Target is being accused of playing “favorites” by a devoted shopper of the chain for how it doles out its Circle Rewards store credit bonuses. Looking at the responses from other shoppers who are enrolled in the program, she may be right.
In a viral TikTok video, user @peruxican highlights the different spending and earning amounts both she and her friend receive as part of the Target Circle Rewards program, prompting other folks online to share their own rewards payout.
And there are some glaring discrepancies.
@peruxican I also have friends that say they have to spend $70 x 4 but only get $15 reward @target #target #greenscreen ♬ original sound – Peruxican
In the clip, the TikToker speaks into the camera while walking.
“Target, you’ve got some explaining to do,” she says. “As much as I love you, and I really do, I had no idea that you played favorites within your Target app. So if you have a Target app, too, listen up.”
She then explains the Target Circle rewards program.
“So you could spend $70 four times and you’ll get $25, you’ll see this one’s active right now,” @peruxican says while pointing to a portion of a green-screened Target application image capture superimposed behind her in the TikTok video. “I sincerely thought these were standard that went out to everybody.”
However, she reveals that the rewards she’s showing off are not her own.
“Um, I was wrong. This is not mine. This is actually my friend,” she shares. “So I will show you mine. So this is actually within my app, so I do get a better reward, I can get $60 but I have to spend $150 4 different times. I have to spend $600 before they would give me anything. I’m so curious what other people’s apps say.”
Her video has garnered over 135,000 views as of Thursday morning.
Viewers who saw her clip obliged her request, also offering a variety of different rewards payouts. Here are some of the different payment thresholds folks said that they needed to spend before they received a set reward amount:
“$120×3 to get $30,” one user wrote.
“3 – $100 to get $30,” another shared.
“Mine is 3 purchases of $90 gets me $25,” a further user detailed.
It’s clear that some shoppers got a little more bang for their buck— or, at the very least, accrued their Target Circle rewards cash a little faster.
“2 purchases of $85 or more gets me $15,” one shopper said.
“Mine is spend $140 4 times and get $40,” a second wrote.
“$100 on 4 trips I’ll earn $30,” an additional commenter stated.
One user’s rewards payout varied only slightly from that commenter, though they received $5 more on the same spending amount. “$100 on 4 trips and I’ll earn $35,” they said.
Although some folks said the amounts they had to spend and the correlating rewards points they received were fairly consistent, someone else said that the amount of rewards cash they’d bring in varied from time to time. “Mine has constantly adjusted. Sometimes it’s the higher amount, sometimes the lower. I think it just cycles,” they wrote.
One Target shopper speculated as to why these values are differ and chalked it up to spending habits. They also mentioned that an “increase” in spending on top of one’s typical charge amount may also have something to do with the number of reward points they’d receive.
If a customer typically spends $40 on every trip, give or take, why not stipulate that if they spend $50 or more on 4 trips, they’ll get $30 in rewards points? The hypothetical shopper will buy a little something extra every time they come in, and will more than likely see those $30 in rewards as “free money.” They won’t feel bad about tossing a few other extra items in their cart as well.
“Mine is 60×4 for 20. I’d guess they base it on it being an increase of your typical spending (I’m usually around 50 most trips),” this commenter shared as an example of their theory.
Everything-coupon-blog, The Krazy Coupon Lady, breaks down some of the best ways to use Target Circle’s rewards system in conjunction with the 1% cash back on all purchases that customers receive while shopping at the popular Minnesota-based retail chain. The blog states that the store’s Circle rewards program does indeed dole out different rewards based on the shopper using it.
“Bonuses vary from shopper to shopper, so not every Circle member has the same offer at the same time,” the site states. “While Target gave me a $15 reward on $110+ purchases, other KCL shoppers received a $10 reward on $80 purchases.”
On Target’s Circle Rewards information web page, there doesn’t seem to be any mention of different reward points structures and what a typical spend-to-earn ratio would look like.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Target via email for clarification on its Circle Rewards payouts and @peruxican via TikTok comment for further information.