Staying out of the red with the Target Red Debit Card

piggy bank

Clay’s new piggy bank

Everyone knows I prefer online shopping, but before my infatuation with Amazon and Diapers.com, my first love was Target. It is less chaotic than Wal-Mart, with good prices and the ability to buy diapers, a new TV and applesauce all in one place. When my kids were babies, I would sometimes go to Target after they went to bed and walk around aimlessly, enjoying time to myself and checking out inexpensive (but cute!) home decor options or workout clothes. I rarely do that anymore, but in general, if I’m going to a brick-and-mortar store for something, there is a good chance it’s Target.

You’ve all been at Target (or other retailers) when the checkout person asks, “would you like to save an extra 5 percent and open a store card?” Since Chase works for a credit counseling company, I know the dangers of store credit cards, as they have some of the highest interest rates in the industry. So even though I love to save money, my immediate answer is “no, thank you.”

After turning down the 5 percent savings for years, I changed my tune last Thanksgiving, after my mom told me about the Target Red Debit card. While we use our rewards credit cards for larger purchases, I use my Bank of America debit card the rest of the time. She was at Target with me and asked why I didn’t have their debit card. She explained that it is linked directly to your checking account (just like your debit card) and that you save 5 percent on every purchase. You also get free shipping for Target.com orders, which may be the biggest advantage for me. Normally Target only offers free shipping if you spend $50.

Last night, Clay asked for a “boy version” of Avery’s piggy bank, which I bought at Target a few weeks ago. He’s making really good progress with saving his money and I want to encourage him to save. I also don’t have time to go to Target this week. After a few clicks on their site, I saved 5 percent and it will here by Friday (with free shipping). The Target Red Debit Card is my new favorite way to save time and money!

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