Shopping at Rite Aid – UP Rewards, Rebates and more

Rite Aid is a HOT place for thrifty shoppers and couponers these days. If you are patient and willing to learn the ins and outs of all the promotions – you can combine them to get things FREE nearly every week. This tutorial is designed to walk you through all the promotions so you can make the most of the savings at Rite Aid.  It is always important to print the Rite Aid Coupon policy and carry it with you.

  • Rite Aid Wellness Card
  • +UP Rewards
  • Rite Aid rebates (Single Check Rebates)
  • Rite Aid store coupons
  • Rite Aid coupon policy
  • Rite Aid FAQs

RITE AID WELLNESS CARD
This FREE membership card is essentially a store loyalty card. You’ll want to sign up for this if you are doing any amount of shopping at Rite Aid. Sign up for a Rite Aid Wellness card online or at any Rite Aid store. If you sign up in-store, you’ll be given a card on the spot. If you sign up online, you’ll be able to print a temporary card until your real card comes in the mail.

The Wellness card is required to get sale prices, +UP Rewards (more on that later) and other store promotions. You also receive 10% off all Rite Aid brand product purchases until you reach a certain point level, then they’re 20% off.

+UP REWARDS

+Up Rewards are coupons printed at the end of your receipt based off the items you purchase.  These coupons can be used almost like cash as a form of payment on your next transaction. ALWAYS hand these to the cashier as your very last coupons. If you are familiar with grocery store catalinas, these are very similar. Look for the +Up Rewards at the bottom of your receipt and keep in mind they typically expire in about two weeks (expiration date location circled):


Almost all of the +Up Rewards available run as part of the weekly ad and can be located like shown in the picture below:

Like mentioned above, +Up Rewards work almost like cash.  A +Up Reward will take the exact amount listed on them off your transaction and you can use as many as you want all at once.  For example, if you transaction subtotal comes to $25.00 and you have a $0.99, $2, and $5 +Up Reward, you can use all three of those to reduce your transaction subtotal to: $25-$0.99-$2-$5 = $17.01.  +Up rewards are linked to your Wellness card and can only be used with your specific card.

You cannot use a +Up reward that is over the total of your transaction or on tax.  So if your total comes to a $1.50 BEFORE tax and you have a $2 +Up Reward, you cannot use that reward.  +Up Rewards cannot be used on tax, pharmacy, alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, stamps, any kind of mail service, money orders, pre-paid cards, licenses, or online purchases.

RITE AID REBATES (SINGLE CHECK REBATES)

Rite Aid has an easy rebate program and usually has at least one FREE after rebate item each week.  When combined with a coupon, this is often a way to actually gain money off a purchase.

Rebate Booklet
Every month, Rite Aid puts out a rebate booklet. It includes all the rebates for the month, including all the small print and purchase requirements. It is usually right next to the weekly ads, when you walk in the store.  It looks like this:

riteaidmayrebatebook

You can also view a searchable rebate list online, which has the same exact information that is in the booklet.  It is always recommended to double-check the booklet or online rebate list – don’t trust the shelf tags in the store. Each rebate has a number assigned to it, which you can see on the shelf tag and it corresponds with the book.  Rebate items will also have a limit which is typically 1-2 per household.

Rebate dates and cycles
The rebate program runs on a monthly cycle, but the actual rebate program dates do NOT always align with the beginning and ending of a month.  For example, the May 2011 rebates run valid 04/27/11 to 05/31/11.  So April 2011 would have ended on the 26th of April and June 2011 will begin on the 1st day of June.  In order to be eligible for a rebate you must have purchased an item within that time period, either in-store or online.  Every now and then items on the rebate list will only run for a short time period within the monthly cycle.   The good news is you will have around 30 days to submit your receipts.  For example, even though the last day in the May 2011 rebate cycle is 5/31/11, you may enter the receipts into your Single Check Rebate account online until 6/30/11.

Claiming your rebate
To claim your rebates, save your receipt and visit https://riteaid.rebateplus.com/.   Sign up for an account, it’s FREE!  Then enter your receipt information and the website will do the rest for you by detecting the rebate offers that you qualify for on it’s own. It is super easy and it walks you through it at each step (see photo below).  It can take a couple of days to process the receipt.  Rite Aid will email you when your receipt is done processing and your online account will display a list of your past and current rebate qualifications.

ra_enterreceipts

At the end of the month, you can go in and request your rebate(s).  All your rebates will be sent to you in one combined check, unless the rebate is a gift card which would be sent to you separately.  You can only request a rebate check ONCE a monthly cycle – DO NOT request your check until you’re absolutely certain that you’re done shopping at Rite Aid for the monthly rebate cycle.

If you forget to request your check, they mail it to you after a month. Deposit the check! It’s that easy. You can also use an uncashed rebate check  as a form of payment at Rite Aid IF you have a transaction total that comes to the exact amount of the check or over.  Keep in mind that if you do this, you will NOT get cash back if the check is above your total transaction amount and they will NOT cash the check.

RITE AID STORE COUPONS

Rite Aid has four different types of coupons that are widely available.  These are the in ad coupons, video value coupons, valuable coupons and total purchase coupons. The number that the UPC begins with on these coupons is very important.

In ad Rite Aid coupon
The first kind of coupon is found in your store ad.  These are labeled as a manufacturer coupon, but are still considered a store coupon, and have a UPC that begins with a 49.  These will typically expire by the end of the weekly ad cycle.

In Ad Coupon

Video Value coupons
Video Value coupons, jargon name “VV”, are found online at Rite Aid’s website.  These are also labeled as a manufacturer coupon, but are still considered a store coupon.  These also have a UPC that begins with a 49.

Video Value Coupon

Video Value coupons are earned by creating an online video value account and watching short videos for each coupon you want to earn. After each video you’ll need to enter in a code (that is provided) and you’ll have about 30 seconds to enter it.

 

Once you’ve earned the coupon by watching the video it will be put into a list on your account.  You can print them any time you’d like as long as they haven’t expired.  You can print them all at once, or just select a few to print and leave the rest stored on your account. You can only print each coupon once.

Video Value coupon list

These coupons run on a monthly cycle. Every month the videos and coupons are taken down, and new videos and coupons are put up.  Once the old ones are taken down at the end of the cycle you CANNOT earn them anymore.  The good news is that any you did earn you’ll be able to keep until their expiration date.  Most experienced Rite Aid couponers will watch every single video by the end of the cycle and earn them all.  Doing this allows you to have two sets of video value coupons available to you, the previous month and the current month.  As with Single Check Rebates, the video value cycles DO NOT align with a month’s end and beginning.  For example, May 2011 video values end on the 28th of May at 12am Eastern time (9pm Pacific).

Valuable coupons
These coupons are normally earned just as explained above, but can be used on any item.  You can identify these by looking for Video Values that are titled like “Rite Aid Rx services”, “Rite Aid Pharmacy, “Rite Aid wellness +”, etc.  These are typically in $1/1 amounts and have a UPC that begins with a 48. These can also be found in the Rite Aid ad.

Valuable Coupon

Total purchase coupons
These are coupons that you can use off your total transaction.  These coupons will take an amount off of a minimum required transaction total, such as $5 off a purchase of $25 or more. Only one per transaction is allowed.  If you have a total purchase coupon, give this to the cashier FIRST to ensure that no other coupons take your transaction total below the minimum required total before you have used it.

These can often be earned by watching video values that will earn you credits towards the total purchase coupon.  Once enough credits have been earned, the coupon will post in your list of earned video value coupons.  Sometimes total purchase coupons will show up in places like Redplum.com, in a mailer, or as a survey offer at the end of your receipt. 

RITE AID COUPON POLICY

Be sure to go view and print the Rite Aid coupon policy.  Carry it with you in your coupon binder.  The good news is the Rite Aid coupon policy communicates very clear and precise about what you can and can’t do.  A few definitions you should know are:

  • Regular, non-Rite Aid manufacturer coupons are called “5’s” because most manufacturer coupons begin with 5 on the UPC.
  • Any coupons printed off the Rite Aid site are NOT considered Internet printables and are not restricted to the Internet printable rules.
  • Even though some Rite Aid coupons have “manufacturer” at the top of them, they are considered STORE coupons.

Stacking
You may use a “48” (valuable coupon), a “49” (such as an in ad or video value coupon), and a “5” (regular manufacturer coupon) all on one item or the items specified by each coupon.  You may also use ONE total purchase coupon on your entire transaction even if you have other “48” valuable coupons used with specific items. So that’s THREE coupons that you can possibly stack on an item AND  you can use a total purchase coupon, too!

Rite Aid states in their policy that multiple coupons are only okay if “the total of the coupons is equal to or less than the selling price of the item”, BUT it also states in the policy that if a coupon’s value is above the price of an item “Rite Aid will accept the coupon in exchange for the selling price of the item.”

Remember that +Up Rewards are entirely inapplicable to the above stacking rules and you can use as many as you want in a transaction within the +Up guidelines, regardless of what coupons you have.  Your Single Check Rebates will also remain unaffected, regardless of what you do with coupons in a transaction.

Buy one, get one FREE coupons
The policy states that you can use ONE “cents off” coupon with a buy one, get one free coupon (BOGO) OR buy one, get one free promotion.  For example, if you had a BOGO coupon for Garnier shampoo AND a coupon for $.75/1 one Garnier shampoo, you could use both of those coupons on the two shampoos.  Or if there was a BOGO store promotion, you could only use ONE $0.75/1 coupon on the shampoo you’re actually buying.  If the shampoos retailed at $5 each, then your transaction would look like this:

$10 (for both shampoos)
-$5 (for the BOGO coupon or promotion)
-$0.75 (off the one shampoo you are buying)
$4.25 for both or $2.13 each

Note that recent policy changes state that you CANNOT use two “cents off” coupons OR a BOGO coupon with a BOGO promotion.  Basically you cannot use a coupon against a FREE item – only the ones you are actually paying for.

Other general policy rules

  • You may only use 4 identical coupons. Even then Rite Aid reserves the right to take less than that if there is a stock issue.
  • Internet Printable coupons above $5 off will not be accepted (not to be confused with Rite Aid website printables).
  • Rite Aid will enter coupons manually if they do not scan, but will not be accepted if the register does not validate the UPC.
  • If an item’s price is below the coupons value, Rite Aid will accept the coupon in exchange for the item (making it FREE).  No overage will be given.
  • If a product is returned you will only get the AFTER coupon cost of the product back.  Your coupon will not be given back.
  • Rite Aid reserves the right to not accept a coupon when it’s validity or the coupon cannot be established.

SOME THOUGHTS ON SHOPPING AT RITE AID:

  • The Rite Aid FREE after rebate items aren’t technically FREE because you will pay tax on them if they aren’t a food item. So consider this when calculating your initial cost.
  • Rain checks will be written up with the +Up rewards already deducted.  This is good, but also can make an item go from “money maker” to just free.
  • You can use manufacturer coupons on your rebate items and will still be reimbursed for full rebate advertised price. For example, for Alaway Eye drops, I paid out of pocket $3.99 ($7.99 – $4 coupon = $3.99 plus tax), but I will get reimbursed $7.99 by Rite Aid. They don’t care because they are getting paid by the manufacturer for that $4, plus an 8 cents handling fee.
  • If you really want an item that is listed as FREE after rebate, go on Sunday early in the day. Often times the more popular items will sell out early in the week, but are usually restocked later in the week. Check with your store to see when they will expect another shipment. As frustrating as this gets try to be nice, patient, and understanding.
  • Save your Rite Aid receipts in an envelope, just in case you buy an item that has a rebate and for some reason it doesn’t go through. This can happen when there are lots of different sizes, varieties etc. to choose from and you accidentally buy the wrong type. But if you save your receipt, you can return the item, if you’d like.
  • Watch for yellow clearance stickers on items throughout the stores. I was thrilled to find the double-sided tape for only $1.07. You can combine these sale items with coupons (when you have them) and get some free or very cheap items!
  • Wait until you know you’re ready to start Rite Aid or any drug store.  They are complicated. +Up Rewards are truly the gem of Rite Aid, but also enters you into a cycle that requires you to return at least bi-weekly.
  • Note to California shoppers:  dates and cycles will often run differently than all the other Rite Aids.  When online, be sure the dates apply to your region.

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