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Walgreens Balance Rewards Program - Experiences, Discussion, How-Tos

WBBell 6,025 12,429 September 6, 2012 at 03:16 PM More Walgreens Deals
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Last Edited by WBBell September 6, 2012 at 03:17 PM
It seemed like we needed a thread just to talk about all the questions, hints, gotchas, and so forth that will inevitably arise with the nationwide rollout of "The Card".

Post 'em here! Big Grin

I'll kick it off. It looks like the "Earn 10 points for every $1 spent" from the test market has been left out of the nationwide program ??

Community Wiki

Last Edited by dodgeball November 17, 2014 at 04:37 PM
Walgreens Balance Rewards Program phone number: 1-855-225-9225

Balance Rewards Terms and Conditions [walgreens.com]

Balance Rewards FAQ [walgreens.com]

Earning Points:
- Receive points on certain promoted items
- Receive 500 points per Rx filled
- Receive 20 points for every mile walked/run under the Walk/Run with Walgreens program and 20 points per daily weigh-in. (Walgreens defines 1 mile as 2,000 steps; max 1000 points/month); Limit 20 points per mile, 1,000 points per month. Limit 20 points per log, one log per day.
- Occasionally, there is a promo for overall spend (i.e., Spend $75 get 10,000 points)

Card:
- If you sign up on the website, you will not automatically be sent a card.
- A physical card is not required, though it will probably make your transactions go faster.
- If you do not have a card, then you will use your phone number.
- Pick up a card at any store and they can link the card to your account.

Availability of Points:
- Points are credited immediately and you can use them on your next transaction - unless the system is “Offline” - but Offline has not been reported since launch week.

Redeeming Rewards:
- After any transaction, tell the cashier you want to redeem points. You will then make a selection on the PIN pad. The value is credited to your transaction instantly.
- Redemption Value is like cash; it does not reduce your sales tax; however it can be used to pay the sales tax.
- Official Point redemption Levels: 5000 ($5), 10000 ($10), 18000 ($20), 30000 ($35), 40000 ($50). These levels will appear on the pin-pad.
- Semi-official: 1000 ($1), 2000 ($2), 3000 ($3). These choices are not available on the pin pad. The cashier will have to press Redeem Points on the screen.

Other items of interest:
- Card is required to get the sale prices. In-Ad Coupons (also known as IVC) will require both card and coupon.
- Points offers are apparently unlimited unless stated in the ad.
- Register Reward program is unchanged for now. Card is not required to get RR or redeem RR, but is required to get any sale price.
- If an offer says buy X get Y points, you can buy multiple X in the same transaction and get multiple Y points.
- If an offer says buy X or more, get Y points, then you will only get Y points no matter how many X you buy. (But, some exceptions have been reported.)
- The periodic $/$$ coupons ($5 off $25, $10 off $35) will affect proportionally "buy $X get Y points" deals.
- Adding items to cart on walgreens.com is a very handy way to evaluate how many points you will receive for any given items.

Restrictions and other worries:
- Using any amount of points value or store credit card (W card) to pay means no points earned for any items in your ENTIRE transaction.*
- Card can be scanned about 20 times per day. Beyond that will require a manager override.
- Points can't be earned on the standard list of excluded items (alcohol; dairy; tobacco; stamps; phone/prepaid cards; etc.)
- Points can’t be spent on the same standard list of excluded items, including prescriptions
- No points on prescriptions in AR, NJ, NY; instead you get 10 points per $1 spent on certain OTC medications
- Returning items will result in deduction of any points awarded for that item.
- Returning items that were part of a Buy $X get Y points type deal, even if only one small item, will cause all Y points to be deducted.
- System will not allow points to be used to purchase gift card.
- Account must have activity every 6 months or all points are forfeited; a $.10 filler item purchase will preserve points balance. Points and rewards expire three years after they are earned or if an account has been inactive for 6 months.
* Exception: In Dec 2012, there was a deal where you earned 2500 if you spent 10000. This was a specific exception to the rule that was promoted in the store.

Program features that have been eliminated or changed:
- The Test Market program offered 10 points for every dollar spent. This feature was removed from the national program.
- The Test Market offered deals of the form "Receive 10x Bonus Points" on certain items. This went away too.
- The Test Market had a catalog of prizes for which you could redeem your points. This was also removed.
- The Test Market had a feature called a "Clipless Coupon". This was a nice feature where you got the IVC prices without needing to present the IVC. Also gone.
- The National Program, at launch, had a feature where you could redeem more points value than your amount due. For instance, you can redeem $20 worth of points on a $19.93 transaction and eat the seven cents. This was handy in some scenarios. This feature was removed in 5/2013.

To sign up online:
Link [walgreens.com]
- Can use phone number provided during signup at register

Missed points:
- If you forgot to scan your card, login to the walgreens site and enter them there. You supply the RFN# from your receipt. For amount you should supply TOTAL + MFG COUPON SAVINGS.
- Manager can scan a 500 point bar code to make up for missing transaction points.

412 Comments

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#16
Quote from amikabrou View Post :
Trying to understand how coupons work with (or against) points so heres an example

From the wiki 9/16 - ID gum (14 ct) - 2/$2 - Buy 2 get 1,000 points

If I use the BOGO ID gum coupon, does that mean I lose all points since I will be getting one free with the coupon and I have to actually buy 2 to get the 1,000 points?
I would think & hope that since the bogo is a manufacturer coupon that walgreens is selling 2 gums to you and it seems logical that you would get the points for both... but this may be just wishful thinking on my part since i have bogo id gum coupons in my binder.
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#17
Quote from dodgeball View Post :
from the wiki:
Lingering Questions:
- It’s not clear if the card is required to receive RR offers.

Since the primary purpose of this program is to make money for Walgreens, why wouldn't the card not be required to receive RR offers, or at least the sales price that makes the RR offer attractive?

Very few RR deals are doable without a sale price.

You'll only get the sales price if you have a card scanned. No card, no sales price. Imagine how many people will say they don't want a card - they won't get the sales price, and the difference will go to Walgreens. Presently, there's a lot of this when the 7 day ad coupon or IVC don't get scanned, but nothing compared to the people that won't want to sign up for the card, forget the card and don't want to give telephone number, etc. I wouldn't expect the cashiers to have a "house card" to scan, since there's too much profit to be made for non-card scanning transactions.
I can't wait to see how this plays out with the average customer who doesn't want the card. The ad prices are in the sale ad, and posted on shelf tags in some instances. For Wags to say "oh, no, you can't get that price that's in our ad if you don't have a card.." Well, that's going to rub a lot of people the wrong way.... all the way to their consumer advocate whomever that may be.
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#18
Quote from knitten2000 View Post :
I can't wait to see how this plays out with the average customer who doesn't want the card. The ad prices are in the ad flyer, and posted on shelf tags in some instances. For Wags to say "oh, no, you can't get that price that's in our ad if you don't have a card.." Well, that's going to rub a lot of people the wrong way.... all the way to their consumer advocate whomever that may be.
Isn't that pretty much what CVS does? All of their sales offers in their ad state "Sale $X.xx, WITH CARD". Same with RA "Pay $X.xx, WITH WELLNESS CARD". Winn Dixie, too.
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#19
Quote from MsGal View Post :
Isn't that pretty much what CVS does? All of their sales offers in their ad state "Sale $X.xx, WITH CARD". Same with RA "Pay $X.xx, WITH WELLNESS CARD". Winn Dixie, too.
CVS has an out for that -- the generic "STORE CARD" at the manned cash registers OR at SCOs there is an option that works the same way --- sale prices without the privacy busting tracking card.

Sale prices are given at CVS, whether you sign up for the card or not, but CRTs, ECBs & "special discounts" --- % or $/$$$ pretty much require signing up for the frequent shopper card.

No idea what Winn Dixie does.
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#20
Quote from Rose247 View Post :
CVS has an out for that -- the generic "STORE CARD" at the manned cash registers OR at SCOs there is an option that works the same way --- sale prices without the privacy busting tracking card.

Sale prices are given at CVS, whether you sign up for the card or not, but CRTs, ECBs & "special discounts" --- % or $/$$$ pretty much require signing up for the frequent shopper card.

Huh

I did not know that. Thumbup
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#21
Would it be possible to get a generic card with out your personal info attached to it? worst case scenario is that I will have to remeber my fake phone number if I lost my card, lol.
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#22
My manager said when you redeem points, you have to use them all in that transaction. So if you redeem 40,000 points to get $50, you have to spend $50 in that transaction. There is no carryover.
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#23
Quote from dodgeball View Post :
I wouldn't expect the cashiers to have a "house card" to scan, since there's too much profit to be made for non-card scanning transactions.
I have observed over many years of Wagging that most of Wags customers are not browsers. They are convenience shoppers. These shoppers will not care about this card, or will want it or use it. They use Wags as a mega-convenience store – run in, get a couple of things quick, and pay whatever the price is. If it happens to be on sale, great, if not, great. They do not want to jump through 10 hoops that will slow them down.

I agree with dodgeball above. Wags will very happily let you skip the card and pay full shelf price for anything.
Quote from rosaries View Post :
Would it be possible to get a generic card with out your personal info attached to it? worst case scenario is that I will have to remeber my fake phone number if I lost my card, lol.
I would assume that they will have stacks of new forms/cards out for the taking. Then just never register the card. Back when I was more of a CVSer than a Wagger ... well, let us simply say that I have had few CVS cards in this lifetime.
Quote from 1217topher View Post :
My manager said when you redeem points, you have to use them all in that transaction. So if you redeem 40,000 points to get $50, you have to spend $50 in that transaction. There is no carryover.
As far as redeeming $50 value, that may be a problem for those who operate in constant coupon/roll/low spend mode. I have no problems spending $50 in Wags, just buy milk, cheese, frozen food, bread, etc and it goes pretty fast.
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Last edited by WBBell September 11, 2012 at 01:11 PM
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#24
Quote from 1217topher View Post :
My manager said when you redeem points, you have to use them all in that transaction. So if you redeem 40,000 points to get $50, you have to spend $50 in that transaction. There is no carryover.
Ive been told the opposite by a manager. she said you can choose how much you want to redeem at the register. I wish wags would do a question and answer forum, (maybe on facebook or something) so that we could straighten this stuff out. Anyway, can someone who was in the testing areas explain how redeeming points worked?
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#25
Quote from knitten2000 View Post :
I can't wait to see how this plays out with the average customer who doesn't want the card. The ad prices are in the sale ad, and posted on shelf tags in some instances. For Wags to say "oh, no, you can't get that price that's in our ad if you don't have a card.." Well, that's going to rub a lot of people the wrong way.... all the way to their consumer advocate whomever that may be.
Kroger is that way.. If you don't have a card, or a phone number linked to a card, you don't get the "advertised" price.
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#26
In the test market, you had a catalog Full Of Fabulous Prizes™ that you used to redeem points. Mercifully, they seem to have abandoned that.

My very educated guess is that it will work like this. Before your transaction, you say that you want to redeem points. The points will be redeemed and put as a balance onto your Rewards Card, much like they put a store credit onto a “W Card”. Then you can spend down the W card balance as desired. We know from past experience that the system specifically disallows buying gift cards with a “W Card”, so that loophole is closed.
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#27
Quote from MsGal View Post :
Isn't that pretty much what CVS does? All of their sales offers in their ad state "Sale $X.xx, WITH CARD". Same with RA "Pay $X.xx, WITH WELLNESS CARD". Winn Dixie, too.
Hmm... didn't know about that, or Kroger. We don't have any of those stores in my neck of the woods. People here haven't seen a store that requires you to have their membership card to get the price in the ad in the Sunday paper. Closest thing I can think of is Sam's Club. This is going to be strange and new here.

Quote from WBBell View Post :
I have observed over many years of Wagging that most of Wags customers are not browsers. They are convenience shoppers. These shoppers will not care about this card, or will want it or use it. They use Wags as a mega-convenience store – run in, get a couple of things quick, and pay whatever the price is. If it happens to be on sale, great, if not, great. They do not want to jump through 10 hoops that will slow them down.

I agree with dodgeball above. Wags will very happily let you skip the card and pay full shelf price for anything.

As far as redeeming $50 value, that may be a problem for those who operate in constant coupon/roll/low spend mode. I have no problems spending $50 in Wags, just buy milk, cheese, frozen food, bread, etc and it goes pretty fast.


I agree with your assessment of people using Wags as a mega convenience store for a quick stop. But there are still probably some who at least look at the advertisements and say "oh, Walgreens has Coke on sale this week I'll get it there" or somesuch.


Walgreens regular prices are a bit on the high side in my opinion. It may not be such a deal to get $50 for 40000 points if the items you buy with that $50 could be had for $40 somewhere else.
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#28
A manager gave me a copy of the "Balance Rewards Team Member Job Aid" brochure.

Here's what it says under "Handling Requests to Redeem Bonus Points":

If the automatic prompt doesn't display at the pinpad and a Balance Rewards member requests to redeem their Bonus Points:

1. After you've totaled the transaction select Redeem Points on the payment screen.

2. Have Balance Rewards member select the redemption amount that the member wishes to use on the pinpad.

Also from this same brochure under "Frequently Asked Questions":

Redemption
What happens if I don't spend $5.00 when I redeem my 5000 Bonus Points?
If a Balance Rewards member's total is less than $5.00 they can use all 5000 Bonus Points to pay for their purchase or they can add items to their basket to reach the $5.00 redemption amount.

That's confusing as hell but it makes it sound like you have to redeem in 5000 point increments and if your basket total is $4.00 you can redeem 5000 points and get your total down to $0.00 but you effectively loose $1.00.
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#29
Quote from WBBell View Post :
~snip~ I would assume that they will have stacks of new forms/cards out for the taking. Then just never register the card. Back when I was more of a CVSer than a Wagger ... well, let us simply say that I have had few CVS cards in this lifetime.~snip~
WBBell - Thanks and Repped! for starting this thread!

Weeks ago, my sweet little (clueless) cashier wanted me to sign up for the card . . . so being a sweet little (clueless) shopper, I obliged.

It was painful - she had no idea what she was doing.
A screen came up for me to input my name, then their computer base already had me in there with several addresses and several phone numbers. Stick Out Tongue

At least in my experience, I had to register with all my information right then to get my card.
Of course, I've used it on transactions since and gotten no points - which is what I expected.

very, very interesting times a'comin' . . .
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#30
Quote from WBBell View Post :
As far as redeeming $50 value, that may be a problem for those who operate in constant coupon/roll/low spend mode. I have no problems spending $50 in Wags, just buy milk, cheese, frozen food, bread, etc and it goes pretty fast.
Sadly our wags runs 20%-25% higher for grocery items & frozen then the wally, dg, & krogers in the same area. They are kind of "the high price leader". The only thing that keeps them competitively here, is the use of RRs' and the upcoming points. The store brands are sometimes competitively priced...maybe 50 boxes of "nice" prunesSmilie, dairy is on the list of items you are not allowed to use points to purchase (under terms & conditions).
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