There is an article published on the LA Times site that lays out why they are changing the program.
Basically they feel that the CVS Extra Care Program is cheating their shoppers out of their rewards in several ways by printing their Extra Care Bucks at the bottom of their receipts. Therefore they want to see CVS keep track of your Extra Care Bucks by adding them to your card only.
I’ll start off by saying that I understand the frustrations of those who lose or forget to redeem their Extra Care Bucks (ECB’s). This used to happen to me all of the time.
But that was before I understood how to properly use the program. Before I realized that what was printing out on the bottom of my receipt was essentially “cash money”. I mean if a cashier handed you a $10 bill you wouldn’t throw it in the trash or forget to spend it would you?
Here are a few points that are being made in the article.
“In other words, customers are expected to schlep the yard-long receipt around with them and to apply the Extra Bucks themselves.”
The fact is that you don’t need to schlep anything. The receipt is not the part that you need. Simply cut the ECB off the end of the receipt and stick it in your wallet. In fact the ECB you earn is smaller than an actually $$ bill. So the idea that you need to carry super long receipts around with you is just untrue.
“Moreover, you can’t spend a few Extra Bucks here and a few there. If you have $10 worth of Extra Bucks and apply them to a $5 purchase, the rest are forfeited.”
There is no reason for them to be forfeited. Just add another $5.00 worth of stuff you’ll use or will need. I don’t understand why anyone would want to just forfeit it rather than picking up some toothpaste or deodorant for free?
“As if all that didn’t stack the deck enough in CVS’ favor, the company also places a limit of up to 60 days on its Extra Bucks. Use ’em or lose ’em.”
This does not seem like an unreasonable time frame to me. You can’t think of anything you would need to purchase every 60 days from a drug store? Again regular hygiene items alone need to be purchase on a regular basis. Toothpaste, toilet paper, deodorant, shampoo, milk, eggs, makeup, medicine, diapers, ect.
The reason I LOVE the printed ECB’s is because I use this program to the fullest. I use my ECB’s to purchase other ECB items. I am able to save thousands every year with this program.
There are times I may have $15 in ECB’s but only choose to spend $10. I am curious to know if our ECB total will automatically be deducted from our balance every time we swipe our cards? Or will we be able to have control over how much of our ECB balance we want to spend?
It also seems a little odd to me that CVS is being criticized for their rewards program when every other rewards program works the same way? Coupons or rewards always have an expiration date and need to be remembered in order to get the savings?
Or maybe I am overreacting?
How do you think this will affect those of us who aren’t just casual CVS shoppers?
Will this change the way you shop at CVS? Will you switch to another store like Rite Aid who is just stating up their own receipt rewards program?
Read CVS Extra Care Program Basics if you’d like to learn more about how I use the CVS Extra Care Program.
Thanks to Paula at Monroe on a Budget for making me aware of this article.