I wrote a post last week about my credit card inventory. This post detailed which credit cards are in my wallet and why. I also discussed my latest card acquisition which is unusual for a points and miles earner: The Target Red Card. This post details why you should get the Target Red Card despite conventional wisdom about store cards.

Generally, store credit cards are a poor idea, especially for those who want to travel or want general cash back rewards. Most of them have poor redemption options, little to no rewards, and very few benefits. But the Red Card is exceptional.

I have been shopping at Target a lot more than normal since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Target is one of the few major stores that is open in my neighborhood. They are an essential business because of the variety of goods they sell. Therefore, I decided to get a Red Card because Target purchases are not a bonus category with any of my current credit cards. I wanted to save even money and this was an easy way to do so.


Credit and Debit Options

One of the best parts about the Target Red Card is that it comes in two versions: debit and credit. Both are great for different people, but I got the debit option for a plethora of reasons.

The debit option does not require a credit check, or a hard credit pull. This is nice if you are trying to maintain your credit. Plus, the debit option is also better if your credit score is low or you are worried about being denied for the credit option. Another reason to get the debit card is the Chase 5/24 Rule. You will use a 5/24 slot if you go for the credit option, but not the debit option. Fortunately, the debit option is available if you are over 5/24 but still want a Red Card.

Conversely, the credit option is a great way for beginners to build their credit. The underwriting standards are low compared to those of some of the better points and cash back credit cards. Going for the credit option will give you a hard pull on your credit. But it will also increase your credit history in the long run if you are responsible with your Red Card.


Earning Structure

Furthermore, one of the best parts about the Target Red Card is its earning structure. Both the debit and credit options earn 5% cash back on all purchases made at Target or on Target.com. The 5% cash back is constant and does not rotate every quarter like the Discover It or Chase Freedom Cards. Target was a 5% category on the Discover It in the fourth quarter of 2019. But only Target.com will be a category in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Plus, the 5% cash back is unlimited. There are no annual or quarterly spend limits unlike the Discover and Chase cards. Such limitlessness makes the Red Card is a great option for frequent Target shoppers whether they shop online or at their local store.

The 5% cash back is automatically taken off the price you pay at the register or self-checkout kiosk.


Discounts Galore: The Target Circle App

The Target Circle app is an excellent partner for the Target Red Card. It provides a plethora of online and in-store discounts for Target in addition to the 5% cash back from your Red Card. You will be asked if you would like to create a Target Circle account after you apply for your Red Card. And I encourage you to do so if you do not have an account already.

Furthermore, you can use the Circle app with or without your Red Card. I used my app to help purchase a Mother’s Day gift for my mom before my Red Card arrived in the mail. All I did was scan the barcode on my gift and I saved 20%.

20% is great. But I would have saved a total of 25% if I had my Red Card. This is because cash back rewards are stackable between the app and the card.

The Target Circle App is available on most major cell phone operating systems. This includes Apple iOS (iPhone), Android, and Google Play.


Free Shipping & Easy Returns

Moreover, the Target Red Card comes with free shipping for Target.com purchases. There is no minimum purchase amount either. You can even purchase a $1 eraser online and it will ship to your door for free.

You can also pick up online purchases and drop off returns at your local Target store. This is nice for purchases that you are not certain about such as clothing and shoes. If the shoes do not fit, you can bring them to your local store and return them.

Plus, you are entitled to an extra 30 days to return unwanted items. This is in addition to Target’s standard return policy.


Charitable Donations

Target will also donate 1% of all purchases made with your Target Red Card to your child’s school (or your favorite school if you do not have kids). Purchases made in store and online qualify for the donation.

This is a cool way to give back to your community and help kids with their education. Even if you do not have kids, giving back should still make you feel good. This is especially true in the strange times we are living in.


Final Draw

The Target Red Card and the Target Circle App are excellent ways to save money at Target. They are even better for frequent Target shoppers and cash back lovers.

However, there is a small opportunity cost. You will not be earning any points or miles towards travel. But that’s fine because Target purchases are rarely a bonus category. Personally, I would rather earn 5% (or more) cash back than 1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. This argument also extends to American Express Membership Rewards (MR) points. I would rather have a Red Card than a Blue Business Plus Card for Target purchases. The cash back is too valuable to pass up.


Apply Today: Target Red Card