AmEx for Target (2015)

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American Express® is discontinuing the American Express for Target Prepaid Card program on March 21, 2016.

***Attention*** If you are new to the forum and thinking about AFT loads to accomodate your bonus or rewards spend, please be advised this method has taken a major hit effective first week of May, 2015, as mentioned in latter posts on this thread.****

This thread is a continuation of http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manuf...ities-208.html

please be aware the Target breach cards are currently on the black market, as always be aware of activity on all accounts

Purchase in store. Each store seems to have just one lane that has them on display (unlike the AMEX GC which are at most lanes). Package is larger than other gift cards, silver and red.

Not available in all states. Search here for possible locations

Note: Unlike AMEX's restriction on BB/Serve/Redbird where one person can only hold one of those, you can have an AFT (2, actually) while holding a BB, Serve, or Redbird

Need DL to purchase.
Max 1 purchase per ss# per day--this means one person can actually have 2 AFT cards, which is why there is a $5000 total limit for 2 cards (see below).
Max initial load $500 + $3 load fee.

May reload temp card as soon as verification of identity is complete, may take 48 hours. You can use an ATM with a temp card as soon as you're able to view your temp card PIN online. If you're unable to view your PIN online, you won't be able to use an ATM until you have the permanent card, which takes about two weeks.

Many stores now limit reloading to the service desk, and no longer at cashiers. The card must be swiped at a cash terminal to reload, not scanned! Ask cashiers to try if they don't seem to recognize the card. Ask if loading at service desk is a policy, it might just be a knee-jerk response from cashiers that don't know about the card. I have been told that a few times, "You need to go to the Service Desk," it has never been true. Say please and thank you.

Limits & Fees
Loading
Codes as purchase on all cards.
Load fee $3
Max $1000 per card in 24 hour period.
Max $5000 total for both cards per 28 day rolling period.
May load any card *until* balance is $2500 for 28 day period (not *up to*)

System will allow a $1000 load on a card with a $2000 balance so long as you are under $5000 for all cards over 28 day period. See below for optimal load sequence, $15/$5k a month after 1st month and $15k in 65 days for new cards.

Unload via ATM
Max $400/card/day (resets 12am PST)
First ATM w/d per month per card is free, based on 1st of the month (not rolling)+ any ATM owner fee.
Additional ATM w/d fee $3 + ATM fee
Note that unlike Amex RB/BB, AFT is NOT in AllPoint network, thus NO surcharge-free ATM generally.

When asked 'from account' choose 'checking.'

Possibly helpful link (Surcharge Free ATMs):
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manuf...-fee-atms.html

Unload by purchases
No fee. No cash back.

Additional information

Optimal load pattern for least number of $3 fees after first $500 load is $3k/$2k.
New accounts can load $15k in 65 days. 4 trips in a week for new cards, 3 in a week once a month after that.

Load always means load $1000. 28 day load total in parenthesis. 'Dropped' means that load is past the 28 day mark.

Day 1: Purchase card #1, load $500
Day 3: Purchase card #2, load $500; Load card #1 ($1500)
Day 5: load card #1 ($2500); load card #2 ($1500)
Day 7: load card #2 ($2500)
*********************************wait************
Day 29: ($2000)($2500) day 1 dropped
Day 31: ($1000)($2000) day 3 dropped
Day 32: load card #1 ($2000) ; load card #2 ($3000)
Day 33: ($1000)($2000) day 5 dropped
Day 34: load card #1 ($2000); load card #2 ($3000)
Day 35: ($2000) ($2000) day 7 dropped
Day 36: load card #1 ($3000), ($2000)
*********************************wait************
Day 61: load both cards, day 32 dropped
Day 63: load both cards
Day 65: load one card.

Repeat Loads waiting 29 days between loads, if you loaded both cards 29 days ago load both now, if you loaded one card, load one now. So next load date is 61+29= Day 90

FAQ

Q: Can I load with Visa/MC/Amex Gift Cards?
A: Visa and MC Gift cards with a PIN can be used. Amex gift cards no longer work.

Q: How about Target gift cards?
A: The register prompts not to allow Target gift cards. They may not be hard coded, though.

Q: Will I get 5% off if I load with a Target Red card?
A: No. Sorry, I wish.

Q: Can I load multiple cards in one transaction?
A: No. This died February 4, 2015 or shortly before.

Q:Is there a max number of payment swipes?
A: Yes. Maximum swipes for split payments is 7, though other users have reported being able to swipe at least 10 gift cards for payment without problems.

Q: What are the lowest possible fees with a fee-free ATM available?
A: For 2 cards, each loaded with $2.5K each over 2 months ($10K in total), you would pay $30 in loading fees (10 load fees of $3 each) and $63 in ATM fees (25 total withdrawals, with 1 free withdrawal per card each month, resulting in 21 ATM fees of $3 each).

Q: Where is my permanent card? I did not receive my permanent card. How do I receive my permanent card?
A: You do not need to register the temporary card online after purchase or create the online account to receive your permanent card. You should have received your permanent card within 7 days. Your temporary card will stop working after 30 days.

If you have not received your card, your application may have been declined. The personal information you registered may be incorrect, or Amex could not verify your identity.

---

Official fund loading from T&C

You may load funds to your Cards using your Funding Source until the Available Funds on any Card purchased by you equals $2,500 and on all card purchased by you equals $5,000... Not more than $1,000 may be loaded to any Card purchased by you in a 24 hour period using your Funding Source, not more than $5,000 may be loaded to all Cards purchased by you in any 28-day period using your Funding Source.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE IF YOU LOADED YOUR PREPAID CARD AT TARGET DURING THE CHRISTMAS SECURITY BREACH: It is important to have AMEX reissue your cards (just phone the number on the card and ask for a new card). Thieves have the numbers and pins and can drain your account at any time. AMEX does not appear to be using software to block suspicious activity, so they can drain it all. If you loaded your prepaid card at Target between November 27 and December 15, 2013, you are at significant risk of having your money stolen (several reported cases in April and May).
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Old May 6, 15, 2:29 pm
  #541  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by skitch23 View Post
But even if you had a no fee ATM, you're still looking at $7.50 per $1k to withdraw... not worth it IMO. Maybe AFT will introduce billpay in which case it would be just like BB (but prob too similar to RB to offer two different types of prepaids).
If you load it to the max and forget about the 1-free ATM withdrawal per calendar month.

But, if one reduces the use and only unloads at the free ATM withdrawal once per calendar month and has a no-fee ATM, the numbers are different.

Note, I'm likely done with AFT because I have no fee-free ATMs...I'm just pointing out that using a card that gets 5x on VGC purchases may keep AFT limping along for some.
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Old May 6, 15, 4:13 pm
  #542  
 
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Originally Posted by FindAWay View Post
If you load it to the max and forget about the 1-free ATM withdrawal per calendar month.

But, if one reduces the use and only unloads at the free ATM withdrawal once per calendar month and has a no-fee ATM, the numbers are different.

Note, I'm likely done with AFT because I have no fee-free ATMs...I'm just pointing out that using a card that gets 5x on VGC purchases may keep AFT limping along for some.
Exactly... that was the un-touted beauty of AFT. If you did low volume ($800) loads per card and timed it right (saddle no-fee ATM withdraws between end of month and beginning of month), your costs were very low (.375%). $800 is chump change but if you scaled that up across multiple cards.... it was cheap and convenient, second only to Redbird (RIP). I even had my Wawa ATMs customized to do one-touch quick withdraws of $400 at the PIN screen.
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Old May 6, 15, 4:39 pm
  #543  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by FindAWay View Post
There is. Split tender debit payments are available at Target, as RB folks have reported.
omg.. there is a god! i really hope this is true. loading vgc (at 5x) will be very worth it and much better than cc loading.
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Old May 6, 15, 4:46 pm
  #544  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Originally Posted by zzrayzz View Post
omg.. there is a god! i really hope this is true. loading vgc (at 5x) will be very worth it and much better than cc loading.
Where have you been all my life?
- Serve and Bluebird
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Old May 6, 15, 4:55 pm
  #545  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by nwflyboy View Post
Quite dead.

You can thank Frequent Miler and other bloggers. Without them, A4T would have quietly gone on working for years.

Poke the sleeping bear, this is what you get.
Give me a break. I know dozens of folks who live in states/cities where Redbird is not sold and yet CS is clogged with folks loading Redbirds they purchased on Ebay, Reddit or other channels. That's where the volume is and I don't believe those folks all read about it on a blog. Reselling greed and volume is tremendous. Don't blame it on Greg!
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Old May 6, 15, 8:08 pm
  #546  
 
Join Date: May 2009
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I don't think the masses killed this one, the 5% that pushed it real hard and regularly loaded $25k-50k with multiple cards and false fraud alerts likely raised the flag. When Target looks at the data I think the 5% stand out more than the million people doing average CC loads.

And for those suggesting that VGC's are a great alternative, I can see that one getting killed store by store pretty quickly. Stores don't want cashiers or customer service reps taking extra time on these loads because someone has 3,4,5+ gift cards they are trying to split for one load. If the number of VGC loads increases, I would not be surprised to simply see stores impose their own ban on loads. I've already been to some Targets that implied that they didn't want to sit there and split the load on multiple GCs, but when I loaded with 1 AGC they were ok.
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Old May 6, 15, 10:33 pm
  #547  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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I think rb caused the downfall of target cc load. Too many newbies. rB was their first dip in to ms. Some will just stop and move on, and a lot of more will now focus on bb, vgc. More methods will fall soon.

Still keeping my aft as back up.
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Old May 6, 15, 10:38 pm
  #548  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Just withdrew the last $400 tonight from 12 cards from Sunday loads.

Goodnight, sweet prince.
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Old May 7, 15, 9:42 am
  #549  
 
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Hmm. I'm reading quite a few posts from people who intend to shut down their AFT cards. Makes me think that maybe we need a new thread, something like "Creative ways to fund and use AFT after May 6, 2015."

I used to have the old AmEx PrePaid card. I emptied that account some time ago. I'm still going to try to hang on to my AFT cards for a while and see if there's anything reasonable I can do with them. But I realize that the new costs for AFT (the $3 fee to load 1K plus somewhere between $8-12 to get 2 $500 debit cards to load plus the ATM fees if that's your choice for unloading) are a problem. At a minumum, for 1K, that's 3 + 8 + a little over 3 (Costco ATM) = $14. And $14 is 1.4% of 1000 (plus the time involved), which is not especially attractive.
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Old May 7, 15, 11:02 am
  #550  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Originally Posted by GetawaysRus View Post
Hmm. I'm reading quite a few posts from people who intend to shut down their AFT cards. Makes me think that maybe we need a new thread, something like "Creative ways to fund and use AFT after May 6, 2015."

I used to have the old AmEx PrePaid card. I emptied that account some time ago. I'm still going to try to hang on to my AFT cards for a while and see if there's anything reasonable I can do with them. But I realize that the new costs for AFT (the $3 fee to load 1K plus somewhere between $8-12 to get 2 $500 debit cards to load plus the ATM fees if that's your choice for unloading) are a problem. At a minumum, for 1K, that's 3 + 8 + a little over 3 (Costco ATM) = $14. And $14 is 1.4% of 1000 (plus the time involved), which is not especially attractive.
Your post makes me think This is actually still workable. IF you buy AGCs from a cashback portal for 2.25%, and you are able to find someone willing to sell you $500 GCs for $4 when you pay with AGC (simon wont) Then you're still saving some cashback from the portal, PLUS getting full CC rewards. Just as profitable as loading RB with a CC was. Granted, more complicated, but as long as we can get AGC from cashback portals, its still completely free MS.
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Old May 7, 15, 11:17 am
  #551  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
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Originally Posted by Anomalychick View Post
Your post makes me think This is actually still workable. IF you buy AGCs from a cashback portal for 2.25%, and you are able to find someone willing to sell you $500 GCs for $4 when you pay with AGC (simon wont) Then you're still saving some cashback from the portal, PLUS getting full CC rewards. Just as profitable as loading RB with a CC was. Granted, more complicated, but as long as we can get AGC from cashback portals, its still completely free MS.

Free, yes, but also I think the increased complexities means people are going to use this far less for MS. Makes it much more lucrative for getting new card bonus/maintaining status and meeting minimum spending requirement.
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Old May 7, 15, 2:34 pm
  #552  
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Well, this was a surprising outcome today at the customer service counter. Although, it did cross my mind that if RB was changing, the AFT could not be far behind. Just didn't expect it within 24 hours. (sigh)

Ok, well, in relation to hitting min. spend in the grocery category with my Citi HH card, that has me signed up for extra 1K for $1K spend per month, there is the $400 Blue Visa GC at Target to consider until a better alternative pops up. Not sure anyone here would agree that's smart, but I do want more HH points in my account.

Guess it's time to see if OD has anymore GCs for this week's promotion. Good for Barclay points redemptions and BOA travel card redemptions.

Slimmer pickin's....
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Old May 7, 15, 8:00 pm
  #553  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Originally Posted by GetawaysRus View Post
Hmm. I'm reading quite a few posts from people who intend to shut down their AFT cards. Makes me think that maybe we need a new thread, something like "Creative ways to fund and use AFT after May 6, 2015."

I used to have the old AmEx PrePaid card. I emptied that account some time ago. I'm still going to try to hang on to my AFT cards for a while and see if there's anything reasonable I can do with them. But I realize that the new costs for AFT (the $3 fee to load 1K plus somewhere between $8-12 to get 2 $500 debit cards to load plus the ATM fees if that's your choice for unloading) are a problem. At a minumum, for 1K, that's 3 + 8 + a little over 3 (Costco ATM) = $14. And $14 is 1.4% of 1000 (plus the time involved), which is not especially attractive.
I am afraid your math is not correct.
We were paying 1.2-1.3% without CC ban and now we should ad 1% to acquire VGCs and whatever cost of purchasing AGCs is. I see the total cost at 2.3-2.5% + time involved. Somewhat less if fee free ATM.
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Old May 8, 15, 12:19 pm
  #554  
 
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Originally Posted by touristtrap View Post
I am afraid your math is not correct.
We were paying 1.2-1.3% without CC ban and now we should ad 1% to acquire VGCs and whatever cost of purchasing AGCs is. I see the total cost at 2.3-2.5% + time involved. Somewhat less if fee free ATM.
1.2-1.3% is still a lot to pay for to do MS unless you need it to hit minimum spend, otherwise i do not see how it is even worth it.

before cc ban, i load 5k btwn 2 aft cards.

load 5k = $15 load fee/month
using fee free atm - $0 atm fee
amex withdrawl fee $3 each, withdrawing the max $400 per card. ($4800 1st month, then $5200 next month) thus an avg of 12.5 withdrawls x $3 fee = $37.50 minus - $6 (1 free monthly withdrawl x 2cards) = $31.50/monthly

Therefore, on a monthly average, it costs me $15+$31.50 = $46.50 to MS 5000 points which comes out to be 0.93%

Assuming now I load with vgc via Ink getting 5x but now also having to pay for the gc fee of $6.95 per $200. More hassle, higher up front cost, but better returns. $173.75 in gc fees for $5000 vgc + the same $46.50 = $220.25 which will yield 25000 UR comes out to be 0.881% and the vgc rebates will be considered a bonus!
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Old May 8, 15, 8:00 pm
  #555  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Originally Posted by zzrayzz View Post
1.2-1.3% is still a lot to pay for to do MS unless you need it to hit minimum spend, otherwise i do not see how it is even worth it.

before cc ban, i load 5k btwn 2 aft cards.

load 5k = $15 load fee/month
using fee free atm - $0 atm fee
amex withdrawl fee $3 each, withdrawing the max $400 per card. ($4800 1st month, then $5200 next month) thus an avg of 12.5 withdrawls x $3 fee = $37.50 minus - $6 (1 free monthly withdrawl x 2cards) = $31.50/monthly

Therefore, on a monthly average, it costs me $15+$31.50 = $46.50 to MS 5000 points which comes out to be 0.93%

Assuming now I load with vgc via Ink getting 5x but now also having to pay for the gc fee of $6.95 per $200. More hassle, higher up front cost, but better returns. $173.75 in gc fees for $5000 vgc + the same $46.50 = $220.25 which will yield 25000 UR comes out to be 0.881% and the vgc rebates will be considered a bonus!
I use my OM/OD/STPLS purchases to load Serve. It would be a waste to use it for AFT loads in my case. I am only interested for AGC-VGC-AFT if profitable.
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