Will Target Circle Actually Save You More Money?

So I can’t be the only one noticing that every time I go to Target, they are asking me to put in my phone number for Target Circle. Personally, the staff at Target haven’t been very good at explaining what in the world Target Circle is, how it benefits me an why I should be entering in my phone number. A whopping 1% back doesn’t exactly thrill me, especially when I have a 5% back Target Red Card.

My confusion is your gain. I went ahead and did the research on what the Target Circle is, how it works and if it’s even helping you save money. Spoiler alert: I’m kind of a skeptic.

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How Target Circle Works

Target Circle is Target’s latest venture on getting more people to…well…shop at Target. Like every retailer, Target is constantly trying to stay on top of how to keep people coming in their doors and Target Circle is their latest venture.

Target Circle is the new Cartwheel

You still are required to join the program in the app and scan items like you would have previously done with Cartwheel. Still free of charge!

On top of offering Cartwheel-like discounts in the app, you can also enter your phone number when you check out to make sure you are getting your 1% back on your purchase.

How the savings works

Unlike the Red Card, Target Circle’s 1% isn’t just a discount, it’s a rebate that you can redeem at a later date.

That means, if you spend $100 at Target (which you know you will), you’ll get $1 (or 1%) added to your Target Circle. Then, at a later date you can use that $1 as a discount.

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Target Circle is a new way to save money and get discounts at Target stores. But does it actually work to save you money and how much?

Target Circle savings offers

Every time you scan a purchase (like you did with Cartwheel) Target Circle will make note of what you are buying in order to send you more discounts related to your purchases.

Extra discounts

For example, if you’re a big beauty products lover, Target will take notice and be sure to send you more discounts related to those types of products.

Rebates on cash

With the new 1% rebate feature, you are able to get that 1% even if you pay with cash. This is different, because previously you have needed your Red Card to save money.

This seems like an added bonus for those who are big cash users, although the discount works no matter how you pay.

Birthday bonuses

Like many businesses, Target is ready to treat you on your birthday with an additional 5% off. I’m still uncertain as to whether or not this would benefit me at all as a Red Card holder.

Would it be 10% or do I just hang onto my same ‘ol 5%?

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Charitable giving

A nice feel-good aspect about Target Circle is that you, as a user, get to feel more involved in giving to local non-profits in your area.

Personally, I’d rather stick with more hands-on giving.

Target Circle is a new way to save money and get discounts at Target stores. But does it actually work to save you money and how much?
From the Krazycouponlady.com

Why did Target switch it up?

Frankly, Target decided to change their way of doing things because their Red Card usage (their old way of finding out how to market to you) had dropped drastically.

An estimated 24% of Target shoppers were actually taking advantage of the Red Card. And yes, I am one of them.

We already know Target is watching our every move and I felt a little better about it when I was at least getting a 5% discount.

Is the Red Card no good?

So yes, I’m a Red Card user, does the new Target Circle make this obsolete? No!

Target Red Card holders (both debit and credit) are able to still take advantage of the 5% off while still getting a 1% rebate toward their next purchase.

How to avoid over-spending

Although I am a big fan of rebate apps, you just might know by now that I always caution against them in one very specific way.

Make your shopping list BEFORE you scan for rebates and/or coupons!

Often times, people get worked into a frenzy about a coupon, discount or rebate, that they will go out of their way to purchase that item. This is not saving you any money!

Put an item on your list and then check to see if any rebates are available to you.

Target Circle is a new way to save money and get discounts at Target stores. But does it actually work to save you money and how much?

What to watch out for

Like I said, Target’s marketing team are literally experts at stalking.

Remember when they knew people were pregnant before the women actually told anyone?

Yeah, it happened.

I guess it shouldn’t be all too surprising considering that most retailers and online sites are observing out shopping tendencies to try and market to us more. This is just Target’s newest attempt at it.

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Thinking bigger savings

I think my sour attitude behind this is not only that I am tired of being followed around and marketed to, but that I know so many people who will go into a frenzy at the idea of a 1% rebate!

What could you do with 1% instead?

Instead of being thrilled to tears about a measly 1% rebate at Target, why not get yourself a smart savings account that is going to pay you closer to 2% interest on the money you save.

Better yet, try investing your spare change instead of just taking it off your next Target purchase.

3 Ways to Begin Investing with $100

1% invested compared to 1% rebate

Let’s take that $100 example, shall we?

If you spend $100 at Target, you’ll get $1 off your next purchase. Not really life changing, is it?

The next time you spend $99 instead of $100.


You could invest $100 and then every month contribute that $99.

If you do this every month for the next 30 years you will have made almost $6,000 from your 1% interest!

Big wins, small rebates

When it comes to your finances, don’t always take the cheapskate route. It’s so important to remember to look at the big picture.

Focus on big money wins and avoid spending too much time and energy on the tiny savings that won’t actually change the outcome of your life.

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Target Circle is a new way to save money and get discounts at Target stores. But does it actually work to save you money and how much?