New answers tagged credentials
Do not use a redirect. Set your AAM to only https://, and then use the URL rewite module in IIS to rewrite http requests to https. There are guides (http://pcfromdc.blogspot.com/2013/10/how-to-redirect-from-http-to-https-with.html) out there to use the GUI, but I find editing the web.config file be easiest. Install the URL Rewrite module for IIS and then ...
I would send a POST to ../_api/contextinfo If the credentials are valid, then the call will return a FormDigest, which you would likely need anyway.
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