I finally broke down last week and got a Target Redcard. Big deal, right? They've been around since 2010.  


What took me so long? I assumed that the most attractive feature--5% off nearly all purchases at Target or Target.com was a temporary come-on. We've all gotten credit card offers touting balance transfers with zero percent interest for six months. Why open another credit card account with such a small window of opportunity?


But since Target doesn't appear to be pulling back on its Rewards program, I caved. (Target spokeswoman Jenna Reck said the 5 percent reward program will be consistently evaluated.) Why not get an extra five percent on everything bought  there--regular-priced stuff, clearance stuff and sale stuff, plus free shipping on Target.com. Only a few items are exempted from the discount--prescriptions, gift cards, Target Clinic services, Mobile Solutions and Target Optical eye exams, although enrolling in the Pharmacy Rewards program qualifies you for an additional reward if buy five RXs. 

I was going to try to keep all of my Target receipts for the year to see how much it saves me, but the receipt shows my year to date savings. Near the bottom of the receipt it lists "Today's Redcard savings" and "2012 Redcard savings." How much any of us spend at Target in a year is a number many of us might like to know. I'm going to guess that I spend $2,400 a year at Target, (about $46 per week) which means I predict saving about $120 per year on the no-annual fee card.  

The Redcard, which can be a Target debit, Target credit or Target Visa card, was used for about 8.6 percent of all credit and debit card transactions charged at Target in the first nine months of 2011, according to Target executive vice-president of merchandising Kathee Tesija.


When I asked to open a Redcard account in the store, the clerk didn't ask me if I wanted a Visa Target or a Target card that can only be used at Target. I got the store card, which is fine. (A reader has since updated me that the Target Visa is no longer offered, but still valid for those who already have one.) The interest rate is 22.9 percent, but since I plan to pay off my balance every month, it's irrelevant. Payments on the  credit cards (Target Visa or Target Credit) can be made in the store.

For the curious, Wal-Mart offers a Wal-Mart credit card or a Wal-Mart Discover.  Both are no-annual-fee like Target, and both offer discounts. The Discover card gives you a 1% cash back on all purchases and five cents per gallon discount

at Wal-Mart gas stations. The Wal-Mart card includes the gas offer.


Has anyone tallied the savings earned from your Redcard so far?