Walgreens Coupons & Deals

Why Didn’t My Register Reward Print?

by Christie Bisbee on April 23, 2010

The most frequent e-mail I get is from readers whose Register Reward didn’t print.  There are a variety of things that could cause your RR not to print.  So, let’s talk about a few of those…

1) The Catalina Machine was not working. This is the most frequent reason that I personally experience for my Register Reward not printing. The machine could be down, unplugged, out of ink, rebooting, out of paper, have a paper jam and the list goes on. I had one store ring me up and after my RR didn’t print tell me their machine had been broken for 6 months! How crazy is that?

TIP #1 Ask the cashier if her catalina machine is working.  Most cashiers will know and be happy to send you to another register if there machine is down.  Think of the headache it’ll save both of you if you know ahead of time!

TIP #2 Look to see that the little green light is on. If it’s red, or if it’s blinking or there is no light at all, that’s a bad sign. Pick another register if possible.

2) The item you bought was not included in the deal. Sometimes it can be a difference in size, variety, package, flavor, etc. You have to be very careful to buy exactly what is included.  I know it can be confusing, after all who knew that Oral B made that many different types of toothbrushes!

TIP #3 Check out my post HERE to learn how to be sure you have the right item.

TIP #4 Look for the Red Register Reward Signs under the items in your store. Each included item should have a sign underneath. ( I know some stores are better than others at this).

3). You did not purchase the right number of items or you didn’t hit the purchase amount needed to trigger the Register Reward. If it says you need to buy $10, you can’t buy $9.99, it won’t work. Sometimes an item will ring up for less than what is on the sign. Maybe the item is on clearance or they are running an unadvertised sale, even a penny less can throw off the best planned scenario.

TIP #5 Watch the register closely while they are ringing you up to make sure everything is ringing up as it should. If something rings up for less than planned either throw in another item to get you over the $ amount or have them void the transaction.  You can then regroup, change your scenario and try again.

4) You paid with a Register Reward you received for buying the same item, or from the same company for the same amount. So if you get a $3 RR from P&G from buying toothbrushes and use that RR to pay for more toothbrushes, the RR won’t print. Or if you use that $3 RR from P&G to buy another item that generates a $3 RR from P&G, even though it’s a different item like Tide, that RR won’t print!

TIP #6 If you are told that your RR didn’t print because you used a coupon, point out that the ads often promote “Coupons in Most Sunday Papers” for items that offer Register Rewards. I keep an old ad with me that says as much with me in my binder to pull out on such occasions.

TIP #7 If your Register Reward doesn’t print have them re-ring the order with no coupons. Chances are good the machine is on the fritz and it won’t print without coupons either. Then you can give them that little “told you so” smile.

TIP #8
Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason as to why the Register Reward didn’t print. So if you can’t figure out what happened, it’s ok. Return the items or call the Catalina Company 1-888-8COUPON and let them know what happened. There’s always a chance to try again tomorrow. 🙂


{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy April 23, 2010 at 8:26 am

A catalina wouldn’t print for my mom, and the cashier tried several ways to make it work but it never did. The store manager ended up giving her a Walgreens gift card for the amount. Pretty cool.


Denise April 23, 2010 at 8:51 am

say #4 above for example….. You use a $3 RR you got from buying P&G toothbrushes to pay for another P&G product (Tide) that also prints a RR for say $2. Since the RR for the Tide isn’t $3, it will work?


Christie April 23, 2010 at 9:13 am

Yes, if it’s a different amount it should print. I try to stay away from using the same company (I’m a little paranoid) but if it’s a different $ amount you should have no problems. 🙂


Ira - Corpus Christi, Texas April 23, 2010 at 9:09 am

Excellent job!

The managers at the WAGS stores should be required to read WildForWags as a precursor to taking a manager’s job. Better than that, I have printed and handed out a personal version on My Personal Coupons Shopping success and handed a copy to every WAGS employee and manager in my community. Many actually asked me for a copy of one page story and list of preferred web sites. Now I am going to print your summary of “Why Didn’t My Register Reward Print?”, and make a copy available as well. Most of the managers here view coupons and money the same way. I have been told repeatedly, “A sale is a sale, and coupons are just like money”. Love your site and blog. I started coupon shopping in July of last year and by year end I had donated just over $8,000 in merchandise to a local ministry with a broad support base. So far this year I have already donated $4,687 in merchandise purchased mostly at WAGS. Your work here has helped me to significantly increase my donations. My cost is less than two percent OOP and since I am retired, it has become a significant part time job. Thank you for all of your hard work.


Christie April 23, 2010 at 9:11 am

I remember your comment during the Dove RR deal. Keep up the GOOD work. It’s a blessing that there are people like you in the world!


brenda April 23, 2010 at 10:41 am

ok i have a question that i think you might know the answer to. what happens if you have to return something you bought that generated a RR? i bought 2 of the zyrtec for my son during the last sale and my doc is switching his meds–leaving me with two bottles of zyrtec…that i won’t use. what will happen if i return these?


Christie April 23, 2010 at 11:06 am

When I have to return an item that generated a RR I will bring back the RR that it generated with the item. I have had some managers take the RR back and rip them up and throw them away and I have had others tell me to keep it for my trouble. Just bring it with you and it’ll be up to your manager to decide. Zyrtec is pricey so I’d be returning that too!


Victoria April 23, 2010 at 10:48 am

My Walgreens if very coupon friendly and always try to fix the problem if my rewards don’t print. Most of the time. I did the Nature’s Bounty earlier in the week all at one store. When I was checking out and using them to pay for the diapers I needed the cashier in cosmetics was grumbling about being written up for keying to many things in?? because my RR wouldn’t scan. My suggestion, new ink. Just did it she said. Then she says they told her that the ones that won’t scan come from another store 30+ miles away. I said “Oh really, because you just printed these from your machine”. She acted like she didn’t want to take them because they wouldn’t scan. Not….She took them but grumbled the whole time. I’m sorry if she is getting written up but I am doing nothing wrong.


Maria April 23, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Brenda, I had a similar situation a few weeks ago. I purchased a package of oreos, but when I got home noticed that it was expired by several months. Anyways, I was going to take it back to the store to exchange it but couldn’t find any packages with dates that weren’t expired. So, when I talked to the manager I told her that I had gotten a RR when I bought the original thing, but since there wasn’t anything to exchange with I had to return it. She said “oh, I won’t worry about that now”. I’m like cool. So, I guess it just depends. Not sure this helped . . .


Cara R. April 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm

A couple weeks ago, a RR didn’t print for an advertised item. I mentioned it and a different cashier double-checked the shelf ad then tried a different register. When it still didn’t work, she price-adjusted the item to reflect the amount I should have received. Yay! We have two Wags in our area and I have shopped each one once to do RRs and both stores were helpful and friendly. :o)


Sara April 23, 2010 at 1:30 pm

I had a problem with my RR’s printing at my 24 hr store. The manager claimed they won’t print if you use coupons or RR’s to pay. I knew she was wrong and she must have set the machine that way or had the cashiers do something because I pointed out to her the RR I was using to pay with came from using coupons at another store. She still refused to force the RR to print and I just politely told her I would call Catalina and have them send it to me. You have to give Catalina all types of info off your reciept so they know what stores are not printing out their Catalina’s right and can fix the problem.


Alyssa July 29, 2014 at 12:15 am

The manager can’t make the register reward print if it doesn’t, even if there is no reason for it not printing. Any time you can’t figure it out it’s best to call catalina.


brenda April 23, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Christie…I wish I had not used the RR already. I feel awful. Will they still take the Zyrtec back? You’re right..at 12.99 a pop (well, actually i used a $4 off coupon on 2 of them..but still that’s $18…I want to put that toward the new meds!) that’s a ton of money…should I just be up front and tell them I got a RR with this but already used it..will the register beep to notify them that there was a RR?? sorry to be such a pain about this. if it was anything else….i wouldn’t bother… but that’s a lot of money!


Christie April 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm

I totally understand. You couldn’t have known your sons Dr. was going to change his meds. I would just explain what happened. I suspect they’ll appreciate your honestly and let you return the items, especially if you have the receipt. Let me know how it turns out!


Beverly April 23, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I just went to Walgreens and bought the new kotex to get the RR but I didn’t know you had to do them in separate transactions to get 2 RR. The manager refunded the money to me so I could purchase it again and get the RR. However, I tried to buy Huggies pull ups using the in store coupon and the $3/1 but the register wouldn’t take it and the manager said she wouldn’t do it because the coupon said “diapers”. I had just been to rite aid and used one of those coupons on pull ups without a problem.


Leslie April 25, 2010 at 9:45 pm

It seems that most cashiers and many managers have no idea what their own coupon policy is. Don’t let Wags employees tell you that a RR didn’t print because you used coupons or other RR in your transaction. Yes, you need to have at least as many items as coupons (and fillers to compensate for overages)… and, yes, you need to make sure you’re not rolling RR from the same manufacturer (i.e. Skintimate and Schick)… but as long as you’re following those rules, your RR should print. If they deny it, return the item and buy it in another transaction, on a different day, or at another Wags.


Jason July 31, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Getting mad at the cashier or manager will not solve any coupon problems. It just makes everbody have a bad day. Best thing is to just be calm and polite and work through it with the manager the best they can. You’ll get further with kindness.

RR are controlled by an outside company, Catalina. There is no magic button that we can push to “force” a coupon to print. we do have a half dozen or so “tricks” to work around most coupon problems but if those all fail we cannot just make a coupon print. We can print a form for you to mail in to receive a coupon by mail. Also a quick note: coupon policies have changed since most of these comments have been posted. Please refer to the most recent coupon policy at Walgreens.com. Just type “coupon policy” in the search field.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: