If you live in one Kansas City, Portland or Richmond, you have probably been using the Walgreens Rewards card to do your shopping. You have probably also noticed a HUGE difference in the rewards that you are getting (or not getting) as a result. I have heard so many of you voice frustrations over the program.
For those of you who do not live in an area utilizing this program, I’ll give you a little background. In May, 2010 Walgreens PROUDLY 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. In the case of Walgreens, you earn 10 points for each 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 and sadly, Walgreens is NOT listening.
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. I understand not getting 20 points since you did not spend $2.00, but you are instantly peanlized for NOT spending $2.00. 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 disappointment is the elimination of Register Rewards. Just this week, there was a really nice money maker on Finish Dishwashing Tabs. Well, a money maker if you didn’t live in a test market area. Instead of receiving the Register Rewards, you received 300 bonus points in your account. 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. Yes – two thousand points! Even with bonus points, it can take quite a while before you accumulate your points. Once you do hit this threshold, you can redeem them for a $5 Walgreens coupon. It is very hard to accumulate your points to achieve a free reward.
For me, the thrill of shopping at Walgreens is gone. I have to spend more to earn less. I know many of you feel exactly as I do. I also know you have spoken up and provided Walgreens your feedback, but your comments are falling upon deaf ears. I just really hope that someone, somewhere is actually going to start to listen to Walgreens consumers and take what we are saying to heart. If not, soon, the rest of Amercia will join us in the disappointment that is the Walgreens Rewards card.