- 1 How to Cancel a Target Credit Card
- 2 How The Target Credit Card Works
- 3 A Trip to Target May Have Left You With Credit Card Fraud – What You Need to Know About The Target Credit Card Breach
- 3.1 Everything You Need to Know About the Target Credit Card Data Breach
- 3.2 What to Do If You Find a Fraud Charge
- 3.3 This Wasn’t Even the Biggest Account Breach
- 4 Do You Know Who Owns Your Target Credit Card?
How to Cancel a Target Credit Card
To cancel your Target credit card or for other concerns about your card, you can call Target Card Services. If you need to have your card replaced due to fraud, call immediately.
If you have any questions about your Target credit card, call Target Card Services. You can call at any hour of the day or night, seven days a week. You can also send inquiries via postal mail or visit a Target store for assistance with the card during normal business hours.
Canceling a credit card can have a negative effect on your credit score. In some cases, if you are unsatisfied with the interest rate, service or other aspect of a credit card, you might be better off holding on to the card and simply not using it rather than closing the account.
If the interest rate or accumulated balance on your credit card is part of the reason you are dissatisfied, you might want to consider transferring the balance to a card with lower interest rate.
Target offers both a debit card, linked to an existing checking account, and a traditional store credit card. Both give various discounts and benefits when you shop at Target, including a discount on purchases, free shipping on online orders and discounts on in-store Starbucks coffee shops. The cards are issued by TD Bank.
If the credit card or debit card is not right for you for whatever reason, but you are still a frequent Target customer and benefit from the discounts, you might want to consider switching to the other type of card. Contact Target to inquire about applying for a different card, as well as potentially closing your existing account.
If you see signs of fraud on your Target credit card account, or your card is lost or stolen, you should call Target Card Services immediately. You will not necessarily need to close your account entirely, but Target may issue you a new card with a new number and expiration date to stop any unauthorized use of your account. If you use your card for online or recurring purchases, you will want to make sure to update any place the card is saved to avoid transactions failing to go through in the future.
If you need to dispute an incorrect transaction on your account, call Target Card Services. Target advises you to also send a letter by mail, which should be received within 60 days of the first bill with the incorrect charge, to protect your rights under the Fair Credit Billing Act.
How The Target Credit Card Works
Store credit cards are the object of much criticism. Because of Target’s 2014 data breach, signing up for its credit card might come with a fair amount of skepticism on anybody’s part. But the data breach can happen to any store if you believe the experts. Is the Target REDCard worth a place in your wallet?
Store cards aren’t quite what you think. The retailer makes a deal with a financial institution to offer a branded credit card. Both the store and the bank share in the interest and fees the customer ultimately pays.
In this case, the bank is TD Bank. A subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, it is one of the 10 largest banks in the United States. It has around 26,000 employees and 1,300 locations in the U.S.
The Target REDcard comes in two forms: a traditional credit card and a debit card that automatically draws from your existing checking account. Each has similar perks.
The card isn’t about rewards. You don’t build up points as you purchase and there’s no sign-up bonus. Instead, you get a 5% discount every time you use the card at a Target store. It might seem a bit boring, but the math comes out in your favor. By not having to wait until you amass a bunch of points, you receive rewards right away.
You don’t get the discount on prescription drugs, but there’s a separate program through Target’s pharmacy that can help. And when you use the debit card, you can get as much as a $40 cash withdrawal when you check out.
In addition, you won’t pay any shipping if you shop at target.com and you can get an extra 30 days to return a purchase. Also, you won’t pay an annual fee.
The credit card's APR of 23.9% is high, but standard for store cards. It will vary based on the prime rate. Expect it to move higher in the coming years. And there’s no introductory rate.
You have 25 days after your billing cycle ends to pay all charges and avoid interest. The late payment fee is up to $38 based on payment history, but there is no penalty APR. This isn’t like a normal credit card. There are no balance transfers and the card can only be used at Target stores.
Financial gurus would call this a positive since it doesn’t allow a person to charge up the card at any store but some consumers may find it restrictive. If you’re looking for a card that allows you to earn rewards on purchases anywhere, this isn’t the card for you.
The Target REDcard is a true store card. It’s not for use outside of Target and it comes with an interest rate much higher than a traditional credit card. On the other hand, the instant 5% discount on every purchase is straightforward and simple. There are no rewards points to keep track of and the monetary value of the reward is often higher than you get from other cards.
However, the APR is high enough that any interest payments made will wipe out the benefit that comes from the discount. Only charge what you can pay at the end of the month.
A Trip to Target May Have Left You With Credit Card Fraud – What You Need to Know About The Target Credit Card Breach
You head out to Target to pick up a few things.
Maybe you were taking advantage of some great Black Friday sales. В Perhaps you needed to re-stock after Thanksgiving. В You could have been doing your holiday gift shopping.
Except if you used your credit or debit card then your credit or debit account may have been breached!
You may have heard on the news how Target was… well the target of hackers that compromised the Target credit and debit card database.
Keep reading and I’ll fill you in on what happened, whether you need to be concerned, and what you should do about it.
Everything You Need to Know About the Target Credit Card Data Breach
Between November 27th and December 15th, 2013 hackers were able to access credit card data at Target retail locations. В They were able to steal the information that is on your magnetic stripe on your card. В This story originally broke by Brian Krebs on his security site krebsonsecurity.com (http://krebsonsecurity.com/2013/12/sources-target-investigating-data-breach/).
The information stolen includes customer names, card account numbers, the card’s expiration dates, and CVV1*. В With this information hackers can create duplicate cards to do with as they will. В According to Target, debit card PIN information wasn’t stolen as far as they know (with a PIN a thief could use a duplicate card to go to an ATM to steal cash from your account).
That doesn’t mean you’re off the hook if you used a debit card. В These days most debit cards allow you to use a ‘credit’ option which works similar to a credit card. В If you used your debit card in this way between 11/27 and 12/15 then you could be one of the affected customers.
*The CCV1 is data stored in your card’s magnetic strip, this is not the same as the 3- or 4-digit security code you have on your card which is also known as the CVV2 code.
If you shopped at Target between 11/27/13 and 12/15/13 and used your credit or debit card then you are among the 40 million who may be affected. В This did not affect those who shopped online or customers in Canada.
Note:В Information such as your social security number or birth date was not part of this hack.
Do understand that if you did use your card between these dates it doesn’t mean you will be the victim of fraud. В But it does mean you need to be alert and careful.
Update 12/27/13: Target has recently revealed that PIN data was taken as part of the data breach. В According to Target your debit card will not be compromised due to this data getting out. В The PIN data was encrypted, triple DES encryption to be exact, and Target never had the encryption key that would be needed to see the PIN data. В Still, if you have concerns you can contact your bank to have your PIN changed.
What You Need to Do and Watch Out For
Know this — You won’t be held accountable for any fraud charges made with your card. В Either Target or your bank will bear that burden. В This is according to the announcement on the Target.com site regarding the breach.
But let me tell you something…
You still need to know if fraud has taken place!
Make sure you watch your account and statements like a hawk. В Check for any charges that you didn’t make. В See, even though you aren’t held responsible for fraud charges no one is going to tell you a charge is fraud.
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for a fraud charge until you find it and report it. В It’s your responsibility to monitor your accounts and make sure all of the charges are legitimate.
What makes this particular account breach tough is that it happened during the peak of holiday shopping. В Your credit card would usually make contact with you if you had spending that was out of the ordinary. В But during the holidays people tend to buy things they wouldn’t at other times of the year and they tend to use their cards more.
That one big purchase doesn’t stick out as much.
Don’t wait around for your next statement though. В Go to your credit or debit card’s site and check your purchase history.
Here’s the scary thing — You don’t know when fraud will take place. В If your card information was stolen you might not have any fraud for months (if at all).
This is where credit monitoring comes in.
Target has stated that they will be offering up free credit monitoring services for everyone that is affected by this hacking. В They currently don’t have information as yet on how that will work. В I’ll update this when that becomes available.
If you haven’t yet you can get a free copy of your credit report and history from AnnualCreditReport.com. В You’re allowed a copy of your report from each of the three credit bureaus once every 12 months (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax). В This tells you the accounts you have open and your purchase and payment history.
Give it a little time before you request your reports though. В Your credit reports will only have information that has been reported to them by the companies you have credit with. В If they haven’t updated your accounts with the credit bureaus yet then it will look like there’s nothing wrong but really the information hasn’t hit the report yet.
Another tool is a credit monitoring service. В
These services generally give you access to your credit report and credit score (you can usually access these often). В You can also usually set up credit alerts that will inform you, via text or email, when events like large purchases are made, accounts are opened, or when there have been changes in your credit score.
Many of these services cost money though. В You can get free trials but then you are charged after the trial ends.
There are a couple of credit services that are free though – Credit Karma (review) and Credit Sesame (review).
Watch out for calls and emails asking for information such as your social security number and your birth date or any other personal information. В These are scams looking to get information they can use for identity theft.
But what could happen is a scammer that has your credit information could try to pry your personal information from you.
Never give out personal info like your social security number to someone that calls asking for it over the phone. В If you have any doubts then call your credit company yourself to see if there is an issue.
Also never log onto an account from an email you receive asking you to. В Odds are this is a phishing scam looking to steal your log-in information. В If you need to check your account enter it yourself from the information on your card or statement.
If you are concerned about fraud accounts being opened up in your name you can have a ‘fraud alert’ placed.
Call one of the three credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) and request to have a Fraud Alert put on. В The credit bureau you pick has to tell the other two that you are placing a Fraud Alert so that they can place them on your account as well. В They will ask you for personal information to make sure it’s you. В This process is free to place.
What the Fraud Alert does is make it harder for anyone to open up an account in your name. В When a request for an account is made the business has to contact you before an account can be opened.
Go look at your calendar and count out 90 days. В This is how long your Fraud Alert lasts. В If you want to keep the alert after the initial 90 days then you need to call the credit reporting agency again. В A great way to keep track is to set up a reminder in your favorite online calendar. В Here’s our article on setting up reminders in Google Calendar.
If you really want to be pro-active you can call your credit companies and banks and have them issue you new account numbers for any cards you used at Target during the affected times. В This way the old account numbers will be closed and can no longer be used.
One thing you need to be aware of though is to update any places that you may have set up with your card such as monthly payments or transfers (for example a monthly subscription like Netflix). В You don’t want to have an important charge or payment not go through because your account number changed.
Change Your Debit Account PIN
Even though Target says the PIN’s weren’t part of the hacking you may want to be extra careful and change the PIN on any debit cards you may have used.
A PIN transaction requires you to enter a code for the purchase to take place. В This is different from using a credit transaction with your debit card (yes, that does sound a bit confusing). В If your debit card has a little Visa or MasterCard logo then you are able to make credit transactions with your debit card. В The money still comes out of your checking but you’re not using your PIN. В You also get more protection this way as it’s seen as a ‘credit’ purchase not a debit purchase.
This option is a little more extreme than a Fraud Alert but it’s also more effective.
With a Credit Freeze you are asking each of the credit bureaus to stop anyone from accessing your credit report. В In order to open up new credit you need to get back in touch with the credit bureau and ask to have the freeze lifted. В The bureau will give you a special number that only you will have so you need this to unlock your credit.
Basically, no one but you can access your credit.
The drawback with a credit freeze is that 1) it will usually cost you money (there are circumstances, like fraud, where you can place one for free); and 2) you no longer have quick access to your credit report. В This means if you wanted to apply for credit anywhere you would first have to life the credit freeze from your accounts. В Also, this doesn’t prevent any fraud from taking place on your current accounts.
What to Do If You Find a Fraud Charge
If you find a charge that isn’t yours then immediately report it to your bank or credit card company.
They will put a freeze on the charge and investigate it on their end. В You will probably get a new account as well to prevent any further fraudulent charges. В Make sure any services you have that use your account have the new number!
Then you’ll want to continue to monitor your accounts to make sure no other fraud appears.
You may also want to have a Fraud Alert placed on your credit as well.
Here’s Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel talking about what to do:
See that white bar? That’s all Target shows you on their home page regarding the breach.
What I Did When I found Out About the Target Credit Account Breach
We shop Target often so of course I was concerned about this.
I grabbed my recent receipts (yes I tend to keep them for a bit) and looked for any from Target. В It happens I did shop there but it was before Nov. 27 and we haven’t been there since.
I also logged onto my credit card account online to check if there were any Target charges in the affected dates and also looked for any fraud charges. В So far it looks clean.
Next I logged onto my checking account in case I used my debit card at Target. В I didn’t use my debit card there.
That doesn’t mean I won’t keep an eye out going forward. В As this is an ongoing investigation we could find out the dates are broader than what was stated. В I hope that’s not the case but my hope isn’t enough to keep my accounts safe.
This Wasn’t Even the Biggest Account Breach
You think 40 million accounts is pretty big don’t you? В Well that gets third place overall.
In 2007 retailer TJX Cos Inc (TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods) had their accounts breached which affected 90 million customers. В In 2009 a breach at Heartland Payment Systems, a credit card processor, affected over 130 million cards.
Some believe that credit card companies aren’t doing enough to thwart credit card fraud. В Many countries in Europe have required smart chip technology in credit cards. В These chips serve up different encrypted values every time they are used making it difficult for fraud to occur.
Target seems to be taking action but I’d like to see them do more.
They say they will offer free credit monitoring but it could take weeks for that to be set up. В They should also make the account breach information more prominent than the small banner they have at the top of their site. В They should have a pop-up telling people where to go for information and they should also have a place where you can leave your email or phone number for further information about the credit monitoring.
Target really needs to show they are in this with their customers and do what they can to assuage any fears as well as make it easy to get information.
We have to be responsible for the safety of our own accounts. В This hacking demonstrates how important it is for you to check your accounts monthly and make sure everything is legitimate. В You also need to monitor your credit reports and make sure the information there is correct.
I’ll still shop at Target. В But I’ll be vigilant in keeping track of my purchases to make sure there’s no fraud. В In fact I’ll do this for all of my accounts.
Remember: You are responsible for keeping watch over your credit.
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From Cardholders in the last year
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ADDITIONAL RATINGS YOU MIGHT FIND HELPFUL
4 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
Excellent with frequent, substantial CLI
Being a regular Target customer, it made sense to get this Red Card as part of my credit building strategy. Score was upper 5xx's when I applied and received a 300 CL about 9 months ago. Sitting at a $1300 Cl currently. I use this card multiple times a week and pay off the balance every payday. I've never paid a penny of interest, never paid a late fee. That translates into literally hundreds of dollars in savings due to the 5% discount on every Target purchase. Payments post overnight (when paid by 6PM or whatever) and never had a problem with the fast and easy to use website. Always pay on time and in full, along with updating your income through the web portal and if I can get these frequent and substantial increases with my less than stellar credit, I imagine just about anyone can! Like any other credit proiduct, use it wisely, only spend what you can afford and you can enjoy the perks without the penalty of interest and fees. Three thumbs up!
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Made a payment on the card, showed paid online and they said it was paid when I called twice. Turns out, it wasn't. Got a late fee charge because of it. Though it showed paid in their system and out of my account. Late charge was removed, but I paid it off and cancelled. Bad experience.
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These reviews were written by current and former cardholders in the last year.
Great for rebuilding and strengthen the credit score.
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I’m in the process of rebuilding my credit. I applied for this card and I was approved Online. I believe my starting CL was $500 and that was in February 2017. I do a lot of shopping at Target and I love the fact that if you make a purchase online the shipping is free, and fast too. I’ve received a few cl increases during the last 10 months. As my credit has gotten better and income has grown, my new limit is $2900. I’m rather pleased with that. Not really looking forward to anymore increases for now but this card is worth it.
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How often do you get a credit increase in the 10 month you had the card
@Makavali, it's situational but I've been receiving credit limit increases every three months.
I shop at Target constantly so after rebuilding my credit to about 600 I applied for their Red Card. Was approved for a small amount, I think about $350. However, over the course of the last year they have given frequent increases and it now sits at a $2000 limit. My credit has flucuated from 600-660 but it seems like the credit increases always come when I get close to my limit. I try to pay it off but I did carry a $1500 balance for 2 months and that is when they bumped it to $2000. I've never had a single problem and really enjoy the 5% off.
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Easy app online. Low CL of $200 with scores in mid 600's. Hoping it grows.
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I applied on line and instant approval. I say pay your bills, don’t utilize more than 30% of your credit limit and you’ll be fine.
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low limit must use or they close it
target closes accounts that are unused to punish cardholders
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I've been on a journey this past year building my credit. I went into my local target store and they had great deals on their tvs so I decided to apply for the store card. I was approved with a $300 CL with my overall scores sitting at a 610 I have 3 collections. Long story short I wasn't able to buy the TV but my goal is maybe in the next 6 months I'll be able to.
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What was your credit utilization when you applied. I was just denied with a higher credit score than you and no collections.
Had this card for 3 years. Only used twice, with one of those times being 1 month ago for a 100.00. Started at $500 limit and progressively they increased the limit to 5000.00 even though I had only used it twice. This week I receive a letter stating that they lowered my credit limit from 5000.00 to 200.00. The reasons stated in my letter were experian based comments: 1/2="too few accounts have recovered from delinquency" 2/2="Credit report does not show sufficient mortgage equity".
In scared reation to those comments I quickly pulled my experian credit report and lucky for me nothing negitive appeared. Flawless report. Called Targets and after being bounced around a bit, I spoke with a gentlemen whom informed me it was lowered due to low dollar amount usage. I asked him to give me a reason as to why i would want to keep the account open. I gave him an example that if i was to come down and spend 100 dollars on a new video game, my usage ration of that new limit would be %50 and would harm my credit score for the month. His polite response was I could simply go to the curtosy desk and pay it off right after charging on the card. I had them close the account. I STRONGLY recommend you not waste your time with Targets and their Charge card.
For me personally, I found this offending enough to effect my shopping habits and will not be taking the hour drive to shop at a targets nor their online site.
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I got this card back in 2013 with a $200 limit. I used the card once in a while and paid it off within 2 months of purchase couldn't buy much with $200. I wanted to raise my limit and they didn't do request only auto increases. I googled how to get an increase and read I should use the card more than half the limit and let that amount reflect on statement balance. Although this is opposite of what you want to do with credit cards. I actually worked! I've had the card for 3 years at this point and finally got an increase to $700. I brought all X-Mas supplies on card and got another increase to $900. Then i receved another about 4 months later to $1100. In June, I received a huge increase for $4,000. Received a letter in mail saying I was being uograded to Mastercard in Aug. Stoked! So far no issues! stoked!
Do You Know Who Owns Your Target Credit Card?
Target has been unable to sell its private-label credit card portfolio, which has been on the market since last January and has now suspended the sale, we learn from Reuters. The retailer had sold half of its credit card loans to JPMorgan Chase for $3.6 billion in 2008 and had been actively looking this past year for a buyer for its current pool of receivables.
Target isn’t actually trying to sell its credit card business, which is a quite profitable part of the struggling retailer’s operations. What it is selling, or attempting to anyway, are the outstanding credit card balances owed by the holders of Target-branded credit cards. Observers are split on the merits of the decision to sell the portfolio, as the long-term benefits of such a move are indeed questionable. But there is another question that deserves reflection: how does such a sale affect the cardholder?
What Is a Store-Branded Credit Card?
Before I weigh in on the issue, let me briefly describe what a store-branded credit card is. Also called “private-label,” this type of bank card is a credit card that is issued by or on behalf of a given retailer or other merchant type and can be used for purchases solely at that merchant’s stores. Other than that, private-label functions just like any other credit card and is subject to the same rules and regulations.
In a way, private-label is similar to a store-issued gift card, as both payment types can only be used at the merchant whose logo they display. The difference, of course, is that, while using a gift card requires that you first load it up with your own money, when using a private-label one you are spending from the credit line you’ve been approved for.
There is one thing both credit and prepaid cards have in common, which helps distinguish all-purpose credit from private-label: cards that display the logo of a credit card company (e.g. Discover, American Express, etc.) or network (i.e. Visa or MasterCard), can be accepted by any merchant that accepts that brand’s cards.
What Does Target Get from a Private-Label Program?
From a merchant’s point of view, a private-label program can be operated in two distinctly different ways. The first is to have a financial institution underwrite and manage the cardholder accounts and the alternative is to operate the whole thing yourself, which is the path chosen by Target. The former option allows you to stick to what you’re good at and let the banks do what they are designed to do. Managing the program yourself is a costly undertaking and you risk taking a huge hit if things go bad. The upside, of course, is that, should you do a good job at it, you would create a whole new, and potentially big, revenue source.
Well, things have worked out quite well for Target. In fact, as Reuters reminds us, the retailer’s private-label arm has positively contributed to the bottom line in every quarter since the last one of 2008, right after the Lehman collapsed and all financial hell broke loose. Few issuers can boast such results. In the third quarter of last year, Target reported profit of $143 million from its credit card unit, a ten percent gain from the same period of 2010.
Additionally, the private-label program benefits retailers through the higher sales spurred by the discounts claimed by customers who agree to open up a card at the checkout. Moreover, Target has managed to boost the subsequent use of its cards by launching a rewards program, increasing its share of sales to 9.5 percent from 5.5 percent, according to a statement issued Nov. 16.
So it is clear that Target’s private-label program is hugely beneficial for the retailer. Yet, Target is trying to sell the credit card receivables for reasons known to its management. How will such a sale impact cardholders? Well, there are a couple of separate issues here.
Firstly, the immediate result of a sale of your Target credit card account to a different company will turn this new company into your creditor. The contract you signed with Target will remain in force, but your new creditor will be solely responsible for making decisions in case of events that are not covered in your agreement. So, if you keep making payments on time, which you should be doing anyway, you will not be affected in any way. If, on the other hand, you are late on a payment, and the consequences of such an omission are not clearly spelled out in the contract, the new creditor will make a decision on what changes will take place, within the parameters of the existing laws.
On the other hand, Target will remain in charge of your rewards program, so there will be no changes there, for as long as your account is active.
The bottom line is that a change in ownership of your Target account, if it happens at all, will not affect you in any way, provided you stick to your part of the agreement. As with all other types of plastic, bad things begin to happen only when you stop doing that. But then, that would be the case even if Target never sold the account.
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