No more Red shame

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life116 Comments

Maybe it’s just me.

Maybe I am the only person in America who chooses to use a credit card other than a Target Red Card when I am shopping at my local Target store.

I have embraced my place as a credit card outlier in a sea of red plastic. But today, I can no longer remain silent if I want to live with less crimson-colored shame.

(Side story: Did you know that my Target happens to be the ORIGINAL Target store, referred to as Store. No. 1? The original, the Numero Uno, the TARGENESIS? It’s true. They have a mini-museum wall when you walk in the doors that tells the story of how it all came to be.)

But I’m not here to wax sentimental on the fact that I get to buy my Pantene, Q-Tips and Preparation H at Target Store No. 1.

Today I’m here to make a plea to Target and that plea is this: please stop shaming me because I don’t have a Red Card.

Every time I’m in the checkout line they ask me this: Will you be using your Target Red Card today?

Every time I steel myself, make direct eye contact with the cashier and serve up a cheery and confident, “Not today!”

And every single time they return with: You don’t want to save 5%?

Every. F#@king. Time.

Here are some of the replies I have given to that question in the past month alone.

No, thank you! I’m gonna use my Citibank Thank You Rewards Card because I buy everything on this card and at the end of the year my family gets Christmas for free!

No, that’s okay! I use a card that gets me the same if not more in points so I can shop at Amazon and buy things me and my family need!

No, thanks. I’m good.


[ silence, and act like I didn’t hear the question ]

I realize I am overreacting. I know they are just doing their jobs by asking the question but when you go to Target three times weekly, eventually you’re going to start questioning your choices.

Is my Citi Card REALLY getting me the same kind of deals? Can I back that up or is it just flimsy idea I’ve embraced as fact?

Am I stupid for not just saving the 5% right this minute?

Am I stupid?

Am I pretty?


But here’s the part that kills me. When I give one of my pat responses they invariably come back with this:


It’s like the old EF Hutton commercials, remember those? A hush falls over the entirety of Store No. 1, as people lean away from their red carts, toward the line at checkout 13, awaiting the answer from a woman who CLEARLY is about to make the worst decision in her life as she replies again, this time questioning her conviction from before with a much less decisive, “No???”

Then it comes. The cashier’s visible disappointment.  And in that moment, I can’t help it. I see red.

That, and I feel like a complete idiot for not wanting to save that 5%.

And I have had it. I really have. I’m done.

But because I am not actually done with Target—I mean, I’m not going to live without my Archer Farms fruit leather—I’ve worked out a few new responses designed to nip the second pity response in the bud, before it EVER even crosses the Target cashier’s mind. Today, I’d like to share those responses with you.

1. Immediately ask them the SAME question and wait for THEIR response.

2. Make uncomfortably loud Trumpeter Swan-like noises for a continuous 60 seconds. Followed by no sounds whatsoever.

4. Produce a deck of cards, ask them to pick one but not show it to me, and then throw the whole deck at them David Blaine-style and shout, IS THIS YOUR CARD?

5. Place my hands on my temple, begin a full-body vibration and stare as hard as I can into their eyes, ending by shouting, “RELEASE!”

6. Respond only in clicks and whistles.

7. Present two chalices of wine on the cash and wrap area and say in my best Dread Pirate Roberts accent, “Alright… where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun!”

8. Recreate Sally’s pie eating scene from When Harry Met Sally.

9. If all else fails, I’ll just do this:


I know Target is a sensitive corporation that wants to do the right thing to make its customers both comfortable and happy. At the very least, could they do what they do in a Catholic church when you’re not officially cleared for Communion? You just hold your hands across your chest while walking up to the altar to receive the blessing, but not the body and the blood.

I guess what I’m saying is that I want my blessing [ read: Applegate Oven Roasted Turkey and Up and Up Cotton Balls ]. But for the love of all things holy and red, I really don’t want the card.


Cathy ZielskeNo more Red shame

116 Comments on “No more Red shame”

  1. #1

    Mwahahahaahahahahaha! You freaking crack me up. I about scream when my local grocery store asks twice about me NOT having any coupons. NO COUPONS! I PAY FULL PRICE so STOP ASKING ME. I actually put in the suggestion box that they have a line where they do NOT ask you if you have coupons so I can stop feeling like a coupon less loser.

    1. #1.1

      people ask you if you have coupons because a lot of people that work in retail may know that the item you have is probably on sale and you could get it for cheaper, they can’t just give it to you because that is how the stores make their money. a lot of people care, take that into consideration.

  2. #2
    Nicky H

    I feel the same way as you. Except the reason I never got a card was because the one time I tried, the computer wouldn’t take it, and a few days later I got a letter in the mail saying they could not confirm my identity. Like I’m a spy or something! So when they ask, and I spout out my story, they start asking too many questions and make me nervous. Totally annoying.

  3. #3

    I also get annoyed with them asking. Then I started working at another retailer and have to ask the same question. We are “encouraged” to get at least 3 credit apps each month. We are told it creates customer loyalty because if they have the card, they will come back and spend more.
    What is really does is eliminate the fee the retailer is charged when a customer uses a bankcard. It also generates loads of money when the customer doesn’t pay it off each month. (Retailer credit cards have up to 29% annual interest rate!)
    I earn a $2 bonus each time I get a customer to apply for a credit card. Target employees earn $4 for each one. Almost every month, they hold a contest to see which team can earn the most. It gets rather tiring.
    I ask but I do not badger.

    1. #3.1

      At what target?! I have NEVER received any form of bonus short of the “free Starbucks” or “free candy” for any of the red cards I have gotten, which has been a lot. the only reason I even keep pushing for red cards is the real bonus of not having your gstl riding your ass….

  4. #4

    hahaha! I battled this by making friends with two of the cashiers. I picked older ones whose give-a-damn looked like it might break easy and I know work full-time. I call them both by name, wave when I walk in, talk about tattoos (I don’t have any, but 56 year old Pam does)or whatever, etc. I don’t get asked anymore. Cause you don’t ask friends the same question you know the answer to over and over. My store isn’t nearly as rude with it though. That follow-up question is insanely pushy and I would get POed too.

  5. #5

    I prefer ‘You want me to sign up for a credit card with the company that suffered the largest credit card data theft in recent history? Um no.’ Say that loud enough and watch the cashier’s eyes start to dart to their feet.

    1. #5.2

      I like it!! Another woman who is sick and tired of being asked this question; I will use your response next time!

    2. #5.3

      I actually tell them every time that “No, it is still in my wallet but I haven’t reregistered it since my information got stollen from this store.” And the last time I was in there the cashier told me it wasn’t stollen from them, it was from the machine (as she patted it)… then why was it only the Target cards that were stollen?!?

      1. #5.3.1
        Betsey Terry

        i actually dont have the redcard, and my data was compromised, as was my sisters.

        I actually work in corp retail and my company also frequently has drives for our ‘visa’ card..but we ask once…and it’s done…same with when you unsubscribe from our email we dont ask 10,000 questions why (which i think we should at least get one reason..but..that’s just me).

    3. #5.4

      This is my response every time and I always say it loudly. I find they don’t hound the next person in line.

    4. #5.5

      Actually, Home Depot, Tj max, Best Buy, and several other retailers were hit from the hackers at the exact same time. Hence, the nationwide switch to chip readers.

  6. #6

    I also do not have a Target Red card and I don’t want one. And I have actually stopped shopping at Target because I got tired of them asking me that question about wanting to save 5% – twice every time I checked out. Seriously, I heard you the first time but you must not have been listening to me when I said No Thank You. Sorry, but I don’t shop at places that don’t listen to their customers. Good for you for taking a stand also and not giving in to the red card.

  7. #7

    Amen, sistah! Not just me? YAY! In fact, I did cave – once – hated every minute of it. It was Christmas shopping, over $200 – sure, let’s save that 5% on THIS order. Went thru the process. Turns out they have TWO types of cards! (who knew!) Debit vs credit. They always simply ASK, and they ASK about credit, so I guess I assumed – I’d be getting credit. They signed me up for debit. Um – no – I didn’t want debit. Took me forever to get the heck OUT of it – never again. They ask. I give a simple no. Swipe my credit card of choice. And keep on moving. Interesting comments tho’. I had a feeling for the push, there’s likely a bonus in it for the employees for successfully pimping their card. I feel for them – I do – they’re just doing their job and what they’re told. But I also really like KathyinMN’s response too! bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha! May have to use that one! Thanks for the shared frustration!

  8. #9
    Annet M

    Target lasted barely 2 years after expanding into Canada and then went down in a flame of glory (not really but its a nice phrase) so I have little love for them. We at least had self-checkout which might be the solution to all human interaction – except when it doesn’t work 50% of the time (put the item in the bagging area… I DID DAMN YOU!)

  9. #10

    I had a Target red which I never used but got for the initial signup bonus. I too use my (hotel chain)card for ALL our purchases which does get us a lot of free nights hither and yon. Considering how menial these store clerk jobs are, I just smile and nod my head no. End of subject.

    All stores do this…Macys always shames me when I realize I am the only one in line without the extra 20% coupon and the whatever today’s special is. Sometimes another shopper will let me use her coupon because that’s what women do but I shop for stuff so seldom I forget that I should be shopping on alternate Tuesdays when they fall on Thursdays. (<– the latter 'criteria' is stolen from a cartoon or something I saw when I was about 20…)

  10. #11

    This seems to be a common practice everywhere and doesn’t really seem worthy of getting upset with a cashier (the messenger) doing their job. So, I just simply say “no thanks” (even if I’m asked over and over during the same transaction) and then move along. Life’s short.

    1. #11.1
      Gypsy Chaos

      Congratulations. Your tolerance level for unrelenting aggravating interactions is higher than others’.

        1. #

          And your comment was just a bit condescending to those who ARE frustrated with being constantly asked for that which they do not want.

        2. #

          And Karol, your comment was just a bit condescending to those who ARE frustrated with being constantly asked for that which they do not want. Like CZ for instance 🙂

  11. #12

    Preach it, sister! I really hate being asked about store credit cards: Kohls is another store that does this, but usually after the “no thanks” they ask two follow up questions. I won’t shop there. I don’t care how much cash back they give me, the store creeps me out.
    I call Target the $100 store. No matter what I go in for, I will leave with more than $100 worth of crap. I have stopped shopping there because I am totally useless when faced with all their shiny things.

    1. #12.1

      It is totally the $100 store. No.matter.what I buy, the total is $100. So frustrating! But also easy to budget 🙂

    2. #12.2

      A friend of mine calls it a “cover charge” she says she can’t leave that store without spending $100. 🙂

  12. #13

    Although I have a red card, sometimes the funds are low and the credit card is required. When they ask, I say “today I NEED to use this card.” That seems to stop the further inquiries.

  13. #14

    Unfortunately this pressure they are giving you is because the employees are pressured into pushing the red cards, and are rewarded for every one they sign up. It is a matter of record and is part of their performance reviews. They are also graded on how fast they can get you thru the line, and if you don’t complete the checkout process quickly enough, it dings the cashiers score. That’s why they ask in the beginning, to get you moving toward payment.

    1. #14.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yep. I’m aware of this. I just wish there was a sign I could hold up, similar to the one I made for when people in my neighborhood try to get me to park on their lawns during the State Fair. Just hold it up and say, “No red card today. End of discussion.”

      But I realize they are just doing their jobs. 🙂

      1. #14.1.1

        I vote for that — hold up a sign, and see what happens! (Have Dan or the kids video so we can all see…) 🙂

      2. #14.1.3

        Yes, definitely make a download template of this card. We can all share it via FB and soon everyone in America will flash it at the Target cashiers!! Brilliant Cathy!!

  14. #15

    Target treated its suppliers and employees so badly when it went slinking out of Canada with tail between legs that it is dead to me. A visit to the States usually involved this question: “where’s the nearest Target?”. No more. So there’s another way to avoid the dread 5% question.

  15. #16

    My son worked at Target through high school. He quit his senior year because of the pressure they put on their employees to sell the *!@# red cards. He didn’t mind the job, but HATED the red card pressure. They lost a prompt, polite employee…….one that is hard to come by these days.

    1. #16.2

      I did the same thing. I worked for them over the holidays one year and I got so tired of being asked how many red cards I’d gotten that day that I started dreading coming into work. There was one particular supervisor that was the worst, but all of them did it. I ended up quitting in February. The experience almost made me not even want to shop there again…but I got over that. My target doesn’t ask the question twice at least.

  16. #17

    I just say, “Nope.” And swipe my Southwest card because I like flying the family to see my parents for free twice a year. 😀

  17. #18

    Try saying, “no, actually, I was hoping you could charge me a little more. Can you do that??” Really throw ’em off guard.

  18. #19

    Preach on, Sister!

    There’s one particular cashier I avoid like the plague because she will not stop touting the many rewards of the Target debit card while processing my order.

    My favorite of her “lines” is “its 100 percent safe and secure just like your bank debit card and you get free shipping.” At the safer and secure but I can no longer contain my laughter.

  19. #20

    I, too, felt the guilt of NOT saving 5%. My husband was SURE that we DID NOT NEED another credit card. Then, after switching to the Target pharmacy (instead of the painful and mind-numbing pharmacy experience at Walmart) we we’re convinced to get the debit card to help track our pharmacy reward points. Lo and behold, we eventually DID cave in and got the Red card…. only to have their data breach right on our tails. Needless to say, I haven’t been able to live down the I TOLD YOU SO stares from my husband.

  20. #21

    NY & Company was where I finally went ballistic – after going through the same spiel each time, an employee who would. not. stop. badgering. finally told me, “We have to hear you say ‘no’ three times before we can stop asking.” Wait… what?? I’ve worked in retail; I know what pressure they’re under to get credit apps, but that sent me over the edge. I haven’t been back since. That store is now closed and I can’t say I’m sorry – or that I don’t understand why.

  21. #22

    I have this personal thing that I don’t waste my time on these type of “savings”, coupons or sales unless it’s at least a 20% savings. So when they try the pressure tactic I just tell them I don’t waste my time for a 5% savings, I pay more than that in taxes. They usually don’t respond after that. 🙂

  22. #23

    And it’s not just Target … Old Navy and Sears push their employees to get people to sign up for their credit cards, B&N pushes their rewards card. Yes, it’s annoying, but it’s not the employee’s fault. I just reply “no thanks.”

    The reality is that I feel sorry for the employees … I sure wouldn’t want to spend my work hours trying to convince people to apply for a card they don’t want …

  23. #24

    I have responded with
    I would love to see 5% and I am sorry they make you ask that silly question.

    I do feel for the people on the front line. They have to catch the fall out from the corporate ideas, so I do try to be nice most of the time.

    1. #24.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yes, this post is a bit cheeky. I worked retail from age 16 to 23, so I have a first hand view of being in that role. Of course, in my day, Chess King didn’t push it’s cards on everyone. 🙂 But yes, I don’t want to go in there an be mean.

  24. #25
    Audrey V

    omg, I totally agree!!! I have to admit, after years of being shamed, I caved and got a red card. And then Target was hacked, and so was my card!! So I canceled my red card. And when they asked me if I had a red card, my response was, “Well… I had one until your computers were hacked, so I had to cancel it.”
    A reasonable person would think that this is a great comeback, and would end the harassment. But noooooo. The response at first was, “well honey, all of the stores have been hacked, they just haven’t admitted it.” Now the response has morphed into a look like “I don’t know what you are talking about”.
    So I am back to the same dilemma, how to respond, how to respond. I have actually said “Would you please stop asking me that?” No effect.
    But sadly, yes, I love Target too, so I guess that have us between a rock and a hard spot.

  25. #26

    How about: “No thanks! I’ll be using a card I trust to keep my identity secure!” :O) Go get ’em CZ!

  26. #28
    Juli Pelletier

    My standard response to that question is:
    “I’ve had my identity stolen once already, that’s enough for one person to deal with in a lifetime.”
    and then I get the “but you can save 5%” and I throw out there
    “I save way more than 5% by doing the majority of my shopping at Costco…dont’ make me eliminate Target all together.”
    but honestly, I’m so tired of Target, I do the majority of my shopping at Costco, Aldi, Trader Joe’s and Amazon. Done.

  27. #29

    I agree! I’ve started swiping my card as soon as the first item is scanned and that has seemed to help.

    I think you need to make a t-shirt or pin to wear when you shop there that says “no I don’t want to save 5% today” or “no, I don’t want/need/plan to get a red card” or something along those lines.

    The other response I give is that I don’t need another credit card, thank you or we just use one card for everything. Maybe speak to a manager as well and tell them you love to shop there but it’s really getting old and you spend X# of dollars there a month and might have to go somewhere else it bothers you so much.

    Good luck!

  28. #31

    I take special glee in turning down all these big-chain “discount” cards. They all offer it and inevitably ask “Don’t you want to save blah blah” and I always say, “No. I don’t.” Yes, my life is sad because that always gives me a kick. Its fun sticking it to these corporations (even though I shop in their stores).

  29. #32

    Cathy this post needs to go viral, Target needs to hear our voice! I am in total agreement with your frustration. I have thought about wearing a large button that states not to ask me about the credit card. The constant pressure makes me dread check-out. Yesterday, I had to listen to my cashier tell the two women ahead of me, and then me when it was my turn, about how great the debit card is, and she had a customer a couple weeks ago, who works for the company that puts security chips on credit cards, said that Target just made a huge purchase from them and how great the chip is, and the debit card was never affected by the breech, and how Cub foods had the same thing happen to them, but they tried to hush it, and at least Target apologized … Blah blah blah, vomit! Just lower your stinking prices and make everyone more happy to shop there. And let’s not the forget how every single employee that crosses your path needs to ask you if you are doing ok. I’ve had employees come up behind me out of no where and spring that question on me.
    I do feel sorry for the cashiers who are just doing their job, and they are required by corporate to ask, and stores each have a per day quota they need to get new cards. They really don’t want to save us 5%, they want us to take on a debt load so they can charge us interest and make more money.
    I love your new plan of action. I may try them out too.

    1. #32.1


      I ran in yesterday morning before work for some office supplies and wandered all over looking at a few things off my grocery and daughters dorm room want list. While calmly looking at a pricetag or having just turned a corner I was ambushed so many times. Sorry, but if you are going to ask me if I am finding everything or if I need help, a: make sure I know you are standing behind me first, b: speak softly and tone down the excitement c: do they have periscopes to look around corners? It’s like turning the corner in a funhouse. 7 heart attacks before 8 a.m. is enough already, I’m only going when I am fully awake or already annoyed from now on.

      I try to go when my daughters friends are working. My daughter works at Kohl’s (hates it but they pay well) andthey get a $1 for every person they sign up. I say no and give them the $1 in cash later 🙂

  30. #36

    Just tell them that applying for a new credit card will adversely affect your credit score and that’s NOT worth 5%!
    I never knew that but hubby told me (he’s on the board at a local credit union so he heard it from people who are in the know!).

  31. #37

    At ANY store that says “do you want to save X% with our card”?, I reply; “yes, I want to save X% but I don’t want your card. Since you asked, how else can I go about getting that discount?” 9x out of 10 they procure some sort of coupon except at Target, where it rattles them and they just stop asking. BTW, if you do have the Red card (as I eventually succumbed to the debit version), then they ask about the Cartwheel app. At which point I tell them, I can’t look at my phone and shop or my kids play hide and seek in the stock room and I crash carts and that would be a huge liability for them.

  32. #38

    HAHAHAHA! But are you using Cartwheel? Cause that’s really where the savings is! Seriously, I worked at Pier 1 and we were “REQUIRED” to ask about the credit card every time. We were reviewed on it. If a manager heard you NOT asking you got a talking to. I once got my ass chewed for not asking a young (maybe 18) girl if she wanted one. All I could think was that I didn’t want my own kid to be “tempted.” It was honestly one of the reasons I quit.

    1. #38.1

      Wow, I could have written this post. I worked at Pier 1 last summer and hated the push to sign people up for those cards! I only worked there for about a month before I decided that I wasn’t cut out for that pressure. And, much like you, I couldn’t stomach the idea of preying on someone else’s daughter with my own out there. Way too much ‘reap what you sow’ for my liking!

  33. #39
    Mary Beth Hunt

    I love Target store trivia. My parents were childhood friends with an old Target exec and I babysat for their kids. Also, “my” Target store in Omaha was the First “SuperTarget” and is the largest Target store.
    Also Also I don’t have a Red Card.

  34. #40

    When you’re wearing your bee costume to Target you can tell them to “BUZZZZZ OFFFF”.

    I actually have the target red card. At least they give you the 5% off and free shipping from the website and supposedly a kick back to my kids elementary school (so says the PTO). For me the other store cards make me crazier. I just came from TJ MAXX where they tried to pressure me to “open a TJ MAXX credit card.” I’m thinking: Um no, I’ll let CitiCards monitor and handle your data breaches. Or our grocery store that has a “discount card” that you have to purchase for $20/year to get the sale prices, and they can track your exact spending habits and raise the prices on the things people buy most…

    1. #40.1

      They already know from their POS and inventory systems what things sell the most. What they learn from the discount cards and apps and other similar systems are what things get bought together by what demographic of shopper. They then use this data for their own promotions and also sell it to marketers. They also learn things like how much you spend in a month if you buy a certain product, and what portion of that money you are spending on certain store categories. It lets them take their marketing data to the individual shopper behavior level instead of just knowing that “Coke sells better than Pepsi” or whatever.

  35. #41

    I work retail (not at Target) and I’ll defend the cashiers a little. Most retailers have started using mystery shops (*grumble, grumble* I not like them.) and if the cashier does not say everything on the ‘script’ they can get in trouble or even fired. BUT, that does not give them an excuse to be rude, and act like you are an idiot if you choose not to have a store card.

    So, are your cashiers doing their job? Yes. Are they also acting like big bags of feminine hygiene products? Yes.

    1. #41.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I worked retail from age 16 to about 24 so I am not slamming the cashiers. It’s the policies of Target and other retail establishments for making that the card pushing part of their employee required behaviors. 🙂

  36. #44

    Cathy, you may already know this, but you can apply your thank you points toward air fare AND save 25% on that air fare when you book through the Thank You rewards site. (Though I just bought a crapton of stuff on Amazon with my points…)

    SO…I always ask the cashier if the Red Card will save me 25% on air fare, and when they say no, I say, when your Red Card will do that, I will sign up. Until then, it’s me and my Thank You card.

  37. #45

    I use to have panic attacks! I took an incredible 8 week class. Half of the students in the class had their first panic attacks at Target.

    1. First thing you see is RED and more Red and more Red
    2. Then there is popcorn that just doesn’t smell right
    3. The music is just a tad too loud
    4. The lighting is not quite right flickers…or whatever

    All of these issues makes you just a tad anxious and you spend more????

    No more RED card for me! Remember how it was hacked a few years back!

  38. #46

    Preach it, sistah. That is the most ANNOYING conversation and it happens EVERY. TIME.

    Maybe you could design a cute little card that we can print and just hand to the cashier… one that says, “Ask me to sign up for a Red Card. ONE. MORE. TIME.” Then we can keep those in the same wallet slot as our CitiBank (or whatever bank) card that we intend to use, ready to whip out when the cashier wanders down that insane conversational path.

  39. #47

    I say, ‘I’d like to stay married thank you.’ It’s an inside joke between my husband and I but it’s gotten a few laughs at checkouts when asked about signing up for store credit cards.

  40. #48

    You crack me up. =) In the spirit of being an accountant and therefore annoying as hell, I will just point out that no, points-based reward cards are likely not going to beat the 5% savings you can get at Target with the red card. Here’s the info on the Citi Thank You points:

    It tells you how to get the most bang for your buck out of your points. The best rewards card I’ve been able to find has been the Barclay Arrival+ card, which gives the equivalent of 2.2% cash back in rewards – still nowhere near the 5% on the Red Card. The Citi card will get you 1.25% cash back max – and that’s if you’re using it on travel booked through their travel center. It’s also untrue that applying for the debit card adversely affects your credit score – only the credit card.

    1. #48.1
      Cathy Zielske

      CURSES! 😉

      I still do not want one more card and one more bill to pay. But crap! Maybe I DO.

      1. #48.1.1

        That is exactly why I got the debit card- NOT the credit card. It’s 5% off, and it comes straight out of your regular bank account, so no bills. Best of both worlds. And I always just get to say Yep! and swipe. I don’t think they really talk about the actual debit card enough.

  41. #49

    Number 9 had me laughing like a lunatic! You’re too funny….and no, I don’t have a Target Red Card either. Honestly, I didn’t even know one existed until I read your post. I guess I live beneath a rock somewhere.

  42. #50
    Kathleen S

    I actually used my Target card until my husband looked at the interest rate. I don’t run a huge balance, usually pay it off monthly, but that didn’t matter. He went ballistic, transferred a ridiculously small balance to a card with a sensible interest rate, yet he still mutters when we pass a Target. I’d been a loyal card user because you can designate a school to receive a percentage of what you spend. No more. I, too, still shop. I keep my card to flash when they ask. You could make a facsimile that would pass a quick glimpse!

  43. #51
    Fee K

    It is getting bad. Bc I have a red card and I feel I need to have it out before getting in line. I feel bad for them. Just as I do at kohls. My daughter gets yelled at if she does not get credit. Something she doesn’t even believe in. She finally asked for a transfer because it stressed her so much to hear from them on the floor in front of customers things like does she need to role play. Did you get a credit. You have to get a credit. All this for $8 an hour. I’m sure some of these ppl hate it as much as you Bc some like my daughter get yelled at for not shaming others into getting credit. It’s not just these stores. But gamestop and many others. It’s absurd.

  44. #52

    Thank you!! I have the target debit card and use it when I can but sometimes I can’t because if target must know, I had a bad bad pregnancy that put me on bed rest for 20?weeks and out of work with no pay check for 9 months so even though my little guy is such a blessing and worth it all it has caused us to live pay check to pay check and I can’t always use debit due to low bank funds so I have to use credit so when they first asked me why I didn’t want to save 5% I looked at them wondering what kind of ever lived in someone to rub iron that I’m broke and literally can’t afford to save that 5%. It made me feel even worse about my mo ey situation and I just wanted to get out of there immediately. Now I’m prepared and just give a stern No when they ask that, as in no, dummy, i don’t want to save 5%, mind your own dang business, I know they’re trained to say it but seriously they’ve got to realize that some people have their reasons and it is personal and valid and their comment can actually hurt

  45. #53

    Haha! We always get shamed because we don’t use credit cards. At all. It’s a debit card or cash only. They always look at me like I’ve lost my mind!!

  46. #54
    Lori Hudson

    J – I don’t think you should feel any shame for that. As a matter of fact, I was going to suggest shaming them back by telling them a very sad story about why you don’t qualify for a Target Red Card. You are right, it really is insensitive for them to keep pushing the issue. Then I would tell them you are only using a different credit card because you stole it and to hurry up with the transaction but that person is going to realize their card is gone any minute.
    I think CZs answer number two the best. We could even make it go viral by designating a protest “Swann Day” at every Target

  47. #55

    Hey Cathy……I think you need to make a “no @#$# red card” app for that. (kind of like the Sheldon from Big Bang app that’s the infamous whip sound).
    You could have different levels of responses……a nice polite one for the first ask, then increasingly “firm” for each additional time they ask. Then when any of us are shopping in target we could whip out our phones, hit your app and you can tell them no for all of us!!

  48. #56
    Laura G.

    LOL!!! this post was too funny!!! I say go with #8…and say NO! NO! NO! while whipping your head back and forth…

  49. #57

    YES AND AMEN. In my new Target (which is so far from Target 1 that I have dubbed it #tinytarget) there is one cashier in particular who takes my refusal to sign up for a red card verrrrrrry seriously. I have started avoiding her. But over the years, I just get so tired of being hounded. I wish there was a button you could sign off on it once and be labeled forever as a “don’t ask again.”

  50. #58
    Sharon Fletcher

    I feel the same about Macys. When Zi am adked, i say truthfully and I dont mind that anyone hears. “Your credit department ruined it for me using their card. The interest rate is too high- the card I use gives me travel points.”

    I don’t feel I should be shamed for shopping at their store. Thanks for the open letter and here here!

  51. #59
    Christine K.

    I feel for the cashiers that are required to sell credit cards. I experience the “credit card” question just about everywhere I shop. I usually just get asked once. I give a firm “no thank you”. My husband and I did the Dave Ramsey thing and gave up credit cards in 2006. No regrets. I was at Nordstrom the other day and the new thing with them is a “Nordstrom Debit Card”. Maybe this is the wave of the future for retailers. At this point, I think I will stick with my bank debit card.

  52. #60

    My young adult child was totally stressed at a job where she was not only required to push their card, she was called on the carpet for not signing up enough people. It gave me a different perspective on the poor cashiers but hasn’t lessened, at all, my frustration at having credit cards pushed on me.

  53. #61

    Oh my gosh, this post had me laughing out loud. I had to read it to my daughters. We like option #2 & #3. Seriously, I giggle just thinking about it. Thank you for the laugh this morning!! Since we were laughing already we had to find the bee dance and watch that again too.

    I do love Target but I have to agree with you…..I just want them to stop asking about the red card. That was the best part of the data breach, they stopped asking for a while. 😉

  54. #62

    I got divorced about a year ago, but I still use the excuse that I’m in the middle of a divorce and as per the lawyer, I can’t make any changes in my finances.

    Something else that works, usually, is to swipe your debit card as soon as the cashier scans the first item. If the cashier sees that I already swiped my debit card, I usually don’t get asked.

  55. #63

    My pet peeve with Target is the questions on the screen, do they really need the one with do you want it all on this card?, really, how many people do this?

    As for the card, we use a red debit card linked to our acct. my DH refuses to use credit cards for anything but big purchases. So our 5% savings towards the end of the year is shown, it’s nice to see but not so big we go oh my gosh look how much we saved, little m can go to Ivy League at this rate.

  56. #65

    Try going in with *gasp* cash! That will confuse them. Ev.Er.Y freaking time. I get a blank “oh” 🙂

  57. #66
    Kay Gregory-Clark

    I had a Red Card one time and they kept raising the interest rate so much I canceled it. Now I just whip out my debit or another bank card before they can ask. If, by chance, I’m not fast enough, I simply tell them the truth—like they care!

  58. #67

    amen!! i used to have the debit card (about 4-5 years ago) right out of college. it drove me nuts because it works like writing a check– not an automatic debit. i’ve since kicked the red card to the curb and have moved out of state. the target cashiers in my new city are always selling the debit card like it’s some new feature. IT’S BEEN AROUND FOR YEARS! and it’s the equivalent of WRITING A CHECK! there are cashiers that i purposely avoid because they are such red-card-shamers.

  59. #68
    Jen H

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    I feel the same way you do every single time I checkout.

    Here’s what I think:
    Ask me once if I’m using it and if I’m not then that’s it. Don’t prolong the Q&A period of this visit by continuing on asking me again. I heard you the first time. I don’t need to hear it again to change my mind.

    Just wanted to again say thanks for posting that. I’m glad I’m not the only one.


  60. #69

    I don’t have a red card, but I always say that I already do but that I don’t use it. End of conversation!

  61. #70

    My sympathy goes out to the cashier who is required and harangued to ask you about the red card. I’ve known a few young people who have worked for Target over the years and have heard that the number of hours they are scheduled to work during a week depends on how many red card enrollments they have tallied up.

  62. #71

    I used to work at Target, and when Red Card sign ups were particularly low, they’d start hounding us to sign up. One time it was implied that I should sign my daughter up, even though she was away at school.

    (BTW, you could totally double dip – get the card, save 5%, then pay the charge off at the customer service counter with your citibank visa. 😛 Actually, I’m surprised none of the cashiers have pushed that idea. )

  63. #72

    OMG YASSSS! I love Target. I have even been known to avoid a certain cashier that I KNOW asks this question all of the time and makes you feel bad about it. On the other hand, I will stand in a longer line to a cashier I know won’t ask me.

    I was kind of sad when Target started up with this. Please…Target….stop the crazy. Target is my happy place. (said as eating a bowl of Archer Farms mint cookies…)

  64. #74

    Put on your best foreign accent and say “I can’t, I’m illegally here and don’t want to get kicked out”.

  65. #75

    How I’ve missed you…usually it’s graphics and rambling about kids that bracket my own in age. But today it’s trumpeting swan noises and the nasty target pleas! My husband suggested we not get Red Cards due to odds they would be hacked. We were ridiculed for years! Yet they persist and we’d rather use our cards with other benefits. I love my Target, but why are they so zealous? I get it, clerks must up-sell, but I wish I could sign a waiver and be done. Or give them a thank you note, and stop it forever.

    1. #75.1
      Cathy Zielske

      A waiver would be BRILLIANT. So two days ago, I was at Target, declined the first offer, declined the second offer and the clerk said, “Don’t you want to save 5%?” to which I said, for the third time, “No thank you,” to which she replied, emphatically and quizzically, “REALLY?”

      I just about walked out.

      I have to work through these issues. Lol.

  66. #77

    I’m actually surprised that so many people are annoyed by this. I’ve spent thousands of dollars at target, and have never been even a tiny bit annoyed. Everywhere we go people are pushing cards + rewards. We are being sold things even in advertising online.

    I wish the cashiers had told me about the debit option sooner though. That plus cartwheel = <3 so many savings on things I normally buy. I just wish I had had it when my kids were in diapers. I understand not wanting the credit card though. Especially if you use another with points. I don't use credit, so the debit is beneficial for me.

    1. #77.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yeah, now that I’ve been using the card it balances out. But I don’t shop at Target as much as I think I do anymore. But the points I get on my other card… it’s kind of a wash. 🙂

  67. #78

    I work there. We don’t get anything most times for getting people to sign up. We are told that we can get stuff but thats only for the person who gets the most. If we don’t get at least one a day, we get “talked to” by the store manager…basically if we don’t get one we have to go to “training” and then if we don’t get it then we’re fired. Honestly when I ask i am not trying to annoy guests. I am just afraid of losing my job the whole time. I appologise for the inconvenience.

  68. #79

    I just visited a target, and as usual, i got asked about the card. As usual, i turned her down. Then the cashier began to debate me and question my debit card and bank, telling me that their card is just as good as my debit card, but i save 5%, blah blah blah. I said, “look, i don’t want any more plastic!” and she was all “I’m just trying to save you 5%””

    I get it, they make you ask. Whatever. But don’t debate. Don’t question my bank or debit card.

    I’m considering contacting the manager about this particular incident, but i am about to just start causing a scene in the future. Like 0-60,the second they ask about the freaking red card.

  69. #80
    Anais Nin

    They have to at least bring it up to everyone. It’s all or nothing. If they ask the first 3 people in line and then you are up and they don’t ask you, they may think you are discriminating against you. Or they made a snap judgement that maybe you can’t apply for one (no checking account and you have bad credit). So, instead of risking offending you, they ask. If you say “I use this card for the points”, that should be enough. It’s a soft sell not a hard one.

    If they press you too hard, you can go to Guest Services and let them know that you love the service there and what would they suggest so that your cashier won’t keep trying to sign you up for a red card. I have found that telling them you use your one card for the points should be enough unless they are really young and have not yet experienced the pain of having too many cards to keep track of and pay the bills on.

    The points are probably worth the same as the 5%, just a different save and delivery system, which you prefer. That should be enough.

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