Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How Many CVS Extra Care Cards Can One Person or Household Have?

UPDATED 1/25/2011:  New information received and posted.  See the details of the new rules concerning CVS and the number of extra care cards a household can have.

The foundation of CVS savings is the Extra Care Card. It is required to get the sale prices, to earn the extra bucks offered on various products in the weekly CVS ad and to earn the 2% quarterly spending extra bucks back. Having more than one card would allow shoppers to do more than one weekly extra bucks deals limits. I wrote about this several months ago, but wanted to share it again for new readers or shoppers.

How many can each customer have? How many can each household have? Can you do the deals on more than one card per household?

ANSWER: Who knows! Real helpful, huh? Well, I thought I'd share with you what I have read, heard and experienced.

CARDS PER PERSON: It is my understanding that each individual can have ONE card in their name. Yet, if you are on your CVS.com account it will ask if you want to register another card--which means you must have another one to register it, right? I also have read of others being told at their store that they can have another card. Also I have heard of people calling customer service and some being told, yes you can, and others being told no you can't.

CARDS PER HOUSEHOLD: It is my understanding that each member of a household can have their own card. This seems to be what it has been for years. But then again I have read of some managers telling customers they have to share a card--but that has been rare. The question becomes can you do more than one...

WEEKLY EXTRA BUCKS DEALS PER HOUSEHOLD: Here's where it gets trickier. The ads used to say "limit 1 per CARD" on the weekly CVS extra bucks deals, about three years ago it changed to: "limit 1 per HOUSEHOLD." When it made this change I quit shopping because my daughter was CVSing and living at home. One day, after several months, I went in with her and the manager asked where I had been, I pointed out the wording and told her why I quit, she said that wasn't what it meant and that she would certainly sell to me with my own card as well as to my husband and other daughter if they wanted to.

Okay, so I got the impression it was one of those things that is there so the managers can enforce it if they want to or they don't have to. We were at another CVS and I ask a manager there and was told, yes, each person can have their own card and shop the deals, that the ad really meant "per card". I have read of people who use 5 or more cards for members in their families, so this may be another thing left to interpretation.

The system does not stop members of the same house from doing the same weekly deals--as it stops the deal when the limit is reached per card. I shop at a grocery store that allows each member their own card, but they are all linked and if there is a deal limit it is cut off when the HOUSEHOLD reaches the limit. But at CVS it is only cut off when the CARD reaches the limit.

The reason I wanted to share this is if any of you would like to get another household member a card to be able to do more deals I wanted you to know it may very well be possible.   A lot of people shop with more than one card at one time and have no problems. Some managers don't like it because it can wipe out their stock. Some people use their card one day and their husband's on another day with no problem—often at a different store.

So if you'd like get in on more deals, and have another adult in your household, check it out. Perhaps ask your manager or call customer service to see if they can tell you.

Please note: I am not trying to get around rules or the system CVS has in place--they don't seem to give a direct answer, or at least everyone doesn't give the same answer when asked, so I am not sure there is a hard core rule and wanted to share with readers what I and others have experienced so you can look into this if it is something that interests you.

Has anyone heard anything different? What has your experience been with the CVS extra care card limits?

Be sure to read all the CVS tips and tricks posts from the past to get the most out of your weekly CVS shopping experience.


Missy said...

I have a card and so does my husband. I have never been questioned about it when I use both cards on the same trip, two transactions. Some times my husband shops with me but not usually. I think they like to see me coming at my CVS, all the workers and manager are very nice and like to see how much I save. My husbands card always gets better coupons out of the red machine than mine!!!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Thanks, Missy, for the input. LOL that your hubby gets better q's than you!!

Debbie said...

Thanks for the info. When they have extra bucks on milk it is the best deal around and I am sad I can only get 2. If I had another card, I could get a few more! Plus, I LOVE that if they run out I can get a rain check, unlike Walgreens RR.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Yes, Debbie, the rain checks are so great. I don't think my state allows extra bucks on the milk--we have never had any here.

Anonymous said...

HI Cheryl,
I run 3 cards, it does get a little crazy. I have 3 little plastic binders where I keep everything seperated and organised. Once a week I sit down and right down how much ecb's each has and also exp. dates, coupons and such.

Now I was wondering about raincheck. If you use a raincheck from 2months ago, does it matter which card you use it with? Does the computer still 'know' that that card got the ecb for that item 2 months ago?

For ex. I have a raincheck for Alive vitmanis. I would like to use it with card #1 because that card gets, every week, a $3 off $15healthcare coupon :) But card #1 got the ecb for the vitamin 2 months ago. I did notice that when you use a raincheck they force the ecb to print...

what are you thought? do you keep each raincheck with each card?

thank you for your great blog :)


Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Great organizing, Anoushka! I always keep each rc with the correct card--I do mine and my mom's. Technically if you purchased the deal on one they expect you not to use a raincheck. but I do not imagine the system keeps track AFTER the code has expired on the rain check at least--they stay active for several weeks. Sorry, this isn't something I can really advise on.

dot said...

I shop with my card and one in my daughter's name. I know this sounds crazy but I can't do many deals at one time. I buy a few things then take it to my car and go back and do a few more or leave and go back later. At first I tried shopping with two cards at one time and they never said any thing but it was really hard for me.
I get very stressed out doing this CVS shopping. I wonder if anyone else does.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Oh, Yes, Dot, this "anyone else" still does! I have got to learn to chill. I am much better--but I have a plan, they are out of stock or I get a good coupon at the scanner and it throws me off. I misplace a coupon and forget it, or I leave something in my cart that was supposed to be checked out or I forget my bag tag scan--if I'd just learn to relax it would be so much better. I do mine and my mom's cards and I try to use a basket and a cart to keep them separate, but the carts are so tiny and hard to get in under the basket. Most of my store's carts are ancient and they don't have a bottom on them and they don't have the little flap thing to put up so stuff doesn't fall out of the front where the little child's legs should be. LOL Okay, now I am dreading to shop after voting this afternoon. :-). So no, you are not the only one who gets stressed--I have read of lots of people who do.

Taika Maris said...

The system will not keep track what each card has bought after the fact. (I've personally printed multiplies with the same active code on one card. This is particularly useful if there ends up being a paper jam and the coupons don't print properly.) You can choose to redeem the raincheck with any of your cards and the extra bucks will be linked up to that card.

Anonymous said...

My mom has lived with us for 17 years. For most of those years, she has had a CVS ExtraCare Card for her purchase and I have had a different one for mine. I was never told that we could only have one per address until today when I tried to redeem two coupons I have - one for her and one for me. The manager refused to let me use one that I don't have a card for (my mom's). He lost a sale! And I might not go back ever.