Christa Geraghty | 

The Ultimate Guide to CVS Gift Cards (And When to Buy Them)

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You can obviously buy gift cards from CVS at any time of the year, but timing your purchase just right can save you big bucks. For instance, CVS Black Friday deals offer serious cash savings on gift cards — to the tune of up to 20% or 30% off.

And we're not just talking about CVS selling their own gift cards. They sell gift cards for more than 100 other retailers, too (which we've listed out below).

Gift cards are one of the best things at CVS when there's a sale, and we’ve got all the tips you need to save big on them. And if you're debating between CVS vs Walgreens for gift cards, here's a spoiler alert: There isn’t a clear winner. It really depends on who has the best deal on the type of gift card you need at the time.

For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, download the KCL app or text HACKS to 57299.

What gift cards can you buy at CVS Pharmacy?

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CVS offers a wide variety of gift cards, but not all stores carry the same inventory. To check which gift cards your local CVS has, you’ll need to visit the store or call ahead.

But you can generally expect to find store gift cards, prepaid Visa, Mastercard, American Express cards, and a selection of restaurant and retail gift cards. Below are the gift card brands we found in six different CVS stores across six cities.

KCL TIP: You have to buy non-CVS gift cards in person. The only gift cards sold on on CVS.com are their e-Gift store cards that you’ll receive via email. 

Restaurant Gift Cards

Applebee’s

Bonefish Grill

Buffalo Wild Wings

Carrabba's

Chili’s

Chipotle

Cold Stone Creamery

Cracker Barrel

Dairy Queen

Domino’s

Dunkin’

Five Guys

IHOP

Jersey Mike’s

Long John Silvers

Longhorn Steakhouse

McCafe

McDonald’s

Olive Garden

Outback Steakhouse

Panera Bread

Red Lobster

Red Robin

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Starbucks

Subway

Taco Bell

Texas Roadhouse

The Cheesecake Factory

Retail Gift Cards

Adidas

AE

Amazon

Apple

Barnes & Noble

Bass Pro Shops

Bath & Body Works

Best Buy

Bloomingdale’s

Burlington 

Cabela’s

Carter’s

Chewy

Crate & Barrel

Dick’s

Disney

DSW

eBay

Express

Fanatics

Firehouse Subs

Foot Locker

Forever 21

GameStop

Harley-Davidson

Hollister

HomeGoods

JCPenney

Kirkland's Home

Kohl’s

Lowe’s

lululemon

Macy’s

Marshalls

Michaels

Nike

Nordstrom

Nordstrom Rack

Old Navy

OshKosh

Pink

Target

The Children’s Place

The Home Depot

T.J.Maxx

Toys R Us

Urban Outfitters

Victoria’s Secret

Wayfair

Streaming Gift Cards

Spa Gift Cards

Movie Theatre Gift Cards

Hulu

Netflix

Prime Video

Spotify

Vudu

Massage Envy 

Spa & Wellness

AMC

Cinemark

Fandango

Regal

Gaming Gift Cards

Multi-Brand Gift Cards

Candy Crush

Draft Kings

Nintendo

Rec Room

Roblox

Sony PlayStation

Steam

Valorant

Xbox

Chili’s One Card (Chili’s, Maggiano’s, On The Border)

Go Eat (Cracker Barrel, Panera, Red Lobster, The Cheesecake Factory)

One Card (Bahama Breeze, Cheddars, Longhorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Seasons 52, Yard House) 

Outback (Bonefish Grill, Carrabba's, Fleming’s, Outback Steakhouse) 

Gap (Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy)

TJX (T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Sienna, HomeSense)

Travel Gift Cards

Delivery Gift Cards

Golf Gift Cards

Airbnb

Hotels.com

Delta

Southwest

Circle K

Shell

DoorDash

Grubhub

Instacart 

Lyft

Uber

UberEats

GoPlay Golf

Golf Now

How To Save Money on CVS Gift Cards

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Now that you know what gift cards CVS carries, it's time to learn how to save money on them. And yes, you can actually save money on gift cards! It takes a bit of work and patience, but if you time it right, you can save up to 30% on your favorite brands.

When you buy gift cards at CVS, don’t expect to get discounts at the register — they don’t exist! The way to save on gift cards at CVS is by earning ExtraBucks, which you can use to buy other items at CVS (except gift cards and a few other exclusions).

CVS frequently runs promotions like “spend $50, get $10 ExtraBucks.” For example, if you buy a $50 Amazon gift card, you’ll pay $50 at the register but get $10 in ExtraBucks to use on your next CVS transaction.

Most of these promotions have a limit of one per CVS account, so if you're trying to get multiple gift cards, make sure everyone in your family has their own CVS ExtraCare account.

KCL TIP: In order to get any of the sale prices we talk about in this post, you’ll need to be a CVS ExtraCare Rewards member. You can sign up for a free account online or in the CVS Pharmacy app.

The Best Time to Buy CVS Gift Cards

CVS doesn’t always run these kinds of promotions, so it makes sense to stock up while you can. In 2024, CVS has already offered a "Spend $50, Get $15 ExtraBucks" promotion twice on Applebee’s, Domino’s, Chili’s, Panera, and other gift cards. The first promo ran from Jan. 14 - 27, and the second from March 17 - 30. If you shopped during either of these promos, you would have earned 30% back in ExtraBucks.

In 2023, we saw 28 different weeks with gift card promotions. If you don’t plan to buy 28 different gift cards throughout the year, it’s smart to wait for the best deals to pop up. Hold out for $10 in ExtraBucks (rather than $5).

KCL TIP: One of the best deals you’ll see fairly often is $10 ExtraBucks when you spend $50 on gift cards.

Past CVS Gift Card Sales (2023):

  • January: Jan. 15 - 21, Jan. 22 - 28

  • February: Feb. 5 - 11, Feb. 12 - 18, Feb. 19 - 25

  • March: March 5 - 11, March 12 - 18

  • April: April 2 - 8, April 9 - 15, April 16 - 22, April 23 - 29

  • May: April 30 - May 6, May 7 - 13, May 21 - 27

  • June: June 11 - 17, June 18 - 24, June 25 - July 1

  • July: July 9 - 15

  • August: Aug. 27 - Sept. 2

  • October: Oct. 8 - 14, Oct. 22 - 29

  • November: Nov. 5 - 11, Nov. 12 - 18, Nov. 19 - 25, Nov. 26 - Dec. 3

  • December: Dec. 3 - 9, Dec. 10 - 16, Dec. 17 - 23

Black Friday is one of the best times to buy.

Black Friday is one of the best times to score a deal on gift cards at CVS, because you will actually save money up front (rather than waiting to be reimbursed with ExtraBucks). In recent years, we’ve seen an average of 20% off gift cards for various restaurant and retail stores. 

In 2023, the Black Friday deal was four $25 gift cards (a $100 value) for just $80. Brands included in the sale were Applebee’s, Vudu, Panera Bread, Chipotle, Fandango, H&M, Wayfair, On The Border, Macaroni Grill, Magiano’s, Cinemark, and Chili’s.

That's a pretty good savings that you'll see right at the register.

What To Know Before You Buy CVS Gift Cards

Use multiple ExtraCare accounts to stock up on gift card deals.

You can only earn ExtraBucks on gift cards once per account per week, but you can try to grab a second gift card deal under a different ExtraCare account that isn’t associated with your address. Keep in mind that any ExtraBucks you earn in the other account will remain in that account; you won’t be able to combine your earnings.

Some CVS locations offer deals not listed in the ad.

You can sometimes find gift cards with an ExtraBucks deal, even if they aren’t advertised. We recently spotted Domino’s, Long John Silver’s, Belk, and Spa & Wellness gift cards with the "Spend $50, get $10 ExtraBucks" promotion, even though it wasn’t listed in any of the current ads.

Not all gift cards go on sale at the same time.

Just because CVS has a promotion almost every other week doesn’t mean every gift card is on sale simultaneously. You’ll find cards owned by the same parent company, like Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, and same-category gift cards, such as streaming services Hulu and Netflix.

In 2023, the gift card that could earn you ExtraBucks the most often was Wayfair (22 different weeks). The runner-up was the Domino’s gift card (10 different weeks).

CVS gift card deals can be just as good as Walgreens'.

The two drugstores love to battle it out for your business, and when it comes to deals on gift cards, we see pretty similar offers at the same time.

Walgreens typically runs promotions like "Buy 2 specific $25 gift cards and receive a $5 Walgreens gift card." If you're lucky, each store may offer a different type of gift card for their sale, making it easy to find the perfect gift.

You can trade unwanted retail gift cards for a CVS store card.

According to the CVS return policy, you can’t return or exchange gift cards, prepaid cards, or phone cards, even if they are unopened. However, if you have a retail card you don’t want, CVS will let you trade it for a CVS store card (for about 15% - 30% of its value, depending on the balance and brand of card) through their partner CardCash.

If you live in one of the following states, you can also return a gift card for cash if the card value matches these limits:

  • California: under $10

  • Colorado: under $5

  • Maine: under $5

  • Massachusetts: after 90% of the balance has been redeemed

  • Montana: under $5

  • New Jersey: under $5

  • Oregon: under $5

  • Rhode Island: under $1

  • Washington: under $5

  • Vermont: under $1

Restaurant gift cards can be cheaper at CVS than at the actual restaurant.

Around Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduation season, and the holidays, restaurants typically offer a bonus card or two when you buy a gift card at CVS. For example, you might see a deal where you can buy $50 in Applebee’s gift cards and get $10 in bonus cards. That’s 20% in savings, 10% less than you can earn at CVS on the regular.

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