Target REDcard Review: 5% Discount and No Annual Fee

For Target devotees, this card hits the bull's-eye. You won't earn traditional rewards, but you'll get upfront savings. Just make sure you pay in full each month.
Mar 22, 2022

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

The card's generous discounts make it a valuable card for loyal Target shoppers. But if you tend to carry a balance, you'll want to look elsewhere.

Jump to: Full Review
Target REDcard™ Credit Card
Target REDcard™ Credit Card
Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
23.15% Variable
Intro APR
N/A
Rec. credit score
690-850 (Good - Excellent)

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Relationship rewards for customers

  • New cardholder bonus offer

Cons

  • Must be a member/customer

  • Limited redemptions

  • High APR

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Alternate Pick: 5% beyond Target
Discover it® Cash Back
NerdWallet rating 
Discover it® Cash Back
Cash back in bonus categories

This card offers 5% cash back in rotating quarterly bonus categories upon activation on up to $1,500 in spending each quarter, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. In 2017, 2019 and 2020, either Target, Target.com or both have featured among these rotating categories.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

14.74%-24.74% Variable APR

Regular APR

12.24%-23.24% Variable APR

Regular APR

15.24%-23.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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Full Review

For those who shop for everything at Target — food, clothes, household essentials — the perks on the Target REDcard™ Credit Card hit the bull's-eye.

The $0-annual-fee card gets you a 5% discount on all eligible Target purchases, which means you don’t have to wait to redeem rewards; you’ll get savings right at checkout.

Because the Target REDcard™ Credit Card carries high ongoing interest rates, it’s not a good fit for folks who are planning to spend time, well, in the red. But for those who pay their bills in full every month and are looking for some extra savings, it’s worth getting.

Nerdy tip: Target has three REDcard products, all of which offer the same 5% discount on eligible Target purchases: the Target REDcard debit card, Target REDcard Mastercard and Target REDcard™ Credit Card. This review focuses on the Target REDcard™ Credit Card, a closed-loop credit card that can be used only at Target.

Key features of the Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Card type: Store.

Ongoing rewards: 5% discount on all eligible Target purchases.

Annual fee: $0.

Other benefits: 

  • 10% discount awarded every cardholder anniversary when you sign up for Target marketing emails.

  • Limited-time offer: 10% discount on hotels booked through Hotels.com through Dec. 31, 2020, for travel through March 31, 2021.

  • Exclusive offers, gifts and early access to promotions.

  • Free standard shipping (and free two-day shipping on qualifying items).

  • 30 days of extra time to return purchases.

Credit score requirement: You can qualify for the Target REDcard™ Credit Card with good to excellent credit, generally defined as a credit score of 690 or better. As with all credit cards, though, credit scores alone are not enough for approval. The issuer will consider your income and other factors.

Because the card's 5% discount is applied at checkout, you don't need to worry about accruing and redeeming rewards on this card; you'll get your savings upfront. The 5% discount doesn't apply to certain purchases, though. For example, you won't get a 5% discount on prescriptions, Target Optical eye exams, or Target gift cards and prepaid cards. For a full list of exclusions, see the card's terms and conditions.

Benefits of the Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Valuable discounts

For prolific Target shoppers, the Target REDcard™ Credit Card could be one of the most rewarding credit cards available. It offers an outstanding 5% discount on eligible Target and Target.com purchases, plus a 10% discount coupon every year on your card anniversary when you sign up for Target marketing emails. Even better, the 5% discount also applies to certain types of gift cards (for travel, restaurants and movie tickets, for example) and purchases made at Starbucks located inside Target. You can also stack the card's 5% discounts with savings through Target's app.

Provided that you stick to your usual spending habits and don’t overspend, those perks could potentially help you save hundreds every year across a broad range of purchases. And for an annual fee of $0, the price is right.

Extra perks at Target

The Target REDcard™ Credit Card also features a handful of other loyalty benefits, including exclusive offers, gifts and early access to certain promotions for cardholders. These deals could make the Target REDcard™ Credit Card even more valuable for shoppers who can take advantage of them.

Not all of the benefits that the Target REDcard™ Credit Card markets are big game-changers. Take the card’s free shipping benefit, for example. Target already offers free standard shipping (and free two-day shipping, on select items) on orders over $35 for all shoppers. The free shipping benefit on the Target REDcard™ Credit Card is fairly similar; it offers free standard shipping (and free two-day shipping on select items) on all orders placed through the Target website — only it doesn't come with a $35 minimum order requirement. One caveat: Certain add-on items — generally, food items that cost less than $10 — will qualify for free shipping only when your order is at least $25. Unless placing orders of $35 or more on Target.com is an honest-to-goodness challenge for you, the free shipping perk shouldn’t factor into your decision on whether to get the card.

Drawbacks and alternatives

High APR

Like most store cards, the Target REDcard™ Credit Card carries a high interest rate: The ongoing APR is 23.15% Variable. If you carry a balance — even just some of the time — think twice before getting this card. Any interest charges you might incur can quickly snowball, swiftly wiping out the value of the discounts the card offers.

You may want to consider the Discover it® Cash Back instead. It offers 5% cash back in rotating quarterly bonus categories upon activation on up to $1,500 in spending each quarter, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. In 2017, 2019 and 2020, either Target, Target.com or both have featured among these rotating categories. The card also comes with a cushy 0% APR period: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 12.24%-23.24% Variable APR. Its annual fee is $0, and it starts off with a generous sign-up bonus: INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

You can also use this card — or any other card, for that matter — in combination with the Target app for more savings at Target. To get those extra savings in the app, click the red plus sign next to deals listed to add them to your virtual wallet before checking out.

Can only be used for Target purchases

The Target REDcard™ Credit Card offers excellent perks for shopping at Target, but you can't use it for other purchases.

If you want to use the same card everywhere, try the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer instead. This card, which comes with an annual fee of $0, offers a top-notch 2% cash back on all purchases. You get 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and the other 1% cash back when you pay it off. It's an excellent choice for cardholders who value simplicity and prefer to use one card for all purchases rather than using multiple cards to take advantage of different bonus categories.

Is the Target REDcard™ Credit Card right for you?

The Target REDcard™ Credit Card isn’t a good choice for those who carry balances or don’t shop at Target often enough to take advantage of the card’s benefits. But for frequent Target shoppers who pay their bills in full, it offers top-notch value. Still deciding if this card is a good fit? See more options to help you decide which is the best credit card for you.

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.