Tech-savvy shoppers looking to score savings at their favorite retailers might find apps more efficient than sifting through paper coupons.
Target’s app is a good example. Its Cartwheel feature lets you filter, save and use in-store Target coupons with your phone. Here’s everything you need to know about Cartwheel before giving it a try.
If you previously signed up for Cartwheel with a Facebook or Google account, you must switch over to a Target account.
What is Cartwheel?
Formerly its own app, Cartwheel now is a free savings feature housed in Target's main app that lets you browse the bullseye brand’s current in-store offers. Search storewide discounts by category or collection — such as electronics, apparel, cleaning supplies and best-sellers — or type a specific item or brand into the search bar. When you see an offer you like, just click to add it to your list.
While you're shopping at Target, you can open the app and scan an item's bar code with your camera to find offers for that product. Cartwheel saves all your selected coupons in one place.
How does it work?
When you’re ready to redeem your offers in store, retrieve your personal bar code from the Target app's "wallet" section. Scan it at the register to apply your Cartwheel discounts. You can also print it out if you prefer to use a paper version.
“When you’re ready to redeem your offers, retrieve your personal bar code from the Target app’s “wallet” section.”
You can reuse a coupon until it expires. Once it expires, it disappears from your list. Offers rotate weekly, monthly and quarterly, according to the Cartwheel help page.
If you add your local store to your account, you can view a store map and save time tracking down items. You can use the app as your digital wallet, too. Target recently rolled out its own mobile payment system, appropriately called Wallet. It allows REDcard holders to add their cards to the app and pay by scanning the bar code — the same one used to redeem Cartwheel offers — on their smartphones at checkout.
The discounts vary
Cartwheel discounts range between 5% and 50% off just about everything in the store. Here are some of the promotions we spotted at the time of this writing:
40% off Simply Balanced coconut water
25% off cans of Progresso soup
20% off a Black and Decker 12-cup coffee maker
10% off 170-ounce bottles of Gain laundry detergent
5% off Suave haircare products
You can combine Cartwheel coupons with your REDcard discount, manufacturer coupons and Target mobile coupons. Some offers vary by location.
Know your limits
The app creates a few roadblocks for super savers. You can't use Cartwheel coupons when shopping online or in the app, or on top of price matching.
“You can’t use Cartwheel coupons when shopping online or in the app, or on top of price matching.”
You can add up to 50 offers at one time. An offer will occupy a spot on your list until you remove it or it expires, whichever comes first. Cartwheel limits the number of times you can apply your discounts: You can use your bar code up to six times per day.
Is Target’s Cartwheel worth it?
Cartwheel won’t affect Target’s online customers, but frequent in-store shoppers can benefit from its perks.
It makes your smartphone the only tool you need to research offers, navigate the store and redeem discounts. Plus, you can stack and reuse savings. But offers are product-specific and range in value, so the deals can be hit-or-miss depending on what you’re looking for.
To avoid impulse purchases, we recommend you make a list before browsing offers or using the bar code scanning feature.
Check out our Target store guide for more tips on shopping the retailer.