Thursday thoughts: prescription transfer coupons 101
Posted May 20, 2010 2:43 p.m. EDT
Updated May 20, 2010 2:50 p.m. EDT
This week’s Thursday Thoughts is in response to a question I received on the blog about prescription transfer coupons. The reader asked for a primer on how these coupons work. Following are the details about what they are, how to get them, how to transfer prescriptions and store policies regarding the coupons.
Prescription transfer coupons – the basics
Prescription transfer coupons are coupons that stores (with pharmacies in them) offer customers to get them to transfer their prescription from another store to their store. Usually the store offers the customer a perk of some sort to make the transfer. That perk is often a gift card or store check ranging anywhere from $5 to $30, depending on the store. The gift card or gift check cannot be used to pay for that prescription. It can only be used on another transaction. Some coupons are for transferred prescriptions, some are for new prescriptions and some allow you to receive the perk with either a new or transferred prescription. Make sure you read the coupon completely before trying to redeem.
Where to find these valuable coupons
There are a number of stores in this area that have offered prescription transfer coupons including Rite Aid, CVS, Kerr Drug, Target, Kmart, Kroger, Walgreens and Harris Teeter. The coupons can be found in store sale flyers, on the end of reciepts, through e-mails sent by the store, and on in-store brochures or flyers. They are most often found in the sale flyers. When I see them, I wil post the information on the blog so you can make sure you save the sale flyers with coupons.
How they work
In order to redeem your coupon, you need to transfer a prescription from it’s current pharmacy to the pharmacy issuing the coupon. This is a very easy thing to do.
- Start by getting your current prescription with the sticker that has your identifying information on it including the prescription name, RX number, store name and phone number. Make sure you have the name and phone number of the pharmacy where your prescription is currently located.
- Now, call or visit the pharmacy issuing the coupon and let them know you need to transfer a prescription to them. The pharmacy tech will ask for your name, address, insurance info, name of RX, RX number, name and phone number of pharmacy where it is currently located.
- When you go to pick up your prescription, just give the pharmacy employee your coupon. You will still pay your normal cost for the prescription and after you have paid, the employee will give you the gift card that can be used on future purchases in the store.
Many pharmacies have restrictions on the way these coupons are used. Here are some of the policies. Make sure you read the coupon carefully before you redeem to make sure you are eligible to use it. Many of these coupons prohibit use when any part of the prescription is paid for by a government program including Medicaid or Medicare. Stores will not allow you to redeem the coupon if you have transferred from another branch of the same store. For instance, Target will not let me use the coupon if I transfer my prescription from one Target to another Target.
Rite Aid: Rite Aid usually issues coupons for a $25 Rite Aid gift card when you transfer your prescription to Rite Aid and present the coupon. Medicaid, Medicare, and any other federal and state government or other publicly funded program prescriptions are not eligible. If you have redeemed a prescription in the last 6 months, you are not eligible. Limit one coupon per prescription and 2 coupons per customers.
Kmart: Kmart often issues their coupons for $10 - $25 gift cards with a new or transferred prescription. Limit one certificate per customer. Good toward purcahse of non-pharmacy merchandise. Not valid on prescriptions paid for in whole or in part by any governmental programs.
Target: They often offer $10 gift cards when a new or transferred prescription is purchased. They are not valid if any portion of the prescription is paid for by government program.
Kerr Drug: Kerr Drug usually issues coupons for a $25 Kerr Drug gift card when you transfer your prescription to Kerr Drug and present the coupon. Medicaid, Medicare, and any other federal and state government or other publicly funded program prescriptions are not eligible.
CVS: Usually their coupons are for $25 when you transfer a prescription. Most CVS stores will also take competitor's prescription transfer coupons.
Walgreens: Walgreens usually issues a $25 Walgreens gift check when you transfer a prescription using a transfer coupon. The gift check must be used all at once and you don’t get money back if you don’t spend the whole $25. Obviously you want to make sure you spend the full $25.
Best way to use these gift cards
To make the most of the gift cards you receive, use them on items you need but don’t usually find at amazing prices using the sales and coupons we chat about each week. Examples include paper towels, toilet paper, over the counter meds, etc. In addition, use the gift card to purchase items that are part of the store’s rebate program. Pay for the qualifying rebate items with the gift card, and get back rebate coupons to use on other items in the store. Then use the rebate coupons to buy other rebate items and keep rolling the coupons into other good deals that generate rebates. You use the gift card to keep your out of pocket expenses low on these items as you roll your rebates each week.
When not to use the coupons
There are times when using these coupons is not the best idea. If you have a bunch of prescriptions, it might be hard to keep track of all of them if you have them transferred to 5 different stores. Make sure you can manage the prescriptions so you don’t get confused about what prescriptions are where.
Every couple of weeks at least one or two stores issues coupons for the transfers. If you are interested in getting a free gift card simply because you send your prescription to another store, this may be a great option for you. As I always say, it’s your money – spend it wisely!