Most shopping savings apps reveal coupons and discounts before you get to the checkout. Walmart’s app takes a different approach. Its Savings Catcher feature dishes out the discounts after you’ve already paid for your items in the store.
It’s a simple way to potentially save money without putting in much effort, but there are some drawbacks — only certain items qualify and online shoppers can’t cash in. To help you decide whether using Savings Catcher makes sense for you, let’s dig into the details.
How it works
Savings Catcher is one of the free Walmart app’s standout features. It’s essentially virtual price matching, but the price adjustment comes after the purchase.
After a recent Walmart shopping trip, you scan your receipt or enter its code in the Savings Catcher section of the app. The app will then automatically check if other retailers in the area are selling any of the items you bought at a cheaper price. If a lower price is detected, Walmart refunds the difference in Rewards Dollars.
For example, say you purchase a bottle of shampoo for $5 at Walmart. If you scan your receipt and Savings Catcher finds a nearby competitor advertising the identical item for $3, Walmart will reimburse you $2.
Redeeming your rewards
The Savings Catcher feature mainly covers groceries, toiletries and other household items. It uses a third-party service to search local print and online ads from top competitors and compare the prices of eligible goods.
You’ll get reimbursed in Rewards Dollars that accumulate on a Walmart eGift card in your Walmart account. You can spend your credit only at Walmart stores or on its website.
If you used a coupon on the original purchase, your items are still eligible. Savings Catcher uses the original Walmart price as the basis for comparison. The result of your inquiry is typically issued within 72 hours of adding your receipt. You’ll get an email or notice in the app when it’s ready.
As you might suspect, there are a few caveats. For example, this service applies only to purchases made in Walmart stores, not online. And the competitor’s product must be the same size, weight, color and so on as the one you purchased in order to qualify.
Competitor prices need to have been in effect at the time your Walmart transaction was made, and must be clearly spelled out in the advertisement as a dollar amount rather than a percentage off. You also have to submit your Walmart receipt within seven days of the original purchase, and you can submit a maximum of seven receipts per week. The amount of rewards credit you can collect is capped at $599.99 per year.
There are several excluded categories, including produce, electronics, apparel, toys and housewares. Other noteworthy exclusions include products that require the purchase of a separate item to get the reduced price; items that include a gift card or are bundled free with the purchase of a separate product; and deals that require a manufacturer’s coupon.
Visit the Savings Catcher FAQ page to read the full list of exclusions. If you find a lower price elsewhere that you think Savings Catcher has overlooked, check that the item meets the criteria and contact Walmart customer service for help.
More from the app
Savings Catcher is just one part of the Walmart app. Here’s what else you can do with the app:
- Create shopping lists and registries
- Browse your local store’s weekly ad
- Scan barcodes to see product information
- Make purchases
- Manage your pharmacy prescriptions
- Set up Walmart Pay, the retailer’s mobile payment service
- Store your receipts
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Savings Catcher is an easy, practical way to potentially save on your everyday Walmart purchases. Unlike other product-specific offers, it doesn’t incentivize you to buy items you don’t need, because the discounts come after the transaction.
The downside is that deals are mostly limited to groceries rather than including a wide range of categories. Plus, you aren’t guaranteed savings — it’s possible that none of the items on your receipt are sold at a lower price elsewhere. And this feature works only for in-store purchases, which means online shoppers can’t take advantage. But if you’re willing to take a chance, you might get something in return.
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Updated Feb. 5, 2018.