I’m a huge fan of CVS deals. I’ve done deals there off and on for the last four years since they first came to town, and have gotten so amazing deals there. But how does this all work? This will take several posts, but let’s start with the basics you need to know.
CVS Extra Care Card - This is the CVS loyalty card, and is the key to all of your CVS deals. To get the sale prices on items in the store, you have to use the card. Any Extra Care Bucks and Cash Register Tape coupons (explained below) you earn are connected to your card number and are non-transferable. The card is also how they enforce limits on some specials. Extra Care Cards are limited to one per person, however each person in your household can get one.
Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) – This is one of the main things that make the CVS deals so lucrative. Many CVS specials will be that you earn ECBs when you buy a certain product. ECBs are very similar to mail-in rebates, which the exception that you don’t have to mail in any forms to get your reward. If you buy a qualifying product and use your card, an ECB coupon will print on your cash register receipt. Sometimes CVS even offers specials where the ECB will be equal to the price of the item, essentially making it free. That ECB coupon can be used like cash (with a few exceptions) on a future transaction.
It is important to note that the ECB reward is not an instant discount. For instance, last week CVS has Coke 12pks. on sale for $12 for 4 and you earned $3 in ECB for the purchase, which is like paying $9 for 4. However, the $3 has to be used on a future transaction, so your initial purchase in this instance will be $12 plus tax. During one of my trips to CVS last week I witnessed two people who got pissed that the discount wasn’t instant and left without buying anything, so it is apparently a more difficult concept to grasp than one would think.
Cash Register Tape Coupons (CRTs) - Like the ECBs, these will print on your receipt and are connected specifically to your account. Sometimes the coupons are random, other times they are driven by the items you have purchased on your account. Some examples of the coupons I’ve received recently are $4 off $20 purchase, $2.50 off $10 CVS Brand purchase, $4 off any $20 baby product purchase, and $1.5o off any pain reliever purchase. Occasionally you can also get coupons for specific products.
If you’ve put your cheap bastard hat on, you can probably already see how you can get some good deals with ECBs and the CRTs, however there are more coupons out there that can make the deals even sweeter. More on that in the next post!