Tuesday, June 10, 2008

In the Spotlight: CVS

CVS ExtraCare Card

To receive sale prices and promotions at CVS, you must use an ExtraCare card. You can sign up and receive a card in the store and then register your card online by creating an account at cvs.com. By registering your card, you can receive email promotions and coupons and track your spending and ECBs.

ExtraCare Bucks (ECBs)

ECBs are "like cash" coupons that are earned by using you ExtraCare card Each month, products are identified in an ExtraCare Booklet as giving ECBs all month long. Other products that give ECBs are identified on a weekly basis and only give out ECBs for the week they are promoted in the ad. Monthly products are sometimes promoted in the week ads also. One ECB is also earned for every two prescriptions filled, and at then of each quarter, CVS gives its customers ECBs worth 2% of their spending for that quarter.

ECBs can be used as payment for your later purchases. There are some exclusions, such as tobacco and alcohol. ECBS are attached to the card used when they are printed; therefore, they can not be shared with others unless they are given the same card to use.

ECBS print at the end of your receipt. They expire 4 weeks from the date printed.
ECBs do not give change. Only use an ECB that is less than or equal to your total. See "Coupon Usage" below for more information.


Coupons that print at the end of receipts are known as CRTs. These are also associated with the card used when they print.

Manufacturer's coupons can be used with CRTs for the same product. For example, if you have a CRT for $1/1 Colgate and a manufacturer's coupon for a $1/1 Colgate, then you can use them both on 1 tube of Colgate.

$/$$ Coupons

CVS will sometime issue coupons and CRTs that will take a certain amount off your total. Emails that contain these coupons are sent out on Thursdays. These coupons can only be used once and only with the card associated with the email address to which it was sent. $/$$ coupons can sometimes be found in on-line editions of newspapers for anyone to use.

Coupon Usage

$/$$ coupons applies to your total before coupons ONLY if you give it to the cashier to scan first. The following is the order in which you should hand your coupons to the cashier:

Manufacturer's and CRTs

Handing over one coupon at a time insures that they will not get out of order. Do not give the ECBs until the cashier has totaled your purchase after the manufacturer's coupons. Give the highest ECB that is less than (equal to) the total. If you still owe money, give the next highest, and so on. If you find that you do not have an ECB that is less than what is left, then pay that amount out of pocket.

Sample Scenerio
The details are only for example; they do not involve past, current, or future sale information. (In fact, it is really just wishful thinking on my part!)
Deal: Huggies Jumbos are $8.99 a pack and Huggies wipes tubs are $2.50 . Buy $20 worth of Huggies diapers and wipes, and get $10 ECBs.

$4/$20 CVS email
-$1.50/1 Huggies Jumbo manufacturer's coupon x 2
-$1/1 any Huggies wipes x 1
-$1 CRT on any Huggies product
$5 ECBs x 2

Huggies Jumbos - $8.99 x 2 = $17.98
Huggies wipes - $2.50 x 1 = $2.50
Total = $20.48

Coupons Given in this Order:
- $4/$20 CVS
- $1.50 Huggies Jumbo
-$1.50 Huggies Jumbo
-$1.00 Huggies wipes
-$1.00 CRT
Total in ManCoupons = $9
Purchase Total = $20.48
Coupon Total = $9.00
New Total = $11.48

- $5 ECBs
- $5 ECBs

Total out of pocket = $1.48
Gain = $10 ECBs

In the end, you are only out $1.48 because you regained the $10 ECBs you spent. Not to mention, you have 2 packs of diapers and a tub of wipes!!

Advanced CVS

"CVS Pros" will talk of rolling ECBs with their purchases. Rolling ECBs involves using ECBs to purchase items that will generate more ECBs. The ultimate success in rolling ECBs occurs when you receive more ECBs than you used to pay, and no money was used to pay for the items. Coupons are used in rolling ECBs.

For more indepth instructions, visit AFC's CVS 101.

More Resources - i heart cvs and CVS.com