A reader asked me earlier this week whether I liked my Target REDcard and would recommend it. I do like it, and have never had a problem with it, so I guess I'd recommend it with the following caveats…
First off, to be clear: I have a Target Visa REDcard, which can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. Target also offers a standard REDcard which can only be used at Target stores and at Target.com. Frankly, I don’t see the point of this card, because it seems like you can get all the same perks from the Target Visa (without the restrictions of only being able to use it at Target).
As for the perks: the Target Visa credit card allows you to earn one point for every dollar spent at Target stores. You earn one point for every two dollars you spend on other purchases. Once you have accumulated 1,000 points, you’re given a certificate that entitles you to a 10% savings for a day's shopping at Target. You can only receive one certificate in a month, and unused points are rolled over. You can also enroll in Target's Pharmacy rewards program. Under this program, you earn a 10% savings certificate for a day's shopping at Target after you use your Target Visa credit card for the first pharmacy purchase. After that, every tenth purchase at Target Pharmacy will earn you a 10% savings certificate.
Also, for every dollar that you spend at Target, 1% will be donated to your designed K-12 school. For every dollar that you spend on non-target purchases, 0.50% will be donated instead. Target has donated over $246 million to this program since 1997, which is pretty cool.
Regarding fees and rates: the Target Red Card Visa has no annual fee. There are four APR rates, and the APR you get will depend on the issuers' assessment of your credit profile. The Target Visa uses the average daily balance method (including new purchases) of calculating balances and has a 25 day grace period if your previous is paid in full. You can read more specifics in the fine print on Target's web site.
So to sum it all up: the Target Red Card Visa appeals to the frequent Target shopper – like me – which is why I use it. But frankly, those of you who aren’t Target-Addicts like myself should consider other cards that either give cash back or offer other rewards. To be honest, with the recent credit crisis I can’t keep track of which company offers what, so I’d encourage you to do some research if you’re in the market for a new credit card.