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Monday, August 1, 2011

Register Rewards? Extra Care Bucks? Etc.

Different stores call them different things, but for simplicity's sake, I call them all register rewards. But what are they and how do they work?

Register rewards are a bit like cash back, but the cash can only be spent in that store. They're usually good for a few weeks after you receive them, so you can either go back in and spend them that very day or hang on to them and use them the following week.

Here's one from Walgreens:

But isn't that just another coupon? No, it's not. If you look closely, you'll see that I don't have to spend that dollar on anything specific. It's good toward my next "In Store Purchase" of anything at all. And frequently I get these for quite a bit more than the $1 you see here. You may remember that $10 "coupon" from the receipt I posted a couple of weeks ago? That was a register reward from CVS.

If you browse through your circulars each week, I'm sure you've seen ads that say things like this:

Not great savings there on the coffee, but the cereal/snacks deal is not bad, right? Here's the best part. Because the reward is not taken off your bill, you can stack it with coupons. So, If I'm buying 4 Kelloggs cereals for $10, I can then use 4 Kelloggs coupons on them. And if there happen to be store coupons out there (it does happen from time to time), I can stack those in as well. Even if I manage to get the total down to less than $5, they'll still give me $5 back on this purchase. I have done this with rewards a number of times. It's like they're paying you to take the item out of the store! Here's an example from this week's lists: (This is from It may look different if you're using a different list site)

What this is saying is that right now, I can go into Walgreens and spend $7 (plus a $1 off coupon) and walk out with contact solution and an $8 voucher for my next purchase! See, they're paying me $1 to take that home.

This is one of those things you can have some real fun with. I could then turn right around and take that $8 reward and use it to buy $10 worth of cereal (as in the ad above) and get $5 back. If I have $2 worth of coupons (not hard to do, cereal coupons are usually plentiful—check CouponTom), I won't even need to spend any cash.

Then, I can use the $5 toward the coffee...  etc. etc.

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