What Is Target Circle and How Does It Work?

what is target circle

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As a regular Target shopper, I consider Target Circle one of the best loyalty and rewards programs.

The question is: What is Target Circle?

I have the answer. As a Target Circle member, I have extensive experience using Target’s loyalty program, including earning and redeeming Rewards.

I want to share my knowledge and experience, so I wrote this guide.

I’ll discuss Target Circle, how it works, its benefits, and more. I’ll also explain how you can sign up for the program, which purchases earn Target Circle Rewards, and what you can buy with Target Circle Rewards.

Let’s begin.

What Is Target Circle?

what is target circle

Target Circle is a free loyalty program that rewards members for shopping at Target. 

Target Circle members earn rewards and collect earnings they can use to shop at Target and save money.

The popular retail chain launched the Target Circle Rewards Program in 2019 to replace the Target Cartwheel program.

How Does Target Circle Work?

How Does Target Circle Work?

The Target Circle rewards program allows Target Circle members to earn 1% in Target Circle rewards each time they make a valid purchase using a non-RedCard payment. 

Target shoppers can use their Target Circle earnings on their next purchase at any Target store, on the Target app, or the Target website.

What Target Circle Benefits Do I Get?

What Target Circle Benefits Do I Get?

A Target Circle membership also includes the following perks:

Access to Exclusive Deals

Exclusive access to members-only deals and personalized Target Circle offers at up to 50% discount.

Birthday Discounts

A 5% birthday discount on your shopping trip and a gift on your big day (valid for 30 days from your birthday)

Supporting Non-Profit Organizations

You support local nonprofits with each shopping trip.

Integration With Ultamate Beauty Rewards

If you’re a member of Ultamate Beauty Rewards, you can also connect your Target Circle account and Ultamate Beauty Rewards account. 

Connecting both accounts lets you earn Ultamate Rewards points and 1% in Target Circle earnings rewards for future purchases at Ulta mini shops in Target.

Discounts on Apple Subscriptions

Members can use Target Circle to get deals on Apple subscriptions, like three months of free Apple Music.

How Do I Sign Up for Target Circle?

How Do I Sign Up for Target Circle?

Signing up for Target Circle is free and easy. Here are three ways to become a Target Circle member.

1. Create a Target.com account.

Creating a Target account on the store’s website automatically enrolls you in Target Circle. 

Target integrated existing account owners who were previous members of Target Cartwheel into Target Circle in 2019.

2. Use the Target app

You can also sign up for Target Circle using the account tab in the Target Circle app.

3. Sign up for Target Circle in-store.

You can sign up for Target Circle in Target stores upon checkout.

When you sign up for Target Circle, you must provide your email address and mobile number. You need your mobile number to access your account when shopping in-store.

How Do I Earn Target Circle Rewards?

If you’re already a member of Target Circle, here’s how you can collect earnings on your Target purchases.

In-Store at Target

  1. Scan your Target circle barcode to find your account Wallet in the Target app.
  1. Enter your registered phone number on the keypad or self-checkout screen upon checkout.

If you forget to do these things after your purchase, don’t worry. You can use the Target app or Target.com to collect your points.

Sign in to your Target account on the website or app to earn points for eligible in-store purchases. Then, scan your receipt or manually enter the numbers. You must do this within seven days to collect earnings from eligible in-store purchases. 

Via the Target Website

All you need to do for online purchases is log in to your account to collect your Target Circle earnings. 

Via the Target App

If you’ve successfully linked your Target Circle account to your Target app, you will automatically earn a 1% cash back on in-app purchases.

How Do I Redeem Target Circle Rewards?

You can only use your Target Circle Earnings rewards to redeem merchandise or services at Target. 

A Target Circle Earnings reward has no cash value, meaning you can’t convert it into cash. 

You can redeem your Target Circle earnings reward by using it for your purchases in-store or online. 

There are three ways to redeem Target Circle rewards:


How Do I Redeem Target Circle Rewards?

(Source: Wall Street Journal)

1. Upon checkout, you can provide your registered phone number or scan your Target circle barcode in your Wallet in the Target app.

2. Check for your Target Circle balance and tell the cashier you want to redeem your Target Circle earnings at checkout. 

3. Open the Target app and scan your Target Circle barcode to redeem your Target Circle Earnings reward via self-checkout.

Via the Target Website

Via the Target Website

To use your Target Circle Earnings for online purchases, sign in to your Target account and apply your Target Circle earnings rewards to your order during checkout.

Via the Target App

Via the Target App

Access your connected Target account and apply your Target Circle earnings to your order during checkout for in-app purchases.

What Can I Buy With Target Circle Rewards

You can use your Target Circle Rewards to purchase an extensive list of Target products. However, there are several exceptions.

According to the Target Circle Terms and Conditions, here are products you can’t purchase with Target Circle Rewards:

1. Adult beverages

2. Prescriptions and over-the-counter products from behind the Target pharmacy counter

3. Purchases from specific partner businesses, including in-store clinics and Target Optical

4. Shipt App purchases (including tips for Shipt shoppers)

5. Purchases at Target through third-party sites like Google Express

6. Purchases of Target gift cards

7. Purchases of Visa, American Express, and Mastercard gift cards or prepaid cards

8. Taxes, bottle deposits, shipping, delivery and handling fees, and all other fees

9. RedCard balance payments, cash withdrawals from debit cards at checkout, and payments for insufficient funds

10. Prior purchases (except if you can submit a receipt for the prior purchase within 14 days)

Note: According to Target’s Terms and Conditions, they may apply other restrictions regarding earning Target Circle Rewards.

What Are Target Circle Earnings?

Target Circle earnings are redeemable rewards members earn by shopping at Target.

As a member of their loyalty program, you earn a 1% cashback in Target Circle earnings reward each time you make a non-RedCard payment for eligible purchases. Circle members can also earn a Target Circle bonus. 

Target Circle bonuses are personalized offers members earn through qualified purchases in-store or online, depending on the details of your Target Circle offer.

What Purchases Earn Target Circle Rewards?

What Purchases Earn Target Circle Rewards?

You earn Target Circle rewards whenever you make eligible purchases at Target stores, on the Target website, or the Target app.

However, you can’t earn Target Circle rewards from the following items.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Dairy products
  • Prescription medicines
  • Target gift cards, Visa gift cards, American Express gift cards, Mastercard gift cards, and prepaid cards
  • Same-day delivery purchases
  • Purchases at Target Optical, in-store clinics, and other partner businesses
  • Purchases at Target using a third-party app
  • Purchases from the Shipt app

How Do I Use Target Circle Offers?

How Do I Use Target Circle Offers?

You can use Target Circle offers online, in-store, or with other coupons and Target Circle offers. You can redeem Target Circle offers on any Target Drive Up and in-store pickup purchases. 

If you’re using the Target app, ask the register to scan your Target Circle barcode or scan it using the self-checkout screen.

Scanning the main Wallet will combine Circle offers, store coupons, and Target payment options if you’re on the website.

Do Target Circle Offers Have Limits?

Do Target Circle Offers Have Limits?

Yes. Unless Target specifies otherwise, you can only use a Target Circle Offer for up to four qualifying items per offer per transaction. 

Furthermore, there are limits of one Wallet barcode or telephone number redemption per transaction and six Wallet barcode or telephone number redemption transactions daily.

You can save on your Target Circle list up to six times daily for multi-use offers and for one time only for Single-use offers. 

Click the plus sign on the Target app to save offers to your Wallet. To delete offers, click on the green check mark on the app.

Target Circle vs. Target RedCard

Target RedCard is different from the Target Circle loyalty program. Target automatically enrolls you as a Circle member if you’re a Target RedCard holder.

However, purchases with a RedCard won’t earn you a 1% cash back with Target Circle. Signing up for a RedCard will give you a 5% discount on your Target purchases, access to exclusive deals, free two-day shipping, and an extra 30 days for returns and exchanges. 

You can use a Target RedCard as a store charge card, a debit card, or a Target Mastercard.

Do Target Circle Rewards Expire?

Do Target Circle Rewards Expire?

Yes. Target Circle earnings expire if you haven’t collected or redeemed any Target Circle rewards for one year.

Target Circle rewards also disappear if you return any items that have earned Target Circle earnings rewards, along with completing a Target Circle Bonus offer.

You can view your available Target Circle balance in your Wallet in the Target app. 

Note: Updates to your reward balance can take up to 30 minutes after you complete the transaction.

The Bottom Line

I hope my article helped you understand the Target Circle rewards program and how it can benefit you when shopping at Target.

You already know Target Circle, so don’t hesitate to collect and use those rewards to save money.
Maximize your shopping trips by learning Target’s store hours.

Written by: Omar Deryan

Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

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