Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What Is A CVS Extra Care Buck and How Do I Get Them? CVS 101 Lesson Series


Many readers at Simply CVS are new to CVS shopping and often don't understand the things we veteran CVS shoppers take for granted.  This CVS 101 Lessons Series will be posted each Tuesday to hopefully answer many questions new, and sometimes not so new, shoppers have.


CVS has a reward system with their store cards. They reward shoppers with Extra Care Bucks (a.k.a. ECB's) for certain shopping habits. These are "coupons" that print at the bottom of the receipt when you shop at CVS. These are good for almost ANYTHING at CVS(some exclusions apply, which are listed on the ECB: examples: stamps, prescriptions)

  • CVS customers receive 2% back quarterly for their out of pocket (oop) spending rounded down to the nearest $.50 increment. If you have $100 out of pocket at the end of the spring quarter, within a few weeks you will receive a $2 ECB at the bottom of your receipt the next time you shop at CVS.
  • Customers receive $1 for every two prescriptions filled at CVS. These also print out quarterly and are included in the same ECB as the quarterly out of pocket spending mentioned in #1 above.
  • Customers receive 1 credit every time they fill or refill a prescription in store or online. Fill 10, earn $5 ExtraBucks® Rewards.  You must sign up for this at the pharmacy--and you must sign up EACH family member.
  • CVS weekly and monthly ads will often list a sale item that the customer also receives an ECB on.  These extra bucks print immediately after purchase.
    • An example: If Colgate toothpaste is on sale for $2.99 with $2.00 back in ECB's, on the bottom of the customer's receipt from this purchase of $2.99 will be a $2.00 ECB to spend on their next order at CVS.
    • Usually there are one to three things each week that are "free after extra bucks." Which means if the Colgate above was $2.99 the customer would receive a $2.99 ECB after buying it. Beginning about the summer of 2009 these became fewer and fewer, but there is usually still one, often more.
    • If your CVS is out of an extra buck item ask for a raincheck. When it is back in stock buy it with the raincheck and after the purchase the cashier will print your extra buck out.
  • Extra Bucks have an expiration date approximately 3 weeks after the issue date.
  • Extra Bucks can only be used with the CVS Extra Care Card they were received on.
  • Extra Bucks must be used for the amount printed on them or the remaining balance is lost. For example, you have a $4 extra buck and you want to buy a $2.99 item--you will not get change. They will change the extra buck to $2.99 at the register. The other option is to get a "filler." Pick up something that costs $1.01 or under and throw it in your order. Travel size items are often good for this purpose as are candy bars. You will get familiar with inexpensive items to throw in. I often get a candy bar for the cashier.

Note:  Check the bottom of your CVS receipt as soon as you check out to be sure your Extra Buck printed. If it did not show the item and the ad to the cashier and she/he can "force" one to print for you.

This is one of ten lessons in the CVS 101 ten steps for beginners; see other CVS 101 posts for more advanced shopping lessons and check out the CVS shopping tips and tricks.

Disclosure: Links in posts may be Simply CVS affiliate partners or personal referrals.

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