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Among dozens of deals apps that pledge to save you money, Target’s Cartwheel app stands out.
It’s unusual in that you don’t need to download the app or carry a smartphone to take advantage of the deals on Cartwheel.
To boot, Cartwheel routinely offers great deals — up to 50 percent off — that Target allows you to combine with multiple coupons.
Of course, Cartwheel is free too.
So what exactly is Cartwheel?
Cartwheel is where you can find discounts that you can generally redeem only in stores. So if you don’t live near a Target store or only shop Target.com, for example, it’s not for you.
Also, Cartwheel deals can generally be found and redeemed only via Cartwheel, which means you must be a user to access those deals.
We point this out now because Target recently announced that, in addition to the usual Cartwheel deals, popular holiday deals will return to Cartwheel this season. They include 50 percent off a different toy every day from now through Dec. 24.
How to use Cartwheel — with and without a smartphone
If you want the app on your phone, which is arguably more convenient, you can download it for Android devices and Apple’s iPhone and iPad.
If you don’t want the app or don’t have a smartphone, you can create an account for and access Cartwheel online. Just visit the Cartwheel homepage.
Using Cartwheel is pretty straightforward, whether you’re navigating it by phone or computer.
In short, Cartwheel will recommend offers for you, and you can search through current offers by what are called “Categories” (like “Apparel” or “Baby”) or “Collections” (like “hot deals” or “man stuff”). When you spot a deal you like, click it to add it to your list of offers (called “My List”), which enables you to redeem the deal in stores.
When you get to checkout and you’re using Cartwheel on your phone, show the cashier the unique bar code in your app (called “My Barcode”). In other words, just hold up your phone for the cashier to scan the bar code.
If you’re not using Cartwheel on your phone, you must print the bar code before leaving your home, as that printout is what you show the cashier to scan.
Your Cartwheel bar code is unique to you and does not change, so you don’t have to print it out every time you want to redeem a Cartwheel offer. You can keep the printout in your wallet.
Just note that, under the Cartwheel terms and conditions, photos of bar codes are unacceptable.
For more on saving at Target, check out “7 Sly Ways to Save Money at Target.”
Do you use Cartwheel? Let us know why by commenting below or on Facebook.