Tuesday’s Tip: Rainchecks — What Are They and How Do You Use Them?

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Rainchecks.  You’ve all heard the term before, but many people don’t realize how they can really help you still get a great deal — even when the shelves are bare!  These are a great tool at your disposal  — and they are free.

What is a rain check? It is a voucher given to the customer to promise that they can get the same price on an out-of-stock item at a later date.

Can you get them anywhere?  Most stores offer rain checks,  you just have to inquire at checkout or possibly at customer service.

Can you get them if the offer includes rewards such as Extra Care Bucks or Register Rewards?  It really depends on the store/manager.  CVS has a code beneath every ECB offer in their sales flyer.  They simply note the code on your rain check so that the ECB will generate when you redeem it.    Then you can shop as usual and your ECB will print as usual.

If you shop at Walgreens, you can get them for the price of the item only.  Some stores (very few of these) will issue a rain check for the amount after the Register Reward.  If the item was for $3 and the RR is for $1, the raincheck will be for $2.  The reason is that a RR is from the Catalina company and can’t be printed once the offer lapses.

A tip as shared by reader Brian is to clip out a copy of the ad from your weekly insert and staple it to the raincheck.  This can help provide additional information to the store, should it be required.  Not only that – it helps you remember exactly what the deal was for!  Thanks Brian!!!

Do they expire?  This depends upon the store.    CVS rain checks never expire.  Walgreens’ rain checks are good for 30 days.  Some are good for only ten days.  Just make sure you review it once you receive it.

Is a store required to give you a rain check?  No, they do not have to.  There are some offers that speicifically state within the ad that a raincheck is not available.

Is there a trick to redeeming them?  Yes.  When you get to the checkout, make sure you hand the item and the raincheck to the clerk together before other items are run up — or hold onto them until the very end.  Since they have to do manual overrides, this helps them make their job easier.

Are you required to redeem the raincheck at the same store it was given to you?  You should.  However, if you have another chain store a short distance from the store where you normally shop, you should be able to redeem it there as well.

So now that you know about rain checks, hopefully it help when you walk into a store that has cleared shelves!


  1. tina says

    My walgreen’s said the rainchecks don’t expire. An item wasn’t staying in stock & I had a raincheck when I was told this.

  2. Ozi says

    My walgreens stores rainchecks dont expire. And dont forget to wait for a coupon iftheu dont expire or if u get one b4 they expire.