CVS Basics

CVS has a reputation for being among the most coupon-friendly of retail chains. I don’t think I have ever had a problem there. Which is good, because to date they do not have an official coupon policy available online. Some bloggers have been able to get emails from customer service explaining their policy, which is what I’ve linked to below, but that probably wouldn’t carry much weight in the store.

Store Sales: Run Sunday-Saturday. Advertised in their weekly flyers, which are available in Sunday papers and in stores, and at

Store Coupons: Every time you walk in the store, scan your CVS loyalty card at the price-check kiosk to get store coupons. Some print for everyone, some are specific to you. These can be coupons for CVS-brand items, or for name-brands, or they can be coupons off your total purchase - $5 off $25 and $3 off $15 are the most common. They have expiration dates that range from 1 day to a month. Some CVS store coupons are also available online – I will try to note when they become available. Also, check your receipt – sometimes you will get store coupons in addition to your ExtraCare Bucks.

Manufacturer Coupons:

  • CVS will accept coupons printed from the Internet. However, they must have a valid barcode that can be scanned. If your coupon won’t scan, they reserve the right to refuse it rather than enter it manually. 
  • When an item is on sale for buy one, get one free and the customer has a buy one get one free coupon for that same product, the coupon will be accepted and both items will essentially become free (plus any applicable sales tax).
  • Also, two manufacturer coupons can be used on a buy one get one free purchase as long as two items are scanned at the register.

Store Rewards: ExtraCare Bucks (ECBs) which print at the bottom of your receipt when you buy qualifying items. They can be used like cash (with some restrictions) on your next purchase. You need a CVS loyalty card to get ECBs.

  • In addition to earning ECBs on advertised items, you also earn 2% on your purchases. (Of course, this is on your out of pocket spending, so hopefully you might not get a lot back!) The 2% rewards print out quarterly on your receipt or if you scan your card at the kiosk. 
  • ECB quantity limits are stated in the promotion. Quantities are tied to your card. Even if you purchase items in a separate transaction, you cannot get more ECBs once you’ve reached the limit.
  • Check expiration dates. Usually 3 weeks from printing. 
  • ECB value cannot exceed the purchase amount. No cash back.