Walgreen’s 101

walgreens couponing how to explains register rewards and balance points

One of the best stores to score TONS of FREEBIES is Walgreen’s. However, even seasoned couponers still have questions about couponing at this store, just because of all of the complicated rules. We are going to break it down for you in a series of how-to articles, so you can start rolling your transactions like a pro!

Starting off, we’re going to look at the programs offered by Walgreen’s, Register Rewards (RR) and Balance Rewards (BR or points):

Register Rewards

When looking at the weekly ads, this is what you will see to trigger telling you that the item has a RR tied to it:

Walgreen's RR Item

Walgreen’s has an entire section of their coupon policy dedicated to RR’s available here: http://www.walgreens.com/topic/generalhelp/coupon_policy_main.jsp. So let’s look over it and talk about it as we go!

Earning Register RewardsTM

  • Register RewardsTM will only print for in-stock merchandise during the promotional period.
  • Register RewardsTM can only be earned for eligible items. No substitutions.
  • There is a limit of one Register RewardsTM (RR) printed per offer per customer per transaction.

So what does this mean? When you see an item in the Weekly Ad that has RR, you will only receive the 1 RR for the item(s). Even if you purchase 5 of the item, you will still only receive the 1 RR in that transaction.

  • Customers redeeming a Register RewardsTM against the same offer may not receive another RR.

So what does this mean? Let’s say you want to purchase 2 RR items, but based on what we know from before, we have to split our transactions to get 2 RR to print. So, you’ve done transaction #1 and now you’re moving on to transaction #2. If you have the same item that earned you the RR in transaction #1 and you use that RR in transaction #2, a new one will not print. In order to receive your RR for the second transaction, you would need to pay with coupons and out of pocket, points, a different RR or a combination of those three. Not as easy as you thought, huh?

Redeeming Register RewardsTM

  • Customers redeeming a Register RewardsTM against the same offer may not receive another RR.
  • Refer to Register RewardsTM coupon for expiration date.

Just a note from experience, watch these close! They typically expire within 1 to 2 weeks!

  • The RR coupon value cannot exceed the total purchase amount. No cash back and no cash value for RR coupon.
  • The number of manufacturer coupons, including RR manufacturer coupons, must not exceed the number of items in the transaction.

So what does this mean? Here is another thing that REALLY tends to cause issues, even for the most veteran couponers. Walgreen’s considers their RR to be a manufacturer’s coupon.

As an example, let’s use the picture above. You have ONE Goody manufacturer’s coupon and ONE RR from another deal and you only have ONE headband. In order to use BOTH, you would need to have what’s affectionately called a filler item…an inexpensive item that has enough monetary value to “fill” the requirements of the policy (two products, two “coupons” AND does not exceed the total purchase amount).  

  • Register RewardsTM must be forfeited if the qualifying merchandise is returned.

So what does this mean? If you need to return the item for whatever reason, you will not receive your RR back or the cash value of that. If the item was $1.99 and you had a $1 RR, you will only receive the $0.99 cents back.

  • Register RewardsTM cannot be used toward the purchase of gift cards and pre-paid cards.
  • Register RewardsTM can be redeemed for eligible items only. Ineligible items include but are not limited to:
    • Prescriptions
    • Tobacco products
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Dairy products
    • Lottery tickets
    • Money orders/transfers
    • Transportation passes
    • Special event/entertainment tickets or passes
    • Postage stamps
    • Gift cards/phone cards/prepaid/Green DotTM cards
    • Prescription Savings ClubTM memberships
    • Health care services, including immunizations
    • Any items prohibited by law

Balance Rewards

As with the RR, the weekly ads show you what items can earn you Balance Reward points:

Screenshot (12)

The Walgreen’s Balance Rewards help page (found here…https://www.walgreens.com/balancerewards/balance-rewards.jsp) has a FAQ set up to explain this program.

How do I earn points?

A: You earn points every time you make a qualifying purchase using your Balance Rewards card, key fob, or mobile app. If you forget any of these tracking devices, you can provide your phone number in store at the register. You will earn bonus points on a variety of items across the store each week and 500 points on every prescription you fill in the pharmacy. Only prescriptions picked up in-store are eligible to earn points at this time. You will also earn 10 points for every mile you walk in the Steps with Balance Rewards program. Due to state and federal laws, points cannot be earned on some items. Points will not be awarded to anyone who currently or was at any time in the 6 months prior to purchasing a Pharmacy item covered by Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare or any other government-funded healthcare program. Pharmacy items must be purchased at participating Walgreens Drugstore, Rxpress, Duane Reade, or Walgreens Pharmacy locations (“Participating Stores”) to earn points. Excludes Pharmacy items purchased from AR, NJ or NY pharmacies and prescriptions transferred to a Participating Store located in AL, MS, OR or PR. For Terms and Conditions, visit Walgreens.com/Balance.

So what does this mean? When you see items in the ad that show points that can be earned, you will pay the “With Card” price out of pocket, then earn the points on your card to use for future purchases, much like the RR’s.

How do I redeem points?

A: You can redeem your points at any Walgreens or Duane Reade store during a purchase or online at Walgreens.com with as little as
5,000 points. The more points you accumulate, the larger the reward. See the complete redemption chart below.

Screenshot (14)

A: You can redeem points once you accumulate 5,000 points. To redeem in store, you will be prompted by the sales associate to choose to either redeem your points or continue earning points on that purchase. You can elect to redeem or keep saving using the pin pad at checkout or by telling the sales associate. You can choose to redeem all, some, or none of your points.
NOTE: You cannot earn and redeem points in the same purchase.

So what does this mean? Redeeming points is EASY! If your cashier does not ask if you would like to redeem any points you have available, you just have to let them know you’d like to redeem your points! EASY PEASY! Almost! You just need to keep in mind that if any items within your transaction EARN you points and you REDEEM points as payment, you WILL NOT earn the points from those items.

As an example using the Balance Rewards picture from above, if you have 5,000 points on your card and you have purchased two boxes of Wheat Thins, plus a few other items, bringing your transaction total to say $5.34, you would not want to redeem your 5,000 ($5.00) of available points to bring your total down to $0.34. If you chose to do this, you would not earn the 1,000 you would otherwise have coming to you.

And there you have it, folks! A 101 on Couponing at Walgreen’s. The next post in this series, the 201, will detail “rolling” transactions! It won’t be long until you’re navigating Walgreen’s like a pro!!

To see this week’s deals go to http://whatsyourdeal.com/grocery-coupons/category/walgreens-match-ups/

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