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Walgreens vs. CVS: Which Has The Better Drugstore Rewards Program?

You can turn your frequent drugstore visits into discounts with rewards programs from Walgreens and CVS.

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We’ll dive deeper into what each has to offer so you can decide who deserves your business.

What Is a Drugstore Rewards Program?

As its name suggests, a drugstore rewards program offers up bonuses in the form of discounts and other incentives in exchange for your loyalty. How does this benefit the store? By keeping you coming back instead of going to their competitor.

Do all drugstores have the same rewards? Of course not, as each has its own unique setup, which we’ll discuss in a minute regarding Walgreens and CVS. Most do operate similarly, however, in a format that’s something like this:

  • The store signs you up to their program for free.
  • You accumulate points to your account by making purchases, filling prescriptions, performing health-related tasks, etc.
  • You convert your points into discounts or dollars that can be used to buy items from the store, either in-person or online.

With that out of the way, let’s look at the details of what Walgreens and CVS have to offer with their drugstore rewards programs.

Keep in mind that what you see listed may differ according to your location, and there may be exceptions as to what you can buy with your accumulated rewards. When signing up, pay attention to all of the details.

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Walgreens Balance Rewards Program

Like many drugstore rewards programs, Walgreens’ version awards points according to your spending with the store (10 points/$1 spent online or in-store, to be exact). In addition, however, it also emphasizes making healthy choices and rewards you for them.

The healthy choices part of its rewards program offers incentives like:

  • 250 points to promise you’ll stop smoking.
  • 20 points to track daily progress in your quest to no longer smoke.
  • 250 points to actually quit smoking.

Other healthy choices you can convert into rewards include:

  • 20 points per each mile you bike, walk, or run.
  • 20 points each day you log your sleep activity, blood pressure, weight, etc.
  • 250 points for synchronizing your account with an activity tracker.

Regarding purchases or other tasks whose rewards you can redeem at either Walgreens or Duane Reade, here’s the breakdown:

  • 1,000 points equal $1 that can be used for purchases.
  • 90-day prescriptions = 300 points
  • 30-day prescriptions or immunizations = 100 points

As long as you redeem your points within 12 months or don’t let your account go inactive for six months, you’ll be good to go.

CVS ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards Program

CVS rewards loyalty via ExtraBucks that you can use towards in-store or online purchases. Here are the basics:

  • 10 credits = $5 ExtraBucks
  • 90-day prescription = 3 credits
  • Filling/refilling a prescription = 1 credit
  • Vaccines = 1 credit
  • Electing to get notifications via text/email = 1 credit
  • Signing up for online prescription management = 3 credits

You can earn a maximum of $50 ExtraBucks per year. Any rewards you earn expire at the end of the year.

The Verdict

Who has the better drugstore rewards program between Walgreens and CVS? Both have their advantages, so that’s really up to you to decide, although being active may get you more rewards via Walgreens’ program.

Walgreens and CVS Discounted Gift Cards

Gift cards from Walgreens and CVS make popular presents due to their flexibility and convenience. With them, you don’t have to waste time worrying about what to give someone as a gift, as the recipient can use the cards in stores as they wish. As long as they present the card to the cashier, they can pay for their items with ease.

Best of all, you can purchase gift cards online, sometimes at a discounted rate. You can find discounts on Walgreens gift cards here and CVS versions here.

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Eric Tomasso