1% back on all other purchases.||2% back on restaurants and travel, 1% back on all other purchases|
|Welcome Bonus||None||$70 instant gift card credited to Amazon account||12 months of 5% back on in-store shopping through Walmart Pay|
|Shipping Perks||Free 2-day shipping from Target.com||Free 2-day shipping with Prime membership||None with card. Walmart+ membership required for free 2-day shipping.|
|Store Perks||5% off in-store Starbucks purchases and specialty gift cards||Up to 20% off with Amazon's exclusive Prime deals||None|
|Noteworthy Card Perks||Extends return period for purchased items by 30 days||No foreign transaction fees for spending abroad||$0 fraud liability protection if card is stolen|
The Big Takeaways
So what are some of the things we can take away from this side-by-side comparison of the credit cards for three of the country’s top retailers?
- Target has the best in-store discount: All three cards offer 5% rewards online, but only Target offers that on the overwhelming majority of its in-store shopping. Walmart offers 5% on a preliminary basis through Walmart Pay, but the regular rate of 2% back comes up well short of Target. And Amazon simply doesn’t have many in-person retail options in much of the country.
- Target doesn’t bring the flexibility: We’ve talked at length about the RedCard being for Target purchases only (unless you’re offered the Mastercard), but the consequences of that show up multiple times in this comparison. Not only do the Walmart and Amazon cards allow purchases at other merchants, but they also offer enhanced 2% back benefits on certain purchases and at least 1% back on all purchases.
- You can get free shipping at all three — but not equally: It’s true that all three stores offer you free shipping for online purchases that meet a certain spending threshold. But Target has the only card that offers free shipping on purchases of any size without charging a membership fee. Amazon and Walmart offer free shipping on purchases made with their premium memberships, but those memberships cost money (and don’t have anything to do with their store-branded credit cards).
Are you considering adding the Target RedCard to your wallet? Let’s review some of the major pros and cons of the card before you make your final decision:
Pros and Cons
|5% back on Target and Target.com purchases||Cannot use at other merchants|
|Free 2-day shipping on many Target.com purchases||No welcome bonus offers|
|Additional discounts on in-store Starbucks and gift card purchases||No 0% APR spending opportunity|
If you’re a frequent Target shopper, this rewards credit card is a strong candidate to add to your wallet.
The 5% discount you can earn on all your Target purchases is among the best rewards going for a no-annual-fee credit card. Plus, you’ll get free shipping on all purchases if you choose to shop virtually.
And though the RedCard has the limitation of places you can use it, it’s still a strong option for brand-loyal Target customers.
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