Off Target


By Briane Nasimok

(TORONTO, ON) – Whenever I had journeyed across the boarder to our neighbour to the south, or flown the friendly skies to visit those great United States, one destination in my travels had always been to the Mecca of low cost goods, Target. Granted, the dollar stores offer some excellent deals on items that occasionally fall apart, or have a toxic smell, but for quality and price, nothing beats Target.

So when it was announced that THE franchise would be coming to the Great White North, I was excited. Not so much that I actually went to the first store that opened in the city, that Rob Ford put on the map and in the tabloids. I had other things to do. But the other week, my travels took me to meeting a block away from an outlet. So I went in.

Yes, I was impressed with the large, bright store, and realized that what I had heard in advance, that the prices were not as “good” as in America, was correct. I didn’t buy anything, but when I was given the chance to sign up for the Target credit card that would give me a generous 5% off incentive, I did. Just in case I would shop there one day.

A young woman, who put down her Hello Canada magazine to walk me through the computer questionnaire, seemed to know what she was doing and, by the end of my five-minute procedure, I was good to go. I patiently waited for RBC to issue my card; which would be coming in the mail within two weeks.

The other day the letter with my acceptance came, except I wasn’t accepted.

Rejected! For a Target Credit card!

People who have no fixed address get Target cards. I didn’t. And I could not figure out why I am not Target material.

The first two paragraphs followed form; thanking me for applying for a Target MasterCard, and informing me that they review all applicants and, at this time, they must decline my request for the following reason.

Your application does not meet our current credit-granting criteria.


I have been through two homes, one divorce, and currently own an oversized line of credit and RSP’s that mean I could live comfortably at the Trump Hotel for 16 weeks. Could it be my past history?

When just out of university, I applied for my first credit card I could understand the rejection. How could anyone give carte semi-blanche to a twenty-something year old with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies? American Express did.

Although I didn’t qualify for one of those other “less-privileged” cards, AMEX let me become a member with a huge three-figure limit. That’s why I still carry the card, which has turned into gold, and I am at the Front of the Line for many events; although I haven’t bought tickets to actually attend one of them.

Fairly soon after getting my first credit card, the offers came flying in, okay two. And I signed up with a VISA. After about four months I got the call informing me that I had exceeded my limit.

“Mr Nasimok, you have exceeded your credit card limit”

I paused to think of my response, and before I could answer, “Would you like more?”

They offered to increase my debt ceiling without jest. I asked to go from five hundred to eight hundred. They said okay and raised it to one thousand.

Over the years I have added a few other cards to my debt list; a grocery card that let’s me get free produce, and another VISA that allows me free flights, except I have to pay taxes and other stuff. When working on the NHL All Star Game in Denver, I signed up for an American MasterCard in order to get a free All-Star Bobble head.

I needed an American address and gave them a friend’s location in San Francisco and walked away with the plastic figure, although his stick broke in transit. And I have since added a US VISA issued by my bank.

Maybe the Target people know that I reneged on another card offer that I never fulfilled. During Woofstock when the dogs take over the streets in downtown Toronto, at a Scotiabank table I got to spin a wheel and win a prize. I don’t remember what all the prizes were, but in retrospect, I really didn’t need a bandana.

The prerequisite to take a spin was to fill out a credit card application and, of course not reading the fine print, there was a small financial fee to register the card. When the statement came in the mail, I never responded, and each month I receive a reminder about the $39 still owing. I phoned the main office and let them know I didn’t want to initiate the card and they told me to continue to disregard the letters.

I am to this day.

Could that be what is stopping me from gaining Target’s acceptance?

Target, as you requested, I have noted that I might qualify for a secure RBC credit card if I open an account and deposit an amount of money equal to the credit that I would be applying for. No thank you.

Your loss will be Costco’s gain, especially because I need another one kilogram box of All Bran.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata

Ian Shalapata is the owner and publisher of Square Media Group. He covers politics, the police beat, community events, the arts, sports, and everything in between.

His imagery and freelance contributions have appeared in select publications and for organizations in Canada and the United States.

Contact Ian with story ideas.

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