eCoupons are electronic coupons that load onto your grocery store loyalty card. When you purchase the specified items and scan your store card, the eCoupon amount automatically comes off your total during checkout – no paper coupon is needed. Not all stores offer eCoupons, but they are becoming more common.
How do I start using e-Coupons?
To start using digital coupons, you will first need to have a store loyalty card to load the e-Coupons onto. You will need a different loyalty card for each store that you shop at.
You then log onto one of the companies that distribute eCoupons (see below) and register with them. When you sign up, you’ll have to enter a name and email address. You will also need to select your store name, and then enter the number from your store card. This step is very important, because the e-Coupons will load to this card.
That’s it. You can now brows the coupons, select the ones you want and they are automatically added to your card.
At the store you just swipe the card and the coupons automatically deduct of your total.
Can I access or download eCoupons while shopping?
Mobile couponing is growing fast, with more than hundred chain stores and national retailers offering digital coupons on the move. If you have a web-enabled cell phone you can install an iPhone or Android App that lets you access your account and load electronic coupons while at the store.
- e-Coupons are single use. This means that they can only be used one time on one product. Once you’ve used them, they disappear from your list.
- e-Coupons do not double. Most stores will not double them. The value on the coupon is the value that will come off at the register. You should inquire with your store about their eCoupon double policy.
- e-Coupons can be stacked. They can be stacked with manufacturer coupons and increase your savings
- e-Coupons can be stacked on themselves. Often (varying by stores), Cellfire.com and Shortcuts.com eCoupons will come off for the same item. Stack a manufacturer coupon and/or Store coupon on top – it’s like using 4 coupons on one product! So even though they are single use, you can often use them to get items for free.
- It is very common to have both electronic coupon and a paper coupon for the same item. If both are manufacturer coupons, you probably won’t be able to use both coupons on the same item. So, when a product is scanned and the eCoupon comes off immediately, it eliminates your option of using the paper coupon, even if it is worth more.
Anything else I should pay attention to?
- Digital coupons are only available to load if your store participates in the program. Right now Safeway and Kroger family stores are the most common, but new stores are being added all the time.
- As with paper coupons, you should always read the fine print. It will say whether you need to buy more than one item, or if you need to buy a specific size. These eCoupon terms aren’t always visible, and you need to either click the e-Coupon itself or a link on it to view them.
- There will also be an expiration date. If you don’t redeem the eCoupon before that date, it will be removed from your card.
- Unless you have a web-enabled cell phone, you should print a list of your loaded coupons so that you can refer to each e-Coupon terms and expiration date while you are at the store. This is important because unless you follow the coupon’s terms – it probably won’t work. eCoupons sites do let you print a list of your loaded coupons. Make sure you use it.
- Some eCoupon distributors (e.g. Shortcuts.com) have a 100 coupon limit. That means that you should exert discretion in the coupons you load, because once a coupon is loaded it can’t be deleted until it is used or expired. So if you won’t be purchasing a product, you shouldn’t load the coupon.
How do I know it Worked?
Usually you’ll be able to see the e-Coupon’s amount listed immediately under the item on your receipt. Occasionally they will appear at the receipt bottom. If they do not appear on the receipt – the eCoupons didn’t go through.
Should that happen, you can call an eCoupon company respective and find out why. If you purchased the right products, they will reimburse you for the eCoupons that didn’t work.
Where to find eCoupon websites?
There are currently 5 websites that distribute eCoupons:
- PG eSaver is a site only for Proctor and Gamble products. The coupons refresh every month.
- Cellfire.com has a variety of products. The coupons refresh every 2 weeks. You only have two weeks to load the coupons to your card, but you have the entire month to use them.
- Shortcuts.com is another site with a variety of products. Coupons seem to refresh every two weeks, and typically last for 2 months.
- SavingStar offers electronic coupons at over 24,000 nationwide participating stores, representing over 100 retailer chains such as CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, Rite Aid, Giant and many more.
- Upromise is powered by SavingStar and offers the same eCoupons and stores. It is however an innovative reward program that helps its members get money back for college from their everyday spending.
- How to Accumulate Grocery Coupons
- Sunday Paper Coupons
- Smart Coupon Strategy
- Printable Grocery Coupons
- Mobile Couponing
- SavingStar Electronic Coupons
- Upromise Digital Coupons