Target circles back to cashback rewards for customers

Target is revamping its customer loyalty program and will launch Target Circle, a free nationwide loyalty program that gives shoppers personalized deals and supports local non-profit organizations.

Target Circle rewards launch

The new loyalty program will launch in October and gives customers a 1% cashback reward on every purchase which they can spend on future Target shopping. “Our goal is to motivate all guests to choose Target more often by providing meaningful benefits,” said Target’s chief marketing and digital officer Rick Gomez.

Target Circle also gives shoppers a 5% birthday bonus reward and lets customers vote on which local charities target should support. In a pilot program in Dallas-Fort Worth and several other cities subsequently, Target said the new program proved popular and program members spent more shopping than non-members.

Target Circle features

Here’s how the new Target Circle program works.

Target Circle rewards program
  • free automatic sign-up starting Oct. 6 for shoppers with a, Cartwheel or RedCard credit or debit card or by providing a phone number in-store.
  • Non-RedCard loyalty members earn 1% on purchases to redeem later. RedCard holders continue to save 5% off purchases made with their Target credit or debit cards.
  • Earn rewards: members scan the Wallet barcode in the Target app or use their phone number at checkout in-stores or online in their account.
  • Members earn a vote with every transaction to direct Target’s community donations using the Target app or on
  • To redeem rewards, members simply scan the Wallet barcode in the Target app, give their phone number or login online. A few items are not eligible for rewards including alcohol, dairy products, prescriptions, Same Day Delivery purchases, and gift cards.
  • Get a birthday reward of 5% off a shopping trip on your birthday.

Complements RedCard rewards

Target RedCard rewards

Gomez said Target Circle will complement, but not replace the company’s existing RedCard offer. RedCard holders will not get this 1% reward when they pay with their member card but will continue to get a 5% discount when paying with their RedCard as well as receive the other Target Circle benefits.

Target is also integrating its Cartwheel savings tool which will also add extra deals and savings into the Target Circle program. Target estimates its customers have saved more than $1.6 billion on their purchases since Cartwheel in 2013.

Cashback a powerful buyer incentive

Research from RetailMeNot shows cashback is a powerful incentive for customers:

Target Circle rewards

“About one-third of consumers surveyed said they would be willing to shop at a new store if presented with a cashback offer. Nearly half (47%) indicated they would be more willing to make a purchase with the ability to combine a coupon with a cashback offer. And nearly 20% of consumers surveyed said they made a purchase or spent more than planned because of a cashback offer in the last 12 months.”

Target Circle looks like a smart strategy to reach out to a wider circle of shoppers with a simple loyalty cashback plan. Learn more at