I got an email from American Express this morning telling me something I already knew: Target will no longer accept credit cards for Redbird loads. Someone at American Express must have hit the snooze button because one month after they stopped accepting credit cards for Redbird Reloads, they’re sending out emails letting us know about it:
And in case you haven’t already heard it a hundred times from your local Target cashier, you can’t load Redbird with a Target gift card either. I also hear the sky is blue and pigs can’t fly, but I’m waiting for an email from American Express to confirm it.
On the plus side, the email confirms that debit loads are still accepted. So if you have a mile-earning debit card, like the one from Hawaiian Airlines or UFB Direct Bank, then you can continue earning a decent number of miles each month without much effort. Since PIN-enabled Visa and MasterCard gift cards are processed as debit transactions, you can continue loading Redbird with these cards. This information might be outdated as well since I’ve been hearing some conflicting things about this from readers. It probably varies by store. If you can, try to get a gift card with your name on it so that if the cashier asks to see it, you won’t get rejected because “this is a gift card, not a debit card.”
I’ve been putting this off for a month, but I’m picking up some gift cards this afternoon and giving it a try. If I can buy a decent stack of gift cards, I may even go back to Walmart and see if the kiosks are still dispensing money orders or just flipping customers off as usual. Either way, it will hopefully be productive and give me something to write about if nothing else.
Update: According to reader Pam, on June 1 UFB Direct began excluding the following merchant categories from earning points with the AAdvantage mile-earning debit card: Super Markets, Super Stores, Grocery Stores, Wholesale Stores, Discount Stores, USPS, and financial or money transfer institutions.
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