Argh, Target and the never ending Gift Card issue

Ok, does anyone know the latest is with target and gift cards? Last night, in a physical store, I tried to buy $500 of Disney cards with Target Gift cards and was told “nope.” Even though I had JUST done this in May. When I asked why, all the clerk could tell me “yeah we changed it.”

A quick search around the web suggests the usual conflicting information. Has anyone converted over Target Gift Cards to disney gift cards in the last week or so?

On their website, they do indicate that Target Gift Cards cannot be used to buy certain types of gift cards. They keep it somewhat nebulous, so it is hard to judge if a Disney gift card falls under that category or not.

Personally, I’m surprised you might be able to buy ANY gift cards with a Target Gift card. It would mean they make practically nothing on them, and in a way, probably lose money. When you buy merchandise, at least there is a profit margin on the product itself. With gift cards, there is almost none!

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I haven’t tried it, but had heard on a podcast (maybe Backside of Magic?) that their policy had changed and they had closed this loophole.


see, that makes me mad, because it’s NOT a loophole. If anything, it creates a loophole for Target.

3rd party gift cards are merchandise sold by Target, no matter the margin of profit. I have a Target gift card that is to be considered valid currency in a Target store because someone has spent valid US Currency to purchase these cards and so, essentially, already “paid” Target for whatever I buy. Ergo, there should be absolutely NOTHING off limits that I can buy with a target gift card in a TARGET STORE. As actual money was used to purchase the cards, how can they legally deny the ability to purchase anything using them?

The whole theory behind the gift cards is 1) it gets you “in” the store because the money can’t be used anywhere else. 2) you’ll likely never hit the value of your card perfectly and so they’ll make money off the difference.


Backside of Magic reported a couple of weeks ago you can no longer use a target gift card to purchase Disney gift cards.


I disagree with this. They sell gift cards to make a profit. But they are automatically LOSING money on the sale of the card itself for the cost of the card itself (granted, this loss is generally negligible). This loss is made up for, however, by the profit they make by selling merchandise.

In the case of other gift cards (not Target ones), the profit Target makes off the gift card itself is almost nothing. They hope that people who come in to buy a gift card will buy something else, driving some profit into the purchase…but the gift card itself really doesn’t get them any profit.

So, if Target sells a gift card (at a slight loss) and then someone takes that gift card to buy ANOTHER gift card (at a slight loss), the losses start to mount up. And they lose out on any potential profit that came from someone buying merchandise from the store.

This point isn’t true any longer. At one time it was, but these days, due to changes in laws and the fact that MOST consumers actually make sure they use the gift card in full, there is almost nothing to be made from unspent money on the card.

There are other nuances involved, but in general, I think any retailer has a right to limit the uses of gift cards to actual merchandise. This isn’t really terribly different than, say, a retailer who gives an in-store merchandise credit for a return rather than just refunding the money directly.

When I read of the closing of the loop hole, I changed to just using my Target debit card and take the 5% discount that way.


Another confirmation here that Target online and in-store policy is now the same regarding gift card purchases with a Target gift card.

I have been doing the in-store purchase Disney gift card purchase with other items and paying with Target gift cards for awhile and just two weeks ago they would not cover the Disney gift card at all. That was in June and the cashier told me they had just changed it a week ago. Stinks!


That is literally not our problem, but they are making it our problem. They are the one who chose to sell 3rd party cards, so if they are so concerned about not making a profit on them, they need to stop selling them all together. Then it alieveates the whole problem.

The money that has been spent on a Target Gift Card should have absolutely zero restrictions on what that money can be allocated to so long as it can be purchased in a Target Store.

Yes it is. Cleaning out my mom’s garage this past summer, I ran into several gift cards from various stores that were not fully used. Additionally, my point goes the other way too, where you’re in the store but overspend and need to make up the difference after the card is used up.

Sure, they have the right, but they SHOULDN’T is my whole argument. They gleefully took my relative’s money so whatever money they were going to give me I now spend it at Target, but when I try to actually spend that money, I’m now told I can only buy certain things.

That is wrong.


The point wasn’t that there aren’t times it happens, but it used to be that stores used to COUNT on the fact that money wouldn’t be spent. These days, that just isn’t true. MOST people end up using a card to “completion”. There are always exceptions, but they are statistically insignificant.

See. I still disagree. Stores aren’t there for the benefit of consumers, but for the benefit of shareholders (in publicly traded companies) or the individual owners. Now, of course, in order for them to MAKE profits, they must make consumers happy. But that’s a means to an end, not the end itself.

If a relative of yours buys you a Target gift card, it is to allow you to pick something from Target for yourself rather than picking something out FOR you. It is a convenience, so that you don’t have to do the leg work of returning something you don’t want, etc. But the fact is, it was a gift for something at Target in lieu of an ACTUAL gift from Target. Gift cards cannot be returned, however. So if your relative bought you a Disney Gift card directly, but you weren’t planning to go to Disney, you’re out of luck! You can’t return it for cash or even store credit!

The fact is, you can spend that money on ANYTHING at Target, except gift cards. That’s not much of a limitation in my mind.

Regardless of how you wish things were, you can still effectively take advantage of the gift cards to buy Disney gift cards instead. How?

Buy groceries, or anything else, you would have normally bought elsewhere at Target using those gift cards. The money you “saved” not spending it elsewhere you can then use to buy the Disney gift card. While it is more tedious, in the end this way everyone wins. Target makes their profit, and you end up with the Disney gift cards. It might not translate to the EXACT amount (since you might pay slightly higher prices at Target), but you are still coming close that way.

For us, we would spend through $500 at Target rather than our usually Grocery shopping in less than a month’s time.

And again, my point factored that in. Going into the store and overspending past the card. Further, it doesn’t matter anyway because the gift card is to be considered legal tender equal to the value of US Currency (or whatever country you’re in) because they have already been paid. Remember, the money is ALREADY spent at the initial purchase of the gift card, regardless of what you ultimately walk out with.

You wouldn’t be ok with spending $100 to get a gift card that only has an actual value of $90 in the store.

I never said stores are there for the benefit of the consumer. I said they shouldn’t be allowed to take the money and then dictate how its allocated so long its in the “walls” of the store. If they are not comfortable selling something that migth not net a profit, then they shouldn’t be selling it. Or resell it at a price where it WILL net a profit.

The only true purpose of the gift card should be that the money can’t be used elsewhere. (ie a Walmart card at Target and vice versa). ANY other restrction shouldn’t exist.

I don’t shop at Target often. I find their grocery prices often way more expensive than dedicated grocery stores (their cost of milk alone is laughable) and their selection of other merchandise to be fairly limited. At least at the stores around me.

But yes, if I can’t get the disney cards, this is what will have to happen, as I certainly can’t use this card anywhere else. Yes, it’s a total first-world-problem, but an infuriating one when businesses get to quietly change policies anytime they want and there being no reprocussions on their end.

This is common. Look at any of the Visa/Mastercard gift cards. You have to pay a fee on top of the value just to use the value. So, for example, you might pay $105 for a $100 gift card. And, many of those cards actually have some limitations on how they can be used. For example, you can’t pay at the pump at gas stations with some of them.

But that’s exactly what you’re asking for, in a way!

This is true. In fact, we do a vast majority of our grocery shopping at Aldi. Typically spend about 40% less than any other grocery story. But since Aldi doesn’t carry everything we want/need, we supplement at Kroger. Many of the items at Kroger we can buy at Target for similar prices. (I agree about the milk at Target! Not sure why they charge so much…but we buy milk at Aldi cheap!) So, if I were in your situation, I’d start using the gift cards for all the items I’d usually buy at Kroger as long as they carry them and are similarly priced. (Some products are actually CHEAPER at Target, such as medications and toothpaste, etc.)

Anyhow, once you spend through one of the gift cards, pick up an equivalently valued Disney gift card and pay for it in the usual manner.

Another option? If you were planning to buy gifts for someone, instead of buying them gifts, give them a Target Gift card (that you already own!) and then buy a Disney Gift card for yourself in place of the money you would have spent on that gift!

You mean like Disney now charging resort guests for overnight parking? :frowning:


And that also should not be allowed. Common or not, it isn’t right.

Huh? No it’s not. Buying a gift card is essentially pre-purchasing merchandise from a store. This is on the same level as not being able to buy apple products by using target gift cards inside a Target Store. Prepurchasing stuff at Target and expecting to walk into Walmart to get your merchendise doesn’t make sense.

For the most part, yes. It might be our exposure to the Disney environment, but I felt that policy was well communicated, so I wasn’t angered by it (but I was very disappointed, especially with the cost of it all). But target’s change in policy change seems to have been a quiet update.

It is to offset the charges that result from using the Visa/Mastercard payment system. When you pay with a credit card (Visa/Mastercard) the store pays 2% of the purchase price to Visa/Mastercard. So, they lose money immediately. The fees are charged to offset that potential loss.

Store-specific gift cards don’t do that because they can just use the store’s own payment system, which doesn’t cost extra money.

It is similar. If you buy a Target gift card, but then use that Target gift card to buy a gift card to some other store, if is effectively the same. Okay, I understand your point. The money that went to Target would go to products from Wal-mart as a result, and Wal-Mart ends up with all the profit margin and Target gets nothing for it. But that’s exactly what happens if you use a gift card for one store to buy a gift card for another. You just took an intermediate step to get there.

I was quite the opposite. My entire view of Disney was changed by that ONE change. It took me months to get over it (mostly). It shattered the illusion for me. Now I see Disney as just as money-grubbing as every other company out there. I used to think they kind of sort of cared, at least a little! :slight_smile:

I’ve never viewed Target, however, in any other way than a business that is there to make money.

Yeah I’m aware of the reason, but it’s still isn’t right. Again, if profit is so horrible on these cards, stop selling them.

Ehhh no, it’s still not similar. Because Target is essentially just refunding the money. It was Target’s decision to sell the gift cards and provide the “change” option. So they don’t see a loss or profit. And again, if that’s such a concern: stop selling them.

Neither have I. But just because they are out for a profit doesn’t mean they should be able to add restrictions like this.

Either way, this topic is dead. Going back and forth on this ain’t gonna get us to change Target’s policy. I’ll just have to figure out how to use these to maximize their value.

I also think that not allowing gift cards to be purchased with gift cards is partially an anti-money laundering/return fraud issue. It certainly isn’t just Target that doesn’t allow this practice. Babies R Us (a while back) would not let me use a $25 gift card on an order of over $200 with a $10 gift card as part of it.

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This is the primary reason why buying gift cards with gift cards has been increasingly restricted.


Interesting. I was able to use Target gift cards to purchase Disney gift cards in store in November, because the Disney ones are considered merchandise and not Target gift card specifically. I was even able to get 5% off the remainder with my Target red card!

So, just to clairfy, Target RedCard (debit or credit) CAN still be used to purchase Disney Gift Cards for 5% off at Target?