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Monday, October 31, 2011

Walgreens 101

If you are new to shopping at Walgreens (WAGS), you need to read the following information first to help you get the most out of  your shopping trips.

Help with the new Balance Rewards Program at Walgreens:

• Balance rewards are considered payment. You must give all coupons and RR as payment prior to using balance rewards. The reason being is the cashier cannot back up the screen once the payment screen comes up.
• You do not have to spend the full $5 when you redeem 5000 points. You do forfeit the unused portion of that $5 credit though. This is similar to CVS’ program where the ECB can be adjusted down a few pennies instead of adding filler (and supposedly how Rite Aid’s program works too) If you return something that had a points reward, the points will be deducted from your account. 
• You do not need your card to use or earn balance rewards, your telephone # can be used instead. You do not have to give your address if you do not want to, the cashier can skip that screen. (If you have filled in photo or pharmacy, your phone # will already be in the front of the store’s system.)>>> good to know
• You can sign up online now. Enrollment is free. Enroll via store, online or mobile app. Your account can be managed via online or mobile app.
• The new Walgreen’s shopper’s card program is called: Walgreen’s Balance Rewards. The program begins on September 16, 2012.
• There will be a two week grace period to receive sale prices without the card. As of September 30th, a card (or telephone # attached to a card) must be used to obtain ad sale prices. The bonus points are bonus offers so coupons will not matter when accumulating points – in other words $1 does NOT equal 1 point. Spending is not the focus of this program. Coupons do not decrease your bonus points.
• There will be monthly, as well as weekly bonus point offers. Prescriptions (outside of NY and NJ) earn 500 bonus points for a 30 day supply, 1500 bonus points for a 90 day supply. Also active Walk with Walgreens participation will be rewarded.
• 5,000 bonus points = $5 and may be used to pay for purchases at time of check-out. You will be asked if you want to use any eligible points when you cash out. Your accumulated points will automatically deduct at the register if you press yes. You cannot loop (roll) your purchases ie: if you use your points to pay for a product that would yield points, those points on the new purchase will not be rewarded.  
• Points cannot be used for alcohol, gift cards, prescription co-pays (although a 30 day prescription earns 500 points, a 90 day script, 1500 points (void in NY, NJ)), stamps, prepaid cards, dairy or tobacco.
• Bonus points expire after 36 months from date of earning or after 6 months of no activity.
• Contact Walgreens Balance Reward at 1-855-225-9225 with any questions you may have.
• Limits – the rep on the phone was a tad fuzzy about limits attached to the card. She said, “ad limits will apply”, but then said “it will continue as it does now”. We all know Walgreens doesn’t limit now regardless of what the limit in the ad states, so will those limits now be enforced or will things continue as they are now?  
• No one knows how limits will work – for instance of you bring up 4 alike qualifying products that each reward you 1000 points, do you have to ring up all those offers separately to receive the 4000 points due? However weekly deals will be unlimited, monthly deals will have a limit of one per month. 

Thanks joshmamabear at AFC for the above information!

FAQ about RR at WAGS
Register Rewards (RR)?
RR are coupons from the Catalina machine that print after you make a qualifying purchase in the same transaction. Most RRs are "On Your Next Order" (OYNO) which can be used like cash on your next order. Sometimes you will get a Catalina for $ off a particular item. These seem to be generated by the purchase of competitor items.

If my sales flyer shows RRs for Tylenol and Kelloggs, can I buy them both in the same transaction?
Yes. If you buy different register rewards items in one transaction, one reward for each RR offering should print. However, you need to make sure they are really separate deals. If they are both Johnson & Johnson products, both of your RRs may not print. It's probably better to do separate transactions.

Will my store really let me do separate transactions?
YMMV but in general the answer is yes.  At my local WAGS they request that anyone doing more than one transaction check out at the beauty counter.  If you are new to a store and are unsure, be sure and ask first.  You can do your transactions over several different days during the ad period if needed.

Can I use more than 1 RR per order?
YMMV. The RRs now have language which says that you cannot use more RRs and coupons than number of items you are buying. In this case you will need “fillers” (inexpensive items purchased to cover the difference between the number of RRs/coupons used and the number of items purchased). An example of when a “filler” would be needed is: 

You are purchasing 4 toothbrushes, you have 4 coupons for them AND you want to use a RR from a previous transaction. You would need a filler to cover the RR.  I personally try to pick up things like candy that is less than $0.50 and have several in my basket just in case.  In Ad coupons generally do not need to be covered by fillers but occasionally the computer likes to be difficult. 

Can other store GCs sold at WAGs or stamps be bought with a RR? Can I buy gift cards with a WAGs GC? 
Most RRs explicitly say that they cannot be used on any gift card, pre-paid card or postage stamps. You can use a WAGs GC to purchase other store GCs.

I just got a $5 RR from the Kellogg's deal and I want to use it to buy more Kellogg's items. Can I do that?
This is known as "rolling RRs." You can use a RR from Kellogg's to purchase more Kellogg's items, BUT most likely you will NOT get another RR. Your best bet it to use your Kelloggs RR to purchase another item generating RRs. You can then use the RRs from that other, unrelated item, to purchase more Kelloggs.

If my ad says Buy $15 get $5 do they calculate the $15 before or after coupons?
The amount is calculated before any coupons are taken off.

My RR didn't print. What can I do?
First as the cashier to check and see why it did not print.  My local WAGS has had to void my transaction then ring it again and the RR printed the 2nd time.  You can also call Catalina at 1-888-8coupon (1-888- 322-3814), option 3. Make sure you have your receipt available when you call. They'll determine why your RR didn't print and if applicable mail. You can also contact Catalina online: Contact |Catalina Marketing

FAQs about Instant Value Coupons (IVC)
What are Instant Value Coupons (IVC)?
IVCs are found in the weekly flyers

Are IVCs store coupons or MFR coupons?
The accepted view is that the IVC's are store coupons and can be combined with MFR coupon on all items (including regular price, sale price, and clearance items).

Are the limits on IVCs enforced?
This is YMMV. The computer is not programmed to recognize the limits on the coupons. If it says limit 2 but you buy 4, the discount will be provided to all 4 items. However, the store does have the right to limit you to the number stated on the coupon, though they rarely do.

Does Walgreens give overage?
Walgreen's policy is not to give overage. However, it is YMMV. Don't ever count on overage, but make sure you have purchased enough items to cover any potential overage.

If a 7-day coupon says 5/$1, do I have to buy 5 or can I only buy less than 5 and still have them ring up at .20 each?
An in-flyer coupon will reduce price for each item, even if you buy less than 5

FAQs about Walgreens Coupon Guidelines
Walgreen stores accept a variety of coupons. Walgreens will accept one Walgreen issued coupon and one manufacturer coupon for the same item, unless either coupon prohibits such use.

Walgreens does not provide cash back if a coupon is presented for more than the purchase value of the item. Coupons from other retailers or coupons for products not carried in WAGs are not accepted. All valid coupons must be presented to the cashier at the time of sale.

When purchasing two of the same item with a Buy one get one free coupon offer can an additional manufacturers coupon or store coupon be used in combination on the purchase?
No. One item is being purchased and only one coupon can be used.

If a product is purchased for a price of $0.78, for example, and a coupon is given with face value of $1.00, how much is the proper coupon deduction?
Product retail plus taxes, unless state requires consumer to pay taxes.

May coupons be used toward the purchase of clearance items?
Yes, however WAGs does not provide cash back if a coupon is presented for more than the purchase value of the item.

Must internet coupons be printed from the internet in color or is black and white acceptable?
It does not matter how internet coupons are printed.

Does a Manager have the right to limit the number of ad items I purchase even though there is no limit listed in the ad circular?
Yes, Managers have the right to limit quantities of all advertised items.

If I purchase an item with a coupon and I return the item, will I receive a refund for the coupon as well?
YMMV. It is in Walgreens employee coupon guidelines that if you do return the item and you used a Manufacturer's coupon then you should get the full price back. If you used a Walgreens store coupon then you will get the price after that coupon. 

Thanks to AngieP at AFC for help with this information.

Deciphering HEB Yellow Coupons