I Am Addicted to ExtraBucks

cvs logoI am addicted to CVS ExtraBucks, and am not ashamed to admit it. In fact, I do not seek to break my addiction. I live in fear of my ExtraBucks expiring (that happened to me once, but never again!). Therefore I plan an excursion to CVS weekly, if not more often. Talk about smart marketing.

CVS’s marketing and business strategies are simply brilliant. They have captured my mind and pocketbook in a way that other companies could only hope to. I now proactively think about when I will go to CVS and what I will buy. How could a “drug store” occupy such and omnipresent portion of my mind?

Answer: By being far more than a drug store.

Let’s start with their humble beginning. CVS stands for Consumer Value Store. The first CVS selling health and beauty products, was founded in 1963, in Lowell, Massachusetts by brothers Stanley and Sidney Goldstein and Ralph Hoagland. By 1964, CVS had 17 stores that sold primarily beauty products.

Today CVS is one of the nation’s largest companies and their recent acquisition of Aetna and makes them a mega-healthcare organization, not just a drug store. CVS now has almost 10,000 stores.

They are far more than a drug store, as their grocery offering is deep and their health & beauty aides are strong.

extracareMy addiction to CVS starts with my ExtraCare card, my portal to a plethora of savings. I am one of 62 Million Americans with an ExtraCare card, though CVS reminds me often that I am in the top 1-2% of savers. The savings that accrue to those with ExtraCare cards is nothing short of tremendous. The store is filled with BOGO offers and deep discounts. And there are offers and promotions aplenty.

Beyond the ExtraCare card, the CVS app makes access to the savings simple and reminders of offers come via emails throughout the week. One merely clicks on the email and sends the offer dujour to the card.

cvs receiptAnd then there’s ExtraBucks—REAL MONEY with a small catch. The ExtraBucks expire—usually within a month or so. But no sweat if you are a weekly shopper like me you merely keep the printed ExtraBucks in your vehicle and bring them with you. The savings comes right off the total with no caveats on the items. Some ExtraBucks are put on your card, but others you get with their legendary 6 foot receipts with a literal tsunami of values. Smart CVS shoopers know to pay attention to their receipt, and smart cashiers point out the ExtraBucks as the mega receipt is printed.

But wait there’s more! There are often special offers for the week only. Savings up to 40% on 1 item, or sometimes 30-32% on all (non-sale) items. It pays to do the math. What’s interesting is that CVS rotates their offers like a crafty pitcher does—high and tight and then low and away. In CVS’s case, they rotate deals and whether it’s a 1 item promo or all items. Their analytics folk are brilliant because they always seem to have the right offer to make me take action.

And their latest genius offer is Care Pass, a $5 per month program that gets you $10 off the top savings monthly, a no-brainer for a weekly shopper like me.

I tip my marketing hat to CVS. You are brilliant & I am hooked, and proud to be so. I am also an owner of your shares and was pleased to see a great quarter and your stock price appreciate rapidly this past week. I was in CVS 2 x this week so I am doing my part. Keep it coming.

More Strumings


  1. Michael Elkisch says:

    Hysterical. I haven’t seen it, but there was a SNL skit about CVS receipts. They followed me to California and I still experience the lengthy receipt with my Collectors Item CVS card from my east coast days.

    Going back to the east coast next year, (Charleston, SC) because the cost of living in the Bay Area is too high. Can’t wait to vote against Lindsey Graham.

  2. Mark D Glidden says:

    While I love CVS (but not to the extent you do) I don’t understand why they can’t convert that tree killing technology into an electronic receipt that we have texted to us (which would improve their ability to communicate with us, even smarter marketing).

    Does it keep me from the store, not yet, but it might if they can’t figure out how to be more sensitive to the environment.

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