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Tips to avoid gift card scams during holidays
Before you go shopping for the holidays, follow these three tips to avoid gift card scams.
The once-a-year chance to save 10% on Target gift cards is twice as long as in past years.
Target’s annual gift card sale starts Saturday and instead of being a one-day sale, it now lasts two days, continuing through Sunday.
Target officials told USA TODAY the promotion would “go live on Target.com in the early morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 5” and in stores when they open for normal hours. Past Target sales, including the recent Black Friday sale, have started online around 3 a.m. ET.
There are a couple of other changes. The maximum discount increased to $50 off a maximum of $500 in gift cards purchased, up from a $30 savings off $300 gift cards during the 2019 gift card sale.
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And the biggest change is to get the 10% discount, available in-store and online, you have to be a member of Target Circle, Target’s free loyalty program.
The gift card discount can be used only for one transaction at Target or Target.com per Target Circle account, according to the offer’s details.
It’s a rare chance to save on gift cards, which year after year are among the most popular and requested gifts. Last December, Target had a one-day gift card sale with 10% off store gift cards both in-store and online and in October discounted gift cards by 5% for two days.
If you’re not giving the gift cards away as gifts, they can be quickly added to the Target app to redeem at checkout and used with the Target Circle, which launched nationwide in October 2019. (Here’s a Target Circle guide on how the program works.)
With the free program, members earn 1% on nearly every purchase to redeem on a future Target trip and take advantage of other discounts including a birthday discount.
Shoppers with a Target RedCard credit or debit card aren’t eligible to earn 1% with the loyalty program when they pay with a store-branded credit or debit card but will continue to get 5% off store purchases including select gift cards year round. However, store gift cards are excluded from the cardholder perk.
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Target gift card promotion fine print
Here are some of the exclusions listed on the Target Circle offer:
- Valid beginning Dec. 5 for a one-time use purchase in-store or online.
- Gift cards purchased online can be delivered via email, mail or mobile.
- Offer valid for one transaction up to $500 in Target GiftCards ($50 maximum discount) at Target or Target.com per Target Circle account.
- Offer does not include Target Visa Gift Cards, Target Mastercard Gift Cards, Target American Express Gift Cards and gift cards issued by other retailers such as dining, lifestyle and entertaining gift cards.
- Offer excludes reloads of previously purchased Target GiftCards, Target GiftCards given in exchange for electronic or prepaid trade-ins, Target GiftCards provided for merchandise returns, Merchandise Return Cards and Target GiftCards provided as free promotional card with qualifying purchase.
- Quantities are limited and no rainchecks will be given. Purchases of Target GiftCards that exceed certain transaction limits may be voided. If the GiftCard transaction exceeds $500, the $50 maximum discount may be proportionately allocated across all GiftCards in the transaction.
Another 10% Target Circle discount
Target Circle members also can get a 10% off one-time use coupon to use through Saturday, Dec. 12.
But be warned that many of the most popular holiday gifts including toys and electronics are excluded.
See the full list of exclusions on the Target app or at www.target.com/circle.
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Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko