Sunday, March 20, 2011

Shopping CVS 101

Now that I'm comfortable with shopping Rite Aid and using the rewards and sales they offer to my advantage.  I'm going to branch out a bit and see what kind of deals I can get at CVS.  The CVS rewards program seems to be pretty similar to Rite Aid so it shouldn't be too difficult to master.

CVS has the Extra Care Card which is the basis of their reward program.  The Extra Care Card allows you to take advantage of their Extra Care Buck (ECB) program and also receive in store coupons from their coupon printer.  You can sign up for the Extra Care Card at the register and receive it immediately or through the CVS website but you'll have to wait for it to come in the mail.  If you got your card in the store you can go onto the CVS website to register it so that you can see your account online and CVS will often email you valuable coupons such as $4 off a $20 purchase.

Extra Care Bucks are the CVS equivalent to Rite Aid's +UP rewards.  They are CVS exclusive coupons that can be used like money toward your next purchase.  ECB can be earned in a few different ways:

  • ECBs can be earned by purchasing certain products.  In the CVS flyer you might see "Buy this product and receive $ in ECB." When you purchase that product (or however many of that product specified in the ad) the ECB will automatically print out at the bottom of your receipt.
  • ECBs can be earned by purchasing a certain dollar amount of a particular product/products.  For example "Spend $15 get $5 ECB when you purchase select drinks and snacks."  
    • You do not have to purchase all the products for that particular promotion all at one time as long as all purchases are made within the promotion period.  By using your Extra Care Card, CVS will track the purchases that go toward this promotion and once you've satisfied the requirements your ECB will print out with your receipt. 
    • The amount you need to spend is always calculated before any coupons are applied so by stacking your coupons with the promotion you could actually end up getting things very cheaply, for free, or in some instances actually MAKE money.
  • CVS also rewards their customers but giving them 2% of the total amount they spent back in ECB at the end of each quarter.  This is calculated on the total spent after coupons and will print at the bottom of your receipt just like all other ECBs.  
  • $1 ECB is earned for every two prescriptions that are filled at CVS so make sure to always have the pharmacy scan your card.
CVS has a great little red machine near the front of their stores and you'll always want to visit this first thing before you start your shopping.  This little machine scans your Extra Care Card and spits out valuable store coupons.

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