Target RED Card Debit: Zero Fraud So Far

I said the Target RED Card debit card is the most secure among all cards affected in the Target data breach. It turned out to be true.

I have the Target RED Card debit card. I used it at Target during the time period the data thieves were stealing card information from Target. I didn’t cancel it. I didn’t change the PIN. I didn’t sign up for the one-year free credit monitoring through Experian. I saw no unauthorized charges.

It isn’t just me. Target said this in a letter sent to me and other Target RED Card debit card holders last week:

To date, we have seen no fraud on Target Debit Cards due to this breach.

They can’t say the same for other types of cards, credit or debit.

Target RED Card debit cards saw zero fraud because they must use a PIN. Other cards would be made more secure if they also must use a PIN. Unfortunately those other cards all allow charging without a PIN.

I heard some banks are issuing cards with a chip now. I haven’t seen one yet. I saw a local grocery store already upgraded their card terminals to a new model with a card slot at the bottom. Maybe more banks will replace their cards with chip cards soon.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Brandy Shaul]

Refinance Your Mortgage

Mortgage rates hit new lows. I saw rates as low as 3.25% for 30-year fixed, 2.625% for 15-year fixed, with no points and low closing cost. Let banks compete for your loan. Get up to 5 offers at


  1. Sam R says

    Good to know that their debit card only works with a PIN. That’s awesome. I wish my credit union’s debit cards also works ONLY with a PIN.
    Maybe we should contact our banks to issue us debit cards that only work with a PIN. That way it gives us protection, while waiting for all the merchants to install ‘chip and pin’ machines. What do you guys think?

    I have Fidelity Retirement Amex credit card. They replaced mine with one with a chip on it. So now I have a chip card, but nowhere to use it in the US.
    Thus, the chip is pretty useless for now, right?

    • Harry says

      A chip is only useful at a store with upgraded terminals and they actually activated the card slot. That way at least the card number is encrypted. It’s still going to take some time for stores to upgrade.

    • Alskar says

      @Sam R:

      Thanks for the heads up with regard to Fidelity offering chipped (aka “EMV”) AMEX cards. I just called and got them to update my card with a chip. Until I read your comment I had no idea it was available. Thanks!

    • Alskar says

      I just received my Fidelity AmEx card with the chip. Unfortunately, it is a so-called “Chip & Signature” card not a “Chip & PIN” card. That makes it only nominally better than my standard “Swipe & Signature” card when traveling outside the US.

      I may have to break down and get a “real” Chip & PIN card for traveling in Europe.

  2. Willy B says

    Your Target Red Debit card can only be used at…. Target. If you want universal acceptance, you’re going to have to be prepared to use something other than a PIN. And, many merchants do not accept PIN at the retail point of sale (not to mention most Internet businesses). You can get a PIN only debit card, it’s called an ATM card. Just don’t expect it to do everything you’ve come to enjoy with a Visa or MasterCard branded payment product. Oh by the way, your Target Red Debit comes with far fewer cardholder dispute rights too, so expect fewer conveniences on that front as well. Yes Virginia, the industry has experienced compromised PIN debit fraud, so it isn’t the answer some make it out to be. Fraud mitigation requires a multi-pronged approach – including merchant, issuer and cardholder. Converting everything to PIN only and/or EMV isn’t going to eliminate the risk without focusing on other players and additional measures. Good luck.

    • Willy B says

      One last comment… why anyone would give their banking or account information to a retail merchant for storage and payment access is beyond me. Providing them a 16 digit card number is one thing, but handing over my checking account number with access to ACH is not a wise move for a consumer (my opinion). To date, my credit union has not exposed my personal information (card number, account number or anything else) that could be used by thieves for committing fraud. Companies like Target, Neiman Marcus, Chipotle, Michael’s, BJ’s Wholesale, EA, Harbor Freight, Sally’s, etc. cannot say this. Finally, my financial institution is regulated specifically in the area of consumer privacy protection, where retail giants have far less oversight or concern.

    • Harry says

      I knew the Target debit card only works at Target when I signed up. I didn’t expect it to do everything another card does. If so I would’ve just used another card. I accepted its limitation for the benefits it delivers. You imply that unless something completely eliminates fraud, it’s not worth doing. I guess you also never wrote a check.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *