Out of all the stores I’ve ever couponed at, Walgreens is definitely one of the most difficult. The reason couponing at Walgreens can be confusing is because they accept manufacturer coupons, store coupons, Register Rewards and Balance Rewards. Each one of these is different and most can be stacked with one another. Being able to understand the difference between each of these items will help you become a coupon master at Walgreens!
Below are each of the terms, what they mean and how they can be used. Continue reading for extra vocabulary and tips that you may hear others talk about when couponing on Walgreens.
Manufacturer coupons are your regular coupons that you’ll find in the newspaper or most websites online. Each manufacturer coupon will say “manufacture coupon” on the coupon (see above). Manufacturer coupons can be combined/stacked with store coupons.
Store coupons for Walgreens are coupons that can ONLY be used at Walgreens. They will look similar to manufacturer coupons but instead of saying “manufacturer coupon” somewhere on the coupon, you will instead see “Walgreens coupon.”
These coupons can be found in multiple places. You may receive one on your receipt, you may be able to print one online, you may find them on your mobile app or they may be in the very popular Super Savings book. The Super Savings book is a small book (see picture above) that you can find inside most Walgreens stores. The book is filled with in-store coupons. In-store coupons can be combined/stacked with manufacturer coupons.
Register Rewards are coupons that are printed off with your receipt after making a purchase. These are similar to coupons you may find on your receipt when shopping at stores like CVS or Kroger.
Register Rewards are considered manufacturer coupons. But, they are not limited to one certain item or brand. Walgreens redeems them as if they are cash. Since they are manufacturer coupons, there are also many other stores that will redeem them as well and treat them like any other manufacturer coupon that you may find in the newspaper.
Important note: You usually will NOT receive a Register Reward with your receipt if you used a Register Reward to buy your item. If you do pay with a register reward and still receive one at the end of your transaction, couponers call that “Rolling Register Rewards.” This is a glitch in the system that many couponers like to take advantage of because it does not always happen. Most of the time you will not know if a Register Reward will “roll” until you test it out in the store.
Note: Register Rewards expire after two weeks.
Balance Rewards is a loyalty program that rewards certain purchases with points. Points can be turned into digital money through Walgreen’s computer system.
1,000 points can be redeemed for $1
$5,000 points can be redeemed for $5
20,000 points can be redeemed for $20
…and so forth. You can only use 50,000 points per transaction.
Note: Balance Rewards expire after one year they are earned OR after 6 months of being inactive with your Balance Rewards account.
Typically, points are given once you’ve bought a certain amount of items or spent a certain amount of money in one transaction. For example, in Walgreens’ weekly ad you may see “Spend $15 on beauty products and receive $3 in points.” If you buy $15 worth of items, 3,000 points will automatically be added to your account (as long as you have an account set up – it’s totally free).
When earning Balance Rewards, your points are triggered BEFORE manufacturer coupons but AFTER store coupons.
Okay, ready for it to be a little more confusing?
Let’s saying the promotion says “Buy $15 worth of beauty products and receive $3 in points.” Here are some scenerios and their outcomes:
- I buy $15 worth of beauty products. I have $5 worth of manufacturer coupons. My total will become $10 and I will receive $3 in points. Why? Because I was given the $3 in points before using my manufacturer coupon.
- I buy $15 worth of beauty products. I have $5 worth of store coupons. I will NOT receive $3 in points. Why? Because store coupons are removed from the total before giving you any points. Therefore, the computer thinks you are buying $10 worth of beauty products when the promotion says you must spend at least $15.
- I buy $20 worth of beauty products. I have $5 worth of manufacturer coupons. I have $5 worth of store coupons. I will receive $3 in points. Why? Because I still bought $15 worth of beauty products after subtracting my $5 in store coupons.
- I buy $17 worth of beauty products. I have $2 worth of manufacturer coupons. I have $5 worth of store coupons. I will NOT receive $3 in points. Why? Because my total AFTER store coupons was $12 which is less than the $15 minimum that needed to be spent.
Yes, it’s confusing. Yes, it involves more math than most want to do on a daily basis. But once you read these scenarios and understand them well, I can promise you will be READY to walk into Walgreens confidently!
You can only use one manufacturer coupon per item!
Usually couponers would say this is common sense but when it comes to Walgreens it can be a bit confusing because remember – Register Rewards are considered manufacturer coupons!
Therefore, if you have 5 items and you use 5 coupons from your local newspaper, you CANNOT use a Register Reward on top of one of the 5 coupons. This would be considered using 6 manufacturer coupons for 5 items, which is not allowed in Walgreens.
Manufacturer coupons CANNOT exceed the price of the item you are buying.
If you are buying an item for $4 and you hand the cashier a $5 coupon, it will be rejected. Some stores allow the cashier to adjust the price of the coupon to match the item but Walgreens DOES NOT.
Are you ready to test out your knowledge of Walgreens?
Be sure to ask any questions about Walgreens’ system or post any extra helpful tips that others might enjoy in the comments below!