As someone who shops at the store twice a week, I was excited to try Target’s new paid membership program.

I tried the Target Circle 360 membership, which gives me unlimited same-day delivery.As a fan of both Target and grocery-delivery services, I was excited to test out the $49 membership.However, I’d rather use my free Target Circle membership and Target Circle debit card to save money.

I’m a die-hard Target enthusiast who typically shops at the store twice a week, purchasing everything from home decor to beauty products and groceries. When I’m not shopping in-store, I like to use grocery-delivery services like Instacart at least once a week.

So when the new Target Circle 360 membership, which offers customers access to unlimited same-day delivery on orders over $35, launched in early April, I knew I had to try it out. The membership costs $99 a year, but I took advantage of a special launch offer and got the membership for $49.

As competition heats up among grocery-delivery services, I decided to try Target Circle 360 for a month to see if it was worth the price. However, I found the membership left much to be desired.

Target Circle 360 combines the benefits of the Circle membership and Circle card

Target offers other benefits like the Target Circle membership and Circle card.

For years, Target superfans like me have relied on Target’s free membership offerings for savings and perks.

Target Circle is the store’s foundational, free-to-join rewards program that automatically applies Circle-exclusive deals to your cart when you input your phone number and scan your Target Circle barcode at checkout.

Program members have access to Target Circle Bonuses, which include additional personalized offers separate from other Circle deals.

Target also offers the Circle card, which is a credit or debit card that offers 5% off in-store and online purchases. Target Circle card users get free two-day shipping for most online purchases and an extra 30 days for returns.

Target Circle 360 combines all the benefits of the Circle membership and a Circle card. So, if you already have both, the only notable additional benefit is free same-day delivery on orders of $35 or more through Shipt.

I thought the Target Circle 360 membership left much to be desired

Unfortunately, I haven’t used the Target Circle 360 membership as often as I expected to. During my first month, I used the delivery service three times and still ended up shopping in the store twice.

My fiancé and I typically do grocery delivery at least once a week, so I was hoping Target Circle 360 would replace my regular Instacart orders. However, I realized there are still specific grocery items — like produce and meat — that I prefer to get from places like Sprouts.

For me, $49 is a significant amount of money to spend on something I don’t need — especially since my fiancé and I are nondisabled, childfree adults who have the time and ability to do our own shopping — or at the very least pick up our items curbside for free.

After all, Target doesn’t allow for tips on curbside orders, and there’s no minimum pick-up order cost. So, in addition to saving money on the membership fee, I can save a lot by not adding the recommended 20% tip or adding unnecessary items to hit a $35 delivery minimum.

That being said, I’m fortunate that my local Target is less than two miles from my home, so curbside pickup feels almost as easy as delivery for me.

When I did use the Target Circle 360 delivery, however, I had a great experience. I got to know my regular shopper, Paul, fairly well over text, and he was much more communicative and helpful than personal shoppers from other services I’ve used.

Plus, if I requested immediate delivery, most orders were delivered to my door early or within two hours.

Overall, the Target Circle 360 membership wasn’t for me

At the end of the day, I didn’t think the Target Circle 360 membership was worth the money. I was also disappointed that there was no monthly-membership option, and Target only provided a 14-day trial. That meant I had to commit to the entire year without much time to test the membership’s usefulness.

However, I’m a firm believer that the free Target Circle membership is a must, even for casual Target shoppers. It gives me instant deals and cash back and has been one of my favorite store-rewards programs since it launched. So far this year, I’ve saved over $55 through the program by shopping sales and deals.

I feel similarly about the Circle card, which offers plenty of ways to save money, including a reloadable-card option to help minimize overspending. This year, I’ve saved over $25 by using the debit card as my go-to payment method.

While Target Circle 360 isn’t a must-have for me, I do see the delivery service being nice for extra-busy or sick days. I could absolutely see its value for new parents, those who can’t or don’t want to drive, or those who live farther away from a Target store.

Additionally, if you don’t have a Target payment card, it’s a nice way to get some of those perks — like no-rush returns and free two-day shipping.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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