Don’t want target bank card or credit card? You can still save money this way

Woman with basket while shopping in a large store.

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You can save a lot of time at Target without a brand name card or credit card.

Most important points

  • The Target RedCard offers benefits to debit and credit card holders.
  • If you don’t want the RedCard, you can still save on your Target purchases through another loyalty program.

If you shop regularly at Target, you might be a fan of the big-box giant’s huge selection and reasonable prices. And chances are you’ve been known to make a few extra purchases on a Target outing.

Target offers customers an easy way to save money on their purchases: sign up for the Target Red Card. The Target Red Card comes in two forms: a credit card and a debit card. Both cards allow you to save 5% on your Target purchases (although there are some exceptions, such as pharmacy purchases).

But what if you don’t want a Target Red Card? Perhaps you’re worried about applying for a credit card because you don’t want a difficult scrutiny of your credit report. If you’re about to apply for a large loan, such as a mortgage, it’s actually a good idea to wait to apply for new credit cards until you’ve been approved.

And maybe you don’t want the debit card version of the Target Red Card because it’s tied to your checking account and you’re concerned about fraud or overspending. Both are valid concerns.

The good news is that if you’re not looking for a Target Red Card, you can still save money on your Target purchases. All you need to do is sign up for the store’s loyalty program.

It pays to join Target Circle

Target Circle is Target’s loyalty program and you can join whether you have a Target Red Card or not. The benefit of Target Circle is to earn 1% back on your purchases. That’s cash back that you can redeem and use for future Target purchases.

As a Target Circle member, you also get 5% off a single purchase for your birthday. Plus, you can collect points through Target Circle whether you shop in stores or online.

Becoming a member of Target Circle also means that you will be notified of specials and offers. On the one hand, that can mean a slightly busier inbox. But on the other hand, you can save money during the year by being notified about various discounts.

A program worth signing up for

Signing up for Target Circle takes minutes and there’s really no downside. There is no cost to sign up and you are not required to make any purchases.

That said, Target Circle rewards expire if you don’t earn or redeem anything for a year. So that’s something you want to watch out for. But since those rewards are awarded for your regular Target purchases, there’s really no risk involved.

One strategy you may want to use is to simply use your Target Circle rewards every time you make a purchase, rather than accumulating them. The beauty of this program is that you don’t have to meet a certain threshold to redeem rewards. When you collect $1 in rewards, you can get $1 off your next purchase. And if you shop a lot at Target, those small savings can easily add up.

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