Save money by picking the perfect rewards program

Sometimes it can feel like customer loyalty programs are just after your email address and other personal information. That being said, many of the programs being offered by the major pharmacies can actually save you money.

Here is a breakdown of how you can do your drugstore shopping without breaking the bank, as first reported by the AARP.

CVS Pharmacy ExtraCare

With nearly 10,000 locations, CVS Pharmacies are seemingly on every corner. Their ExtraCare customer reward program allows you to earn 2% for most purchases, though there is a catch.

You do not earn cash back from the program. Rather, you earn ExtraBucks — which can be spent on most items within the store. The real savings, however, are attached to the pharmacy’s limited specials: These specials are usually time-sensitive and limited to certain products, but give you the best bang for your buck.

For extra rewards, consider joining the ExtraCare BeautyClub and ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards programs. BeautyClub provides extra perks for purchasing beauty items like makeup and hair products, while the pharmacy program gives you $5 in ExtraBucks every time 10 prescriptions are filled or immunizations are received at the store.

If you want to be a premium member, you can join CarePass for $5 a month or $48 a year to earn a $10 monthly reward, 20% off CVS Health brand products, free shipping and free same-day shopping for prescriptions.

The AARP suggests the CVS ExtraCare program for coupon clippers who are willing to search for weekly deals to make the most out of their ExtraBucks. Signing up for ExtraCare is free, and you can apply in the store, online or by using the CVS app.

Rite Aid Rewards

With fewer than 2,500 locations, the odds of a Rite Aid store being on your block are significantly lower. But, the AARP says that digitally savvy customers can make the most of their rewards program.

Reward members earn points in four ways: 10 points for every dollar spent on qualifying products, 250 points for some in-store vaccinations, 250 points for 30-day or less prescriptions and 750 points for longer-term prescriptions. Members who are 65 or older can earn five times the rewards points on the first Wednesday of every month.

Those points can be converted into BonusCash to make purchases, but there is a catch: In order to convert your points, you have to log into your digital account through your online profile. This is also the only way to access the reward program’s special, limited-time deals.

To make the most of this service, be on the lookout for matching monthly (in-store) and weekly (online) deals that you can stack together for super savings. Rite Aid also offers BonusCash Challenges, an additional rewards program that issues personalized challenges to customers each month for greater point rewards.


You can sign up for Walgreens’ MyWalgreens rewards program in-store, online or in the store’s app to utilize the service at any of the chain’s 9,000 locations. While rewards members only earn 1% Walgreens Cash for purchases, they also receive 5% back on Walgreens-branded products.

MyWalgreens members who are 55 or older can take the most advantage. The pharmacy hosts a Seniors Day on the first Tuesday of every month, in which seniors get an extra 20% off all of their purchases. AARP members can also earn this discount, as well as bigger cash rewards.

Deals and coupons can be found on the store’s website, as well as opportunities to earn extra Walgreens Cash for certain purchases. To make the most of your membership, consider joining the MyWalgreens Health Goals program, which rewards you with Walgreens Cash for completing fitness-related challenges each week. The MyWalgreens credit card also boosts your benefits to 5% in Walgreens Cash back for items purchased and 10% for Walgreens-branded products. If you want to utilize the chain’s paper coupons, then you will want to join Register Rewards to earn your in-store discounts.

The AARP suggests the MyWalgreens rewards program for physically active customers who are interested in participating in the Health Goals program.