I'm a big fan of CVS, but I'm an even bigger fan of saving money. One of the best ways to do this is to sign up for an ExtraCare rewards card. The CVS rewards card is completely free and has a ton of money-saving benefits that will make any frugalista proud.

How to sign up

Head to your local CVS store to sign up for an ExtraCare rewards card. I prefer this method best because I can start using my rewards card right away. But you can also sign up online here. A rewards card will be mailed to you in about one week.

How to earn rewards

There are multiple ways to earn rewards at CVS, and once you start earning them, you’ll see the tremendous value in shopping there for more deals. Check out the ways to earn below for maximum savings!

Coupons and discounts

Using your CVS ExtraCare rewards card is easy! All you have to do is scan your card whenever you make a purchase. If you love to shop online like me, just make sure that you’re signed into your CVS.com account and that your card is linked to it. When you use your ExtraCare rewards card at checkout, you'll automatically get the sale price on any applicable items. Plus, special offers and coupons will print out on the bottom of your receipt. These offers are typically based on purchases you’ve made in the past. For example, because I always buy my contact solution at CVS, I received a $1 off coupon for my favorite contact solution on the bottom of my receipt. You'll also get personalized deals and coupons sent to you via email. In addition, you need an ExtraCare rewards card to use the ExtraCare Coupon Center (or the "Magical Coupon Machine" as I like to call it) which spits out special coupons each week. As an ExtraCare rewards card holder, you'll also have access to online personalized sale prices, coupons and store discounts under the "myWeekly Ad" tab on CVS.com.

ExtraBucks Rewards

Every time you swipe your ExtraCare rewards card, you'll also receive 2% back in ExtraBucks Rewards. When you get 10 prescriptions filled you'll also get $5 in ExtraBucks Rewards (assuming you've joined the ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards program) as well.

ExtraCare Bucks

You'll also need an ExtraCare rewards card to get the most out of your ExtraCare Bucks. If you’re new to CVS, ExtraCare Bucks (also called ECBs) are in-store credits that can be used on future purchases. You can find products all over the store that offer ECBs back when you buy them (you'll find the offer on the price tag). When you purchase that item, an ECB will print out on the bottom of your receipt. You'll also get $1 in ECBs when you fill two prescriptions at a CVS pharmacy.

How to keep track of your rewards

Coupons, discounts and ECBs will typically print out on the bottom of your receipt. However, you can also manage rewards and check points on CVS.com under the "My Savings and Rewards" and "Current Rewards" tabs. If you don't want to print out the coupons you receive online or in your email, you can choose to send the coupons directly to your ExtraCare rewards card (just follow the directions in your email).

Using your rewards

At the end of each quarter (January, April, July and October), your ExtraBucks Rewards will be available to print online. You can also send the rewards directly to your card. Use the ExtraBucks Rewards just like store credit on almost anything in the store.

How to Get the Most Out of the CVS Rewards Program