12 CVS Shopping and Coupon Hacks to Save Hundreds
When you think of CVS, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Miles and miles of printed receipts and rewards, or your extreme couponing friends who seem always to be getting incredible discounts or free stuff from the retailer?
How would you like to rack up some discounts and freebies without the extreme couponing?
Follow our simple hacks to get in on the savings action.
1. When You Register Your Card to get 2% Cash Back, Add Email for Extra Savings
Companies love to stay in contact with you to keep you up-to-date on the latest sales.
CVS knows email is one of the best ways to keep those lines of communication open, which is why they will send you exclusive offers when you provide your email address.
When you create a CVS account and sign up for your ExtraCare Card, which will score you 2% cash back in ExtraBucks Rewards on future CVS purchases, be sure to enter your email address, too, so you can tap into those extra savings.
CVS says customers who sign up for email notifications enjoy 3X the savings over the course of a year.
Increase the Amount of Cash Back When You Pay with a Rewards Credit Card
It’s nice that CVS offers you 2% cash back on most purchases, but how would you like to earn even more? Say no more! Get yourself a rewards credit card.
There are different kinds of rewards cards, but what you want is a cash-back rewards credit card.
Credit Land does extensive research and offers a nice selection of rewards cards.
Some of the rewards credit cards will pay up to 5% cash back as a bonus, others will pay up to 2%. Visit Credit Land and see which rewards card is best for you so you can earn even more cash back when you shop at CVS.
2. Download the CVS Mobile App for Personalized Deals
The CVS app brings everything together in one place.
Create a CVS account and link your ExtraCare Card, and you will be able to track your ExtraCare Bucks, manage your prescriptions, see the weekly ad for your store, shop online, and receive personalized deals.
You’ll want to check out the deals and rewards section to find out what offers you have and what rewards you have earned.
A recent deal offered me $10 off of $55 if I shopped online.
3. Never Miss Out on a Deal: Visit the ExtraCare Coupon Center
CVS makes it easy to save with that ExtraCare Coupon Center (aka the red kiosk) near the front entrance of the store.
When you walk in scan your card, enter your phone number, or open the app for your card’s barcode to scan so you will get the skinny on what deals are to be had.
That beautiful savings machine will print out personalized store coupons or manufacturers’ coupons for you to use on your visit.
It only takes a minute, and you can score big with savings.
4. Scan Your Card Every. Single. Time. at Checkout
This might seem obvious, but it needs to be said: If you do not use your ExtraCare Card when you checkout, then you cannot get your 2% cash back or any other rewards after the transaction is completed.
Make sure you have your card ready or your app opened with the card’s barcode when you checkout so you earn as many rewards as possible.
Also, this helps CVS know what you like so they can offer better personalized deals.
5. Shop When the Price is Right
CVS customers can take advantage of two kinds of sales: A monthly one with ExtraCare Bucks offers and the weekly sales (you can see the flyer for your store in the app).
This means you might want to wait until what you want goes on sale or if you have enough coupons (think store coupon, manufacturer’s coupon, and ExtraCare Bucks savings).
Never worry about missing a sale when you download the CVS app.
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6. Shop Confidently for Deals, not Brands
When you shop for beauty products, health products, or snacks, you will save money if you choose the CVS Pharmacy brand.
Did you know, those big, brand-name manufacturers often make those in-store brands?
So, next time you shop CVS, try the CVS Pharmacy brand.
You will pay less, and you just might snag some ExtraCare Bucks in return.
CVS offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you can pick up the store brand with confidence, knowing you will get your money back if you don’t like it for any reason.
- Related: 10 Tips to Live on Next to Nothing
7. Maximize Your ExtraCare Bucks Rewards with Coupons
When you shop CVS, those ExtraCare Bucks Rewards are as good as gold.
Maximize those bucks by using them strategically with coupons when you checkout. Here’s how:
- Have your ECB card scanned: This will activate any “dollar off” savings (like $10 off of $40).
- Offer your “percentage off” coupon: If you have a CVS coupon for a percentage off of your purchase or an item, present this first (though, cashiers can scan your coupons in any order).
- Present store coupons
- Hand them manufacturer coupons
- Use your ExtraCare Bucks strategically: Let’s say you have a $5 ECB reward and a $3 ECB reward in your app. If you owe $3.50 and checkout and present your $5 reward, you will lose $1.50. There is no change. Instead, give them the $3 reward. You will still owe 50 cents, but you’ll keep your $5 reward for next time.
Go Next Level When You Shop at CVS with the Free Ibotta App
You can maximize your savings at CVS with Ibotta, the No. 1 free cash-back grocery app that is good for so much more.
You can earn 8% cash back when you shop CVS online through the Ibotta app.
If you want to shop in-store, no problem. Just search the cash-back deals in the Ibotta app and add them to your list.
Another way to save is to buy CVS gift cards through Ibotta and get cash back on the purchase and then use the gift card to shop at the retailer.
Want to hear even more ways Ibotta can save you money? Check out our Ibotta explainer video, here!
Download Ibotta Here & Grab Your $20 Welcome Bonus.
8. Stack ExtraCare Bucks Offers
CVS offers so many ways to save: Via text, the app, the red kiosk, the weekly flyer, personalized deals, and in-store coupons.
But, wait! There’s more!
Your ExtraCare Card will get you 2% cash back on most purchases, but CVS has other incentive programs that will earn you more cash back, rewards, and freebies.
- ExtraCare Beauty Club: When you sign up for this free program, you will get a free gift for every month that you spend $30 on beauty products. You can earn up to 10% cash back during special beauty events. Keep an eye out for special beauty deals and exclusive offers in the app.
- ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards: You and your family can earn up to $50 ExtraCare Bucks Rewards each year when you fill your prescriptions, get vaccinations, or use their health services (not available at all locations). You can sign up to a total of five family members on your cards.
- CVS carepass: This is a paid program that will cost you $5 a month or $48 a year if you pay annually. This could save you hundreds of dollars a year. Each month, CVS will sent you a $10 promo reward (that’s $120 a year right there) to use, you will get free 1- to 2-day shipping on qualifying purchases, and free same-day or 1- to 2-day delivery on eligible prescriptions. CVS will also let you try your first month for free.
- Related: 5 Financial Habits to Start – ‘in Your 20s‘ or ‘in Your 30s’
9. Make One Trip, Make Several Transactions
One of the beauties of ExtraCare Bucks is that they are effective immediately.
What this means for you is when you check out, you can separate your purchases into more than one transaction.
If you front load your first transaction, when you complete it, you will get a printed receipt showing the amount of ECBs you earned.
You can then apply them to your second purchase.
If you feel like you will inconvenience the cashier or feel guilty for keeping people behind you waiting, just go to the self checkout.
10. Order Online, Pick Up at Store for Special Discounts
CVS will often have online offers that are not available in the store.
So, if you wanted to take advantage of an online promotion, order online via the app or your computer, schedule your pickup at the store, and pop in to claim your in-store promotion before picking up your order.
Get the best of both worlds to increase your savings and rewards.
If You Shop Online, Rakuten Lets You Rack up More Cash-Back Rewards
Rakuten is a powerful rewards program that will help you save money and earn cash-back when you sign up for the free service and download the browser extension, aka the Rakuten button.
When you visit CVS.com, you will receive a pop-up notification letting you know what percentage of your purchase will be deposited into your Rakuten wallet.
With a simple click, you can activate up to 10% cash back when you shop CVS online.
Rakuten works at CVS and thousands of other online retailers.
Rakuten will also search for active promo codes when you are checking out online.
If it finds one, it will alert you to save even more.
Don’t have Rakuten? Create your free account here. You’ll receive a $10 welcome bonus after your first cash-back shopping experience.
11. Close to Your Birthday? Wait for that Purchase
Even if your friends and family forget your birthday, CVS will not.
When you enter your birthday into your CVS account, you will get $3 in ExtraCare Bucks rewards.
So, if it’s close to your birthday, wait until you get your gift from CVS.
12. Finish the Year Right
Some of your ExtraCare rewards and credits, like the Beauty Club and Pharmacy & Health Rewards, will not roll over into the new year.
So, make sure you check your Rewards and Deals in the CVS Pharmacy app and search out the expiration dates.
Some rewards, like your ExtraCare Bucks, will be good for 30 days.
So, you want to make sure you stay on top of those dates, too.
Be diligent because it’s sad to lose rewards you earned.
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