Walgreens Makes a Big Change to its Register Rewards Policy

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These changes to Walgreens’ Register Rewards policy will affect how you shop in-store.

yellow Register Rewards sign at Walgreens

Recently, we heard from a reader who noticed some changes to the way that Walgreens’ Register Rewards are being awarded.

Customer service confirmed with her that from now on, Walgreens Register Rewards will only be applied if you meet the minimum spend requirement after all discounts, percentages-off, and manufacturers’ coupons have been deducted. 😱

holding a Walgreens receipt

It appears that the details on Walgreens’ Promotion Terms page support this reader’s observation, so our very own Hip sidekick Stacy set off to her local Walgreens to test this new policy.

Here’s what Stacy had to say about the results of her Walgreens Register Rewards experiment:

  • I purchased $10.49 in Almay, which was supposed to earn me $4 in Register Rewards.
  • In the same transaction, I purchased $12.98 in Revlon, which was supposed to earn me $4 in Register Rewards.
  • I used a $5 Almay coupon and a $2 Revlon coupon.
  • No Walgreens Cash or other Rewards were redeemed.

Currently, Walgreens is offering an in-store $5 RR when you spend $20 on beauty. I was supposed to get $5 RR for that, $8 RR from the Almay and Revlon deals, and $5 Walgreens Cash Rewards.

I did get $5 RR from spending $20 (to be spent in the beauty section only) and $5 Walgreens Cash from my booster. Unfortunately, neither the Almay RR nor the Revlon RR printed for me. That means that my manufacturer’s coupons did drop me below the required minimum spend. 😞

On a related note, I saw that some prices were significantly higher in-store. For example, the Revlon quad eyeshadow palettes were $9.49 in-store, vs. $5.19 online. 💩

holding Register Rewards from Walgreens

Here’s the new fine print regarding Register Rewards that appeared in this week’s Walgreens ad:

Valid in store only. myWalgreens membership required for rewards. Rewards valid for two weeks from date of purchase. Rewards valid with spend on select Walgreens brand products. Purchase requirements must be met in a single transaction, before taxes and after discounts, store credit and redemption dollars have been applied. Excludes products with pseudoephedrine.

So, yes – it would seem that at some point, Walgreens quietly updated their policy for printing Register Rewards, and these changes have already taken effect.

Going forward, this will definitely affect the way that myWalgreens members plan for any potential Register Rewards deals.

We’d love to hear from our Walgreens shoppers – how do you feel about these changes?


About the writer:

Jenna has a Bachelor's Degree from Lycoming College and her Master's from Penn State, holding 4 years of writing experience between a variety of publications and Hip2Save.


Join The Discussion

Comments 61

  1. Amber

    Walgreens just keeps making it harder and harder to get a good deal. I stopped most of my shopping there a long time ago. Either issues with coupons or cashiers or policies, or No items available to even finish a deal. I only go there if something is too good to pass up.

    • Morticia

      I agree. I haven’t couponed there in years. I only go for items with a good sale price.

    • Hipgrandma

      Agree. I’ll do Walgreens Cash deals but never do Register Rewards deals. Tired of jumping through hoops and not having the deals work

    • Cw

      100% agree. These changes over the last maybe 5 years *significantly* decreased my shopping there. Like 90% less.

    • Monique

      Same I actually said something similar to amber in one of my survey comments to them.

    • Laura

      Was going to say the SAME THING! I only go when there is a really, really, REALLY good deal. There are so many other options when it comes to shopping and saving that it isn’t worth the headache you are SURELY to get from shopping there.

  2. Happy Aunt

    I have noticed the same problem with in store prices being higher than online. I walked out yesterday without buying anything because I was completely annoyed. This isn’t the first time I’d noticed it. The Revlon cream shadows are $3 higher than online. Why should I spend an extra $6 in store for a $4 reward? Previously, I’ve stood in the store to place an online order (employee said it was the only way for online pricing) and presented my purchases to the employee for processing. I’ve been burned too many times to shop online and not get what I’ve ordered. They just lost my sale yesterday instead.

    • Alex

      You can match their o line- I just did yesterday- what I was buying was half off online and she was very nice about it.

      • laura-24

        Ours won’t price match

        • Alex

          Ugh that’s so frustrating

      • Hipgrandma

        Wow. You were lucky. Not at my store

      • C

        @alex they are NOT supposed to price match online anymore (for about a year now)- you got EXTREMELY lucky they either don’t know the new policy or don’t care (its to encourage ppl to do curbside vs be in the store that they won’t price match online anymore) 🤷🏼‍♀️ At the beginning of the change, they would do it but said, “just this once since it’s a new policy”

        • JD827

          A Star Hip2Saver is a recognized member of our Hip2Save community hand selected by our team for demonstrating a long history of engagement with helpful & friendly comments across Hip2Save.com and our social channels. Our Star Hip2Saver badge acts as a verification for readers who know the ins and outs of all Hip2Save sets out to accomplish — assisting our community to live extraordinary lives on ordinary budgets. Readers cannot pay or provide any sort of exchange in order to earn this badge. Rather, they are invited to participate by a member of the Hip2Save team and opt to have the Star Hip2Saver badge added to their profile & comments.

          They can but do not have to.Here is the official policy. You will find it at Walgreens.com/help look under the heading “Promotions”
          Does Walgreens price match online and in-store prices?
          Upon request, Walgreens stores will price match to Walgreens.com regular price. Online sale/promotional offers, pricing resulting from a typographical error, previous days pricing, contact lenses, photo, pharmacy, and health services are excluded. Item must be identical in brand name, description, size, weight, color, quantity, and model number. If item is out of stock at the store, no rain checks will be issued for a price match. A Walgreens team member will validate price. Screen shots or printouts will not be accepted as proof of price. Price match is limited to one transaction per customer per day. Stores reserve the right to limit the amount of price adjustments made in a single transaction. Price match requirements subject to change.
          No harm at all in asking. You might get a yes or a no.

      • Michelle

        I talked to coorporate and price matching online prices is up to the individual store. Mine aren’t as nice about it.

    • Lora

      I noticed the same thing..I ended up placing my order online while I was in the store and also pulled the products off the shelves myself and got them to package them up because of the lower prices online…seems like every time I go in there I have to get a supervisor to come up and take care of my order so I will receive what ever awards I’m suppose to get because they are never right (so totally frustrating and I def make sure I let them know how ridiculous it is that I have to deal with this every time I shop there)

    • Laura

      The reason the prices online are cheaper is because of the fact no register rewards are given and they are trying to get people to do the curbside. Policies change because of people not couponing the correct way, and it makes it harder for all of us who do coupon the correct way.

  3. Kathryn

    I wish they would drop register rewards totally and make it all Walgreens cash! Too much work for such a short time frame to redeem. I noticed the price differences also, one store will match the price then the next one won’t. Frustrating for us, as well as the poor employees on the front lines.

    • Tonya S

      I totally agree!

  4. Brindha

    Price diff between online and instore are crazy..they dont price match! Probably would shop lesser there after these changes!

  5. Patti

    I have stopped shopping there as well. When hip2save advertised register rewards, I wouldn’t receive them. Got burned too much and moved on.

  6. Kam

    Overall, Walgreen’s prices are so ridiculously high that even with the rewards, the pricing comes out to what you would pay at other stores without all the brain damage. They never have anything in stock – especially when it is on sale. Now I just go to Target and use my redcard. I figure less stress is worth it overall.

  7. Carrie

    I try and stick to the RR deals that are based on the quantity of products purchased rather than the dollar amount. Have still run into issues with the reward printing, however the catalina customer service site is good about sending me the missing RR in the mail. Takes a bit of work, but much easier than trying to explain what happened to the store employee.

  8. Jeanne Fritzinger

    I shopped at my Walgreens in store, spent well over $100, Cashier never asked if I wanted to use my rewards, I did not as at the moment..long line behind me. At home looked my recipe over and wondered why “no rewards” listed. Tried to call store 3 times, never connected to an individual..NOW I know why!! Not happy!

  9. Heidi H

    Every time I tried one of your deals at my Walgreens it never worked. I got so frustrated I never go there or read the deals offered at all. When I saw your heading I read this post hoping that it was changing for the better. The only time I darken the door of Walgreens is to get the free 8 x 10’s. Wake up walgreens. I am finding that many stores are changing policies now that people are shopping more after the pandemic. Many stores trying to make up what they lost. The saddest one I have found is Eddie Bauer. They offer buyers a gift card in an email ever so often. They used to give those back if you bought something that did not fit, so you could buy something else and get the discount. Now, they are not going to give those back. Their sizing is crazy, so I often returned and always reused. Now, I will just lose the deal. This is super sad and I plan to send them a message about it.

  10. Rae

    How do you know what the minimum spend is on the Revlon and Almay? That was not mentioned in the post.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi, Rae! They are posted on tags in the store and in their ad. We also post them in our weekly ad matchups here. Here are the details of those offers:
      Spend $10 on Revlon Cosmetics or Beauty Tools = $4 Register Rewards
      Spend $10 on Almay Cosmetics = $4 Register Rewards

  11. Laurie

    Walgreens has lost all of my business for years now. Just too frustrating to shop there. Only thing I ever get there are the free photo deals. Wake up Walgreens! CVS is just so much easier for me.

  12. JD827

    A Star Hip2Saver is a recognized member of our Hip2Save community hand selected by our team for demonstrating a long history of engagement with helpful & friendly comments across Hip2Save.com and our social channels. Our Star Hip2Saver badge acts as a verification for readers who know the ins and outs of all Hip2Save sets out to accomplish — assisting our community to live extraordinary lives on ordinary budgets. Readers cannot pay or provide any sort of exchange in order to earn this badge. Rather, they are invited to participate by a member of the Hip2Save team and opt to have the Star Hip2Saver badge added to their profile & comments.

    Oh Walgreens! Just shaking my head. I am not a huge fan of the RR system because you can’t really tell whether it is a store coupon or a true manufacturer’s coupon from the ad that you are supposed to get. The Revlon is usually a store coupon. I’ll write Walgreens and see what they say. Sometimes they do give an answer. Interestingly I don’t think the fine print has changed because it sounds very familiar but I could be wrong there. I miss the paper ads where you could check stuff like this. A manufacturer’s coupon is not a discount; it is not redemption dollars and definitely not store credit. A manufacturer’s coupon always reads something like “paid to vendor on behalf of the customer”. The price is not lowered and Walgreens receives the full asking price. Thanks Hip2Save for the information.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      You are welcome, JD827! It’s a sad day!😭

  13. Kelly

    I did the same deals last week and instead of a register reward, I received a four dollar off my next Almay purchase and a four dollar off my next revlon purchase not in-store rewards as advertised. I am still fighting the Catalina company about this who tell me that my reward printed so there’s nothing they can do for me which is complete bull because this is not what they advertised!

  14. Samantha

    I stopped shopping there when Walgreens announced they are “pausing” their printed ads. Pausing does not mean discontinusing.( Now Target has followed their lead with no longer printing ads. ) (I’m in Illinois) Right after discounting the printed ads, Walgreens announced changing the Balance Rewards Program to the current rewards program. Now another change that is unannounced. In the last 2 years we’ve had 2 Walgreens close. I’m sure there will be more closings soon.

  15. Tracey

    I’m lucky to have a Walgreen’s nearby that has the best customer service. The managers have always given me WC if the RR’s do not print which makes it so much easier than calling the Catalina number. (Hope they don’t take that away from them!) I mainly stay away from RR deals since they don’t usually print with online orders which is what I do 95% of the time; the online prices are SO much better than in store for sure. With H2S pointing out all the great deals, I feel like it’s worth it to keep shopping with them for now. I used to be a big CVS shopper but feel like their deals & promotions have really dwindled down in the past couple of years. So, thanks H2S for all the help with price matching and for making sure we know about all the fine print information!

    • Natasha-ai

      I think the best CVS deals are worked out individually if you have to CVS app. The app has good offers time to time. I just paid about $10 for two Garnier Green labs products and got $5 Extrabucks back by using the current deal and stacking 5-7 coupons on the app.

  16. dylanfan

    I noticed on smiths app when looking at digital coupons it says you can’t use a digital coupon and a manufacturer coupon on a single item. This is new right??

    • *Angela-Miles*

      That has always been the case at Kroger where I shop. Majority of the digital coupons on krogers app are manufacture coupons.

  17. Janell Poulette

    I used to shop online at Walgreens almost weekly and just keep rolling the W Cash. But now that they have made it so hard I won’t shop there. CVS is so much better. I have the Carepass that gives me $10 for $5 per month (I also get 20% off CVS brands.). So I do 1 big deal a month and my total is usually $75+. After coupons and rewards, I spend less than $5 (usually tax) and walk away with at least $15 – $20 in ECBs. Then when my new CarePass renews I have $25- $30 in ECBs to shop again. Here was my CVS trip last month – https://www.instagram.com/p/CbGnzAxM36y/

    • JD827

      A Star Hip2Saver is a recognized member of our Hip2Save community hand selected by our team for demonstrating a long history of engagement with helpful & friendly comments across Hip2Save.com and our social channels. Our Star Hip2Saver badge acts as a verification for readers who know the ins and outs of all Hip2Save sets out to accomplish — assisting our community to live extraordinary lives on ordinary budgets. Readers cannot pay or provide any sort of exchange in order to earn this badge. Rather, they are invited to participate by a member of the Hip2Save team and opt to have the Star Hip2Saver badge added to their profile & comments.

      I love Carepass as well I regularly get 40% off a single item coupon and I use those for phone cords, Cpap supplies.

  18. Janelle

    Nope. I stopped trying to do deals there a while ago. Even online is difficult. I’d do a BOGO deal but they’d only have one item to ship… that kind of thing. Pass!

    • Del

      Ughhh. I always ran into that, too…BOGO deal and they only have one.

  19. JD827

    A Star Hip2Saver is a recognized member of our Hip2Save community hand selected by our team for demonstrating a long history of engagement with helpful & friendly comments across Hip2Save.com and our social channels. Our Star Hip2Saver badge acts as a verification for readers who know the ins and outs of all Hip2Save sets out to accomplish — assisting our community to live extraordinary lives on ordinary budgets. Readers cannot pay or provide any sort of exchange in order to earn this badge. Rather, they are invited to participate by a member of the Hip2Save team and opt to have the Star Hip2Saver badge added to their profile & comments.

    I do have an answer from Walgreens after a morning of emails back and forth. Here it is copied and pasted.
    I am so sorry for the misunderstanding with the previous email sent. Register Rewards offers that require a spend X amount will still include manufacturers coupons in the eligible spent amount. The exclusions are promo codes, redemptions of cash rewards, and any Walgreens (IVC) coupons as well as before taxes. I hope this clarifies your question and you have a nice day!
    So no there is NO change in policy. Register rewards are not my favorite because more things can go wrong, the ads don’t really tell you whether the RR is a store coupon or a manufacturer’s coupon ( big difference) and it is harder to get corrected if there are problems than WC. Go with WC where you can.
    If you get in any discussion with store personnel you will have to explain that yes a store coupon is a discount but a manufacturer’s coupon is not because Walgreens receives that in cash from the manufacturer on the customer’s behalf. It skirts the bounds of legality to collect cash twice from both the manufacturer on behalf of the customer and the customer again. Walgreens corporate will answer policy questions. You do have to be persistent and keep pinning them down on the minute details. Best to all!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for taking the time share your recent chat with customer service. I have passed this along to the team. 🤗

    • MaineMom

      Hi JD827 I always look for your comments. 🙂 So are you saying that the coupon policy has not changed?
      Recently I tend to stay away from RR deals and mainly do online pick up order deals. Better pricing and more convenient. Can I still earn WC for pickup orders if when I pickup my order I cash out in store? My understanding the WC is all digital. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

      • JD827

        A Star Hip2Saver is a recognized member of our Hip2Save community hand selected by our team for demonstrating a long history of engagement with helpful & friendly comments across Hip2Save.com and our social channels. Our Star Hip2Saver badge acts as a verification for readers who know the ins and outs of all Hip2Save sets out to accomplish — assisting our community to live extraordinary lives on ordinary budgets. Readers cannot pay or provide any sort of exchange in order to earn this badge. Rather, they are invited to participate by a member of the Hip2Save team and opt to have the Star Hip2Saver badge added to their profile & comments.

        Hi MaineMom, It hasn’t changed anywhere in writing that I can find (Walgreens.com/help) and after a back and forth with Walgreens customer service they indicated that manufacturer’s coupons are counted towards meeting a dollar threshold in a RR deal. That being said Walgreens does make major changes without advance warning or even warning customers that changes have been made after the fact. That’s why I say to keep an eye on the written policies at Walgreens.com/help because if it is in writing you can hold them to it. WC is completely digital,correct. If you do an online order and go inside to check out the RRs might well print out but don’t count on it. If the RRs don’t print out you will be told those are instore rewards only and that is written policy. Still doesn’t hurt to try because many people do get them. RRs just keep getting trickier. I agree WC deals are much easier to correct when things go wrong. Maine is so beautiful!!!

        • MaineMom

          Thanks JD827 I’m just seeing your message. It sure is beautiful here. I just tagged you in another question on a different Walgreens post. Lol it’s a long one sorry! 🤣 I would just love to hear your thoughts. Thank you so much for all your time & help! I’m just so frustrated with my Wags account rite now. 😫

  20. Fran

    Many of the catalina’s at Wag’s are not true catalina’s and you have to buy a certain type of product. But the hang tag doensn’t say that. It s tough to work the catalina bc they keep asking for a copy of the walgreens ad, which is either a 1 page ad or not available any more. Will just continue to limit walgreens shopping.

  21. Jori kelly

    We need to forward these comments in to Walgreens corporate office! I just had a 5$ register reward rejected off two full price gallons of Arizona ice tea. Not an item that you can not use a RR on. Manger came over and he said they removed the ability for them to punch in the coupon manually. Walgreens is over for me!

  22. Del

    I can understand applying the rewards after any store discounts and coupons, but not for manufacturer ones. The manufacturer reimburses the store for the MFR coupons.

  23. Lovin Him

    I have a question about redeeming the Register rewards. If I have a Spend $20 get $5 Walgreens cash and I buy items to total over $20, cab I use a $5 RR as part of my Payment and still get the $5 Walgreens cash? What about using Manufacturer coupons. Previously the Walgreens cash was still awarded when Manufacturer coupons took it below the $20 but it sounds like that’s not the case anymore?

    • Stacy F (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yes, you can redeem RR on a W Cash deal that is a spend deal. Using manufacturer’s coupon or RR’s won’t affect your spend amount. On W Cash deals, the only thing that would affect your spend total is using W Cash or store coupons, like the ones from the monthly book.

    • JD827

      A Star Hip2Saver is a recognized member of our Hip2Save community hand selected by our team for demonstrating a long history of engagement with helpful & friendly comments across Hip2Save.com and our social channels. Our Star Hip2Saver badge acts as a verification for readers who know the ins and outs of all Hip2Save sets out to accomplish — assisting our community to live extraordinary lives on ordinary budgets. Readers cannot pay or provide any sort of exchange in order to earn this badge. Rather, they are invited to participate by a member of the Hip2Save team and opt to have the Star Hip2Saver badge added to their profile & comments.

      One small note of caution. A RR can be either a store coupon or a manufacturer’s coupon. Look at the top of the RR. Some will say “store coupon” do not use these on a dollar threshold deal as you have described since those act as discounts. If the RR says manufacturer’s coupon on the top those are safe to use. You will see some RRs that were earned on toothpaste deals that say courtesy of P&G AND COLGATE. Those are tricky since they are actually store coupons. Do not use those in a dollar threshold deal. Finally go out to YouTube and find videos that show you what I have described. Those are very helpful. Take away: yes you can use RRS that are true manufacturer’s coupons. No don’t use RRs that are store coupons.

  24. Sandy

    I just went to do the Bic razor deal. I purchased a pack of Soleil for $5.99 plus an item for $3.99, I had the $4 off of one digital coupon for the Bic razor and I attempted to use a $5 register reward, but the system would not accept it. The manager told me that there were changes effective today and because I used a $4 coupon for the Bic Razors I needed to buy another product for $5 or more. Didn’t matter that my purchase total was $5.98.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi, Sandy! A RR is a manufacturer coupon and according to Walgreen’s coupon policy, they do not accept coupons greater than the value of the product. The BIC coupon will attach to the $5.99 razors and the RR will attach to the $3.99 item. Because the RR is treated as a manufacturer coupon, it needs to be used on one item that is equal to $5 or more. For this reason, it was not able to be used on your transaction even though your final total was over $5. Hopefully, this explains why you had trouble using your RR.❤

  25. FJ

    I’m having all kinds of trouble using my RR. I have 3 now from the last week and half and every time I go to use them it says “no eligible item”. These are P&G and Colgate/Palmolive, $4 and $5 off your next purchase of $4 or $5. No other limitations other than normal like all hook, tobacco, etc. I went in one store and they said it’s bc I was using a spend x get x back coupon. So I went to the next store and got my purchases same issue with the coupon, this time I was told it was bc I was using store coupons on the items, so I go to the next store. I buy a P&G product and a colgate product – Cascade for 6.99 and bounty for 7.99. No coupons used on these items and register still says the same, on all 3 coupons! Walgreens can’t explain this. Does anyone here know how I use these? Is there a specific item I need to purchase that I’m missing? Coupon just says save $5 on your next purchase of $5 or more. I definitely met that minimum.

    • FJ

      I’ll be going back and asking to speak with a manager, however I’m pretty new to using these so I wasn’t sure if there was something I was missing. I think I’m in ageeement with others here. I just started and I’m already over these RR coupons 😩

      • FJ

        Follow up: apparently this was an issue with the system the day I went.

  26. Loretta Howard

    I feel like last week when I was in the store making my purchase. It was not posted no were in the store about the new policy. I have all these rr that will not scan. Very disappointed with Walgreens

  27. Julian Lindenberg

    Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such excellent info being shared freely out there.

  28. 757Capt

    Ugh. Do we all really have time for all this mental math? It’s insane, and Walgreens needs to know that it is turning customers off! What’s more frustrating is that my buying threshold has increased. I used to get coupons that offered $5 RRs on a $15 purchase (for instance), but no more. Now the only offers I get require me to purchase $60 in store or online for $15 RRs. So, I shop online to maximize my savings with coupons and reach the $60 threshold online, but when it’s finally shopped, they don’t have the items on my list (although online said products were in my store). This then lowers my threshold and prevents me from acquiring the $15 RR on a $60 purchase. I’m headed to Walgreens now to pick up my order and try to get it all straightened out, but this may be the last time I shop with them. Target, Kroger and CVS are just around the corner.

  29. murthy

    I bought 2 garnier shampoo and 2 oral b products i got 9 dollars register rewards($4+$5) then I wanted to spend that 9 dollars .I bought 2 for $10 bath tissues and gave 2 register rewards(4+$5) 1 rr scanned and the other one did not .then manager came and after all the argument finally did manually. walgreens is screwing system and in the coming months the business will go down for sure.

  30. Tiny

    Hi, I was just shopping there today. I made a purchase and applied a $4 Register Rewards coupon to that transaction. I was then supposed to get $4 RR back for buying 2 personal care products. I did NOT get the $4 RR. The manager told me that now, when you apply a RR to a transaction, you won’t qualify to earn any additional RR back from the new purchase. Has anyone else been experiencing this issue?😫

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      So sorry for the trouble, Tiny! I did find this on Walgreen’s coupon policy – “Customers redeeming a Register Rewards/Savings Rewards will not receive another Register Rewards/Savings Rewards coupon with the same offer.” Hoping this is helpful! ❤️

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