Target 101: How to Shop and Save Money at Target

This is a simple guide to getting the biggest bang for your buck when shopping at Target. Everyone knows Target for its great deals on things you never knew you needed (hello, dollar section!), but there may be ways to save that you aren’t taking advantage of. Read on to learn all about Target’s Cartwheel app, the subscribe-and-save program, and the perks of the REDcard.

Target Circle

How to Join Target Circle

Target Circle is free and easy to join. If you had Cartwheel, have the Target RedCard, or have a account, Target has already hooked you up for an account. If you don’t have an account yet, you can register on the Target website, get a RedCard, or give your phone number when you check out.

How to Use Target Circle

To redeem offers, add them to your account online or through your mobile app. You may choose to select the offers before your shopping trip or as you shop. When it’s time to checkout, you can scan your Wallet, scan the barcode in the app, enter your phone number, or pay with the RedCard linked to your account. If you forget to do this at checkout, you can also scan your receipt through the app. You can also use Target Circle online when you shop through your account.

Benefits of Target Circle

Target Circle offers quite a few benefits. Here are some of the most notable features.

Target Circle Offers

Target Circle offers are like Cartwheel offers. You can peruse a variety of coupons and discounts, helping you save money when you shop.

Personalized Offers

In addition to standard offers, Target Circle also offers personalized offers. These offers take into account your shopping history to provide you with deals you might like. Plus, Target Circle also offers a special birthday treat!

1% Reward

RedCard holders still receive a 5% discount, which trumps the 1% reward offer. However, if you do not use a RedCard, using Target Circle can earn you a 1% reward on your purchases.

Vote on Giving

When you shop using Target Circle, you can also earn votes to help Target decide what charities to donate to. That seems like a good excuse for a quick shopping trip, if you ask us!

Subscribe and Save

Target’s subscription service is not only a time saver, it’s a money saver! For household items that you know you’ll need on a regular basis, subscribe to automatic shipments online to save 5% and get free shipping. And if you’re a REDcard holder, you’ll save an additional 5% on top of that! Note that if you want to use a promotion code on a subscribe-and-save item, the promotion will only apply for your initial order. For example, if you have a promo code for 20% off toilet paper, use it on your initial order for 20% off plus the 5% subscribe-and-save discount. For your future subscription deliveries on this item, it will only have 5% off — the 20% will not apply to future orders. However, if there is a discount running on toilet paper when your next order ships, you will automatically get that discounted price for that shipment.


The Target REDcard is a credit card that you can use on all your purchases at Target, in-store and online. You’ll automatically receive 5% off your entire purchase when using your Target card. Pro tip: this also applies to the in-store Starbucks! The 5% discount will apply on top of any promotions or coupons that you use, so if you have the REDcard, make sure you use it on EVERY Target purchase! You’ll also get free 2-day shipping on all online orders, which usually requires a $35 minimum purchase. In addition to the baked-in perks mentioned above, REDcard members receive early access to a lot of sales and promotions, as well as a 10% off coupon every year on your REDcard anniversary (you must enable email marketing messages to receive this). Finally, Target has started to sell items that are exclusively for REDcard members. This means that there are items on Target’s website that can only be purchased by cardholders. If this doesn’t make you feel important, I don’t know what will! These are my favorite ways to save money when shopping at Target. If you have any additional tips and tricks, share them in the comments below!

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