i heart cvs

advance cvs/pharmacy ads and deals!
everything you need to get the best deals at cvs

frequently asked questions

    the basics

  • how do i get started?

    please see "cvs for newbies"

  • i don't understand these couponing abbreviations and acronyms, what do they mean?

    here is a list of acronyms/abbreviations you may see on this site:
    = search coupon database
    BOGO = Buy one get one (free)
    CRT = cash register tape, a coupon printed at the end of a cvs receipt or from the coupon center (price scanner)
    eb = ExtraBuck
    ets = excludes trial sizes
    gbt = green bag tag (discontinued program)
    gc = gift card
    gm = general mills coupon insert from newspaper
    man. = manufacturer
    MIR = Mail In Rebate
    nla = no longer available
    OOP = Out Of Pocket
    pg/p&g = proctor & gamble coupon insert from newspaper
    psa = prices start at
    reg psa = regular prices start at
    RP = red plum coupon insert from sunday newspaper
    SS = smartsource coupon insert from sunday newspaper
    V = Valassis (same as red plum) coupon insert
    WYB = When You Buy
    YMMV = your mileage might vary

    if you forget, you can always refer to this list in the right column, under "more info"

  • extrabucks program

  • can i use more than one cvs card?

    only one card per household is allowed according to the cvs facebook page. this is not stated on the card applications, but apparently this is their official (although unenforced) policy.

  • can I do this deal more than once?

    extrabucks deals have limits, as shown in the ad and shelf tags. you will only receive extrabucks for the deal limit, unless you use different cvs cards.

    other sales may also have limits stated in the ad. these limits are enforced for each transaction. for example, pepsi 2 liters are on sale for $.99 limit 5. if you buy 6 in one transaction, the 6th bottle may ring up full price. however, if you buy 5 bottles or fewer per transaction you will receive the sale price for all. cvs store employees rarely enforce printed limits, but ymmv.

  • can I do this deal more than once in a single transaction?

    You can always Max out the advertised limit in one transaction. but if you do the same deal more than once in a single transaction, your extrabucks reward will be combined. For example, if the deal was get $5 extrabucks wyb $15 limit 2, and you spent $30, you would receive one printed $10 extrabucks reward. This might be more difficult for you to spend than 2 separate $5 extrabucks if you prefer to do smaller transactions. for this reason, you may prefer to do your deals separately in order to receive smaller extrabucks denominations.

    you do have to be careful when the actual limit is more than the advertised limit. In this case, you may be limited to the advertised limit in each transaction. this happens with many of the monthly deals.

    For example, if the deal is "get $5 extrabucks wyb $15" and the advertised limit is 1, but the actual limit is 2, Your best option is not to spend more than $15 per transaction. If you bought 2 $10 items in your first transaction, you would receive $5 extrabucks but you would not have any credit towards doing the deal a second time. Your receipt would only show $15 towards the deal. but if you bought each $10 item separately, on the second transaction you would receive your $5 extrabucks, and you would have $5 towards doing the deal a second time.

  • do have to spend the full amount required to earn extrabucks?

    no! cvs has what we call the "98% rule."

    for example, if a deal requires you to spend $10, the actual amount needed to generate the extrabucks is $9.80 ($10 x .98). on a deal requiring you spend $30, you would actually need $29.40 ($30 x .98). this is very helpful when most prices end in .99!

    the 98% rule also appears to apply to the gas card deals cvs occasionally runs.

    exception: the 98% rule does not apply to deals that offer more extrabucks when you spend more.
    for example, nexxus get $5 extrabucks wyb $15 or $10 extrabucks wyb $20.
    $5 extrabucks would not print at 98% of $15, but spending 98% of $20 would generate $10 extrabucks.

  • my extrabucks expired! what can i do?

    officially, CVS does not accept expired extrabucks - but some locations are more lenient than others. Your chances Of getting your expired extrabucks accepted are best if they have expired recently, so don't wait too long. ask nicely, and if one store won't accept them, you can always try another.

  • i lost my extrabucks (or crt)! can i reprint them?

    if you have the sequence number from your extrabucks (or crt), log in to your cvs account, then go to the following url after replacing "REPLACEWITHYOURSEQUENCENUMBER" with your number...

  • couponing at cvs

  • where can i find the official cvs coupon policy?

    the official cvs coupon policy can be viewed and printed here.

    i suggest printing it and keeping it in your coupon organizer so you'll have it if you run into a problem at the store.

  • where can i get cvs coupons and how do they work?

    cvs/pharmacy extracare emails
    cvs sends emails to subscribers weekly that may include $/$$ or percent-off coupons. these coupons only work when used with the card for the same cvs account the coupon was issued to, and can only be used once.

    printable cvs coupons
    cvs.com offers a selection of mostly manufacturer coupons, but there are usually a few store coupons mixed in as well. look for the cvs/pharmacy logo under the product images. these are limited to one of the same coupon per transaction.

    cash register tape (crt) coupons print at the cvs coupon center, on the end of your receipt, or from your account on cvs.com. they only work when used with the same cvs card they were issued to.

    crt's that are advertised in the weekly ads print for everyone and expire one week from the date they are printed. they cannot be printed from cvs.com.

    other personalized crt's usually expire two weeks from the date they are printed. these may be printed in store or from cvs.com.

  • why don't i receive the cvs coupons others get?

    generally, the more you shop at cvs the fewer coupon offers you will receive.
    you might think that loyal shoppers would/should be rewarded with more coupons, but cvs actually uses coupons to try to attract new or less frequent shoppers.

    people who fill prescriptions at cvs may be encouraged to continue to do so with more coupons.
    most of cvs revenue is made from prescriptions, so it makes sense for pharmacy customers to be the most important to them.

    some people get $/$$ coupons from cvs regularly for no apparent reason. certain cvs cards may just be lucky or unlucky.

    but according to cvs...
    "the coupons you received are based on your shopping habits and frequency of visits. some are supported by our suppliers.
    we have expanded the method of distribution for these offers, not only through the register but through e-mail, mail, local advertising and even through price checkers in some stores. cvs continually modifies these targeted offers to provide products and services our customers want most."
    - joseph e. battey, cvs/pharmacy extracare

  • Can I use 2 purchase-based cvs coupons in a transaction? (for example, a $10 off $50 purchase coupon and a $4 off $20 purchase coupon)

    the offical cvs coupon policy states that you may - as long as you spend the sum of the required purchase amounts. for example, a $10 off $50 coupon and a $4 off $20 coupon may be used together if your total is at least $70.

    however, most of the $$/$$ coupons state "limit of one purchase-based coupon, i.e. $4 off $20 purchase, per transaction."

    the registers have been reported to accept multiple purchase-based coupons as long as you spend the sum of the required amounts, however since the coupons state that only one may be used per transaction the cashier may not allow it, ymmv!

  • how is the amount deducted for a x% off CVS coupon calculated?

    x% off cvs coupons usually excludes sale items. the system will not apply the x% off coupon to any sale items in your transaction. this includes sale items that are bogo or bogo 50% off, or any sales that require you to buy 2 or more items, even if you are only buying one. sale items are not always marked, so you may want to double check at the price checker/coupon center to make sure your items are not on sale!

    x% off cvs coupons usually will apply to any items that are part of an extrabucks deal but not ringing up at a sale price!

    cvs coupons will decrease the amount your x% off coupon deducts.

    most extrabucks will not reduce the deduction for the 20% and 25% off cvs coupons. the exceptions are cvs sponsored (rather than manufacturer sponsored) extrabucks, such as those that are manually printed for rainchecks, extrabucks received for the cvs beauty club, & extrabucks earned by purchasing CVS brand items.

    to figure how much the x% off coupon will deduct, take the total of your items (not including tax), subtract any sale items, cvs coupons & cvs sponsored extrabucks, and multiply your new total by x%.

  • is there any way to tell what products a crt applies to?

    yes, there is!
    please follow these instructions from MauraFlorida:
    Log into your cvs.com account.

    Enter the following URL in your browser's search bar:

    Replace the ###### in the URL with the five- or six-digit coupon number in the lower-left corner of the coupon printed from the "cvs coupon center" (example: CPN # 113775).
    Personalized coupons have six numbers. coupons printing for everyone have five numbers. NOTE: You have to print the CRT from the machine to get the CPN #. It does not appear when you clip to card or print from home.

    Click enter. Wait a minute. Scroll down.

    A list of all products the coupon applies to will appear on the screen.

  • does the store lose money when i use manufacturer coupons?

    no, the manufacturers reimburse retailers for coupons!
    in addition to the face value, the store usually receives an eight cent fee for accepting a manufacturer's coupon. this covers the cost of processing the coupon for redemption and then some. you can learn more about how manufacturer coupons work here.

  • miscellaneous

  • what is early activation?

    most cvs stores activate the next week's sales & extrabucks deals on saturday, but the time will vary. you can do a test by scanning one of the following week's sale items at the price checker/coupon center to see if it is ringing up on sale yet.

    during early activation, if an item is included in deals for both the current week and the upcoming week, the deal with the lower sale price will apply. (extrabucks are not taken into consideration.)

    for example, if an item is $5 and get $5 eb this week, but is on sale next week for $4 without any extrabucks, you would receive the $4 sale price and no extrabucks. so be cautious when shopping on saturday afternoon/evening!

    24 hour stores do not seem to start the new sale until midnight.

  • how do cvs rainchecks work?

  • what is the official cvs return policy? what happens if i need to return an item that i used coupons and/or extrabucks to buy?

    all returns/refund are subject to Store Manager’s approval. i suggest keeping any returns few and far between if you want to maintain a good relationship with your cvs managers and staff.

    returns with receipt are generally allowed within 60 days. for an item purchased with coupons or extra bucks, the amount of the coupons would be refunded as credit on a cvs money card. CVS/pharmacy Store Brands & Cosmetics are 100% guaranteed. Prepaid gift cards and money orders are not generally refundable.

    returns without receipt will be processed on a CVS/pharmacy Money Card.

    sales are final on clearance and discontinued items.

    you can view the offical cvs return policy here

  • how do you get the cvs ads early?

    cvs stores usually receive the ads a week or two in advance. if you ask nicely, they may give you a copy! some stores will not give out ads early, but others are happy to! ymmv!

    if you are able to get an advance copy of a weekly ad not yet posted here, please consider sharing it with iheartcvs.com readers! you can upload your photos or scans here.

    the following week's cvs ad is available at cvs.com starting on thursday before each sale week.

  • what region are the cvs ads posted for? why is my ad different?

    my final, high quality ad scans are usually from long island, ny. however, ad previews that have originated from other sites could be from anywhere.

    although most cvs deals are consistent across different regions, there can be some differences. i suggest always checking your local ad before shopping.