How To Maximize Your
EXTRA CARE BUCKS (ECB’s)
Shopping at CVS can be easy when you understand how to shop and stack coupons at CVS. Here are tips to maximize your savings relating to the Reward program at CVS.
1. ECBs are Currency
ExtraCare Bucks (or ECBs) are like true currency (aka money) and they spend like currency at CVS with select exclusions. You earn “ECBs” by fulfilling the purchase requirement of an ExtraCare Buck deal. Once the purchase requirement has been fulfilled, the ECBs will print out at the bottom of your receipt. Other ECBs, like Beauty Bucks can be printed from the Red Kiosk, from your ExtraCare account on the My Savings & Rewards tab once the purchase requirement has been fulfilled. There is a new option where you can send your ECBs directly to your card.
Types of store coupons you can receive from the Red Kiosk:
- Percentage Off Coupons such as: 25% Off one item, 30% Off One Item, etc.
- Total Dollar Off Coupons ($/$$) such as: $5 off $25 ($5/$25), $10 off $30 ($10/$30), etc.
- B2G1, $1 Off A Certain Item, etc.
2. When do they Expire?
ECBs expire ONE month from when they were issued. Some CVS stores will accept expired ECBs two weeks past the expiration date. The expiration is clearly marked
3. Watch the Deal Limitations.
Some ECB Deals are limited to only one per household, while other deals you can acquire more than once. You need to watch the wording next to the deal (we list the limitations on our CVS Weekly Matchups). For example, when you see the wording “Offer limit of 2 per household with card” that means that you can only get that ECB Deal two times per card. In the example above, you can get a total of TWO $3 ECB rewards when you “Buy 2” of the Crest products listed in the deal. Then, in the other deal, you can only get ONE $1 ECB when you purchase the batteries. No matter how many batteries you purchase, you will only receive ONE $1 ECB because the deal is limited to (1) reward per household with the card.
4. Will I earn the ECB if my “Total” is met Before or After Coupons?
On an ECB deal where you must purchase $20 of certain products (in order to get ECBs) it is BEFORE Coupons! PLUS you do not need to purchase all these items in ONE single trip, your purchase amount will accumulate and print the ECB once the total is reached. Just make sure you complete the purchase requirement BEFORE the week is over or you will forfeit any possible ECBs. Monthly deals “carry over” from week to week BUT each deal is different.
5. Unique to your card number.
ECBs & CVS store coupons are unique to your card. You cannot use either of them with another card. The card number (and name if you register your card) will print on each coupon, so it is easy to identify them, just make sure you don’t mix them up when you go to use them.
6. What about Rainchecks?
If the store is out of an item on sale or it is with an ECB deal, you can be issued a raincheck. This will the keep the ECB deal offer valid after the sale is over. Make sure that the deal is noted correctly on the raincheck when it is issued to you. You will be required to produce the raincheck to get the ECB deal &/or sale price after the sale is over. Please note that CVS will not accept a manufacturer’s coupon that has expired even with a raincheck.
7. Are there any Exclusions?
ECBs has select purchase exclusions: alcohol, tobacco, lottery, gift cards, money orders, postage stamps, pre-paid cards, prescriptions, and special order Home Health Care items, including footwear. This means you cannot use ECBs to purchase any of these items.
8. Can I get Cash Back if I spend less than the ECB value?
The amount of ECBs cannot be exchanged and no cash can be given back. If your total is $12 & change and you hand in $15 in ECBs, you will forfeit the rest of the ECBs. It is important that your spending is higher than ECBs, use fillers to cover the extra ECB amount, or only use enough ECBs to cover the amount and pay the difference in cash. Note: ECBs do NOT cover tax.
9. The 98% Grace Rule
The 98% rule basically means that you have to reach 98% of the required purchase amount to get the ECBs.
- In this example, you must purchase $12 worth of product to get back $5 ECBs, your purchase requirement must be 98% of $12. That means that your total before coupons must be at least $11.76 in order to trigger the ECBs.
- Exception to the rule: ECB deals that give you two options to gain ECBs such as, Get $5 ECBs wyb $15 OR Get $10 ECBs wyb $30, do not work with the 98% rule. In this case, you must purchase the full $15 or the full $30 for the ECBs to print.
KNOW THE LINGO:
- ECBs: ExtraCare Bucks
- Fillers: Extra items added to a transaction so that additional coupons can be utilized.
- Scenarios: Step-by-step; how many to buy, what coupons (Q’s) to use and how much Out Of Pocket (OOP) it will cost.
- Overage: When you combine a coupon with a product that produces a reward valued at more than the product costs.
- Download our FREE Lingo Sheet
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