Alana Vandagriff | 

21 Tricks for Getting More CVS Discounts and Freebies

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Part of the secret of getting CVS discounts and freebies is to learn how to earn and use CVS ExtraBucks. ExtraBucks are like CVS currency that you can earn and spend with every purchase. If you're looking to boost your benefits even further, you could also upgrade to CVS ExtraCare Plus. This paid membership gives you $10 in ExtraBucks each month.

Once you know how to coupon at CVS, you’ll see that getting discounts and freebies is pretty easy. Especially with this little trick called the CVS 98% rule that I’ll teach you about.

Be sure to download The Krazy Coupon Lady app for more money-saving tips and CVS deals and coupons.

1. Sign up for a CVS ExtraCare card to get 2% back in ExtraBucks Rewards.

A woman holding an iPhone displaying her ExtraCare barcode on the CVS app, a rewards key chain card, and an extracare rewards pamphlet in...

Before you head to the CVS register, make sure you have a CVS ExtraCare account. ExtraCare is the CVS loyalty rewards program, and it's how you start earning ExtraBucks (basically store credit) — one of the best things about shopping at CVS.

You can sign up for a CVS ExtraCare account online or through the CVS coupons app. If you have an ExtraCare card already, make sure to create and link your digital account via your email and phone number. Having your phone number and email linked will get you exclusive coupons and make it super easy to check out if you don't have the barcode.

After you're registered for your ExtraCare card, start scanning it every time you shop to get 2% back in ExtraBucks Rewards. You'll also get to take advantage of exclusive ExtraCare member sale prices. You can either use that 2% ExtraBucks reward in another transaction or you'll get the reward quarterly. But you'll need to earn at least $1 in order for your reward to generate. 

TIP: You can also earn 2% quarterly on CVS purchases made through Instacart or Shipt when you link your CVS ExtraCare account. Rewards should show up within 48 hours. These rewards will bank with your in-store and online quarterly rewards.

2. Scan your CVS ExtraCare card every time you shop to get personalized coupons.

Every time you scan your ExtraCare card during a purchase, the CVS system will make a note of your purchases and reward you with personalized coupons and CVS discounts the next time you shop. If you love shampoo products, you’ll get more shampoo coupons than your friend who’s buying chocolate all the time.

Related: See all the latest CVS digital coupons available to everyone with a CVS account.

3. Head straight to the red coupon kiosk with your CVS ExtraCare card to print store coupons.


As soon as you walk into CVS, walk over to the red coupon kiosk and scan your ExtraCare card. Alternatively, you can enter your phone number or scan your ExtraCare Card barcode found in the CVS app.

The kiosk will print out personalized store coupons for you based on your past purchases.

4. Get free items (or make money) by stacking store and manufacturer coupons on sale prices.

You can stack coupons at CVS if you know the rules. Stack manufacturer coupons and CVS store coupons on one item at CVS to get more savings. Plus, you can use ExtraBucks to buy that item as well. CVS also allows you to use manufacturer coupons on clearance items — and clearance items will even earn you ExtraBucks during an ExtraCare promotion, as long as nothing specifically states otherwise. Unfortunately, CVS coupons can’t be used on clearance items.

You can only use one manufacturer coupon per item, but CVS allows multiple store coupons per transaction as long as none explicitly states otherwise. You can even use more than one of the same type of CVS coupons, including:

  • Two $3 off $15 coupons for purchases that are $30 or higher.

  • A $3 off $15 coupon and $5 ExtraBucks Rewards for a purchase of $15.

  • $1 off toothpaste manufacturer coupon and a $2 off toothpaste Coupon Center coupon for a $3 toothpaste item.

The key to stacking coupons at CVS is to make sure you’re meeting the threshold for each one. If you have two threshold coupons that each require you to hit $15, you’ll have to reach $30 to use both. 

Pro Tip: CVS won’t give you money back if your coupon value is $5 and your item costs you $4. The only way to make money is by getting a free item, then using a rebate.

5. Download the KCL app for step-by-step instructions on how to score CVS discounts and freebies.


So you want to get freebies and insane CVS discounts but you just don’t have time? 

Download our app and “favorite” CVS, then make sure you allow The Krazy Coupon Lady app alerts. We’ll give you step-by-step instructions on how to score freebies and deals from CVS. We post the weekly coupon deals every Saturday (the day before the sale is live) so you can get your shopping list and coupons ready.

Related: Jump to the latest CVS deals under $1 for this week.

6. Separate your transactions and roll your ExtraCare Bucks into the second transaction.

CVS ExtraCare Bucks, aka ECBs, can be used like cash immediately upon earning them for a completed transaction. They typically print at the bottom of your receipt and tend to expire within 30 days.

This means if you strategize your transactions before arriving at checkout, you can earn all your ECBs in your first transaction, then use them on your second transaction.

This little trick will reduce your immediate out-of-pocket expenses, so make sure you don’t forget to use your ExtraCare Bucks.

TIP: Purchase ECB-earning items with ECBs to keep your ECBs rolling for continuously free items. Plan it out before heading in by checking out CVS’ weekly flyer.

7. Get a digital receipt if you don’t spend your ECBs immediately.

If you choose to get your receipt digitally, your ECB will be sent digitally, too. I like to do this since I tend to lose my receipts. The only catch is they can take up to 48 hours to show up in the CVS app. But you can redeem them immediately even if they aren’t showing up on your side.

8. Only spend 98% of the ECB promotion amount to earn the reward.

When you participate in a spend promotion (for example: Spend $20, receive $5 ExtraBucks), you’ll only need to reach 98% of the CVS spend requirement in order for you to receive the ExtraBucks. This is called the CVS 98% rule. You can see in the image above that we spent $19.76 and it still triggered the $5 ExtraBucks reward, even though it was advertised as “spend $20.”

You’ll also need to reach the spending requirement before any coupons are applied. This rule changes when you shop online, as the spending requirement must be met after all coupons are applied. To make things easier, CVS will track your purchases throughout the week and count them toward the promotion.

9. Join CVS ExtraCare Plus: pay $5 monthly, but get a $10 reward each month.


Unlike other CVS rewards programs that are free to join, a CVS ExtraCare Plus membership will cost you either $5 a month or $48 a year ($4 a month), depending on which way you sign up. But it pays you back more than it costs. Trust me, if you love shopping at CVS, it’ll be worth every penny.

Here’s why you should consider a CVS ExtraCare Plus membership:

  • When you join ExtraCare Plus in store or online, you’ll instantly receive a $10 reward to use toward a purchase either in store or at As long as you’re an ExtraCare Plus member, you’ll receive a $10 reward every month loaded directly onto your ExtraCare card. If you choose to do the yearly membership, you’ll profit $6 in rewards each month instead of $5 (the rewards minus the cost).

  • With your membership, you can save 20% on CVS-brand products in store or at, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements, and personal care items.

TIP: ExtraCare Plus membership will also get you free same-day delivery, same-day Rx delivery, and free shipping on orders over $10.

10. Earn $50 ECB by enrolling in ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards.

Each person in your household can earn up to $50 per year with the ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards program. You can even enroll your fur baby in the same Pharmacy & Health Rewards program so they can earn credits, too!

Every transaction earns you a specific number of credits. (Even your pets’ prescriptions can help you earn credits.) With every four credits you earn, you get $2 ExtraCare Bucks rewards. These rewards expire at the end of each calendar year, so be sure to use them.

  • 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.

11. Shop when sales start at the beginning of the month or every Sunday.

There are three types of sales at CVS: monthly ECB offers, biweekly sales, and weekly sales.

Because there are so many ways to score dirt cheap or free items at CVS, shop as soon as you see a deal that includes ECBs, a manufacturer coupon, a store coupon, a sale price, and a rebate from Ibotta.

If you hesitate, you may be forced to ask for a rain check and lose some of your discounts due to coupon or rebate expiration dates.

12. Specifically ask for ECB offers to be included on your rain checks.

CVS rainchecks never expire. They’ll give you a raincheck for any deal or promo item if it’s out of stock when you ask. If that deal happens to involve ExtraBucks, be sure to have the associate include that part of the deal on your raincheck. If you don’t specifically ask for it, you run the risk of getting just the sale price without the ECBs.

13. Opt in for CVS emails to get exclusive coupons.

CVS offers exclusive inbox-only discounts that require you to sign up for CVS emails. Another way to sign up is by adding your email address to your ExtraCare card account when you register.

You’ll start receiving weekly deals in your inbox like 20% off your purchase, $5 off $20, or $3 off $15.

14. Pay from your phone and use manufacturer coupons using the CVS app.

There are only a few store apps that are truly worth downloading (the Target app and Walmart app both come to mind), but the CVS app is on our shortlist.

CVS often runs a “Get $5 ECBs just for downloading our app” promo, so look out for that offer on, too.

Perks of the CVS app:

  • Scan and pay from your phone

  • Use manufacturer coupons

  • Order prescription refills

  • Order photo prints from Facebook right off your phone

  • Hold your place in line, see wait times, and receive a text when you’re next at the MinuteClinic

15. Plan your shopping trip using the CVS online flyer.

CVS is a little like Target. You go in for toilet paper and walk out with a cart full of goodies.

Sit down with the CVS weekly ad and plan out exactly what you want to buy, what coupons you need, how many ECB you’re going to earn, and then plan if you need to roll any transactions. We post the CVS coupon matchup every Saturday so you know exactly what to buy and how to get the biggest CVS discounts.

16. Trade your unwanted gift cards for a CVS gift card.

Have an old gift card you know you’ll never use? You can trade it in for a CVS Pharmacy gift card instead.

The amount you receive in a CVS gift card will not be the same amount you turn in on the unwanted gift card. Expect to get anywhere from 50% – 80% of the original cost put onto a CVS card. Head to CVS CashCard to see what the exchange rate would be.

Here’s how to trade your gift cards for CVS eGift cards:

  1. Enter the merchant name and card balance for a fast and easy offer.

  2. Enter your card number, pin, and basic customer information.

  3. A CVS eGift Card will be emailed to you! Your card can be used online at CVS.

17. Veterans get CVS discounts of 20% off online orders plus free shipping every day.

If you’re a veteran, you should join the CVS Veterans Advantage program. It offers 20% off all online orders for veterans plus free shipping on every order. Your next of kin can also join to save.

18. Return beauty or CVS brand products — even if you already tried them.

The CVS return policy is pretty awesome in its own way. While CVS doesn’t offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of the items they carry in store and online, they do allow returns on all of the CVS brand and any brand beauty items, even if they’ve been opened. The catch? You must have your receipt or invoice with you. You’d better have proof you bought it at CVS because they keep an eye on you.

19. Buy beauty products like hair and skin care when you see $5 – $10 back in ECB offers.

Beauty and personal care products are some of the best items to buy at CVS because their sale price is almost always matched with an ECB offer of $5 – $10.

For example, you can get $5 ECB when you buy any two L’Oreal products.

20. Get exclusive savings on CVS brands like $5 off a $20 purchase of CVS-brand items.

CVS often gives you exclusive discounts when you load up on CVS brands like Beauty 360 and CVS Health.

For example, CVS offers $5 back when you purchase $20 of CVS products.

These store-brand products often have lower prices to start with, plus ECB offers, so there is potential to walk away with free products if you roll ECBs into multiple transactions.

21. Make $5 when you get your flu shot at CVS.

When flu shots make their debut in the fall, check out the $5 off a $25 purchase deal when you get a no-cost flu shot at CVS.

Your insurance will cover the cost of the flu shot, and you’ll get $5 off your next $25 purchase! Plus, you’ll earn three credits toward your CVS ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards (and every four credits gets you $2 in ECBs).

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