Posted: August 10, 2016
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Have you heard?!  CVS Pharmacy has changed their coupon policy again! This policy was updated 8/1/16.  There are a few changes and additions.  To make your life easier, we have broken down both the new policy point-by-point and highlighted the changes and additions.  Some of it is very confusing and unclear, but hopefully this post will answer more questions than it raises.  Remember that this policy is very new, so we still don’t know exactly how CVS will enforce it.  And, as always some stores enforce policies different than others.  We will all learn from experience together, so please leave comments as you shop and encounter these new policies being enforced.  You can read the policy in its entirety here.  Below, we have written out the policy as it pertains to coupon-usage.

CVS Pharmacy coupons (ExtraCare® coupons and other store-issued coupons), ExtraBucks® Rewards and third-party manufacturer’s (mfr.) coupons are accepted in our retail stores in accordance with the following guidelines and as required by state and local laws. CVS Pharmacy reserves the right to change this policy at any time without advance notice or advertisement.

The highlighted portion has been added. This is pretty standard language for most coupon policies and just allows the company and stores to enforce any policy at any time.  We see this a lot with some stores enforcing certain policies, while others don’t.

All paper coupons:

  • Must be presented during checkout in order to receive credit
  • Must be legible
  • Must have a scannable barcode
  • Are acceptable in black and white or color
  • May not be duplicated

Other guidelines & limitations:

  • We reserve the right to process coupons in any order.
  • Coupons must be used on or before the expiration date.

The highlighted portion has been added.  It is unclear whether this applies to CVS ExtraCare coupons and ExtraBucks rewards.  Some stores have accepted them past their expiration date, but this new policy may mean that they will no longer do that.

  • Qualifying ExtraCare card must be presented at checkout to use CVS Pharmacy coupons. Does not apply in limited circumstances.
  • Valid coupons loaded to your ExtraCare card will be applied at checkout.
  • We cannot scan coupon barcodes directly from a mobile device.
  • Manufacturer’s (mfr.) coupons are generally designated with “manufacturer’s coupon” or “mfr.” printed on the face of the coupon (other similar type language may appear on the face of the coupon indicating funding from the manufacturer).
  • You cannot exchange your coupons or ExtraBucks Rewards for cash or gift cards. Neither coupons nor ExtraBucks Rewards can be refunded or re-issued. CVS Pharmacy coupons may be subject to state sales tax rules similar to manufacturer’s coupons. Sales tax may be charged on pre-coupon price as required by law.

This is new.  I read this as you can’t return an item you paid with ExtraBucks Rewards for and receive ExtraBucks Rewards back, but instead you get store credit.  Some may interpret this as meaning if you pay with ExtraBucks Rewards and return an item, you may not get the value of the ExtraBucks Rewards you used refunded at all.

  • Your purchase must include qualifying items in order to use coupons.
  • Individual coupon value cannot exceed the value of the item it is applied to.

This is new.  This most likely means you can no longer use two coupons on a Buy 1 Get 1 FREE sale.  You will now only be able to use one, since the second coupon would exceed the value of the free item.
(8/9/16) Reader Tanya has confirmed that she was able to use a coupon on a free item in a BOGO Free sale.

  • CVS Pharmacy coupons generally cannot be used on sale, promotional or clearance items. Other restrictions may apply. Language at the bottom of coupons may provide additional coupon acceptance rules.

This has been added.  It is unclear as to whether this means that we won’t be able to use CVS Coupons or CVS ExtraBucks Rewards on sale, promotional or clearance items.

  • You can only use one item-, brand-, or category-specific CVS Pharmacy coupon and one manufacturer’s coupon per qualifying item unless prohibited by either coupon. We honor manufacturer limitations.
  • Some coupons may not be applicable to orders placed on CVS.com
  • We have the right to refuse or limit the use of any coupon and/or the subsequent return for any reason and at the discretion of CVS Pharmacy management.

Visit CVS.com/CouponPolicy for more information.

 

Coupon policy FAQ

What happens when I want to use a coupon with a value that is higher than the amount I am purchasing?
You may still use the coupon; however, its value will drop down to the value of the amount you are purchasing.
Example:

  • A $5 coupon for a $4.99 item will result in a $4.99 coupon value.

Can I use multiple coupons within a transaction?
Yes, as long as all of the coupons meet their qualifications.
Examples:

  • Two $3 off $15 coupons for purchases that are $30.00 or higher.
  • $3 off $15 coupon and $5 ExtraBucks® Rewards for a purchase of $15.
  • $1 off toothpaste mfr. coupon and a $2 off toothpaste Coupon Center coupon for a $3 toothpaste item.

Can I use multiple coupons on sale items?
Yes, for certain coupons and certain sale items.
Examples:

  • Suave shampoo is on sale for $2.00 Buy One, Get One Free (BOGO) and the customer purchases two shampoos; the customer may use two coupons for $1.00 each and pay the applicable tax.
  • Suave shampoo is on sale for $2.00 BOGO and customer has a mfr. coupon for Suave BOGO. Customer will receive both items for free but will need to pay any applicable tax.

How do I determine the application of sales tax on my purchase that involves the use of a coupon?
Funded manufacturer’s/mfr’s coupons will generally calculate sales tax on the pre-coupon price of the item, as required by state law*. If the coupon is issued by CVS Pharmacy® (ExtraBucks Rewards plus ExtraSavings coupons that includes ExtraCare® Coupon Center and myWeekly Ad circulars), the coupon is generally deemed a retailer coupon and the sales tax is calculated on the discounted price of the item (after the coupon is applied), as required by state law. However, some CVS Pharmacy issued coupons are “funded manufacturer’s coupons” and designated as mfr. on the face of the coupon and also on your receipt. Sales tax is calculated on CVS Pharmacy issued mfr’s coupons on the pre-coupon price of the item.
*Sales tax is calculated on the discounted price of the item (after the manufacturer’s coupon is applied) in the following states: CT, MA, MO, PA, TX

Can the processing order of multiple coupons that are applied to an item affect the calculation of sales tax?
Yes. Although CVS Pharmacy reserves the right to determine the processing order of its retailer coupons issued (including discounts earned via the ExtraSavings Programs and myWeekly Ad circulars), individual state tax laws govern the processing order of retailer coupons vs. funded manufacturer’s coupons.

Am I limited by how many items I can buy?
There is no set limit however, store managers do reserve the right to set discretionary limits on specific items being purchased in order to ensure there are enough of those items for other customers.

How am I able to use percent-off coupons?
Percent-off coupons may be used on non-promotional/non-sale items. Exclusions are displayed on each of the coupons.
This is new.  All percent-off coupons exclude sale items.  However, in the past, percent-off coupons could still be used on promotional items and items that were regular-price and earned an ExtraBucks Reward.  However, this new policy seems to exclude the latter.  We are still not sure exactly what this means.
(8/9/16) Reader Clint confirmed that he was able to use a % off coupon on a regular-price item that produced an EB Reward.

How do I use digital ExtraCare coupons or ExtraCare coupons that have been sent to my card?
You are able to send available deals and coupons to your ExtraCare card from CVS.com® , the CVS Pharmacy mobile app, digital receipts and CVS Pharmacy email. Click on the Send-to-Card® icon and view the success indicator on the landing page to ensure it was loaded properly. To use it, purchase the necessary items the coupon is valid for and ensure your ExtraCare card is scanned. The colleague will ensure it is applied to that transaction during the checkout process.

What is considered an ExtraCare coupon?
Any coupons and ExtraBucks Rewards that print at the ExtraCare Coupon Center; or are featured in your printed or digital receipt, CVS Pharmacy mobile app, or on CVS.com are considered ExtraCare coupons. Quarterly ExtraBucks Rewards, circular ExtraBucks Rewards, BeautyClub ExtraBucks Rewards, and Pharmacy & Health ExtraBucks Rewards® are all types of ExtraCare ExtraBucks Rewards.

What are your thoughts on the new policy?

 

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