Update: Starting 8/27/17 the Cartwheel Perks pilot program will be ended. Users will have until 9/27/17 to redeem any perks. Also, the Cartwheel app will no longer be available. Instead Target will be integrating the Cartwheel program into it’s normal Target store app. You may learn how to use Cartwheel in the new integrated app here.
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What is Target Cartwheel App?
Cartwheel is an app designed exclusively for use at Target stores. The app is available on both iOS and Android devices and can also be used on your home computer. In a nutshell it allows users to redeem additional discounts on in store products that otherwise would not be offered. It is both free to download and use. Cartwheel is an essential part of a comprehensive Target couponing strategy (read more about that here).
In addition, Cartwheel is now also utilizing a perks system (as of now still only available in test markets of Denver, Houston, San Diego, and St. Louis, but expected to be rolled out nationwide in the near future). This Cartwheel Perks feature allows users to earn points based on ALL purchases to be redeemed on free items in store. (Read more here about the best perks of using Cartwheel app.)
Getting started is easy. Users can either download the app to their iOS or Android phones, or sign up right online at this link. You can sign up with your existing facebook, google, or target logins. Once you are completely signed up through either the app or online, your account can be accessed through either medium. If a change is made in one place, it will automatically be updated in the other. In other words you can freely interchange between the app and online.
Cartwheel has a variety of “offers” available for users to add to their account. The offers range from nearly every department in store and typically start at 5% off and will go up to about 50% off, though sometimes they will be even higher discounts. Offers are available to search in the search bar at the top of the screen. They can also be browsed in different types of views on the “offers” tab both in app and online. The views are offers just “for you,” offers broken up into departmental categories, and offers broken up into different collections.
As a new user you can only add 10 offers to your account at a time. Users can “unlock” additional offer spots by completing badges. These badges and their requirements can be viewed in the “badges” tab online and on the “me” tab in app. Badges can be as easy as adding your first offer all to way to using Cartwheel to achieve $5000 in savings. As an example, I currently have an additional 20 out of 26 offer spots unlocked.
Once you determine the offer/s you want to add, simply click or tap the plus sign on the offer to add it to your account. Once added, offers can be removed by clicking or tapping the check mark on the offer. Do note that offers do expire and the expiration can be clearly seen by clicking/tapping on the offer itself.
Cartwheel offers typically can only be used for purchases in store unless the offer explicitly states it can be used for online purchases. One Cartwheel offer can be combined and used in conjuction with a manufacturer coupon and Target store coupon per item (along with any gift card deals and REDcard (read more about REDcard here) on the entire transaction). A single Cartwheel offer can be used on up to 4 qualifying items per transaction. Some offers are actual manufacturer dollar off coupons and can only be used once period – the offer will explicitly state this.
Viewing Your Offers
Once you have your offers added, you can easily view all of your offers. Simply go the “my list” tab online and in app. All of the offers you have added that are current will be shown. Any offers you no longer want can easily be removed in this tab by clicking the X online and by swiping left and tapping remove in app(In case you are wondering about all the baby products on my list, I was recently shopping for a baby shower.)
Once you have all your offers added and are ready to check out, you redeem them with a unique barcode. The barcode can be obtained online by going to the “checkout” tab and clicking the print link at the top right corner. Your barcode always stays the same even when offers are added or removed, so you do not have to reprint every time you change your offers. Present the barcode at the checkout to be scanned during your transaction. To obtain your barcode in app, go to the “checkout” tab. Your barcode will appear and can be scanned during checkout straight from the app. You also have the ability to scan your barcode at the self checkouts.
You might also notice that both online and in app, the checkout tab shows some store coupons. These coupons can be scanned separately and redeemed within the same transaction. To gain access to the coupon’s barcode in app, simply swipe up to view the first coupon and swipe left to view any additional coupon offers. Online, the coupon’s barcodes can be printed along with your unique user barcode. Do note that your unique user barcode and each coupon barcode must be scanned separately – the store coupons are not automatically added to your unique user barcode.
Other Fun Features
You can update the settings of your account by going to the “settings” tab online or by going to the “me” tab in app and tapping on settings. To find the Help section, go to the “help” tab online or access it through your settings in app.
There are a few features that are only available in the app. You can view your Cartwheel friends in the “me” tab. As an example, if you signed up with your facebook login, you will be able to see all your facebook friends who use the app and their total savings and offers currently added. You can also view your history with the app, also in the “me” tab.
One of the best features I feel the app provides is the scanning tool. At the top in the search bar you will see a symbol that looks like a barcode. Tapping this will bring up a scanning tool that will allow you to scan the barcode on any item in store. Once scanned, the app will tell you if there is a corresponding cartwheel offer that can then be added. If not, it typically will show you any similar items with offers available. This is great for impromptu shopping.
As I mentioned earlier, Target has now added a Perks program to the Cartwheel app. (As of now Perks is still only available in test markets of Denver, Houston, San Diego, and St. Louis, but is expected to be rolled out nationwide in the near future.) Perks is also only currently available in app, it is not accessible online. Perks essentially allows users to earn points and receive Perks – or free items – on ALL purchases made in store.
Since Perks is tied straight to the Cartwheel app, users simply scan their unique user barcode after every transaction, even if they didn’t use a Cartwheel offer, to start earning points. 10 points are awarded for every $1 spent. (I have noticed that points will be awarded based on the price of the item BEFORE coupons.) Once you reach 5000 points (or $500 in spend) you will be allowed to choose a Perk – or basically a free item. These items range between a free movie, free baking ware, free jeans, and free produce.
When looking at the “perks” tab, you will be able to see how many points you have already earned. You can also swipe up to view the current Perks available. Do note that the Perks have maximum values. This means you may choose an item at or below that value to receive. You CANNOT choose an item over that value and pay the difference.
When you’ve earned enough points to redeem a Perk, the app will notify you and prompt you to choose one of the available Perks. Once chosen, you CANNOT change your Perk. Upon choosing and confirming your Perk choice, you will receive a barcode for redemption in your “checkout” tab similar to the store coupon barcodes. The barcode will be clearly marked as a Perk and state what it can be redeemed for. You will have it scanned at checkout in app just like your unique user barcode and any store coupon barcodes. Again, this barcode must be scanned separately from unique user barcodes and store coupon barcodes in order to be redeemed. Once it has been redeemed, this barcode will disappear from your account and cannot be used again.
The scanning tool provides another nice feature when it comes to Perks. If for some reason you forget to scan your unique user barcode at checkout during a transaction, you can still earn points! You can open the scanning tool in the search bar and scan the barcode on your receipt. The app will then notify you that your points will be added to your account in 24 hours.