Purchase and Activate a Temporary Target Redbird Card

In this post, I will walk you through purchasing and activating a temporary Redbird Card.  Assuming you are able to purchase a temporary Redbird Card at your local Target (view the out-of-date list of participating stores here).  You should be able to find the temporary Redbird Cards near the checkout lines or by asking the customer service / returns department.  Depending on your store, the activation fee is either $5 or $0.  Here are views of the front and back of the temporary Redbird Card packaging.

Here are other views of the front and back of the temporary Redbird Card packaging.

Here are views of the front and back of the temporary Redbird Card.

To register your temporary Redbird Card, click here and click the Register button.

Target Redbird Home Page-Register

On the first page of the registration, enter the 15 digit temporary Redbird Card number and the 4 digit security code on the front of the card.  You can leave the date of birth blank (especially important if someone else bought the temporary Redbird Card for you).  Then click the Register button to go to the second page.

Target Redbird Activate Card Page 1

On this page, fill out all the necessary information.  Check all the boxes and click the Agree and Submit button.

Target Redbird Activate Card Page 2 Target Redbird Activate Card Page 2a Target Redbird Activate Card Page 2b

Your registration is complete and your permanent Redbird Card is on its way.  You will get an email shortly with a link to verify your email address.

Target Redbird 03 Verify Email Address

In your email, click the link to verify your email address.

Target Redbird 04 Email Verification

Your email has been confirmed and you can now log into your Redbird account.

Target Redbird 05 Email Verified

This is your new Redbird account home page.

Target Redbird 06 Account Created

Here is the welcome email you will receive from Target with details on the features and benefits of using your Target Redbird Card.  You get 5% off almost every item at Target (gift cards excluded), free online shipping from Target.com, and an extra 30 days for returns.

Target Redbird 07 Welcome Email

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day!

I will update this post with all the other Redbird tutorials.

101 thoughts on “Purchase and Activate a Temporary Target Redbird Card

  1. Brant

    Hey Grant,

    I asked you this before, but I want to be very clear on one point. I live in Texas and I am going to have to travel to Oklahoma to get the Redcard temporary card so my question is this. I currently use AMEX Serve. Do I have to cancel my Serve and wait until it clears before heading up to OKC to buy a temporary REDcard or can I buy it anyway and activate it later after I have canceled and cleared my Serve card?

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Dan

      @Brant: You don’t have to cancel before you get it. My wife had a serve card and was able to get the Redbird while having it. When she went to register it using her SSN online, it said she already had the Serve. I called to cancel, and within minutes she was able to register it online.

      Reply
      1. Vicente

        Cancelling my Serve account and getting it “free” to use for Target took forever. Apparently one of the checks I had written through Billpay hadn’t been cashed. And even when it did cash, the account took a few days to “settle”. You have to be not only zeroed out, but the books all have to be balanced and no transaction in a state where there could suddenly be a dispute about it.

        On the spouse Serve cancellation, I have found it worked smoothest, when I changed the Serve account phone number and email address before cancelling. American Express references your account by those 2 values often. So if you “free up” what you consider your main contacts and transfer them to something secondary, everything went faster. I made sure to cash out remaining balance in her Serve by ATM, and by using “Send Money” feature to transfer $2.5K to my Target account. Since BB, Serve, and Target are all AmEx products you can actually Send Money between any of the 3 although this is never stated in their literature.

        Reply
        1. Grant

          I have found that it works best if you close your Bluebird/Serve Card, wait at least 24 hours, and then apply for the permanent Redbird Card. I used the same email and phone number and it went through fine.

          As for as transferring money between accounts from various cards, that is a handy trick if you need to pay a large bill and do not have enough funds in one account. Each account and send and receive up to $2,500 per month.

          Reply
        2. Brant

          Wow, so what you are saying is that if someone is using multiple Redcards among family members to increase spending that the funds can be transferred from all of the other Redcards to the main one you want to use? That is fantastic!!

          Reply
          1. star

            Can confirm this. I sent all the money from my Bluerbird and Serve accounts to a Redbird account before closing the Serve account to open a new second Redbird account. I set all my Redbirds to enable automatic receiving of money (so that I don’t have to approve it every time). The transfer is instant. Great for paying large mortgages. :)

    1. Grant

      Hoang is right. You can buy the temp Redbird before closing your Serve or Bluebird Card. But you will need to close those cards before you register for your permanent Redbird Card.

      Reply
    1. Grant

      Yes, you can purchase temporary Redbird Cards for friends/family members. If you have their date of birth, SSN, and phone number, that would be great. If not, you can make up those numbers and have them register the permanent Redbrid Card with their real info online.

      Reply
  2. Bob

    Hi Grant, At my local Target in Charlotte, NC, the manager told me that her registers were not set up to load the Red Card and could not be used here. I had planned on picking up one in Greensboro, NC or Charleston, SC where they are available. Can you load these from CC’s at any Target?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I always go to the customer service / returns department for my Redbird reloads. I use credit card and Visa gift cards. As long as there is no fraud alert by the credit card company, you should be fine using a credit card.

      Reply
    1. Vicente

      Wrong, there are multiple stores in California. I got my first one at 1 of the 2 stores in Dublin CA. I picked up a 2nd one at the Rancho Cordova location some weeks later.

      Reply
        1. Kalboz

          Can you please elaborate on where in Southern California? I asked the attendants at the Huntington Beach 92646 location and they did not know what I was talking about.

          Reply
      1. whatthelfly

        Vicente, When did you get one at the Rancho Cordova location? I called/looked around at Sacramento stores recently. None that I checked had them but one or two said they did have some around Christmas. Thanks!

        Reply
        1. Vicente

          It was a couple of weeks ago I think. The Redbirds weren’t at the cash register displays in Rancho. But an associate had told me they were there, so I asked a passing staffer, and she led me right to them. There was a display of gift cards on an aisle near greeting cards and Redbirds were among them. Do note the variety I picked up there were $5, unlike the $0 one I got earlier in Dublin. I loaded with $500 initially, then activated online. Then able to load the temporary card with another $1,000 while waiting for permanent to arrive.

          Grapevine says Roseville also has cards.

          For those in SoCal, there’s stores down there. Read the FlyerTalk threads, you’ll find them.

          Reply
          1. Grant

            You can also call the store, they might be able to tell you if they have any or put one on hold. Could save you a few trips to Target.

          2. whatthelfly

            I got a no fee one at the Douglas Roseville store. Yay!

            Grant, I actually called several stores including the one where I just found the card; every one of them told me they didn’t have them. I even asked at the customer service counter a week ago when I was in the Douglas store and the employees explained to me how they had them at Christmas but not anymore. So, I didn’t bother looking for them.

            Thanks to Vicente, I actually looked around and found them today (by the greeting cards). Unfortunately, sometimes if you want it done right…

          3. Grant

            I have 2 friends that I personally know who sell temporary Redbird Cards for $30 each. I can work as a middleman if you are hesitant.

    2. Grant

      Officially yes, but unofficially, there are some stores in CA that have temp Redbird Cards. I have heard a few people have gotten then, but they are not easy to find.

      Reply
      1. Danzilla3000

        I can confirm that there are none at the Targets in La Verne and Montclair. And the friend I have in Oklahoma doesn’t want to pick one up for me. Still keeping my eyes open though.

        Reply
          1. Jason

            Rebirds are on Ebay for $45 – 53/ each in the last few days. Not cheap, but worth it if you maximize its use! 5000 free frequent flyer miles in one month, per card! A one month ROI rocks.

          2. Grant

            I know a few places where you can get red birds for around $30, no eBay necessary. But I agree, it is great for manufactured spending.

          3. Hoang

            Hi Grant,

            I just ran through a scare situation. I went to Target loading money by 2 CC: $900 & 600 to hit $5000 limit. The $900 went through but the $600 had problem then it went through however the balance shown N/A instead of $1501. The cashier is so nice and called customer service and they want to talk with me. We found out it is over limit by $1 (loaded $1 when bought the card). I asked why the charge went through she said it should not. I drove home and very nervous since I loaded in my son Redcard. Log in account at home it showed $1501 so they let it through.

            This is a remind for someone getting the new card you should count the money you load when you buy the temporary card

  3. Lauren S

    I have the REDcard & love it. Haven’t had any trouble loading it with visa/AmEx/MC gift cards or with my credit card. Easy to view transactions on-line too.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      As long as your credit cards do not trigger a fraud alert, loading the Redbird Card is very easy. Glad you are enjoying your new card. Do you take advantage of 5% discount at Target?

      Reply
    1. star

      One customer service cashier almost didn’t accept it, but when I said, “That’s weird, I just loaded it with a credit card about 5 minutes ago” and he said, “Oh really? Maybe it works then, let’s try it.” And when it did work, he said “Oh sorry I think I was thinking of the other card that you can only load with cash” (the debit one maybe?).

      Frequent Miler put up a post with some new tidbits of information from a Redbird user who was invited to participate in a focus group by Target/Amex. More than half of the focus group participants stated they would no longer use Redbird if the ability to load with credit card was taken away. Hopefully they will take that to heart and find keeping customers and attracting them into Target stores outweighs the cost of allowing us to load by CC. I, for one, can testify that I haven’t stepped foot in a Target store in over 3 years, but when the RB came out, I started doing 75%* of my grocery and home supplies shopping at Target now. I figured I might as well take advantage of the 5% off if I’m already in the store to load RB anyways! So they’ve definitely won my business as long as RB CC load is around. :)

      *I do the other 25% on Amazon, Google Shopping Express, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, and a local grocery store called Berkeley Bowl, and very little at Costco. I never found a reason to go to Target before this.

      Reply
      1. Grant

        I feel the same way. I replaced my trips to CVS with my trips to Target now. Great shopping experience. I found that cashiers don’t ask for ID when using the Redbird, so I have used my brother’s Redbird Card a few times to shop at Target.

        Reply
    2. Grant

      I used my credit card and Visa gift card yesterday at my Target in Walnut Creek (Northern California) and both transactions went through fine. It might be an individual store policy to not allow credit cards.

      Reply
  4. 616 MG

    If you are located in a state that does not sell the prepaid Target REDcard yet, please feel free to visit http://www.616mg.com to purchase an instant digital or physical prepaid REDcard.

    Be sure to use coupon code GRANT for $5 off your order!

    Reply
        1. Grant

          It doesn’t matter who originally bought the cards. I have used Redbird Cards that I bought from someone and I have sold cards to others, never any problem.

          Reply
          1. Yeshu

            Someone asked Doctor of Credit (Will) about posting links to personal websites or Craigslist ads and he specifically said No. I think you should do the same, Grant.

            Soon, your comments section will be overrun with such ads…

          2. Grant

            I block 99% of craigslist/personal ad comments, but I let this one stay since it may be relevant to some people. I will delete all future craigslist/personal ad Redbird comments. Thank you for the feedback, Yeshu, have a great day.

  5. Pingback: Purchasing & Activating Redcards, Free $2, Diversify Your Manufactured Spend, 20% Hyatt Bonus + CSP Referrals - Doctor Of Credit

  6. eddy

    Grant, I saw back in October you were using your USB account for Redcard. Is that still working for you? Thanks for the great post and congrats on the move to BA! If only there was a credit card with In n Out bonus!

    Reply
      1. Hoang

        Hi Grant,

        I thought you have the problem with US Bank credit cards for Redbird reloads at Target? I went to Target today I did not find Redbird but I found another card called AMEX for Target, do you hear about it? Look like you can load money to this card and cost $3.

        Reply
        1. Grant

          AMEX for Target is the older version of the Redbird. I’ve used my US Bank Club Carlson a few times at Target and it works fine. It is just hit or miss with US Bank.

          Reply
          1. Hoang

            Any reason why I should not use AMEX for Target since it is still better than buying GC cost $3.95 per $500 and then I have to go to Walmart to load it to BB? If I load CC to AMEX for Target it only cost $3 and I can accomplish in one trip.

  7. NoonRadar

    Great guide Grant!

    I’d also note that after you register the card online you won’t be able to change the following fields (unless you call Amex) from your Redcard profile: Name, Date of birth, SS#.

    For people who are not lucky enough to have a local Target that provides this, a temporary activated card can also be acquired online for a nominal fee. I’m one of the people that provides it (click on my gravatar to find out how to get in touch).

    If you get this card from someone online and when you go to register it tells you that the card number and security code don’t match, that means the card was not activated, so its no good.

    Reply
  8. Lynn

    If my daughter is in a state where they sell these, can she get one for me? does she need my ID to purchase a temporary card? Thanks

    Reply
    1. whatthelfly

      I got mine at a Northern California store. I activated and loaded it at a regular register. As part of the activation the cashier slid my driver’s license and I had to answer several questions on the POS terminal. I think one of the questions was SSN. I used my wife’s SSN since that’s who the card would ultimately be registered to. Though, I don’t think it matters since you are able to enter new/different information when you register it online.

      I guess my point is: don’t be surprised when you have to enter specific information upon activation, you’ll be able to change it upon registration.

      Reply
        1. John

          Target started to sell it in more stores now. Saw the sign in a Seattle area store, but the shelf is empty. Somebody cleaned it up.

          Reply
  9. Hoang

    Just remind everyone that the $1 or $5 or whatever amount you load in the temp card count toward the maximum $5000 of that month.

    Reply
      1. Hoang

        When you purchase the temp card I believe you have to load minimum $1. I ran to problem today I forgot about $1 load to the card so I tried to load the last $600 to $5000 max and it ejected first so cashier thought the credit card not working but I swiped again it worked but the balance showed N/A we called customer service and I found out I was over limit by $1 !!! Somehow when I went home it was OK but just let everyone know this issue.

        Reply
  10. Brant

    I drove from San Antonio to Oklahoma City last weekend to get some REDbirds. There are about 10 stores on the “official” list located in and around OKC. Of course I wanted to go to Target closest to the Texas border because I was headed back to Dallas after my purchase. I stopped in Norman, home of Oklahoma University and arch rival of University of Texas, so naturally I was in a hurry to get out of there!! All kidding aside, when I asked for REDbird, I was told that location had them before, but they were taken off of the Beta program and I would have to drive another 25 miles to Edmond to get REDbird. It was a bummer but anyways, I did the do and scored 4 cards without incident in Norman. The moral of the story is: Call ahead if you need to travel any distance to acquire REDbird because they may not have them. A tip of the hat to “Hoang” for pointing out the “$1 initial load” problem. That will save me major hassles as I would have totally forgotten about it when I am ready to start MS the REDbird soon.

    Reply
  11. Brant

    Hey Grant,

    I just completed the registration of the temp REDcards for me and my mother. My question is simple. Do I have to wait for the permanent cards to arrive before I can load from a CC at Target? I know you can do $2,500 per day and $5,000 per month with a max of $1,000 per load transaction, but can I do it now or do I have to wait for the permanent ones to come in the mail? Also, have you loaded other family cards yourself? I assume that the loading CC has to have the same name on it as the REDcard? Maybe not? I have my mom as an added user on the accounts I want to load from, so her name is on the cards, but I wondered if they will see her name on the REDcard and the CC and ask questions.

    Thanks in advance,

    Brant

    Reply
    1. Grant

      You should wait for the permanent Redbird Cards to arrive before you can load them at Target. You can use your credit card to load other people’s Redbird Cards. I load my dad’s and brother’s Redbird Cards.

      Reply
  12. Ian

    Grant, I went to the Target in Weho today to get a redbird card. The back of the card holder said that the cost to reload at Target was $3 but online is $0. Also the Target employees said that they only accept cash or debit cards and they do not accept credit cards. I was going to sign up for the card but the Amex system was down so I need to go back to get it. I was wondering if this is a different card from the one you have or did your card’s terms change? The outside of the packet said Amex prepaid Redcard so I assume it is the same one? If the benefits are not the same, I might not want to get the card at all. Thanks.

    Reply
      1. Ian

        No the packaging was different. It did say American Express prepaid Redcard with the Target logos all over the package.

        Reply
    1. Jason

      No offense, but it’s really interesting to me see how some people think $25 – 30 or even $50 is too much to INVEST one time for a tool (The RedCard) that can make you $100 cash back EVERY month with very little effort. Load $5k on the Redbird with a 2% cash back credit card and make $100.

      If your stock broker told you you could double your money in one month, almost guaranteed, would you hesitate at the $50 trade commission for a $100 stock stock gain?

      Reply
  13. Eric Rich

    If you google “Redcard Resales”, they are now offering the Target Prepaid REDcard online for folks in states where it isn’t available. Looks like a very legitimate website.

    Reply
  14. Ian

    I took pictures of the Redcard packages that I found at the Weho Target. Is there any way to upload them to your blog? or email them to you so you can upload them?

    Reply
  15. Jason

    So, you are the one that stripped out the RedCard supply in Pikesville, MS … errr MD (Maryland), huh? hehe…

    I was there a few weeks ago and they were absolutely stripped of all Redcards, with only empty racks to be found… they are now hiding them under the counter. One per customer, now. :)

    Reply

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