Welcome to a regular feature on the Renés Points blog. This blog series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to our featured topic.
But depending on where you purchase prescriptions and other pharmaceuticals, you might not earn the bonus points or cashback you expect.
Not All Pharmacies are Located in Drugstores
That headline may sound confusing to some and obvious to others.
We all know CVS, Wallgreens, Rite Aid, and other drugstores have pharmacies. But plenty of other merchants also dispense prescriptions: grocery stores (like Ralphs), retail stores (i.e. Walmart), and warehouse clubs (think Costco).
So you may earn a drugstore bonus, a grocery store bonus, a warehouse store bonus — or no bonus at all.
Let’s take a quick look.
Ralphs Pharmacy: American Express Gold vs. Chase Freedom Flex
My family currently uses the pharmacy at a local Ralphs supermarket. So any spending — including pharmacy purchases — made inside the store will code as supermarket/grocery store.
Here are a couple of examples.
In April, I used my American Express Gold Card to pay for some prescriptions at Ralphs.
Because the Ralphs Pharmacy codes as a U.S. Supermarket (which earns 4X on the Amex Gold Card), I received 172 Membership Rewards for my $43.01 spend.
I used my Chase Freedom Flex when I recently bought some prescriptions at the same location. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t receive a bonus but wanted to give it a shot. You know, for science and blogging sake.
It was one of those times I hated being right.
My $76.43 earned me a whole 76.43 Ultimate Rewards points. But because my pharmacy is inside a supermarket, I didn’t receive the drugstore bonus.
So Which Card Should You Use at Your Pharmacy?
At CVS, Rite Aid, Wallgreens, etc, I use my Chase Freedom Flex for any purchase.
If your pharmacy is in a supermarket or other grocery store, one of these credit cards is probably your best shot. If you’re a Costco member and get your drugs there, check out their credit card (which is somewhere on this page’s “See More Offers” section).
The drugstore bonus categories on credit cards such as the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimted are definitely a plus. (And if you don’t have one of those cards yet, remember that new approvals receive 5% cashback on grocery purchases for the first 12 months, though some caps apply).
As with everything in the points and miles hobby, make sure you’re using the right card at the right place.
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