Walgreens Balance Rewards vs CVS ExtraBucks

balancerewardsTrying to keep up with its closest competitor, Walgreens are offering their own rewards card program starting in September 2012. The program, called Balance Rewards, will help customers save money and create brand loyalty to the pharmacy chain. CVS has its own card, called Extracare, that is popular with their customers. Here is a look at how the two programs compare.

Balance Rewards works on a points system. Various items in store, as well as prescriptions and immunizations, are worths certain amount of points. Some products will be worth more points during promotional periods, and cardholders will be able to save extra money on certain items by presenting their card. Points can also be earned when customers link their Walk With Walgreens account. Points can then be redeemed for items in store using a conversion to Redemption Dollars. For example, if a customer earns 5000 points, this equals $5.00 that can be spent in the store.

Earning points is easy since points values will be assigned to lots of products in th”e store, plus you can earn points when you fill a prescription or get an immunization such as a flu shot. Also, you can earn 10 points for every mile logged under the Walk With Walgreens program. Additionally, AARP members can earn extra points by shopping each month.

Balance Rewards has a focus on helping Walgreens customers live a balanced, healthy life. By utilizing the walking program and in store flu shots, customers can earn points more quickly, and save money by living well.

CVSextrabucksrewardsCVS Extracare is a similar program, but with key differences. You earn Extracare Bucks either quarterly or during various promotional periods throughout the year. You earn one Buck for every two prescriptions filled at CVS. The quarterly rewards equal 2% of what you spend in store, and the Bucks expire 45 days after they are issued. You also have to redeem all of your available Bucks in one transaction, unlike at Walgreens. Also, Walgreens points don’t expire for three years, or after six months of no activity on the account.

With the introduction of Balance Rewards, there will definitely be some interst and curiosity amongst Walgreens customers. It’s a great concept, and likely to become a popular way for smart shoppers to save money. It may even lure some CVS shoppers to try the new Balanced way of living, and shopping!

CVS has responded to the new Balance Rewards program by offering a 2X rewards on purchases throughout December 31st! This could be a win for all of us with the Holiday season upon us. Stay on top of the additional ways to save at grocery stores and pharmacies by using credit cards along with your discount cards.