What You Should Know Before You Apply for a Target REDcard

By Kira Brecht, Updated on Sep 14, 2017

Advertiser Disclosure

It feels like every time you checkout at Target, the cashier asks, "Would you like to apply for a REDcard™ and earn 5% off on all purchases?" The 5% discount sounds good – at first. It’s the fine print that gets you. Here’s why you should look before you leap.

Before you sign up for a store-branded credit card, make sure to compare key benefits from major bank cards. With the Target REDcard there are many areas where major bank cards beat it hands down.  Let's dive a little deeper.

Interest Rate. The Target REDcard APR at 23.65% is exceptionally high, almost double the rate of regular credit cards. The REDcard is not a card you should use if you ever carry a balance over to the next month. The 5% discount you receive on purchases, won't be worth the money you pay in interest.

0% Intro APR Period. The Target REDcard does not offer a 0% intro APR period. Several bank cards offer 0% introductory interest rates for a year or more. Discover it® Cashback Match™ gives you 14 months of zero introductory interest on purchases. That means you can carry a balance on the credit card and pay no interest for 14 months.

Sign-Up Bonus. There is no sign-up bonus with the Target REDcard. Many bank cash-back cards offer generous sign-up bonuses. Discover it® Cashback Match™ gives you a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. You could turn a $200 reward into $400 with Cashback Match™.

Everyday Rewards. You can't use the Target REDcard anywhere except at a Target store. That leaves you locked inside their narrow rewards system. You can get better cash-back rates on all your spending with the cards we've listed below.

If you are looking for a new credit card, there are cash back offers with better interest rates, big sign-up bonuses and rewards on all spending wherever you shop. We’ve done the research and found the best cash-back credit card offers available.

Top 4 Cash Back Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi revolutionized the approach to cash back rewards with this card. You collect unlimited cash back twice on all your purchases everywhere. Score 1% on every purchase and another 1% when you make a payment, which makes it one of the highest all around rewards rates among cash back cards. It gets even better. There's no limit to the amount of cash you can earn and no rotating bonus categories. If you are looking for a way out of high-interest credit card debt, but still want a cash back card, this card offers a long introductory APR of 0%* for 18 months on Balance Transfers*, then 14.49% - 24.49%* (Variable). This card comes with no annual fee.


Why This Card is Better than the Target REDCard™:

  • No hassle cash back program
  • If approved, you’ll likely enjoy a lower APR than the Target REDcard offers
  • A way out of debt with 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months

Discover it® Cashback Match™

You hit the jackpot with this card's cash rewards sign-up bonus. At the end of your first year, Discover will match the cash back you've earned. Direct all your spending to this card for purchases that don't require a convenience fee and you could collect a hefty cash-back bonus after 12 months. Discover delivers with this 5% cash-back card on popular spending categories up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate, and unlimited 1% rewards on all other purchases. Get 0% for 14 months introductory APR on purchases. After that, the APR is 11.99% - 23.99% Variable. This card comes with no annual fee.


Why This Card is Better than the Target REDCard™:

  • 0% Intro APR on purchase and balance transfers for 14 months
  • 5% cash back in rotating categories, not just at Target
  • If approved, you’ll likely enjoy a lower APR than the Target REDcard offers
  • Double your cash back earned during the first year

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

With this card, the cash rewards keep piling up in categories like groceries, gas and clothes. Earn a 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases. Looking for a simple cash back card with solid rewards? This card is a near perfect-match for you. This card offers an intro APR of 0% for 15 months on purchases and 0% for 15 months on balance transfers, then 13.99%-24.99% Variable. You will also earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. This card comes with no annual fee.


Why This Card is Better than the Target REDCard™:

  • Welcome offer of $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Intro APR of 0% for 15 months
  • If approved, you’ll likely enjoy a lower APR than the Target REDcard offers
  • Excellent cash back rates for everyday categories like groceries, gas, and department store purchases

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Solid everyday cash rewards include 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter. You will ring up a $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. You will get an introductory APR of 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles and 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR. This card comes with no annual fee.

Added Benefit: It pays to be loyal. With this credit card, maximize cash rewards when you have a Bank of America checking or savings account. Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account. If you are a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25-75%.


Why This Card is Better than the Target REDCard™:

  • $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Increased cash back rewards for Bank of America customers
  • Intro Purchase APR of 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles
  • Intro BT APR of 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days
  • If approved, you’ll likely enjoy a lower APR than the Target REDcard offers

What We Learned

Store-branded credit cards, like the Target REDcard, are notorious for high-interest rates that hurt shoppers when they carry a balance or are late on a payment. The Target REDcard is guilty as charged with its high APR at 23.65%. The Target REDcard’s main appeal for shoppers is the 5% discount at checkout. If you are late on a payment, fees up to $38 will apply, which will quickly wipe out any benefit from your last shopping trip. Plus, you are imprisoned in their Target-only rewards system, which limits your cash-back possibilities.

The next time the cashier asks you if you'd like to apply for the Target REDcard. You can say no with confidence, knowing you can get a much better deal with the cards mentioned in this article.

*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Share your experiences, tips and tricks with us!

Let others learn from your experience. Ask questions. Share your thoughts and opinions about credit cards.

There is nothing we value more than the opinions of our customers. We encourage open discussions among all users and hope we can all share advice. Please keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines and please, don’t disclose personal information like your credit card numbers or account information.

Community Conversation

Thank you. Your comment has been submitted and is pending editorial review.
card loader

Sort by:

Picture of John Tomerlin

By: | Sep 17, 2017

we have the Barclay Arrival plus card and have never seen a better deal.

Picture of Gisele Banks-Wesley

By: | Aug 23, 2017

My credit score is 627. Can you tell me the best credit card I can get?

1 Reply

By: CompareCards | Aug 25, 2017

With a score in the low-mid 600s, your credit is considered fair/average. Check out our page for credit cards for fair credit to see all the best options!

Picture of Nancy Jacques Lowell

By: | Aug 11, 2017

I'm looking for a credit card to transfer to one that has 0% interest for BT for my OLD NAVY CREDIT CARD. I don't care about cash back on purchases. I just need a lower intrest rate CARD.!!!!

2 Replies

By: CompareCards | Aug 14, 2017

Check out some of our best balance transfer cards for some cards with long intro APR periods on balance transfers.

By: Herman Kirkpatrick | Aug 23, 2017

You need to pay your card in full every month. That's the only way to save on interest. You should NEVER carry a credit card balance. Any financial consultant will tell you that.

Picture of Alvin C Paculanan

By: | Jul 3, 2017

Hi, i have a fico score of 728, how's my chances of getting approved for a wells fargo cash wise visa or a chase freedom unlimited?

1 Reply

By: CompareCards | Jul 11, 2017

With a score in the low/mid 700s, your credit is considered "good" and approaching "excellent". This means you have a pretty good chance of getting approved for any credit cards that require "Good/Excellent" credit!

Picture of Kani Saeed

By: | Apr 27, 2017

Hi, I have excellent credit, and pay off full amount every month. I want a cash back card with no annual fees. I am considering Chase Freedom (5% rotating categories) and Blue cash Everyday American Express.

1 Reply

By: Mike Nusinov Serio | Jun 22, 2017

I have Chase Freedom, and I pay the balance off each month as well. There are no annual fees. About 3 years ago, I requested to cash out on my "Rewards" and they sent me a check for $720.00. I have had no problems with Chase Freedom card

Picture of Lisa Ennis Mcculley

By: | Feb 25, 2017

Have only fair credit and trying to improve it with establishing credit card after filing bankruptcy is there any that would accept unsecured?

2 Replies

By: CompareCards | Feb 28, 2017

Check out our fair credit cards page to see all the best options! A few great choices are the Capital One QuicksilverOne and the Credit One Bank Credit Card.

By: Thomas Palmer | Jul 24, 2017

After my divorce my credit was in the low 500's, I could not get approval except for a pre-approved card with a annual fee. I was lucky, My daughter who had excellent credit, agreed to be a cosigner on one a new card for me with no annual fee, therefore I had two credit card to start building my credit with. You can also check into pre-paid credit cards.

Picture of Joyce Quintern Anderson

By: | Nov 28, 2016

I have excellent credit & pay my balance every month. What is the best no fee card with the greatest cash back ?

5 Replies

By: CompareCards | Nov 28, 2016

When picking the best cash back credit card, it's important to consider what you already spend the most money on. For example if you spend a lot on gas and groceries, then the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express or the BankAmericard Cash Rewards could be a great card for you. But if you're more interested in earning a flat cash back rate, the Citi Double Cash would be a great choice!

By: Martin Markowitz | Mar 30, 2017

Citi double cash back in my opinion. 1% when you purchase and 1% when you pay on the card. No annual fee.

By: Pala Aujla | Apr 8, 2017

The best credit card for cash back is Mastercard from Bank of America, it is no cap on unlimited cash back.

By: Zdivinita Gordillo | Jun 20, 2017

The best so far is the citibank double cashback with 2% in everything

By: Lester Moore | Jul 15, 2017

We use Costco Credit card for 4% back on gasoline, 3% at restaurants, and 2% at costco. For everything else we use Citicard Double Cash to get 2% back. Occasionally we look for new cards that pay a $150 bonus for spending $500 in 3 mos.

Picture of Lisa Steinmeyer

By: | Oct 24, 2016

How can i get a card with no credit?

1 Reply

By: CompareCards | Oct 25, 2016

If you have no credit, you will need to start with a secured credit card. Secured cards work just like normal credit cards, but you have to put down a refundable security deposit to get approved. After a year or so of responsible use, you should have built up enough credit history to get approved for a standard, unsecured credit card. The Capital One Secured MasterCard and the Discover it Secured Credit Card are both great options.

Picture of Danielle Martin

By: | Oct 7, 2016

i have bad credit but i am trying to get it back what do yall reccommend

1 Reply

By: CompareCards | Oct 11, 2016

If you have bad credit, you will probably need to start with a secured credit card. Secured cards work just like normal credit cards, but you need to put down a refundable security deposit to get approved. We recommend the Capital One Secured MasterCard and the Discover it Secured Credit Card

Picture of Gary Byllesby

By: | Aug 28, 2016

I have had various American Express cards continuously since the early 70s. I have had the Everyday AX Blue card for 20 years. No annual fee and great cash back. Customer Service is tops. I was pick pocketed in Vienna, Austria and American Express had a new card to me in an hour. They are also great about handling disputes. Another criteria that should be included in the comparison of credit cards is the percentage charged by the card for foreign transactions.

Page:

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.