Atlantic Terminal Target no longer accepts credit cards for REDbird reloads

Well that was fast.

Last night, 2/14 (V-Day), I went to load up my brand new REDbird at the Atlantic Terminal Target store.
All things REDcard... except credit card reloads

All things REDcard… except credit card reloads

The employees have definitely been trained to look out for these cards and reloads.

Here’s what happened

So I went in, went and got in line at the normal registers just like last time, and presented my REDbird (REDcard). The cashier glanced at it and instantly dismissed it. “You have to take those to Guest Services.” Ugh. Started to get a bad feeling then.

So I went over to Guest Services, as instructed, and again presented my REDbird card.


“Are you trying to pay with a credit card?”


Cash or debit only.

“Oh, but I loaded it here just last week with a credit card.”

“It’s a new rule. Cash or debit only,” the cashier repeated.

“But I can still load it with a credit card at other Targets.”

She rapidly shook her head. “All stores are cash or debit now.

I knew that wasn’t correct, but who knows what sort of information she’d been fed. I didn’t press her any more, and left.

The upshot was that:
  • The cashiers at this location are trained to look for these cards now
  • It is indeed cash or debit only
  • I wouldn’t waste my time trying here again
  • This is a huge missed opportunity for us New Yorkers as it’s already a barren wasteland for manufactured spending
  • It’s really disappointing to lose this opportunity so early on
  • Unless you travel often to other places that have a Target store, you are better off using Serve instead of trying to play with REDbird

But why?

This store is, by some reports, the busiest Target in all of North America, and with that status, they doubtlessly receive a tremendous about of fraudulent activity. Instead of trying to separate the legitimate charges from the fraudulent ones, it seems they are axing these transactions altogether.

I don’t know if it’s limited to just this location or if the same is true at the other Target – the Harlem location in NYC – or not. Based on my experience, I would assume it’s the same there as it is in Brooklyn.

I was hoping this opportunity would last a little bit longer than I did – just a couple of months.

And I know, I know – it’s bloggers like me that “kill the deal.

I only loaded up once in this location, when I confirmed that it worked, and this was going to be my second time. I just killed off my Serve card when I got the permanent REDbird card in the mail, and now, I’m going to kill the REDbird. It’s useless to me if I can’t load it up and use the product’s features. I will try to get the Serve again, and I guess I will be content to buy PayPal My Cash cards to pay my rent(s) until that strategy dies as well.

Bottom line

If you are from NYC and travel often to other states with a Target store, it’s totally worth it to get the REDbird. But if not, you are better off with Serve. Just watch our for those nasty cash advance charges.

The hobby continues to evolve, and this is just another casualty (also see: Vanilla Reload cards). But there will be something else soon enough. I’m hugely disappointed that I can’t be involved with this – I was super excited to have it. But alas, it is gone.

Back to Serve I go.

Has anyone else had an issue with loading REDbird at a non-NYC location? Please post your data points below in the comments.

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. The Target employee here in Tucson, AZ told me the same thing back in December. I nicely asked if it’s okay to try using a credit card. Bingo, it worked. I went back twice in January and once in February and had no issues loading with credit cards. From my experience, employee’s knowledge on Redbird vary a great deal. Many don’t know what Redbird is and I have to walk through the process and rules with them. This tells me Target is not providing enough or good training. I hope this is just a mis-communication.

    • I had 4 separate employees tell me cash/debit only at this location. I really do think this is an isolated location that operates outside of the company policies on REDbird. I hope other people can still load up and get points as usual.

  2. One of Target in North Atlanta forbid to load any REDBIRD and AFT, the customer service told me two weeks ago that they stopped loading any money for REDBIRD or AFT. However, if you drive three miles away to another Target, they don’t blink at all.

  3. I haven’t been to the Target in Harlem since New Years but it worked then. Although I had many more fraud alerts at that store than any other suburbian location.

    • There’s only one other location I could get to with any type of ease – the Harlem location. It is about a 90 minute train ride from where I am. All told, it would be about 4 hours round-trip. And I’d have to go twice a month, and each time with uncertainty that it would work. At a certain point, the opportunity cost of my time and energy has to get factored in and I’m not sure if that long of a trek is worth it.

  4. Hey Harlan,

    I loaded at Harlem last week with no issues. I had the same experience as you at Atlantic Terminal.

    Like you, I live in Brooklyn so it’s indeed quite a trek. You shouldn’t discount the REDcard just yet if you’re willing to make the trip.

    • I’m down in Bay Ridge. That location is just so far from where I am.

      Glad to hear that it works in at least 1 NYC location though. I always felt kinda weird about relying on the Atlantic Terminal location, TBH.

  5. Go to a Target in a slightly ghetto location (actually, I doubt that any Targets are located in Ghettos), but look for a teenager or an elderly cashier and they usually don’t care…

  6. I had the exact same thing happen at Target on the west side of Madison, WI last week. Cashier immediately sent me to guest services and guest services said Cash/Debit only. It seemed like they had recently been trained since they were so fast to direct me to guest services and then say no credit. I went 3 miles away to Target Hilldale and it worked just fine though.

  7. I found out the Amex 4 Target card today was cash or debit only at Atlantic Terminal anyone have or use Amex 4 target?

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