Doing Well at CVS

by William M.  -- aka King of CVS deals

You can do well shopping at CVS if you know what youíre doing. Hereís some advice with shopping at CVS. The hardest thing to do at CVS is to get started. At the very end I have some ideas about how to get well on your way to success at CVS.  

CVS card 

The first thing you need at CVS is the CVS card- it's red. You can pick one up at the register and use it for any deals. Buy something small or do an Extrabucks deal.  In 2-3 days you'll be able to go online and fill in your personal information at this website.  

Take my advice- enter your personal information and put one of those little cards (you'll get three with your original card) on your keychain. The card is the key to getting deals at CVS. It will keep track of your purchases so that you can qualify for Extrabucks and also print out CVS cash register coupons. When you fill in your personal information online make sure you put your phone number. If you forget your card, you can give the cashier your phone number and your purchases will be credited. BUT, if you don't have your card you won't be able to print out your Extrabucks, so bring your card with you every time.  

Coupons at CVS 

CVS takes (accepts) coupons and CVS MAKES (issues) coupons. There are CVS coupons available at pharmacies (for a gift card for new prescriptions), and there are also CVS coupons that print out on your receipt from time-to-time. No one really knows what triggers all of the different CVS cash register coupons but some print out for everyone, while others seem to be based on prior purchases (maybe you bought some batteries a few weeks ago- you'll get a coupon for batteries if you haven't purchased any since). Other cash register coupons seem to be based on a current or future sale. One thing is certain about CVS cash register coupons- if you use them, you'll get more- sometimes lots more. I once had NINE CVS cash register coupons print out at one time. You can get these coupons at any time, but they seem to print out for most shoppers on Monday or Tuesday.

CVS cards are one per person. Other members of your family can have their own cards.

CVS will take manufacturer's coupons (Sunday inserts or other sources) and CVS will also take CVS coupons on the same product. If you are lucky enough to get some CVS coupons that are off any purchase (recently, many national magazines have had a $4 off any

$20 purchase at CVS) you can use this coupon with other CVS and manufacturer's coupons. Coupons off any purchase are very valuable.

If there is a "Buy One Get One Free" deal at CVS you can use two coupons. Another great thing about coupons at CVS is that if there is an Extrabucks deal (Example- "Buy $20 worth of Dove, get $10 Extrabucks."), the total counts BEFORE coupons. If you buy $20 worth of Dove and have $15 worth of coupons to use, you'll get credit for the entire $20. 

Extrabucks at CVS 

Extrabucks are a VERY good thing. Extrabucks can be used on many things in the store, and they print out on the bottom of your receipt, or can be printed out from the CVS website-  
You cannot use ECB's on prescriptions, tobacco, alcohol, prepaid cards, giftcards, stamps, lottery, money orders. (this was right from CVS Corporate, they are AWARE of the problems and are trying to fix them)

There are different ways of earning Extrabucks. The one you probably have heard about is this one-every quarter (three months on the calendar- Jan to March, and then April to June) your total purchases, AFTER coupons, are multiplied by 2% and returned to you. This number is rounded down to a 25- example- if you bought $209 worth of stuff at CVS from October to

December, you would get credit for $200 times 2% ($4), and when the quarterly Extrabucks print out (second or third Sunday in January), you would receive $4 Extrabucks on the bottom of your receipt, or online.  

Another way of earning quarterly Extrabucks is you can get $1 Extrabucks for every two prescriptions you have filled at CVS.  This is added in with the 2% of purchases and given to you a few weeks after the quarter ends. 

The best way to earn Extrabucks is through the weekly Extrabucks deals that will be described in the CVS weekly ad. Usually these deals involve some qualification like- "Buy $20 worth of a specific product or products, get $10 Extrabucks" and you can use coupons for the deal. Most of these deals are limited to one per card, but sometimes there will be unlimited deals- unlimited deals can be VERY profitable. 

Save your receipts just in case you don't get full credit for your purchases. This happens from time-to-time. Remember, Extrabucks can be used on anything in the store, including other Extrabucks deals. 

If you have $10 Extrabucks from last week, a good idea is to use it on an Extrabucks deal this week so you can:

1) Cut down on the cost of this week's deal, and

2) Have more Extrabucks to use next week.

This is called "ROLLING-OVER" your Extrabucks and it is the best way to take advantage of CVS Extrabucks deals.

Example- let's say you have $10 Extrabucks from a past week, and there is an Extrabucks deal this week for "Buy $20 worth of Dove products, get $10 Extrabucks." If you take the $10 Extrabucks from last week and use it on this week's deal, you can use other Dove coupons, or CVS coupons and get the Dove products for free or close to free. Then you will have $10 Extrabucks to use next week 

Calling CVS 

Sometimes the CVS employees donít know that much about how the CVS system works. Donít be afraid to call 1-800-SHOP-CVS if you have a problem. CVS has recently experienced record growth and the new employees may not fully understand the nuances of the CVS system 


This is the tricky part of dealing with CVS. You have to start somewhere before you can get those big EXTRABUCKS. So, where do you start? You start by getting the card- nothing counts unless you have a CVS card.  

Then, find an Extrabucks deal for which you have coupons. For your first Extrabucks deal youíll have to pay almost full price for your Extrabucks. Thatís not a problem- youíll make it up doing roll-overs with the Extrabucks you earn.  

Donít be afraid to use the CVS information found on this site to help you with your first CVS deal. If you see something special at CVS, or if you figure out a deal, then go ahead and post it. Donít be shy- even if itís for a specific product that you never see mentioned here- others probably use it, too. Youíd be surprised.