WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Thursday Thoughts: New Walgreens rewards!

Posted August 23, 2012


Walgreens is rolling out a new rewards program called Balance Rewards. Enrollment in the program begins in September. Basically you can earn rewards by making in-store and online purchases and for making healthy choices like the Walk with Walgreens program.  You can then redeem the points for items in-store and online. Online enrollment begins September 2. At this time, the Register Rewards program will remain the same.

It will be interesting to see how many points you earn for making purchases. You will find the rewards amounts below, but we will have to wait to find out how easy or difficult it will be to earn those points. If the Register Rewards are going to remain intact  AND we get a new rewards option, it sounds like an opportunity to save more.  I look forward to seeing the new program in action!

What are your thoughts on the new Balance Rewards program?

Here are the details sent from Walgreens corporate:

Walgreens Balance™ Rewards


Balance Rewards is a comprehensive loyalty program that offers easy enrollment, instant points and endless rewards, as well as ways to get, stay and live well at Walgreens.
As part of the nation’s largest drugstore chain, Balance Rewards has the potential to reach more consumers than any other existing consumer loyalty program in the country. There are more than 7,900 Walgreens drugstores across the country, serving nearly 6 million customers daily.

• September 2-15th: Online Enrollment
• September 16th: National Launch

• Balance Rewards includes many of the best aspects of existing loyalty programs and has distinct features that competitors do not match, including:
• Members can earn points for making healthy choices.
• Members may earn and redeem points both in-store and online.
• Exclusive benefits for AARP members.
• A customer-friendly expiration policy.


Easy to Join and Use
• Customers can join in one easy step in stores at checkout or any photo kiosk, online at or with their mobile devices and begin earning points immediately for their purchases.
• Members receive exclusive savings every week on popular products.
• Savings and points can be easily earned when members show their Balance Rewards card, provide their telephone number or scan their mobile phone.
• Members can easily access their point totals and see how many points they need until their next reward at checkout, online or through their mobile device.

Instant Points
• Members can instantly earn and redeem points for thousands of items in store and online.1
• Members will earn points for activities that help them stay well, like Walk with Walgreens, immunizations and — where states allow — for prescriptions.2
• Members receive exclusive access to the Walgreens online Pharmacy Chat service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Endless Rewards
• Members can redeem points immediately in-store or online for a little something special or hold off until they have earned more points for an even greater reward.
• Points will not expire as long as members remain active by shopping at Walgreens at least once every six months and redeem their points within three years.
• Points go further as you earn more.


5,000 $5
10,000 $10
18,000 $20
30,000 $35
40,000 $50

1Restrictions apply see terms and conditions.
2Due to state and federal laws, points cannot be earned on some items. Points will not be awarded to anyone who currently is or was at any time in 6 months prior to purchasing Pharmacy Items covered by Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare or other government-funded healthcare program. Pharmacy Items must be purchased at participating Walgreens Drugstore, Rxpress, Duane Reade, or Walgreens Pharmacy locations (“Participating Stores”) to earn points. Excludes Pharmacy Items purchased from AR, NJ or NY pharmacies and prescriptions transferred to a Participating Store located in AL, MS, OR or PR. For terms and conditions for full details on all point earnings and redemptions, visit


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  • mtmkjr Aug 23, 2012

    From what I've heard, they are doing away with the RR program. Then only RR remaining will be the national catalina offers that other stores also run.
    And the rewards points are based on after coupon spending, so for those of us who "pay" with coupons,it will take quite a while to earn any points worth redeeming.
    Not happy.
    RA is changing their program on Sept. 2 as well. The main change is that UP rewards will not be spendable until 6am the morning after they are earned. They will also expire in a true 2 weeks rather than the current 2-3 weeks (always expiring on Saturday gives some extra days). Also, unless you go online and opt-out, or visit the store on SEpt. 2 and request an opt-out, the UP rewards will save to your card.

  • dpdunn Aug 23, 2012

    It sounds like WAGS is getting on the reward card bandwagon. It has surprised me that they didn't do this earlier. It looks like they may also be customizing their offers, as this mentions "exclusive savings". Sounds like the VIC specials that are customized depending on the shopper. I hope this program is a great as it looks on paper. If it is, I'll be shopping there a lot more than I do now!!!

  • Nancy Aug 23, 2012

    Wow, points do not expire as long as you shop at Wags once during a 6 month period, that's good.

    Will be interesting to see how long it takes to accumulate points, like you said Faye. But any program that passively earns while you shop is a good thing :)

  • quemaster Aug 23, 2012

    If this is in addition to the RR then anything is good. I like the idea of rewarding health behavior. If they give points for walking, etc. then WOW what a great idea. I'll start walking just to get points!

  • superquaid Aug 23, 2012

    Faye- This definitely does sound interesting. However, like you say how many points can you earn for each purchase. Hopefully, the point levels will be attainable within a reasonable amount of time.