We’ve got so many new readers and new couponers that have joined us (welcome to you). I thought that it might be good to remind people who live in Kansas City, Portland or Richmond, that when you shop at Walgreens, you are living in what is called the “Test Market.”
Here is some background. In May, 2010 Walgreens announced that they were going to offer a Rewards program and phase out most of the Register Rewards that they were currently offering. They advised that shoppers claimed that they didn’t like having to keep track of the receipts nor the fact that they expired. So, they developed a new program called Walgreens Rewards.
The program works like other rewards cards in that you earn points for purchases you make. When you shop at Walgreens, you earn 10 points for every dollar spent. They also offer bonus points that you can earn when you make select purchases. You accumulate your points and then, can redeem them for various prizes, including gift cards and even a coupon for $5 Walgreens purchase. It sounds good, in theory, but there are some flaws.
First of all, when you spend $1.99, you will only get 10 points. Why not 19 points? Well, points are rewarded only in values of 10. So, you instantly LOSE credit for the $0.99 you just spent. If you think about 5 purchases as follows: $1.75, $15.92, $7.78, $9.42 and $7.89, you will end up with a total of 390 points — rather than 427. This may not sound like much, but it ads up and you are losing out on getting credit for money that YOU spent.
Another thing many test market shoppers have noticed is the elimination of Register Rewards. Just this week, there was a great deal on Crayola Washable Markers — spend $2 and get a $2 RR. Well, at least for anyone who didn’t live in the test market. Instead of receiving the Register Rewards, you received 30x bonus points in your account. That equated to 600 points or $1.50 – which was $0.50 less in rewards than others around the country.
I know that the reason so many shop at Walgreens is because of the Register Rewards and eliminating them really removes much of the appeal. Granted, if there happens to be a Register Reward you can earn the points plus the Reward – but these seem to be getting fewer and farther between.
As mentioned, there are several rewards available. However, the cost of the rewards starts at 2000 points. Once you hit this threshold, you can redeem them for a $5 Walgreens coupon. With this program, you do get a birthday gift — 1,000 points placed into your account – which gets you half way to your $5 coupon. However, for me, that is nothing compared to the deals that I noticed others getting that we can not get where I live.
So that is basically the Walgreens Rewards Program. At last discussion, it seemed that this program was gong to be launched nationwide in January 2012. I have not heard much more about it, so we shall see if they proceed with the program or if it fizzles.