This new Walgreens loyalty program is NOT replacing the Walgreens Register Rewards program.

Now that I have allayed any feelings of utter dread and panic, here are some things we know about a new program, Balance Rewards, coming to Walgreens next month. I’ll report back with more information as soon as I can. Ch-Ch-Changes! Doo doo doo doo doo, Ch-Ch-Changes . . . . (Thank you, David Bowie, for giving us the perfect song in this season of changes at Walgreens.)

  • The Balance Rewards program rewards you for shopping at Walgreens and for making healthy choices by awarding you points. These points will be attached to a Balance Rewards card, starting September 16th.
  • Points can be earned and redeemed by making purchases in store and online.
  • You can sign up for the card from September 2-15 online, by clicking Balance Rewards. Beginning September 16th, you can sign up at your local Walgreens store.
  • Points will not expire as long as you shop at Walgreens at least once every six months and redeem your points within three years.
  • You CAN use the Register Reward program in conjunction with the Balance Rewards program. (Breathe a sigh or relief!)

I’m awaiting more details as to what this program fully entails and what the points can be redeemed for. You’ll know when I know! Stay tuned!

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63 thoughts on “Balance Rewards: New Walgreens Loyalty Program”

  1. Anna says:

    The way that it works is that you’ll get a certain number of points for the products you buy and you’ll be able to use those points for future purchases, kind of like CVS’s Extrabucks. 5,000 points will get you $5 off a purchase, 10,000=$10, 18,000=$20, 30,000=$35, $40,000=$50. You HAVE to have the card in order to receive the sales price and I think Register Rewards as well. I work at Walgreens and the employees have already received the card but it’s not giving out points yet! You might also notice an upgrade in computers at your local store, that’s for the Rewards! It’s also cool because you don’t need a card (you CAN have one if you want) but all you need to do is insert your phone number into the pin pad for credit cards and your account pops right up!

  2. Courtany says:

    I work at walgreens and have already been signed up for this program and have started using my card. I was told that we were getting rid of register rewards (maybe I was misinformed) and you don’t HAVE to have a card, you can choose the cardless option- you just need to put in your phone number on the pin pad instead.

  3. It is not the Walgreen’s employees but the change in the cash register system as well. My inventory is quite complete so it is simply easier to shop at CVS.

  4. If some day down the road this new program starts replacing RR’s unfortunately I will not be shopping there. Walgreens is usually so overpriced on most things. I don’t think Walgreens will have both programs. For now YES… but sadly I feel this new program will replace the RR system. I hope it doesn’t but there will still be deals just not as many.

  5. wag emp says:

    If cvs is sooooooo great. Go shop there and quit complaining about wags. At my store we bend over backwards for the customers. We must abide by the rules we are given by our managers. I like to help customers with coupons and I want learn to coupon also.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am lucky enough to have some very good Walgreens and shop there all the time. I was told about the card last week but did not know much about the details. Thanks for the info. All I was told that it would not replace RR and would be a benefit. My cashiers said they would get me all set up when the card came out. I’m looking forward to it since I shop there so much.

  7. dogwoodlane says:

    I read on another website that this was replacing the register reward program. I asked an assistant manager this morning and she stated this was replacing register rewards. Based on the reviews I read a while back on http://www.iheartwags this program was not well received by couponers. Guess we will have to wait and see

  8. cf_couponers says:

    I was able to apply and get my card today! The cashier who signed me up told me however, they will no longer be doing the RR?? I won’t be using this store, so I’ll check on it with the store I normally frequent, anyone else heard this?

    • Anonymous says:

      Our contact with Walgreens corporate informed us that the Register Reward program WILL be sticking around, at least for the foreseeable future, so we think that’s the case!

  9. lisa says:

    I was actually at one of two Walgreens I went to tonight to still be able to use the $4 off huggies coupon in the book and I was having a convo with one of the employees about this. She said that they are trying it out first and if it works out then they will start offering to the public but if not then no. I’ve never had a problem with coupons in the the Walgreens in El Paso. A transaction rang up wrong right now and they voided the whole transaction, waited for all the other people in line to pay and then redid it. What I found amazing was the cashier was like wow you got that for free and you diapers for cheap omg I love coupons. Nice to know that even some Walgreens employees are fellow couponers.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is awesome! I love it when we can share our couponing ideas with people we meet at the store!

    • Courtany says:

      I work at Walgreens, and coupon there more than anywhere, it’s a bonus with my discount. We never give people hassle when they use coupons, I think some people just get bad employees (which surprises me because my Walgreen’s is very focused on customer service)

  10. KayKal Mom says:

    All of you guys that complain about your walgreens must have a really bad one. I have been with the walgreens company for 10 years and yes we have those people that you just can not please even if you bend over backwards for them but most of the people that come through my store are very pleased with the service they recieve. I myself have been employee of the month multiple times for my outstanding customer service and almost every month we recieve a trophy that goes around our district for customer service. And to those who say we don’t know our coupon policy….98% of us do. The new hires, not so much. We don’t like when the coupon policy is thrown in our face as if we are stupid and don’t know it because we do. When the computer says no, in my district we have to ask for a manager otherwise the demon lady, also know as the loss prevention lady, will have us fired ever one bad coupon move. We ask for respect as employees just as you guys do as couponers. And yes, being a smaller company especially in a small town we don’t recieve multiple truck shipments which limit our RR items. Unfortunately in my store there are a handful of couponers that will in fact clear the shelf of every RR item on it. That, to me, is not fair to those who never even stood a chance. I love to read couponers that actually do listen to the rules of our coupon policy and don’t abuse it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for leaving a comment! And thank you for knowing the coupon policy at your store; that is so helpful! It must be very frustrating to have to deal with demanding customers.

    • monna moose says:

      we have several walgreens i love are one on sunshine and the one in rebublic the rest are ok but they have some very rude employees, our walgreens limit which helps but it doest stop some of those couponers from bringing there whole family and clearing the shelf. when my niece introduced me to the world of extreme couponing, she said the #1 rule of couponing is dont clear the shelves it is very disrespect full to other couponers. so i dont but man when you go back to a store 3-4 time a wk and still cant get item it makes you want to be one but i restrain my self wish others would. For those who want a lot one of our walgreens will pre order as many as you want (but u r responsible for what u order) as long as you pick it up on there slower day. I usually ask what is more convenient for them. They are great.

  11. Paulino Rdz says:

    the last coupons from 5 and 3 from glade they are not more in my walgreeen since 2 week ago o more do you think the item will comeback?

  12. Ashley says:

    I used to love walgreens but iver the past weeks I find harder and harder to use coupons in this store, I live in Green Valley Arizona and every time I try to use my coupons the employees looked at me like if I am steeling something, so disappointing, also there is a lot of confusion between employees about the coupon policy, so sad!!!

  13. Louloubelle says:

    What Sally mentioned bellow is true! My Walgreens and CVS are complaining that the stores are going lin, meaning that the warehouses are lowering their inventories to reduce costs. The managers are saying that sometimes they don’t get any items after the sales. On my store the truck comes Saturdays and Thursdays. I don’t know why they can’t spread it out to have it Thursdays and Tuesdays so they have stock for Sunday sales and re-stock for during the week. Well… I guess I’m going to continue to collect my rainchecks. I’m glad that RR is staying! YEEEESSS!!!

  14. Lenore says:

    I shop at our local Walgreens every week and have built up a good relationship with the stores employees. I live in a medium sized rural town that serves a large area, the managers all know I coupon and even let me know when something goes on clearance. They have told me that the reason they can’t keep the shelves stocked is because their warehouse never sends enough supplies most times we only get 10 to 20 RR items, if that. The town and the area it serves is close to 30,000. So it is not about people stripping shelves in Walgreens it is about them not being able to get the product to put on the shelf. Example: Super Krill that was a $10 RR last week our store got 35, I went on 4 different days and felt lucky to get 4 of them. I take them for my cholesterol. I don’t feel like I did anything wrong, I went by the store, rules, one per person per day and I use them. The managers from our store and indeed the employees are courteous and very helpful, they have said the reason the shelves are cleared is they cannot get what they order from the warehouse so that sounds like a problem within the company. I would also like to say that they also told me that this new program will eventually phase out the RR’s, so your report gives me hope.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m glad you have such a good relationship with the manager and employees at your store! You are doing a good thing for the name of couponers! I also hope that the Register Rewards will be around for awhile. Our contact in Walgreens corporate said that they will not be getting rid of the Register Reward program for the foreseeable future, so let’s cross our fingers!

  15. Alice Pin says:

    in my town or city it makes no difference, as many come from other cities to work in the main city so they stock up during lunch then they to to their own stores and get more? i noticed 1 lady at CVS with like 5 cvs cards, doing different transactions with all cards paying with same credit card. sneaky peopel find a sneaky way to get things no matter what.

  16. NicoleN says:

    Ugh…another card I’ll have to fit in my wallet. I have one for every stinkin’store and restaurant. Target will be next.

    • Anonymous says:

      My wallet is pretty full too! I like it when stores have the little keychain ones; they take up less space in my fat wallet!

      • anna says:

        Or the cardstar app for your phone. I love it!

      • Anonymous says:

        We’ve talked about it before on here, but I use KeyRing app on my Blackberry. They have it for iOS (Apple) and android, too.

        • Kayla169 says:

          I love my key ring app. Unfortunately, some stores can’t scan it or their coupon machine won’t scan it or the coupons that the app offer me (bonus!). I can’t recall which store it is that does this because it’s been awhile but, maybe they have it fixed now!

    • AliS says:

      I am an employee at Walgreens and you will be happy to know that with our new program you have the option to go cardless. You just input your phone number in the pin pad at checkout and your account is pulled up:)

  17. Mariann Lewis says:

    I was told by 3 different Walgreen’s managers in the Cypress Texas area that is program IS replacing the RR’s. After September 1st they will no longer be giving out RR’s. I also noticed all the RR’s I have earned all have a exp date of 8/31.

    • Jennifer says:

      As the saying goes, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig! No matter how you rationalize the new rewards program, it is still a downgrade from the previous register reward program where you could essentially get items for free or money-maker and/or roll register rewards vs. accumulating points in order to be eligible for a reward. No matter how many times we are beaten over the head about how “GREAT” this rewards program is, those of us veterans know a lemon when we see it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well they were not well informed then. There is already scans of the 9/2 – 9/8 Walgreens ad online and indeed there is items giving out RR. And just because all of your RR expire on 8/31 means nothing. I have some that expire on 9/05

    • Anonymous says:

      Our contact at Walgreens corporate informed us that this program is NOT replacing the Register Rewards program for the foreseeable future. As to whether or not the Register Reward program may change slightly, we still don’t know. We are committed, however, to still finding great deals at Walgreens for you all!

      • Mariann Lewis says:

        Thank you KCL. I guess it’s a wait and see for my area. All the managers in my area are sticking to their stories. They all sing the praises of the new Loyalty Program. Thank you again KCL for all you do. I for one truly appreciate it. :)

  18. gracy says:

    they have been testing the balance reward card out on the employees this past month. In order to get 500 points you needed to spend $5 dollars. I did that but i used coupons that brought my total down to a $1 and I still got the points. Also getting prescriptions will give you points. My manager was able to get 2000 points before the program has started. You need 5000 points to be able to start redeeming. So I’m thinking it might be easy to rack up the points if they are going to allow it after coupons to count.

  19. ronnie says:

    I work at a walgreens. The only problem with keeping things in stock is because we have SO many people buying over the limit or keep coming back and buying out the shelf. We only get truck once a week and sometimes it can take up to 3 weeks to get what we ordered in. We don’t know about the ad that far ahead. Thats why we offer reinchecks. It would be more understanding to those that work at a retail store…

    • Anonymous says:

      Walgreens is a small store, so it’s understandable that they only get truck shipments once a week! It’s too bad that people go in a wipe out all the stock of the great deals each week. That’s what makes it frustrating for the rest of us. Maybe this new program will help alleviate that!

  20. stephaniee says:

    its a great program, you can even redeem points for prescriptions. 5000 points equals $5. after sept 30 you will have to have a rewards balance card to get the sale prices advertised.

  21. Rose says:

    I rarely shop at walgreens because they give me a headache every time I go in there. I am not sure how this new program works but hopefully it can’t get any worse. My walgreens rejects almost any coupon that amounts to a free item, and if you pull the policy out they say it is at the managers discretion. Forget returns what a headache. Last but not least They never stock enough for the sales ad they are running unless it is toilet paper. To get there sales items you have to be there when they unlock the door on Sunday Morning…

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sorry Walgreens has been so frustrating for you! Maybe you should see if a different local Walgreens is coupon-friendly enough to be your new store of choice!

    • Nick says:

      So true. It’s such a headache dealing with Walgreens. I found a better alternative..CVS Pharmacy. There are fewer restrictions ie: Extra Bucks Rewards have longer expiration dates and you can use them to buy any items. It’s a much better program compared to Walgreens RRs. Plus, CVS has the Beauty Club reward program, 2% of your spending, etc. I think Walgreens is pretty stingy when it comes to rewarding their customers so I don’t think this new program is any better than what CVS have. ie: I don’t ever recall getting a ‘$4 off $20 purchase’ from Walgreens.

      I’ve been to several Walgreens in San Francisco Bay Area, they’re pretty much the same in terms of their coupon policy etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ditto….I too rarely go into Wags anymore. They are always out of stock of everything on sale unless I want to get up at the crack of dawn on Sunday. I am always given a hard time about coupons (and their scanner never can easily scan coupons for some odd reason-even their own RRs). And while I understand how RRs work, it just seems like so much work. I will go in for the great deals I can’t pass up. And one thing I do like about Wags: Clearance section. Good stuff back there and in toys. But I too prefer CVS and Target. At least at CVS you can get a raincheck and the ECBs too so no worries. It would be nice if Wags at least started offering the RRS with their rainchecks like CVS does.

    • Mom on a Budget says:

      I know exactly what you mean. My store is open 24 hours. Sales go in effect at 12:00am midnight by the time i get there early morning everything is gone. That to me is ridiculous. Sunday is the only day I get to sleep in and having to visit Walgreen’s at midnight is not an option for me.

  22. Poolside1 says:

    GREAT!!! Something else to learn @ wags! I was still trying to get all the different transactions down. This might be it for me! lol

  23. College_couponer12 says:

    Sounds great. I shop at Wags verrry often.

  24. vheller says:

    I am not a big fan of Walgreens , seems I always have some kind of problem when I am in there. I was in there last night to return and item (talking about a headache) and they signed me up for the new card then. They didnt seem to know much about it either.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sorry you haven’t had good experiences at Walgreens! I’m sure they’re still learning all about it.

    • Lilly2012 says:

      I agree with you, for example with the weekly ad, when you go to the store expecting something and they have a sign saying something like this, “sorry this was misunderstanding at the weekly ad.”

  25. Sally says:

    The new point system will replace Register Rewards (RR), but Walgreens will still participate in National Catalina offers. In other words, RR will really only exist for National Catalina offers and many of us already know that a majority of Walgreens past RR were regional offers & not national offers. In effect, the RR that we have come to know & love will be far & few between. As for the new points system, you will have to spend $200 (before coupons) in order to receive a $5 reward…Whoopie!!! Walgreens Balance Rewards program is going to be as disastrous as JC Penny’s new pricing structure. As an informed customer, I will be voting with my wallet & I will take my business elsewhere. It’s a shame because I used to love Walgreens.

    • Amy says:

      My husband is a pharmacist with Walgreens and KCL is correct it is NOT replacing the RR program. It is in addition to RR.

    • Cheryl says:

      From my calculations… You would need to spend $50 to receive a $5 redemptiom…. That’s fine with me as long as they keep the RR’s

  26. sully says:

    if they are not getting rid of the rewards i think is going to be a great program. if they set limits more people are going to get the sale items not just a few

  27. Nathori says:

    about a year and a half ago they did a trial of this program in my area. I HATED IT!! the only way you could earn any points was to spend cash out of pocket. the points were calculated AFTER manufactures coupons. all register rewards were limit 1. almost everything in the ad that was on sale you had to have the card for to get it at that price. To get even the cheepest things with your points it was 2500 points and that was a $5 gift cetificate to walgreens. because i used coupons i almost never got any points even though they get there money. i hope they have changed this in the new progam.

    • stacy says:

      and this is why i hate wags once again – its a shame that they do this for us that try to save money – back to riteaid :)

    • Heidi says:

      I’m in the Portland Oregon area and it sounds like this is the same program they tried out here awhile ago. I didn’t like it as well as straight RR’s because instead of offering lots of RR’s each week they made most things points instead of RR’s (very limited RR’s per week) and in addition to the point promo’s the points were accrued by the dollar amount spent. I did earn lots of $5. walgreens reward certificates (you can print them with your printer) and they would let you decline the balance like a gift card. Meaning you didn’t need to spend it all at once. I don’t think overall I saved as much as I do with the current RR program.