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Twelve Bucks – CVS ExtraCare

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Twelve Bucks – CVS ExtraCare
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Rewards comes in all shapes and sizes. Some small, some large, some that you save for over a long period of time, but not too many that are delivered in the same moment that your transaction takes place and that can be cashed in almost immediately.

When I made a quick stop at CVS today, two nice surprises took place.

  1. Yes, there was a $12 CVS Extrabucks coupon appended to the bottom of my receipt. It had a few restrictions and was good for 45 days. A bounceback visit was not required and I could have returned down the aisle for a few more items and cashed in.
  2. Almost a better surprise was that the cashier alerted me to the award, telling me to be sure not to throw away my receipt as it carried evidence of my twelve bucks. I’ve advocated for better training of store associates to ensure that the value of rewards programs is delivered to each customer and for some reason, brands don’t hear the message. CVS clearly gets it.

Interesting also was that as I checked my email later that morning, the notice of my $12 “quarterly earnings” was sent to me around the noon hour. I had three options to enable my reward and printing from the email or at the Extracare coupon center in-store were the two most obvious.

The fact that CVS is apparently printing the rewards on receipts for purchases made in April is an improvement. I don’t know if the reward will print out on the receipt for EVERY purchase I make during the month or if it generates only on the first purchase. Either way, its an enhancement to the customer experience and, better than telling me that their loyalty program is “going green”, is evidence that green rewards are a reality at CVS.

There are some aspects of CVS ExtraCare mentioned in a previous post that I still do not understand and maybe never will.

  1. I have absolutely no idea how the $12 was calculated. The receipt did say it was issued based on my winter spending, meaning I have to guess about my spend during previous months to figure out the amount of return I am getting for my patronage. Since the award printed on April 1, I imagine the rewards are calculated with one quarter delay and are issued on the first day of the ensuing quarter.
  2. My receipt tells me the amount of my “Spring” spending. I am guessing that CVS does not adhere to the Farmer’s Almanac definition of Spring and instead equates Spring to a calendar first quarter, i.e. Jan 1 – Mar 31. I don’t really care how they delineate the time, just wish they would make the message more clear.

Overall, twelve bucks is twelve bucks – a pretty solid reward given the average amount of purchase made in the store per visit. While some brands fret over 1 or 2 percent give back or generate 10% off coupons on next visit that only amount to $2-3 maximum, CVS delivers hard dollars of a more significant amount.

Maybe the mystery they create is intentional. If so, I give them credit for prescribing their own version of “surprise and delight”.


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