Monday, September 27, 2010

Target Check Card Review – The Good and the Not –So-Good

If you are like me you are looking for ways to reduce debt and limit your use of credit cards.  This appears to be the new “normal” as people are looking to buy only what they can afford.  A big part of this movement is using debit or check cards instead of credit cards. 

That being said, I do miss the perks or rewards cards and cash back programs.  

I recently opened a SunTrust checking account so I could get their SunTrust Delta Skymiles Debit Card.  I earn miles for every debit card purchase.  A pretty good deal and with none of the interest charges of my Delta American Express.  Maybe I will do a blog post about that experience in the future.

Recently, I was looking at how much money Target was donating to my local schools.  I went to to  set up my Target Visa card to benefit my kids’ school and I noticed that they now offer a Target Check Card.  Not many stores/vendors offer a check card/debit card to use for their products.  Typically stores are trying to get you to sign up for their charge card with an interest rate between 18-26%. 

I was pretty excited to sign up for the new Target Check Card.

Here is my review after using is for a few weeks.

The Good:
  • The Target Check Card comes right out of the bank checking account you select. 
  • No interest rates or annual fees
  • Starting October 17th, you will get 5% off every Target purchase.   No waiting to reach 1,000 points to get a 10% off day certificate.  (Just like the Target Charge Card and Target Visa Card)
  • 1% of Target Check Card purchases are donated to your local school (just like the Target Charge Card and Target Visa Card)
  • You can request up to $40 in cash back at checkout

The Not-So-Good:

  • Target Check Card purchases do not come out of your checking account immediately.   Maybe I have gotten spoiled, but I love making a purchase and being able to see the money come right out of my SunTrust checking account.    With bank debit cards you always have an accurate view of how much money you have available because you can check your balance online and see how much money is in your account.    My experience is that a Target Check Card purchase takes 3-4 days to come out of my account.  Some may see this as a positive…..a few more days to have the money in your account, but I would rather it hit my account right away.
  • Target Check Card being denied.  So far this has happened to me once.  I was buying about $200 worth of groceries at Target and I was told “sorry, your card didn’t go through”.  Huh?  But isn’t a credit card which has a credit limit that has been reached.  And I had plenty of money in checking account, so I was annoyed that Target’s own Debit Card was denying for no good reason.    This demonstrates to me that Target doesn’t have a good way to see my current checking account balance to know that there are sufficient funds in my account. 

Bottom line:

The Target Check Card is a great offering from Target.  You get all the perks of the Target Charge Cards without the 20%+ interest rate.   I am really looking forward to start getting the 5% off on each Target purchase.

I am willing to give them a pass on the one instance where my Target Check Card was denied as a glitch or because I have only had the card for a few weeks and they are still building a purchase history.   However, if this happens more than once or twice I would need to reconsider my use of the Target Check Card.  I would not be pleased to be at the whim of fate on whether my check card was going to be accepted and whether it would be denied.  Of course, I can always use my SunTrust Delta Skymiles Card to earn miles for my upcoming family vacation.

If you are interested in the Target Check Card, you can get more information here.

And don't forget!  The Target $50 E-GiftCard contest is still going until October 3rd!  Check it out to see how easy it is to enter for your chance to win!  


Claudia (Living with PDD-NOS) said...

This is a great post! I'll need to check it out. I recently got rid of my Target Redcard. I'd had it since about 1997, but hated the interest!

This might be a great alternative!

Anonymous said...

I called and cancelled my Target debit card. The young girl was so rude to me, she even hung up on me. Won't shop there again.