Alana Vandagriff | 

CVS ExtraCare: Get More ExtraBucks With These 10 Tips

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Being a CVS ExtraCare member is not just about unlocking their deals. It also means earning CVS cash as ExtraBucks Rewards! ExtraBucks are one of the top CVS rewards, and they're a key benefit of the CVS ExtraCare Rewards program.

In case you're unfamiliar with ExtraBucks or how to use them, I put together my best tips in this list. By the end of this article, you'll know how to earn ExtraBucks and get lots of CVS freebies. You'll also learn to use the CVS 98% rule to maximize your earnings.

If you're looking to boost your benefits even further, you could upgrade to the CVS ExtraCare Plus. This paid membership gives you $10 in ExtraBucks each month.

And if you want all the best CVS deals, don’t forget to download The Krazy Coupon Lady app and turn your notifications on for CVS.

1. Join CVS ExtraCare before you shop.

Before you buy anything, sign up on for a free CVS ExtraCare account. Once you have an account, be sure to present your card or phone number every time you shop. You have to be a CVS ExtraCare member to unlock the sales at CVS.

KCL TIP: Don’t forget to add your birthday when you set up your CVS account. You’ll receive $3 in ExtraBucks as a special gift.

2. Earn CVS ExtraBucks Rewards through sales and special offers.

A woman holding CVS Extrabucks rewards for $6 next to Nivea lip balm next to a price tag that says, $4.99.

You can rack up ExtraBucks Rewards through weekly sales and special promotions. Just check out the CVS weekly ad to find deals that let you earn ExtraBucks with your CVS ExtraCare card. Use your CVS ExtraCare card to access deals like "Spend $15, Earn $3 ExtraBucks" or "Buy 2, Get $2 in ExtraBucks." Also, check your CVS ExtraCare account online or in the app for personalized offers and digital coupons under “Savings & Membership” and then “ExtraCare Savings.”

Special offers, including ExtraBucks promotions, might also pop up in your inbox. Not all these offers need a purchase to earn the rewards (though, of course, you'll need to purchase to use them).

What are CVS ExtraBucks?

CVS ExtraBucks Rewards are “free” CVS money you earn for purchasing certain items each week. They’re printed at the bottom of your CVS receipt. Use them on your next transaction or save them, but keep an eye on their expiration. CVS personalizes rewards based on your shopping history to encourage purchases of items you frequently buy.

3. Use your whole CVS ExtraBucks Rewards online or in-store — you won’t get the change.

When it's time to use your ExtraBucks, you’ll give the cashier your printed ExtraBucks Reward. Or, you'll put in your phone number. The cashier will then deduct it from your total.

Keep in mind that CVS doesn’t pay any overage and will adjust your ExtraBucks accordingly. This means that you can’t use a $5 ExtraBucks reward when your total is $4 and expect to get $1 back. Of course, you can apply it, but you’re gonna lose that $1.

4. Get 2% back in CVS ExtraBucks on every transaction.

cvs receipt next to cvs cart

The second way to earn CVS ExtraBucks is by simply using your ExtraCare card for each transaction. Fair warning … this isn’t going to be your home run on ExtraBucks. You’ll earn 2% back in rewards. You can either use them in your very next transaction or stack them up for a bigger redemption. I typically earn about $5 every few months, but hey, it’s still free CVS money.

If you shop through Instacart or Shipt and have your CVS ExtraCare account linked, you can earn 2% quarterly. Rewards should show up within 48 hours. These rewards will bank with your in-store and online quarterly rewards.

Every quarter if you haven’t redeemed your rewards, it’ll cash you out. ExtraCare members who don’t redeem rewards digitally (through the app or will get a quarterly printout. It will show their rewards balance. For digital users, unused ExtraBucks Rewards that haven't been sent to your ExtraCare Card will be reissued on a printed coupon. Your ExtraBucks must be over $1 for them to be printed out.

5. Get $10 in ExtraBucks each month from CVS ExtraCare Plus.


The CVS ExtraCare Plus program is a nice and easy way to get $10 ExtraBucks every month you’re enrolled. It’s a paid program that’ll cost you $5 monthly (or $48 yearly), but it pays you back more than it costs. There are tons of benefits, including making money every single month. 

6. Remember there's a limit on how many ExtraBucks you can earn.

The CVS weekly ad will specify how many times you can earn ExtraBucks on certain offers. For example, you’ll see “ExtraBucks Rewards Limit of two per household per week with the card.” So if the Tide you’re wanting to buy earns you ExtraBucks Rewards with a limit of two, then you can only earn them two times. If you purchased the Tide for a third time, you wouldn’t receive any ExtraBucks.

Once you’ve started earning ExtraBucks, you can “roll” them into new transactions by using previous rewards to fund new purchases. This way you get items for free while still earning more rewards.

7. Get the most from your CVS Rewards by rolling them from one transaction to the next.

someone scanning extrabucks at cvs

CVS Rewards usually expire within 30 days, so you’ll want to use them quickly.

You’ll also want to be strategic about how you earn and spend them. Split your transaction into two separate ones, and buy the items you’ll earn the most ExtraBucks with first.

Then you can immediately turn around and use those ExtraBucks to pay for the next transaction. AND you’ll earn more ExtraBucks even though you’re paying with them, too.

Free. Money.

8. Use a combo of ExtraBucks Rewards, coupons, sales, and rebates to get free products — or even make money.

someone holding cvs extrabucks next to shampoo

Stacking coupons at CVS is the key to becoming an expert CVS couponer — and to scoring CVS deals under $1. By using a combination of coupons, you’ll pay the least amount out of pocket but bring home the most in savings.

One deal I did this on was for Crest mouthwash. It was on sale for $3.99 (regularly $5.49). There was an ExtraBucks offer of “Buy three, get $5 in ExtraBucks.” I also had a $2 off $12 mouthwash CVS coupon and a $5 off 3 Crest digital coupon. After using all those coupons, my total was $4.97 for three bottles of mouthwash. And I received $5 back in ExtraBucks. Even sweeter, I used $3 in ExtraBucks from a previous deal so I only had to pay $1.97 out of my pocket.

9.  Join CVS ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards to earn $2 in ExtraBucks when you reach four credits.

In addition to shopping at CVS, it pays to get your prescriptions filled there. Every transaction earns you a specific number of credits. Every four credits earns you $2 in ExtraBucks Rewards. (Even your pets’ prescriptions can help you earn credits.) Just make sure you opt in to earn rewards at the pharmacy by signing the privacy authorization form.

Here's how you can earn credits with the pharmacy:

  • Fill or refill a prescription = 1 credit

  • Enroll a family member (including your furry ones) = 1 credit

  • Fill or refill a 90-day prescription = 3 credits

  • Get a flu shot or other vaccine at CVS = 3 credits

TIP: Sign up your entire family on one card (including your pets!) and you can each earn up to $50 in ExtraBucks a year.

10. Don't spend more than you have to — you only have to pay 98% to earn ExtraBucks.

someone holding cvs sign

If you see an offer that says, “Get $5 in ExtraBucks when you spend $20,” you only have to spend $19.60, or 98% of $20 to earn the $5 reward.

If that sounds confusing, check out our detailed post on the CVS 98% rule and how we use it all the time!

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