Today Target announced that beginning this fall, users of their store credit card as well as the Target VISA card will receive 5% off their purchases made exclusively at Target. Like the Toys ‘R’ Us program I reviewed a couple of days ago, this program’s sole goal is to increase spending at Target and hopefully steal share of wallet from other retailers. Unlike the Toys ‘R’ Us deal, I will probably participate in this one for the following reasons:
1) I already shop at Target, and my current credit card that I would use there, my Schwab VISA, only gives me 2% back. So the Target card is 150% better. Plus, it’s a discount at the time of purchase. I don’t have to ask for the reward, convert points, or jump through any other hoop. I just get 5% off. Nice.
2) I work from a list. Always work from a list. It’s prophylaxis against the danger of spontaneous purchases. And, remember 5% off is only a deal if you can’t buy the item somewhere else cheaper (like Wal-Mart or Amazon.com)
3) This card, like every credit card I have, will be set up for automatic payment. I will pay it off in full every month. No credit card makes sense if you carry a balance. Ever.
4) It looks hassle-free to set it up. You can do it online.
Note that at the time of this writing, the Target VISA is not available. This is irrelevant since I will only use the card at Target anyway since I use other cards for all other purchases. The debit card is available, but why would you pay for something instantly when you can earn interest on the money and pay it off later.
Full disclosure: I have a small stock position in Target.