30 percent off

Welcome to the tutorial all about the percent-off coupon from CVS.

First off, you must realize that every CVS store has the right to accept the percent-off coupon how they choose since it’s not explicitly covered in the official coupon policy. However, most stores will allow you to use it. When the coupon is scanned or if you sent it to your card, the computer will automatically apply the savings to all qualifying items in your transaction. If all of your items are sale price, then the computer will reject the coupon.

What You Can and Can’t Purchase with the Percent-off Coupon

The fine print is very tricky. Because it “excludes sale and promotional items,” you would think that means all ExtraBucks deals. This is true when ExtraBucks rewards are produced from sale-priced items. This is not true when they are produced from regular-priced items. An easy way of telling if an item is a sale is by looking at how it’s listed in the weekly ad. If a price is listed, then it’s a sale price. You can also look at the weekly match-ups. Full-priced items will have “online price,” or “regular price” written next to the item.

Percent-off coupons exclude: BOGO and BOGO-50% off, sale-priced items from the weekly ad, and most clearance items.

Percent-off coupons will apply to all regular-priced items, even if they produce ExtraBucks (minus specific items excluded in the fine print).

Using Other Coupons with the Percent-Off Coupon

The fine print says, “Savings applied to total qualifying purchase after other CVS coupons and discounts are applied.” You might think this means after all CVS coupons, including ExtraBucks. But that is not the case. It all depends on what each coupon scans as. Take a look at your last receipt. There are three types of coupons: “coupon” is a manufacturer coupon, “cvs mfr coupon” is a CVS manufacturer coupon, and the last one is “cvs coupon.”

The percent-off coupon will reduce when you these coupons:

  • Beauty Club Reward
  • Green Bag Tag Reward
  • Purchase-Based Coupons (e.g. $4/$20)
  • Manual- or Force-printed ExtraBucks
  • Expired ExtraBucks or other manual discounts
  • Any coupon that scans as a “cvs coupon”
  • Other percent-off coupons (if you’re using more than one)

Example: You have a 20% off CVS Coupon. Your subtotal is $20. You are expecting a savings of $4.00 (20% of $20.00). However, you use a $4/$20 and $5.00 Beauty Club Reward. The percent-off will be applied to $11.00 instead of $20.00. So, your percent-off coupon will only take off $2.20.

The following are taken off after the percent-off coupon, will not reduce the percent-off, and will result in bigger savings:

  • Manufacturer coupons
  • ExtraBucks earned from weekly/monthly deals (that aren’t force-printed or manually entered)
  • Store coupons that scan as a “cvs mfr coupon”

It’s sometimes hard to predict how two types of coupons will scan: purchase-based coupons (e.g. $4 off $20 purchase) and somemagic coupon machine coupons. Most of the time the purchase-based coupons with be “cvs coupons,” but it’s not always the case. Magic coupon machine coupons usually scan as a “cvs mfr coupon” for brand name items, (e.g. Nexxus, or Simple, or Revlon), but there are exceptions.

CVS Percent-off Coupon FAQs

How can I get this coupon? These are most often sent to your email. Therefore, you must connect your ExtraCare card to an email address at cvs.com and “opt-in” to receive emails. They usually send them on Thursdays. Not everyone will get them every week. On a rare occasion you will find them on your receipt, from the magic coupon machine, in the weekly ad, or in special information booklets.

Is it better to print it or send it to your card? There are advantages and disadvantages to either method. In my opinion, sending it to your card is the best way to encourage the cashier to use it. If you send it to your card, you will get a CRT with the coupon information on it when you scan your card at the coupon machine. At checkout, it will prompt the cashier to ask you if you would like to use your coupon or not.

Printing it out at home gives you better control when and how it is applied. Nothing is more disappointing than forgetting you had it loaded, dropping in CVS for a soda and having it used up on that transaction, instead of the elaborate couponing trip you had planned for the next day!

Whichever way you choose, you should send it/print it the last day it’s valid (unless you want to use it sooner). The coupon expiration date is 4 days after you print it. So if you print it the last day, you’ll gain additional time to use it.

How many times can I use this coupon? Each coupon is one-time use only.

My store wouldn’t take the coupon because I had items earning ExtraBucks. What can I do? Ask them nicely to scan it and let the programmed register decide. Since it’s ultimately up to the store, you may be out of luck! However, don’t give up. Try another store! Or add something to your transaction that is regular price, like a $0.33 cent caramel. If the cashier/manager lets the coupon be scanned, they will see that the register automatically applies the percent-off to all qualifying items. Then they will either learn a lesson about the coupon or they will try to adjust it. If that happens I would void the transaction and try a different CVS. Hopefully, it doesn’t go that far; most cashiers will allow you to use any coupon as long as it doesn’t beep.

The percent-off coupon didn’t work! I was expecting it to take off $5, but it only took off $2. What happened? Make sure the other coupons you used were not any of the types that will reduce your total before the percent-off discount is applied (see above).

Leave a Reply

43 thoughts on “Extreme Couponing Tip: Learn How to Use Percent-off Coupons at CVS”

  1. Karen says:

    I was excited and ready to purchase the three packs of razors and use the 30% off CVS coupon, BUT when you do the math, it does NOT work to be a money maker but a cost of $2.58 in the end! The 30% coupon, as do all their %-off coupons, state this at the bottom:
    “Savings applied to total qualifying purchase after other CVS coupons and discounts are applied.”
    When I’ve used %-off coupons in the past, the dollar amount of the percentage decreases every time a coupon of any type is used.
    So, unfortunately, this is NOT a money maker, and I’m bummed!

  2. Jaime says:

    All my email coupons from cvs all say online only?

  3. Megan says:

    Great explanation of these coupons! It gets confusing when you add so many dimensions to it.

  4. Dori Ann Morales says:

    Does this percentage off coupon apply to Puerto zrico? Because I’ve never get that coupon in my email.

  5. 1 says:

    My CVS will not let me use the % off coupons on anything that generates extra bucks. I’ve asked several people and they won’t allow it even though it starts with  the regular price.

  6. Anonymous says:

    My CVS will not let me use the % off coupons on anything that generates extra bucks. I’ve asked several people and they won’t allow it even though it starts with  the regular price.

  7. christina haught says:

    My store said it’s applied after all coupons so dumb Doubled my total that way 

  8. Anonymous says:

    My store said it’s applied after all coupons so dumb Doubled my total that way 

  9. Anonymous says:

    So here is something that occured to me, but I have a question about CVS extrabucks. Aren’t they cosidered cvs mfr coupons when used? So I had previously gotten a raincheck that had extrabucks attached to it. I got the extrabucks but when I when to use it and the 25% off coupon, I noticed after the transaction, that the percentage was off. So, I looked over my receipt and saw that the the extrabucks now showed up as a cvs coupon instead. Should I dispute it?

  10. coupon_mama says:

    How do I get the coupon as cvs has not sent me one?

  11. erialmanza says:

    Thank you for your explanation

  12. Anonymous says:

    I wish I had known this!! I thought they just reduce your qualifying amount when you use ECBs, based on my purchase this week. I had used $15 in ECBs (one was force-printed, one was the beauty club rewards), so I ended up paying $3.75 more than I should have…if I’d known, I would’ve saved the ECBs for another transaction. :( I’m glad someone has broken this down & explained it for me! I’ll know next time…

  13. mamag30 says:

    I tried to use my 25% coupon on the glade products this week…they are not on sale. But the computer didn’t accept it and the cashier said I can not use it on items that produce ECB’s even if they are not on sale. I called CVS’s customer service and they stated exactly what the cashier said, the % off will not work on products that produce ECB even if they are at regular price. So, I am VERY confused!

  14. some girl says:

    i tried a month ago to use a 25% off coupon with a $16 ecb i got for spending a certain amount on lipsticks it gave me that but when i tried using both it wouldn’t work and that was the only 2 things i had was a 1 ecb for $16 and 25% coupon. 25% off coupon would work aslong as i didnt use the ecb .what went wrong?

  15. Krizza says:

    Thank you! :)

  16. Denise2 says:

    Thank you so much. A newbie at this. I went to CVS yesterday. Used (1) 25% and $5 beauty bucks. Notice that when beauty bucks was applied, percent off total went down nearly same amount. Also, I was charged a $2 “Taxable item” for the $2 off $10 Aleve redbox coupon. It charged me instead of giving me a discount for my purchase.
    I used (1) 25%, (3) $10/$50, $50.99 MQs, (1) $5 beauty bucks. Still paid $41.81, but received $44 ecbs. I messed up when I put regular priced with sale priced.
    This post now helps me understand the dynamics of CVS percent-off.

  17. So yesterday I bought 3 boxes of diapers (pamper brand) about $ 90.00 + tax I used my 25% ( from oct email ) and 20% (the medi) ….. I had 20.00 in extra bucks 2/$1.50 pamper coupon 1/$1.00 pamper coupon plus last friday the cvs machine gave me $5.00 off any baby item (30.00 or more ) frist I gave the cashier my % then all my coupons my total was $26.97 for all 3 boxes :-) I love cvs

  18. some girl says:

    if revlon or loreal has a special where you spend a certain amount you get extra bucks for it can i use the coupon on this special or is that a no?

    • Anonymous says:

      As long as the items you’re purchasing are priced at regular price, the %-off coupon will apply, regardless of whether ExtraBucks are produced. HTH.

  19. nancyfava says:

    This explains a lot. I went today thinking I was going to score but I didnt. Before my coupons, EB my total was 77.16 with out taxes. I used (1) $7 EB, (1) $3 EB, (2) $2 Manufactured Coupon, (1) $3 MC, (3) $1.25 MC and the 25% CVS Coupon only took off 11.57, I thought the 25% coupon would have been taken off the $77.16 which would have been a little under $20???? So I was rather sad when I ended up paying $49.60??? :(

    • recumbentrider says:

      it’s a really “smart” coupon… it will exclude any item on sale! Anything that has a savings next to the item in the transaction will not apply. Then add Beauty Club reward and MCM coupons into the mix off “reducing” your savings with the % off coupon… doesn’t make it exactly easy for sure! But the extra work those goes into planning a trip with one and more % off coupons.. is so worth it!!

      Today I made a transaction with $170+ worth of items… a mix of sale ($52.xx) and non sale items with ECBs (98.xx). I used 3 $10/$50 purchase, 2 percent off coupons (25% & 20% off) along with MQ and store coupons.. and paid with $34.50 in ECBs… My TOTAL OOP with tax was $8.31 (over $4 was tax!). Than I earned $44 in ECBs and earned $5 Beauty Club !! The first % off took off $20.xx and the other one took off $12.xx !!

      So what I’m saying is don’t give up!

    • some girl says:

      same thing happen to me thats why i avoid using 25% off coupons unless its payed with cash

  20. justwondering says:

    Just curious on your thoughts of using multiple % off coupons. Like 2,3 or 4 in a transaction. Thanks

    • recumbentrider says:

      Not sure about KCL’s thoughts are but this is why I think it’s totally allowed (I wrote this article for KCL, btw)..

      There is a FAQ in the place you go to send or print the % off coupon (it’s titled: “If you have questions, you can get help with coupons.”)

      “What happens if multiple coupons are on my card will all of them redeem at once?

      Yes, If all purchase criteria has been met in that transaction multiple coupons can be used.

      If only part of the purchase criteria has been met for multiple offers, the coupon with the highest value may be applied.”

      this FAQ I believe addresses it (even though it’s not the *official policy*). Stacking of most %s is currently allowed as determined by CVS registers.

    • justwondering says:

      Then why do they tell me no after multiple phone calls and emails I wonder?

  21. Shanshan says:

    THANKS KCL for another great article on how to use the % off coupons at CVS. Keep posting and I’m sure by the 3rd or 4th time I will have it memorized… I hope. My memory is failing me…

    • Anonymous says:

      I will be linking this post in all my future %-off posts! Quick and easy reference so we don’t have to use up precious brain space to remember :)

  22. Aria H. says:

    If possible, I split my sale and non sale items into two transactions and use the coupons/bucks that reduce to pay for the sale items and use the non-reducing coupons on the non sale items with the percent off coupon.

  23. recumbentrider says:

    This is so great! I hope this helps everyone learn how to use the percent off coupon :) … I’m planing a trip for this week. I’m going for $150 worth! I have (2) % percent off coupons and (3) $10/$50 purchase … and with coupons and extra bucks, I’m hoping to get everything for $1 + tax !! It’s going to be a mix of sale and non-sale items so the $10/$50 will not affect the %’s off percents off *as much**!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks to YOU for contributing such thorough info recumbentrider!!

      • recumbentrider says:

        Your so welcome.. Without this site, I never would have used coupons! I was so happy to help out!

        I’m really looking forward to getting the book! I’m going to share it with my friends that are interested in learning how to coupon! :D

  24. Linda says:

    How do I sign up for the 25% off?

  25. Dukester says:

    I had a great thing happen with the 20% or 25%off at CVS yesterday. I did the propane bottle exchange and they let me use my extra bucks and gave me the 20% off too! That was a great score!! Love CVS!!

  26. DA1981 says:

    This answer my question, I was very confused before. Great job on the explanations!

  27. Jayme Delgado says:

    *** QUESTION?? You can use Expired ExtraBucks? *** (I asked at the store one time & I was told NO)

    The percent-off coupon will reduce when you these coupons:

    Beauty Club RewardGreen Bag Tag RewardPurchase-Based Coupons (e.g. $4/$20)Manual- or Force-printed ExtraBucksExpired ExtraBucks or other manual discountsAny coupon that scans as a “cvs coupon”Other percent-off coupons (if you’re using more than one)

    • Anonymous says:

      It is not allowed in their policy, and I would not expect it. However, it must be mentioned in this tutorial, because some stores may allow you to use expired EBs and that will impact your percentage.

    • Anonymous says:

      Of the 4 CVS stores close to my home or work, only one lets me use expired ECBs and I found out by accident, while having a conversation with the manager.

    • Aria H. says:

      My cvs will let me use an expired extra bucks if it is within a few days after the expiration, but definitely not over a week expired.

    • Ash says:

      One CVS I go to said they don’t take expired ECB’s or CVS MCM coupons but another one said they will take expired CVS ECB’s, MCM coupons, and CVS coupons printed online. The only thing they won’t take are expired % off coupons because it gets too complicated. I had a CVS coupon that had been expired for a month and I was allowed to use it recently. I’ve had multiple employees tell me that they do indeed take expired ECB’s and MCM coupons. It’s a very coupon friendly store and I love it.