Redbird Credit Card Reloads Dead: “Able to Load $0.00 with this Payment Method”

Good morning everyone, I just got back from Target in San Francisco and I have some bad news to share.  I brought my Chase Freedom (Visa), Citi Double Cash (MC), Bank of America Virgin Atlantic (MC), and AMEX Old Blue Cash to Target to see if any of those credit cards could load my Redbird Card.

Target San Francisco

During the loading process, I spoke with a cashier and the store manager.  Neither of them mentioned any memo or said anything out of the ordinary.  Both had loaded Redbird Cards before and knew the process.  This is how the transaction went:

  • Please load $987.00 to my Target Redcard
  • They swiped my Redbird Card and entered the amount on the cash register
  • I swipe my credit card on the POS credit card terminal and the screen shows $987.00 and the signature box
  • Before I even sign the screen, the cash register prints out a receipt and shows an error message on the cash register’s screen, “Able to Load $0.00 with this Payment Method”
  • We repeat the process a few times with different credit cards and at different registers
  • Every time the result is the same, “Able to Load $0.00 with this Payment Method”

Some ideas and thoughts:

  • AMEX for Target (AFT) credit card loads are probably dead as well, but I didn’t have my AFT card with me to try
  • Gift cards and debit cards might work, but I didn’t have either with me to try
  • Cash reloads probably still work, but I didn’t have any cash to try

Where do we stand now?:

  • Do gift cards with PINs (Visa and MasterCard) still work?
  • Which gift cards still work (Vanilla Visa, Bancorp, Metabank, etc.)?
  • How long will gift card reloads work before Target starts blocking those (like Walmart did)?
  • Will there be any online loading options similar to AMEX Serve?

If you have any data points, specifically related to gift cards, please let me know below.  Have a good day everyone.

P.S. NoonRadar has a great summary of what is currently working for Redbird reloads here.

83 thoughts on “Redbird Credit Card Reloads Dead: “Able to Load $0.00 with this Payment Method”

  1. Brant

    I was able to load the full $2500 in increments last night under the wire. Looks like the goose that laid the golden eggs is cooked!

  2. Mad Queen Linda

    It was too good a deal to go on for long. I’m going to miss the customer service rep at our Target; she was quite nice. She was surprised and disappointed when I told her yesterday that the credit card reloads were ending.

    1. Grant

      I had a great CSR who was always friendly and helpful with Redbird reloads. She would always ask me if I wanted to do any more reloads. I told her once, “I’d be in here all day if you let me, but I have to go to work.” I never had that conversation at Walmart.

    1. Grant

      Yes, Dan’s Deals was the first to report the news on the blogs. I wish they would have given us 1-2 more days. Oh well, I guess that serves me right for waiting until May 5 before doing my first Redbird reload for the month :(

    1. Grant

      Good work Jim, I wish I would have loaded up on May 1 and May 2, but I was really busy at the beginning of the month :(

    1. Grant

      Excellent, thank you for the data points. I assume you had a few $200 VGCs, did you have to load them in separate transactions or did you do them all in one transaction?

      1. star

        I’d like to know this too – last month I tried loading $200 VGCs into a $1000 transaction using PIN, and it declined. Manager told me to do it again, press cancel, and run as credit, because that way it drains the card. But if run as debit, then it tries to charge $1000 to the $200 GC and since there isn’t $1000, it just declines.

        Would like to hear if anyone’s tried Amex GC with PIN too. Didn’t know that was possible.

  3. Carlos

    Yesterday I order $6k in AGC. I get them tomorrow, will see if they work this weekend, if not I will get VGC at CVS if they show to work at Target

  4. whitney

    AFT is dead to ALL loads, not just CC here in the greater Charlotte, NC area :'(. Just got my RedBird this weekend in Charleston, SC loaded with $500 and i’m sitting on $5k of AMEX GCs. terrible timing for me.

  5. Corey

    “How long will gift card reloads work before Target starts blocking those (like Walmart did)? ”

    When did Walmart stop allowing gift card loads? Yes, OV no longer works over $50 but OV is not the end all, be all of gift cards. Since Sunday, my wife has loaded 10 cards from staples and 2 $500 cards from Albertsons. Also purchased 2 Money orders last week.

  6. Hoang

    Hi Grant,

    Would you please to write about Serve as I read it from the blog, it is the best one after RIP Redbird.

    Thank you.

  7. Corey

    No problem just don’t want anybody to have a heart attack.
    Now need to go read about Kevo

      1. Adam

        IMO using Kiva to meet minimum spend isn’t an ideal option. Basically you are floating the money until it is paid back which can take some time.

  8. Racerboy80

    Got all of my loads in yesterday…I will continue to load at Target with VGC (Debit).

    The clerks are some much nicer than WM (they usually BS with me a few minutes each time), and I like shopping there better with the 5% off.

      1. Adam

        I was also able to load more than 1 per transaction last night. I gave the total I wanted to load ($400), selected no for cash back, and then when it asked if I wanted the full $400 on that card I said no and told the cashier $200. It’s not as streamline as swiping 1 CC, but it’s a little better than having to swipe your Redcard 5 times just to load $1000.

  9. jim

    is there higher limit with pin based debit loads? If I already loaded $5k with CC , I can no longer load with pin based debits until next month? Thanks

    1. Racerboy80

      There is no difference in loading with debit in store. The limit is still $2500 a day and $5000 a month.

  10. Krystyna

    I tried to load a $200 MCGC from Staples about a week ago and got the “amount too small” message. I just gave up and used a cc. What did I do wrong?

  11. MrDioji

    I was hoping to use redcard toI meet min spend for the increased ink plus bonus…oh well.

    I loaded my wife’s card did 5k and mine for 2.5k last night (across the time zone day change). I gambled the $55 in points from my last 2.5k in hopes that it was not really going to die and that I could easily meet half the Ink plus spend. I lost the gamble…

  12. Erik

    Hi Grant,

    Since CC loads will not work for RB anymore, where do you suggest to buy VGC and then load it into RB?
    Do you get 5 points per dollar on VGC purchase at Staples/Office Max using Chase Ink Bold?

    1. Grant

      It depends if you have to run each gift card individually or in a single transaction. I would probably prefer $500 VGCs from CVS/Walgreens/grocery store if you have an Amex Old Blue Cash. If not, you can use Gift Card Mall for larger orders.

  13. PSue

    I’m also in San Francisco and have only used CC to load Redbird at Target so far. I haven’t tried any VGCs. Don’t they actually ask to see the “debit” card you’re loading with? I think that’s happened to me at Metreon, definitely in Emeryville and I’m not sure about the new min-Target downtown. Don’t they deny you if they see it’s a VGC?

  14. NoonRadar

    I gathered a bunch of data points reported around the blogs today, those that I consider credible, in this post:

    I will update the post as more/diff data points get reported and vetted. So far, to sum it up:

    – No more credit cards of any kind. No AGC (Amex gift cards) either.

    – Visa or MasterCard pin-enabled gift cards work, loading as debit. You can load multiple of them via one Redbird transaction, I indicated on the post how.

    – If you don’t have a Redbird yet and want to get one, wait a few days to make sure the gift card situation won’t change.

  15. MrDioji

    So if you don’t have am old Amex blue, then you don’t recommend Ink 5x at Staples? Why not? Do they not allow gift card purchases with CC?

  16. brad1973

    I am heading to the local Staples today to convert my AGC to VGCs. Buying AGCs through a cash-back portal and converting to VGC’s should be viable in terms of fees. I will try Walgreens also assuming they still sell $500 VGC’s and take credit cards for payment.

    On another note, I always wondered why the Target clerks did not ask to see my ID when I am loading thousands of dollars on Redbird. I wish they did ask for ID so it would help keep the fraudsters out of the loop. Maybe CC acceptance for Redbird could have survived longer.

  17. Hoang

    Just went to the mall and bought 2 $500 GC then head to Target down the road. Two friendly cashiers told me they changed the rules only cash or debit card. I told them I know and we finished the load in 2 minutes and the one who loaded for me several times before said how did I know. She told me they got the notice a night before and next day it did not work and she did not see me coming that day.

    I am sad and happy that I still can do MS and with Target is much better compare with Walmart and I told them that they are very happy to hear that. It will cost me $7.90 per $1000 GC ($3.95 X2).


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