Target Update: RedCard and Coupon Update

I have two new updates for you on the Target front.

This was supposed to start 10/17 but it has already launched in some stores so I’d love to hear from any of you that are already taking advantage!

Target is now offering 5% off your purchases when you use a Target Debit or a Target Credit Card.  I have never had a Target credit card, but I understand this replaces the former system they had which offered a one time 10% off coupon.

So this is a better deal if you already have one of these cards.  The 5% off is after coupons and it will be reflected after you swipe your card.

One thing I want to mention is that before you sign up for a credit card- these store cards have outrageous fees.  It looks like the best case scenario is 13% interest and there is $35 late fee.  So for me, even though the credit card is enticing just one late fee would negate several months worth of savings from the additional discount. You can read more about the Target Redcard here.  So I would be very careful of getting any credit cards- especially since 5% is really not a huge savings after coupons for many people. There is another option, the Target debit card will take money out of your existing bank account.  You can also withdraw up to $40 cash at a time.  You can read more about the Target Redcard debit card here.

There are some pharmacy benefits as well.  If you enroll in the program, you will earn a 5% reward with every 5 prescriptions paid for with your Target Redcard.  You can read more about the Target Redcard Pharmacy Rewards here.

So again, this is supposed to roll out on October 17th, but some stores have already started to offer these benefits.

And if you are like me and want to see things spelled out for you.  If you spend an average of $20 a week at Target stores after coupons, your savings will look like this:

$20 per week x 52 weeks= $1040
5% of that value is $52.00

So you will have saved an extra $52 in a year.

Also, readers Mindy and Michelle passed on yet another news story about the Target not honoring the full value of coupons issue..  If you missed this the last time I posted, I just wanted to pass this quick clip along so you can be on the lookout.

There is a news piece here from CBS Philadelphia. Once again, I have to say my love affair with Target has waned over all this mess.  Nothing makes me angrier than taking the time to organize coupons, plan your trips and head out only to have them cheat you out of the full value of your coupon.  So be sure you are paying attention when you checkout because they should correct it immediately.


  1. aflmom says

    Thanks for posting. I was trying to look up info on the card the other day. If it was BEFORE coupons no problem, but after–forget it. And I don’t even come close to spending $20 a week since I just shop the free/cheap sales.

  2. Jen says

    People do these all the time at stores to save a certain percentage, pay it off, and never use it again. This is really damaging to your credit. Once you open a credit card it’s an automatic 30 point drop in your score, then it takes almost a year to repair that damage. It’s just not beneficial.

  3. amanda d says

    I just tried it online and yes indeed – it took 5% off at the final stage of checkout.

  4. Amber says

    So funny you mention this, because just the other day at my Local Nor. Cal Target this happened to me on more than one coupon in the same transaction. Luckily, I caught it and the cashier adjusted it. Shocking hugh?! I wondered how many times I wasn’t paying attention while using coupons and didn’t actually receive the value I thought I did… Thanks again for all you do!! My family of 6 has cut our bill in half ♥

  5. Charlene says

    I was thinking of the damage to the credit score too Jen so that is a good point. I don’t think the debit card has the same result- does anyone know?

  6. Ashley says

    I have the debit card… I got it in hopes that I would see the coupon mailers, but I don’t know when they come out :( I think the 5% can be worth it, it just about pays for my tax (i have 6%) and can be good for a large purchase in electronics or so :)

  7. Stephanie says

    Since the debit card is attached to your bank account, they shouldn’t run your credit when you apply. Sounds like it is just like the paypal debit card. If you have money in your account it works, otherwise it won’t.

    If you have a debit card that collects points for each dollar spent, I think the Target debit card would lose out in most purchase scenarios.

  8. LISETTE says


  9. Jessica says

    Actually, it is not damaging to your credit to open a store charge unless you pay late or not at all. In fact, it raises your credit score because your FICO score is calculated based on your open credit against your total credit limit. The higher your open credit, the better off your are. This is a common misconception about credit. It is better to leave store accounts open than to close them.

  10. Charlene says

    Jessica I know it is better to leave them open but I thought any credit inquiry or new application dinged your score?

  11. says

    I’m in San Diego and a Target checker told me last week about the 5% deal, so it’s running down here. I don’t use their card, though, so can’t share any personal experience with it.

    Kate (

  12. Jen says

    Anytime you take on a new obligation to your credit it dings your score anywhere from about 20-30 points, since a credit card is unsecured debit and more of a risk, it is a higher ding. Jessica, I’m not sure where you got your information from. The higher your open credit the better your Fico score is accurate, it’s called capacity which makes up about 35% of your credit score. Paying your bills on time makes up about 30% the other is just a combination of things. Can you tell what I do for a living?

  13. Nancy C says

    I work at a Target store in SE Wisconsin. The 5% off all purchases using either the Target Credit Card (Red Card) or the Target Debit card started this past Wednesday. In my area, we have 5.6% tax, so it is like Target paying my sales tax. I have the Target Debit card and it is worth it to me. Since I work there, I can use coupons, my employee discount of 10% and then the additional 5% off the entire order. Like another reader posted, the Target Debit card comes directly out of your checking account (to sign up in a store you do need to have a blank check that they will run through to get your routing/account number). It only takes a few minutes and there isn’t a credit check. It is definitely worth it. Consider opening up one! I too thought I would start receiving Target coupons, but none have come in the mail yet.

  14. Nancy C says

    Regarding the coupons, I have noticed this too, that the full value of the coupons are not being deducted. In my area (maybe all areas), they have a promotion that if you buy Nature Valley granola bars you will receive a coupon (depending on how many you buy on that one purchase) for up to $3.50 off your next purchase. On 2 separate days, I bought 5 boxes of granola bars and so received 2 coupons for $3.50 off next purchase. When I went to use the coupons, the first one didn’t deduct any money and the second one only deduct $.60. Fortunately, I caught it and helped instruct the cashier on how to correct the error. You definitely have to be mindful of this and watch as the coupons are deducting. As a cashier, I have started paying more attention to this, as I don’t want to rip people off.

  15. Donna Hart says

    I ran into Target today for a prescription, and of course, I had to browse around. I was so excited to find Heier 7″ digital lcd tv’s on 75% off clearance for 32.48, down from $130! I bought 3, and was surprised again at the checkout, when 5% was automatically deducted when I used my Target charge card, making my tv’s $30.85! The cashier informed me that the % off started early, as I was already aware that it was due to start Oct 17th.

  16. Penny says

    My husband is a mortgage lender. If you have a credit card the limit you have is considered potential debt. So, if you want to purchase a car or a home and have a credit card with a $15,000 max that is considered potential debt even if you pay it off every month. I tried to open a credit card once with an excellent credit score and no lates with everything paid off but had a Target credit card and a Macy’s card I never used but was rejected because I had too much “potential debt” if you are not going to use a card it is a good idea to close the account. I closed both cards and have never had a problem since. It is good however to build your credit to have one card in your name only. Hope this helps (:

  17. shmoopatties says

    I have the debit. Sign up with a voided check…no impact on credit. Works just like regular debit…just enter PIN, no option to sign. 5% off. Love it.

  18. Ericka says

    I have the RedCard, not the debit one. got it when I was making an electronics purchase, the item was on sale and I still saved another $20 off the sale price. I use the card for all the Target purchases. Our sales tax is 6%, so it pays most of the tax.

  19. Angela says

    I opened the Target Debit Card last week, received the card in the mail and some coupons this week, lucked up! However, the coupons were not that great, they were the kid where you have to buy 2 or 3 of the product just to get .50 or .75 cents off!

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