We all loved the American Express BlueBird card when we could get the Vanilla Reloads at CVS but when CVS would no longer allow the purchase of the Vanilla Reloads with a credit card, many people put their Bluebird card away unless you were one of the lucky ones that had a source of VR’s near you at a different store.
Now Target and American Express has come up with a great alternative to the Bluebird – the RedCard PrePaid Debit affectionately known at the Red Bird. This is the third type of RedCard that AmEx and Target have collaborated on and you want to make sure you get the correct one. You want to get this card:
This will be a temporary card that you’ll receive at the store and you’ll need to pay $5 for it though in some stores that fee is being waived. It is being tested at a few Targets around the country so you most likely will not find it at your store unless you live in a test market. I just purchased one in Richmond, Virginia – no fee but I did load $5 on the one that I purchased for a friend of mine.
At the register the clerk will ask you to input your social security number into the machine but some people have found that they have a “fat finger” when it comes to adding in their number in the store. While I am not advocating it, if you want to get some RedBirds for others, that fat finger may come in handy. Don’t be surprised if the sales register clerk scans your drivers license – this is normal. At the register, you can load $500 on this temporary, unregistered card. Once it is registered, you can load a total of $1500.
When you get home you’ll need to register it online and you need to make sure you have your correct social security number. It is one per person like the Bluebird is and you cannot have either a Bluebird or a Serve – both issued by AmEx. You can buy a Redbird but before you register it, you must cancel your Bluebird or Serve.
To find a store near you, click here and go to the second question where you will click on another link to find a drop down menu to find your state. Look at the locations in the test markets, see if you have any friends that are who can pick one up for you if you are not near one yourself. If you have the card, you can still load it at a Target near you even though you can’t purchase one at your local Target.
Another great benefit of having the card is that it gives you a 5% discount when you make purchases at Target and pay with your Prepaid debit card.
The Redbird has a $5000 monthly load and a $2500 daily load when you use your credit card although you can only load it $1000 per transaction. If you wanted the full $2500 per day then you would need to go through the registers twice.
Like the Bluebird, you can withdraw money from your Redbird when you use an ATM. To use it at an ATM fee free – go to an All Point network for a list of locations that have this ATM network. I wouldn’t recommend withdrawing more than 80% of your funds this way though I hardly ever withdraw money. I usually use it to pay my bills. We all want to be careful not to have any of our accounts shut down. Use it to purchase items at stores, at an ATM and bill paying and you’ll be fine.
Some of you newbies may wonder why this is such great news. Let me explain for you. When you sign up for some of the credit cards that come with great bonus as far as points/miles, you generally have a minimum spend that you must do prior to receiving the points. By using your credit card to load money on your Redbird, you will be meeting that minimum spend. It’s simple – you can load money at the register with your credit card. Cha-ching, I hear the points accumulating in my mental points register. Like the Bluebird you can pay your bills with the Redbird. Imagine getting points for paying your rent, mortgage, anything that you generally cannot pay with a credit card. You can even pay your credit card that you used to load money onto your Redbird! Which account do you need to get more points?
To get you started on your Redbird, I will award one Redbird loaded with $20 to a lucky reader. You must leave a comment on this post as to how you would use your Redbird – for the discount at Target, for the points to use for a future trip….any type of comment. Contest will end on Sunday, November 16th at 9:00 PM. The card will be mailed out later that week (as soon as I go to a location that sells them).