Walgreens Balance Rewards Program Overview

Posted at 7:42 PM on Oct 08, 2012 by I am THAT Lady: Lauren

Oct 8th, 2012

Walgreens has launched a new loyalty rewards program called Balance Rewards.  Members will earn points for purchases and instantly redeem rewards.  Below are some questions and answers to help you understand the program and its benefits.

What are balance rewards?  Each week Walgreens will offer thousands of points store wide on a variety of products.  Points are accumulated and can be redeemed at the below levels.  As you can see, for every thousand points, they are worth roughly a dollar.

Q: Have you signed up for Balance Rewards yet? 

A:If not, it is easy to join, online , in store (ask your sales associate), on your mobile app, or call 855-225-0400.

For now, you will use your phone number to check out, there is “talk” of them mailing out cards.

Q: Do you need to be a member for sale prices?

A: Yes and No, there is a small window in time where sales prices are still working without the card, however, I would imagine by the end of the month you will need your card in order to get the ad sales price.

Q: Will balance rewards expire?

A:Points will expire 36 months from the day you earn them, but they may expire sooner if you do not have account activity for 6 months.  You can monitor your account on your mobile device and online!

Q: Can I purchase more than one of the same item and earn balance rewards in one transaction?

A: Walgreens has updated their system and it is only allowing balance reward offers once per offer per transaction. You will need to do separate transactions if you’re earning points and want to purchase multiples of the same deal.

Q: Will manufactures coupons affect earning balance rewards?

A: Coupons will not have any effect on earning points, particularly when you have to spend a certain dollar amount to earn the rewards, (spend $20.00 and earn 5,000 points), this will be pre coupons.

Q: When will points be reflected in my account?

A: It appears to be right away, I have been checking regularly online and on my mobile app and they are posted immediately with in-store purchases despite Walgreens stating 3-5 days after purchase.

Q:When can I redeem my balance rewards?

A: You can redeem rewards at the levels above, (5,000, 10,000, 18,000 etc).  I would be careful when redeeming to ensure you have scanned all of your coupons and register rewards prior to redeeming points.  Also, ensure that you balance is sufficient to cover the redeemed points (if your total is $4.55, it will redeem all of the 5,000 points).  The cashier will ask you to redeem your points, you can elect the volume of points to redeem.

Q:Are register rewards going away?

A: The answer to this from everything I read is, not right now.  They are expected to be eventually phased out.

Q: Can I earn register rewards and balance rewards in the same transaction?

A: Yes you can!

Q: Can I use register rewards and redeem balance rewards in the same transaction? 

A: Yes you can! 

Q: Can I redeem balance rewards and earn balance rewards in the same transaction?

A: No, even if they are from different manufacturers.  I am not sure I like this rule, their whole theory is to “treat” yourself with your rewards…

Q: Can I get a rain check for point promotions?

A: No.  This is a huge setback as we know how the products fly off the shelf.

Q: What exclusions are there to redeem my points?

A: You may not redeem points on, Alcohol, dairy, tobacco, stamps, phone/prepaid cards, money orders/transfers, transportation passes, lottery tickets, charitable donations, or pharmacy items or services that must be excluded by law as determined by Walgreens

Q: What do I do when my points do not show up on my receipt?

A: Balance rewards will track at the bottom of your receipt.  I always check that they post correctly before I leave the store.  The managers do have the capability to add the rewards manually right there in the store, it is a pain so they might not offer, so ask!  Customer service call line is always your second option, I have had good luck with them!  There is also a feature online when you login to your account.

Q: How do they handle returns when we redeemed points in the order?

A: Once points are redeemed they cannot be added back to your account.  Redeemed points will be issued back through store credit.

Q: Are you an AARP member?

A: Check in store for exclusive benefits when you link your membership.

Q: How do I earn more points with Walk with Walgreens?

A: Earn 10 points for every mile you walk.  Create your Walk with Walgreens account and log your steps today!

There are a few ways to take advantage of this program and to avoid the pitfalls.  I would advise you to utilize your rewards at times when there are large register reward deals.  Then use the register rewards to earn points.  Remember you cannot redeem points and earn points in the same transaction!  I personally see benefit in spending the money up front and building my points to 40,000 and to redeem in one shot on a $50.00 order as they are worth more (1,000 points is worth $1.25 at the 40,000 level).  I am suspecting they will have B1G1 sales on toys for Black Friday as well as some great register rewards deals that day and $50.00 will come in handy!

I am actually liking this new loyalty program and was shocked how quickly I have racked up points in the last 15 days and how seamless it has been!

How are you doing with the balance rewards program?  What other questions do you have?


  • Melissa says...
    Posted at 9:43 pm by I am THAT Lady: Melissa
    Oct 08, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I have given up on Walgreens. I will stay with Rite Aid and CVS for now.

  • keisha says...
    Posted at 12:01 am by I am THAT Lady: keisha
    Oct 09, 2012 at 12:01 am

    I don’t hear good things about walgreens I stick with rite aid since its closer although I am still trying to get a handle on rite aids new system.

  • Heather says...
    Posted at 12:47 pm by I am THAT Lady: Heather
    Oct 09, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Thanks for posting this Lauren – I was just wondering about the details of this program as I was reviewing my receipt from this week – I also have managed to accumulate a nice pile of points. Could you clarify: “I would advise you to utilize your rewards at times when there are large register reward deals. Then use the register rewards to earn points. Remember you cannot redeem points and earn points in the same transaction!” I find this comment to be contradictory. Maybe you could illustrate an example?

    • I am THAT lady : Charla says...
      Posted at 1:09 pm by I am THAT Lady: I am THAT lady : Charla
      I am THAT lady : Charla
      Oct 09, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      Hello Heather, you are welcome.

      What I am trying to say is to utilize your balance rewards when it is a register rewards promotion. And then use your register rewards when it is balance rewards promotion.

      So if there is a promotion for Buy a vitamin for $10.00 and receive a $10RR, I would redeem 10,000 balance rewards to pay for it!

      The catch of this whole program is you cannot redeem and earn balance rewards in the same transaction. Does that make sense?

      • Heather says...
        Posted at 1:36 pm by I am THAT Lady: Heather
        Oct 09, 2012 at 1:36 pm

        OK, so what I am understanding is that you cannot expect to EARN some Rewards and then REDEEM those SAME rewards in one transaction?

        • Heather says...
          Posted at 1:45 pm by I am THAT Lady: Heather
          Oct 09, 2012 at 1:45 pm

          Which is exactly what you wrote at the end – duh! sorry! GOT IT!

  • Tyler says...
    Posted at 4:47 am by I am THAT Lady: Tyler
    Dec 31, 2012 at 4:47 am

    This is a complete scam. The program is completely misleading and forces people to sign up unless you want to pay full “Walgreens” prices for everything, and if you have ever shopped at Walgreens you know their full prices are ridiculous. I recently visited Walgreens, unaware of this new program and saw lots of big sale price tags on items. The tags looked like normal Walgreens’ sale tags. When I got to the register the items rang up at full price. Appearantly the sales tags have some fine print that say balance reward’s members only. The cashier was rude about the incident and blamed me for not reading the fine print on the huge sale price tag. When I left the store I realized I had overpayed for multiple items that I thought were on sale. This is very unethical business as I can only imagine how many people have overpaid for items and not even realized it. The cashier didn’t say a word to me about it and would have just let me go with paying almost double for the products. I bought nasal spray that was listed as $4.99 but was actually $9.39 for non-members. It’s sickening that they charge $9.39 to non-members but can still make a profit at $4.99. The worst part is that the generic brand was $6.49 and the generic brand of the same product at Walmart is under $2.00.

  • Chef Daryl says...
    Posted at 5:28 am by I am THAT Lady: Chef Daryl
    Chef Daryl
    Jan 25, 2015 at 5:28 am

    I am a 100% DAV and just work a couple of days a week at Walgreens. I have accumulated over 150,000 Rewards Points by just watching out for the Blue colored sale items which are the main way of gaining points. I just stock up on those items and keep on gathering the points. Oh, and by the way you can use the points online at walgreens.com and find some great buys and items that you cannot find in the brick and mortar stores.
    Chef D.

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