Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Void as of 7/2011: CVS Coupon Policy for Buy One Get One Free Sales

EDITING:  This is not longer true as of 7/ 2011.

Because successful CVS shopping requires the use of coupons combined with the CVS deals from the sales ad it is important to understand the CVS coupon policies.  For years I could not comprehend using two coupons on buy one get one free sales or to use a buy one get one free coupon with a B1G1 sale (receiving both items free).  I kept reading about shoppers doing that
and getting loads of free items. I finally tried it and the register accepts the coupons just fine.

UPDATE:  11/18/2010, I called 800-shopcvs to confirm that the following policy was still in place and the gal said, "Absolutely.  You can use two coupons on a buy one get one free sale."

UPDATE:  7/28/201, You Cannot use 2 coupons on a BOGO sale as in the past and you CAN use a BOGO coupon on a BOGO sale--making both items free, like n the past.

To be able to share this concept with the readers of Simply CVS I decided to email CVS customer service and post a copy of the email I received in reply.  Whenever you run into a store that will not allow something you think is a CVS policy, email customer service and ask them to clarify it and when you receive the reply you can print out the copy and carry it with you to share with whomever is refusing the service CVS.  Here is a copy of the email I received this week:


Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for contacting CVS/pharmacy.  Your e-mail has reached the Customer Relations Department.  We appreciate the time you took to contact us with your inquiry.  Our coupon policy is not available on our Web site.  We reserve the right to change this policy at any time.    

In the case where a particular item is on sale for “buy one get one free” (BOGO), you are only allowed to use one manufacturer’s BOGO coupon.  For instance, if Revlon lipstick is on sale for BOGO, you can use one manufacturer’s BOGO coupon.  You would get both items free and pay any applicable tax.  We reserve the right to limit quantities after the first purchase.  If our store is running a sale for BOGO, you can use two manufacturer’s coupons for a specific dollar amount off.  For example, if Revlon lipstick is on sale at our store for BOGO, you can use two $1.00 off Revlon lipstick manufacturer coupons. 

Again, thank you for contacting us.  We value your business and look forward to serving you in the future.  Have a wonderful day!

Customer Relations


Jennifer said...

Thaks for posting this! I was aware if this deal coming back and went out searching for the policy. I was amazed last week that the cashiers aren't even aware of their own policy. I was able to do this deal many times but was still amazed that they don't even know!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Yes, Jennifer, couponers often know more than the cashiers when it comes to coupon usage. For some reason they just aren't well trained. But I suppose there is so much for them to learn and customers using coupons are probably in the minority.

NP said...

I have never done this before, could someone help me out? If you B1G1 with CVS and B1G1 with SOBE, are you B1G2? How many are you actually getting and how many are you paying for?


Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Hi, NP, you will use one b1g1 coupon on the b1g1 sale and will not pay for either. For each b1g1 coupon you have you will receive two Sobes according the CVS policy. Unfortunately, many cashiers are not informed of this CVS policy and they do not understand this. That is why I emailed to have an answer from CVS to post on Simply CVS.

Kim said...

I have been trying to find out customer service's email or see if they have a contact us form, however, I haven't been able to it seems. Have they removed this from their site? Or could you help provide a link for me please?


Kim said...

Hah! Never mind! I found it on your contact page. And here I was, thinking it was just to contact you there haha. Thanks for all the info that you've posted on your site! Super helpful!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Glad you found it, Kim. Yes, it can be confusing--but I wasn't sure where else to put it. :-). You are welcome, I am glad you find it helpful. The number is easy to remember:

Beth said...


I called CVS this morning to clarify about BOGO coupons and was surprised by the information I received. I bought four toothbrushes on Sunday and expected to be able to use two BOGO coupons and two $1-off coupons. The cashier told me I could not use the $1-off coupons on the "free" toothbrushes. I have always understood that you can use one coupon per item, even if another coupon makes that item free. I called CVS this morning to confirm, and they confirmed what the cashier had said!

I am so frustrated that they won't post a coupon policy. It makes using coupons SO much harder. All the information I've seen on the internet says that CVS's policy is one coupon per item, period. And I assume that information was obtained through calls to CVS like the call I just made. The guy said that stores may be overriding the $1-off coupons as a courtesy, but that that's not their official policy. Argh!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Beth, it is very frustrating. And one store will do one thing and another something different. Were your $1 coupons off one or two? Because you were not using them on the "free" toothbrushes, but on the ones you were buying to get the free coupons. Here is how I see it explained across the web (it took me years to comprehend this and try it, but the registers at CVS has always taken them fine--no override): Buy 2 items: use a $1/1 coupon on one and a b1g1 coupon on the other--each attaches to one product. If you have a $1/2: buy 4 items use $1/2 on the two you are paying cash for and 2 b1g1 on the second two.

Now I have read that some coupons are coded to attach to both items--but this is supposed to be rare. Also, once in awhile the order you hand the coupons in matters, but I can't remember what was said. I usually just try it and if it beeps I take it back.

A reader here, who works at CVS, commented just this week about using a $1/2 and 2 b1g1's on 4 products:

"Each of the B1G1 coupons will attach to 1 box of cereal. Buying 4 & using 2 B1G1 Qs will leave only 2 boxes to use other coupons on."

So she is still accepting them that way at her store.

It is more than frustrating at times! But the overall savings outweigh the frustrations for me.

Beth said...

They were $1/1 coupons. It makes sense to me, too, but oh, well. I might try a different location and see what happens. :) This store used to be very coupon friendly, but I think a tide is turning! Thanks for your response!

Anonymous said...

Ok. Left CVS today TICKED! B1G1 50% off. Does that work the same way? My mom used two coupons and they took them, but the cashier helping me refused it and said she couldn't do that. WHAT? Ugh...should I got back to the store and see if I can get my money or not? I was very polite and asked if that was policy and she just said, "Well you are still getting a good deal." I think she was ticked that I was getting an awesome deal.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Anon, sometimes cashiers seem to just decide things on the fly--it does seem many don't understand coupon usage and many do seem upset when customers save so much. There is absolutely no reason two coupons cannot be used on two items at b1g1 50% off.

You definitely should be able to take the coupon in and with your receipt and products, explain what happened (to a manager) and give them the coupon and ask for the cash. I would first call 800shopcvs and ask about it without mentioning the store you were shopping at necessarily, but just for the information, take the CS reps name and then you will have the official information if necessary when you approach the management of your local CVS.

Being very polite, as you mentioned, is definitely the best policy when approaching couponing issues. Let me know how you make out.

Alicia in TX said...

Can you please send the email address for CVS customer relations. My store will no longer allow me to use 2 of the same coupons during any one transaction. This is hindering my ability to get the best deal at the one on my way home from work and I just do not go to CVS as often. I understand when the coupon says only one can be used per transaction like some of the loreal but they have gotten out of hand.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Oh, Alicia, that would make CVSing almost impossible. They no longer communicate by email--you have to call 800shopcvs. They are great there and should be able to help you--they will contact the store and explain how to accept coupons.

Rachelle "Candle Barista" said...

Oh how I love, love, LOVE your blog. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to this "art".

I am a total noob and have a question that I can't wrap my brain around: CVS has M&M's on BOGO ... and I have manufacture coupons for M&M's for B2GO. Can you please explain slowly and in small words how this works out??? How many do I buy and how many do I get for free with one coupon used in conjunction with the store special?? Aghhhh!!!!!

Thank You for your help! :) Lol.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Hi, Rachel, and welcome! Okay,I will do my best :-). Sometimes things are hard to put into words.

For each coupon you buy 4.
The coupon pays for one.
CVS "pays" for two.
You pay for one.

They ring them up and the register will take off two then you give your coupon and it will take off one and you will pay for the last.

It may help to actually pick up the products and lay them in your basket and lay the coupons on top--visually see it.

Anonymous said...

Hiya, Love the site! Im new to couponing at CVS and am totally clueless to CVS coupon policy. Last week i had a problem with my coupons and after reading this post i think maybe i should have tried 2 transactions. I Purcased 4 Axe Bodywashes and had 2 B1G1 coupons, Which worked fine. I also had 2 Colgate toothpastes which were already on sale B1G1 and had 2 $1.50/1 coupons, They only took 1 coupon on those. Would both of the colgate Coupons worked with a seperate transaction? The the Cashier rang me up for a 3rd toothpaste i didnt purchase and which i didnt discover until i got home!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Anon, it should have worked fine the way you did it. Some cashiers do not want to accept two coupons on a buy one get one sale, but CVS customer service says they are to take them. I hate when there is an error like the extra t.p. rang up and I don't notice it soon enough. If you try again to use two qs on a b1g1 sale and they refuse, call 800shopcvs and get a clarification. sorry this happened.

Kelly said...

Hi! I was at cvs today and I am curious about a certain scenario.. if the revlon beauty products are buy one get one half off and on the product there are instant $2 off( can I use more than one in a purchase?) and I have a CVS coupon for $5 off the purchase of 2 revlon products. What would I pay? thanks! :) I love this blog!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Kelly, I am a little confused on the "instant $2 off". Are these peelie coupons stuck on the product? If so you can use one on each product and also the $5/2 CVS coupon. Glad you love Simply CVS.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering if a product is not on BOGO can I use 2 BOGO coupons to get 2 products free?

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

No, you must "buy" one of the items to get the other free. You can usually use a "cents off" coupon on the the one you are "buying"--once in a while a BOGO is attached to both items the way it is coded, but it is usually only attached to one.

Shawna said...

Hi! I am also new to couponing and I love the comments and questions,they help out with some issues I have. However, I was wondering, CVS is having a sale on Pantene, BOGO, I have a coupon or $3/2, can I use this coupon on this purchse, or do I need to get 4?

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Shawna, welcome to the world of couponing and to CVSing! Yes, you can use $3/2 on 2 products in a BOGO sale.

Shawna said...

Thanks...I see couponing like a drug, I tried it once and I am addicted.. LOL =)

Marianne said...

Thank you for this clarification. In April or May I had two BOGO coupons for Right Guard bodywash. At one CVS, I bought 2 and used one coupon. They were on sale 2 for 5.00; each scanned at 2.50 and the cashier deducted 2.50 for the BOGO coupon. I paid 2.50 for both.

then I did the same deal at another CVS with a self-scanner, and it scanned it properly as you explain here. It scanned each at 2.50, and deducted 4.49 for the BOGO coupon. I paid 51 cents for both. So I prefer the self-scanner, since it seems to be properly programmed. Actually I think the register scanned it properly the first time, but the cashier looked surprised and thought it was wrong.