• How to Coupon at Target

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    (Click on the video above or Click here to watch How to Coupon at Target – Extreme Couponing for Beginners)

    Target Couponing 101

    Welcome to How to Coupon at Target! This is part of my Extreme Couponing for Beginners video series aiming at teaching you the basics to Target Couponing. If you haven’t already, please go thru the quick video at How to Coupon to learn couponing basics.

    This is the show notes accompanying the video on How to Coupon at Target. You can watch the video by pressing play on the video above, or you can watch it by clicking here. In this video and show notes, we will go thru 14 topics to introduce to you everything you need to start mastering couponing at Target.


    Target is one of my favorite places to coupon because there are SO many ways to save and so many opportunities every week to score great deals and save a lot of money.

    The first thing you want to do is download the Target Mobile App. In this, you will have coupons, cartwheel offers and a scanner. I’ll go into more details of each later in this video.

    1. Manufacturer Coupons

    Target accepts manufacturer coupons, including printable coupons.

    The limit is four identical coupons per day. The Target computer will recognize this limit, so if you have more than four, it won’t scan.

    Manufacturer coupons come in many different forms and cannot be combined on one item. Example: you have a digital manufacturer coupon and a printable manufacturer coupon for the same item. You can’t use both on the same item at the same time.

    2. Target Coupons

    Manufacturer coupons are issued by the product brands. Store coupons are issued by the retail store.

    Manufacturer coupons will have Manufacturer Coupon at the top of the coupon. Target store coupons will have Target Coupon at the top.

    There are two types of Target Coupons:

    Target Category Coupons – This coupon is for a specific category, department or storewide. Example: Free $10 Target Gift Card with $50 Food Purchase, Free $5 Gift Card with $20 Personal Care Purchase. Target Category Coupons are found in the weekly ad or under Wallet in your Target App. These have a limit of one per transaction.

    Target Item Level Coupons – These aren’t as common as they used to be. These are Target Store Coupons that are similar to manufacturer coupons as they are dollar off on a specific item. Example: $1 off one Dove Body Wash. These will have their own expiration date and usually have a limit of one.

    3. Target Coupon Stacking

    You can combine a Target Category Coupon and a Target Item Level Coupon in the same transaction. For example, you can use a $1 off Dove Body Wash Target coupon and a $5 off $15 Personal Care Target Category coupon together.

    You can also combine Target Store Coupons with Manufacturer Coupons on the same item. This is called “stacking”. Following the above example, if you also happen to have a $2 off Dove Body Wash Manufacturer Coupon, you can combine it with the $1 off Target Coupon and the $5 off $20 Personal Care Category Coupon.

    Exact Wording From the Target Coupon Policy:

    Target item-level coupons can be used while using a category/storewide coupon (e.g. $1 off Target coupon for body wash AND a $5 off $20 Target Personal Care purchase). The threshold for the category coupon is based on the retail of the qualified items prior to manufacturer item-level and Target item-level coupons.

    4. What is Cartwheel?

    Cartwheel is a way to get extra savings at Target. Offers in Cartwheel are digital coupons that you can load and use during checkout.

    You simply load the offers in your Cartwheel account and during checkout, show the cashier your unique Cartwheel Barcode. The barcode will be scanned and your offers will automatically be applied.

    Cartwheel used to live in a separate app, but now you can access it in the Target App. Currently it’s under the home screen in the Target App, under Cartwheel Offers. When you are ready to check out, the barcode is found under the Wallet tab.

    You actually don’t need the Target App to access Cartwheel. You can also access Cartwheel from Cartwheel’s website. Just log in using your Target account, add your offers and click on Checkout from the side menu. Once on the Checkout page, you can print the barcode. Just have the cashier scan the barcode to get your discounts.

    There are two types of offers in Cartwheel:

    Target Cartwheel Offers: These are percentage off offers on specific items. The key distinction is “% off”. This is considered a special type of coupon issued by Target. When you see the words “Cartwheel Offers” in the coupon policy, this is what they are referring to.

    Manufacturer Coupons: These are dollar off, one-time use, manufacturer coupons issued by the product brand. They just happen to live in the Cartwheel app. These are considered manufacturer digital coupons and will have “MFR single-use coupon” on them.

    5. Rules with Cartwheel Offers

    Stacking Cartwheel with Coupons

    You can stack Percentage Cartwheel Offers with Target Coupons and Manufacturer Coupons.

    Example: You can use a 25% off Dove Body Wash Cartwheel offer AND a $2 off Dove Body Wash Manufacturer Coupon AND a $5 off $20 Personal Care Category Target Coupon.

    Limitations: You can have up to 50 Cartwheel Offers loaded at one time. For each offer, you can buy multiple items described in the offer.

    Limits will vary per offer. You can see the limits listed under each Cartwheel Offer. Most offers will be limited to four items per transaction and up to six transactions per day. If there are other limits, it’ll say on the offer (ie Limit 2 or Limit 20).

    Cartwheel Coupons are for in-store purchases. You can apply Cartwheel Offers for online orders if you are choosing Order Pickup or Drive Up. Just load the Cartwheel from the Target App first, then add the item to your cart. Choose Order Pickup or Drive Up and you’ll see your discount during checkout.

    6. Target Gift Card Promotions

    Target has a ton of Gift Card Promotions. We see them every week. Target Gift Cards do not expire.

    You can’t use Target Gift Cards on the transaction you earned them on, as you don’t receive the gift card until after the transaction is complete. But you can use them on your next transaction.

    If you are in California, any gift cards under $10 you have the option by law to ask them to cashout.

    There are two types of Gift Card Promotions:

    Target Category Coupons – Gift Card earned as part of Target Category Coupon offer. Example: Get $5 Target Gift Card with $15 Beverage purchase.

    These you need the actual coupon when checking out. You’ll find these either in the Target weekly ad or under Wallet in the Target App. The cashier will need to scan this in order to receive the gift card. Limit of one coupon per transaction. Signs in-store will say “Get the coupon”.

    Item Level Gift Card Promotions – These are gift card promotions that are triggered automatically, without a coupon, when you buy a certain number of participating items.

    There are no limits to how many Gift Cards you can earn in the same transaction, as long as you buy in multiples of what is required for the promotion. Example: Promotion is Buy 2 Get $5 Gift Card. If you buy four, you’ll get $10 back in Gift Cards. Buy six and get back $15 in gift cards and so forth.

    Effective 2018, there was a new change to how gift cards are issued. Before 2018, you would receive a gift card for each promotion you did. Since the change, you only receive one Gift Card at the end of your transaction that contains the sum of all the Gift Cards you earned.

    Note: Due to the Gift Card being issued at the end of the transaction, and all on one card, it’s hard to see which products actually triggered Gift Cards. For this reason, I personally prefer to split up my transactions on Gift Card Promotions, so I can clearly see which worked (my preference, you don’t have to do this)

    Those are the most basic rules of thumb of couponing at Target. Next we’ll dive into more details you don’t need as a newbie. You can either pause right here or watch so you are exposed to it and can come back to reference later.

    7. App Scanner

    There’s a scanner right in your Target App! If you don’t have the Target App, you can get it here.

    Click on the Barcode image from the home screen on your app. Scan any product barcode.

    I don’t actually use the scanner to do price checking – I still rely on price checkers in stores for this, especially since the app can pull different pricing.

    Instead I use the scanner to verify if Cartwheel will work on specific products or if products are part of a promotion. It usually matches how the checkout computers will behave. This is especially helpful if the product is the correct item, but maybe coded incorrectly or have special packaging with a new barcode that may not trigger the Cartwheel or gift card promotion. It’s nice to know this before being surprised during checkout.

    If the product doesn’t scan for the promotion and there’s a promotion sign, take a picture of the sign and show it to the cashier. They (or the manager) can apply it for you manually.

    The scanner is also helpful for purchasing apparel. If the store doesn’t have your size, you can scan the tag quickly and see if it’s online and order your size right there online.

    8. Missed Coupons

    If you forget to use a coupon, you can bring your receipt and your coupons to customer service and have them apply the coupons afterwards. Keep in mind, this isn’t an official policy and can vary by store. Typically you can do this 1-3 days after your original purchase. You should be able to ask a cashier or stop by customer service and ask their policy on this.

    If you forget to use a Cartwheel or the Cartwheel didn’t apply correctly, you can do a missed coupon as long as the Cartwheel offer is still available.

    9. Price Matching

    If you see the identical item for cheaper on Target.com or Amazon, you can price match in stores.

    You no longer have to go to Customer Service to price match. You can now price match with a cashier during checkout, at least for Target.com price matching.

    There’s a list of websites Target will price match with. You can see that list here.

    You can also price match local retail competitors within a 25 mile radius.

    You can also price match (and price adjust) with Target.com purchases. Just call or chat with Guest Services.

    Make sure to study the Price Match Policy here to learn what is allowed and not allowed.

    For example:

    • You cannot price match clearance items
    • You cannot price match prices from other Target stores
    • You can use Manufacturer Coupons when price matching, but you cannot use Target Coupons or Cartwheel Offers.

    10. Turn Off Location Services When Price Matching

    Beginning 2019, Target App will show prices based on your location for some users. If you are trying to price match while in the store, the price may change and be higher.

    It’s a good idea to turn off location services before price matching or while you’re in the store. From your Target App: Click on Your Account or Your Name if you are signed in > Scroll Down for App Settings > Click on Location> Click Never.

    11. Price Adjustment

    If you buy an item and it goes on sale within the next two weeks, you can bring your receipt in and get a price adjustment. They will refund the difference. No need to bring the item. You have 14 days to do a price adjustment and you can do this for in-store or online purchases.

    Price adjustment won’t work on clearance items. If the price drops from 30% off to 50% off, you cannot get an adjustment.

    12. Target REDCard

    If you shop at Target on any capacity, I highly encourage you to get a Target REDCard. You can choose from either a debit or credit card.

    You will save 5% off your purchase when paying with REDCard. This includes non-Target retail gift cards like a Disney or Starbucks Gift Card.

    Items purchased with REDCard have an extended extra 30 days for returns. That’s 120 days instead of the normal 90 day return policy.

    If making a purchase online, you’ll get Free Shipping when paying with REDCard – no minimum purchase required.

    You’ll also get perks like Early Access to sales and special member only discounts.

    Learn more about REDCard here.

    13. Coupon Policy

    If you plan to coupon at Target, I recommend reading through and getting familiar with their Coupon Policy. You can print it, but I have it bookmarked on my phone so I can have easy access to it when needed.

    It’s empowering to know what the rules are, and have something written as a policy you can show cashiers.

    14. How To Find Latest Target Deals

    Target deals typically run from Sunday to Saturday.

    You can find the latest Target deals on the FreeStuffFinder app or by going to FreeStuffFinder.com, click on Stores and then Target. We post Target deals daily.

    Pinned at the top of that page is another great resource – The Target Weekly Matchup – this contains everything that’s on sale at Target with breakdowns including coupons, Cartwheel and cash back offers. We post this every Friday around 5pm PST and is updated daily as new coupons and other offers become available. If we find an unadvertised deal on Sunday, we’ll add to it.

    If you’re new to couponing or couponing at Target, remember to keep your first few transactions small and simple. The more transactions you do, the more comfortable you’ll become and won’t be overwhelmed.

    The shopping video I put out on most Mondays on my YouTube Channel are a great resource for those new to couponing at Target, as many of the deals are newbie friendly. Make sure to subscribe here, and tap the bell to turn on notification when new videos come out.

    If you are new, also make sure to watch the videos: How to Coupon for Beginners and Top 10 Tips for New Couponers.


    126 good-looking people commentedLeave a comment
    1. 51

      I received a $5 off $15 purchase, in my mail. Can I stack it with the ongoing $5 off $20 beauty products, since the first coupon didnt specify a category

      • 51.1

        Hi Mary, it’s hard for me to answer that one since I don’t know what kind of coupon you received. The category coupon you referred to is to get back a $5 gift card when you spend $20 on Beauty & Personal Care, not get $5 off. Depending on what type of coupon you received, you may be able to stack that with the beauty coupon. Just be sure to scan the beauty coupon first. It’s also possible you may have to meet the threshold of both coupons in order to use it ($15+$20 = $35).

    2. 52

      Hello

      My question is I was wondering if you can do a new updated Target coupon policy some things have probbly changed sence that video. I want to get in to couponing more at Target and I loved your brake downs of the policy’s

      Thank you,
      Nicole
      P.s love your website and videos very helpful 🙂

    3. 53

      Tina: You have done an AMAZING job!! LOVE your site.

    4. 54

      So, this week’s ad has a coupon for a $20 GC if you spend $100 on baby items. I also have a REDcard Exclusive coupon for $10 off an in-store purchase of $100. I’m guessing they can’t be combined because both are Category Coupons? Wasn’t sure since one is a “store wide category coupon” and the other is a “baby” category coupon.

    5. 55

      Are target coupons different than the cartwheel offers?

      • 55.1

        Hi Sabrina! The coupons you find on Cartwheel aren’t necessarily “Target” coupons. They are manufacturer coupons (just like the paper ones you print or find in inserts). They are a digital, one-time use only coupon. Target coupons are store coupons which can be stacked with manufacturer coupons, but aren’t as common as they used to be. Hope this helps!

    6. 56

      k.ruiz528@gmail.com

      Hi tuna

      I clicked on the link about cashing out gift cards under $10 in CA. I wanted read the laws on it but the link on your site sent me to price error laws. Where can I find it again?

    7. 57

      Can you use manufacturer coupons in combination with the gift card with purchase promos? (Example: buy 4 Pantene items receive a $5 gift card… can manufacturer coupons be used on the 4 Pantene items?)

    8. 58

      Hello Tina, I need clarification because I want to get the best deal. There is a category coupon for $10off of $30, I would like to know if i buy around $50 of items then I return one that is $15, I still going to be over the $30. My concern is if I am going to receive back my $15 or they divide the $10off between the $50 and I only going to receive @$12. If that is the case, I can my an order of just over $30 plus the $15 item I can order it in another transaction

      • 58.1

        Hey Liz!

        You can see on the Target receipt that the Gift Card value is divided among what you purchased that qualifies for the Gift Card promotion. It’ll say “Return Value” on your receipt doe each item. I don’t know how it’ll get divided in your case. But you won’t be getting $15 back, since it’ll be a return value that accounts for a piece of the category deal gift card.

        Hope that helps!
        Tina

    9. 59
      Paulina Gonzalez :

      Hi Tina, I was just wondering what is the policy on expired manufacture coupons ? I heard that they can work up to 2 days after expiration date. Thank you so much!

    10. 60

      Hey Tina, went to target spend $21+ to get the $5 gift card when you spend $20 on beauty, oral care, fem care, deo, etc…. was told by the 2 employees in customer service. Oh you used manufacture coupons you need to spend $20 after coupons, I was super embarrassed as I really thought I did some thing wrong. They gave me the $5 GC but the lady said I’ll give it to you so we can stop talking about this.

      • 60.1

        Hi Anna! You should spend $20 or more before coupons not after coupons, so you did everything right. Maybe that Target store has a weird coupon policy they made up, so I would avoid that Target or these employees lol. It’s always been the total before coupons 🙂

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