Updated: Mar 27
It can be depressing to fork over hard-earned money to pay for medications that may only provide temporary relief—and cause side effects. In this day and age, with the cost of living on the rise, it is prudent to discover creative ways to save money. Credit cards and GoodRx to the rescue!
All opinions and reviews expressed herein are the author's alone and have not been reviewed or approved by any credit card issuer, airline, bank, hotel chain, or other entity. Some of the credit card offers and links appearing in this article are from companies from which we may receive commission or a referral bonus when you click on the link. You do not need to use our links but we appreciate it when you do—it helps support our website!
How You Pay Less When Using Your Credit Card
A lot of credit cards earn rewards—miles, points, or cashback—when used for purchases. Not all credit cards are created equal. Some credit cards earn more rewards than others. Finding the right credit card can translate into savings in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars when redeemed for cashback or Award Travel. This is possible when taking advantage of an issuer's welcome bonus or strategically making purchases in categories that result in bigger multipliers.
For example, Kroger is one of the world's largest retailers. According to Kroger State Facts, a section on their site, they are located in 35 states within the United States. According to Visa's Supplier Locator, Kroger either codes as Grocery Stores or Gas Stations. This is useful to understand in the event you have a credit card that has a grocery store category bonus.
Take the Chase Freedom Flex℠ or the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. They both currently have a welcome bonus of 5X on grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. This creates the potential of earning 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards®! In addition, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ generally has grocery store purchases as one of its 5X quarterly bonus categories; the Ultimate Rewards® earned during a quarterly bonus category stacks with the welcome bonus! You can compare and apply for one of these credit cards here!
Why are we discussing Kroger and grocery store category codes as it relates to credit cards? It has been my experience that purchasing prescriptions at Kroger codes as a grocery store purchase. It is not what you purchase but where you purchase that determines how your transaction will be categorized by the credit card issuer.
Stacking Your Rewards
There are many creative ways to stack the rewards you earn. To learn more about this topic, see the following post: How to Win Points—With Your Spouse and Your Credit Card!
Let's get back to how you can save money on prescription costs! I use Kroger to purchase the majority of my wife's prescriptions. Because of a brain tumor, she is on life-sustaining medication. Because of this, over the years, I have learned the art of mitigating health expenses.
I recently used my wife's United Quest℠ Card at Kroger to pay for her prescription. The reason I selected this card is because we are currently working on our 2nd level of the welcome bonus—an additional 20,000 miles. We recently earned the 1st level of the welcome bonus—80,000 miles! You can apply for this card here! More information about this amazing card is found within the following post: United Quest Card—The Best Airline Credit Card!
In addition to earning miles from using our credit card, I also activated the following Chase Offer:
I received a statement credit of 10% off the prescription purchase. This is another reason to have an excellent credit card in your possession—you have access to offers that you otherwise would not!
Another way we stack our rewards at Kroger is by earning Fuel Points on prescription purchases. We redeem our Fuel Points whenever we purchase gas for our vehicles. The fuel savings add up over time!
How to Be Smart With Prescription Insurance
Although my wife and I have health insurance, I have found significant savings by using GoodRx at Kroger as opposed to our insurance carrier. There is only one prescription that I still order through my health insurance carrier; this is because it is significantly less than using GoodRx at Kroger.
"Taking a little time to research prescription costs can pay dividends."
I created a spreadsheet to see how much money I would save by switching to GoodRx at Kroger. (We also started using Costco for 1 of her prescriptions because of the savings.) It was around $63 per month! This adds up to a savings of over $750 per year! It is easy to see the value of this methodology over many years. Of course, everyone will have a different experience based on their prescription plan, state of health, and other factors. That is why it is important to do your homework!
How to Be Smart With GoodRx
When I was younger, I assumed that paying more equated to getting more. Not always the case. GoodRx is a case in point. As much as I see the value of GoodRx—and I still use them—I did discover a disappointing issue.
GoodRx offers a "free" plan and a paid membership plan—GoodRx Gold—at $5.99 per month. Although it is not insurance, the "free" plan states you can "save up to 80%" whereas the GoodRx Gold states "up to 90% off prescriptions."
Logically, I assumed that my wife and I would be better off with the GoodRx Gold plan because of the number of prescriptions she takes. Although some of the prescriptions are cheaper, others are more expensive! Huh?
Here is an example of the "free" GoodRx Plan and what a 90 day supply would cost at Kroger:
Now, let's look at what the exact same prescription would cost using GoodRx Gold—a paid plan—at Kroger:
As you can see it costs around $7 more using the paid GoodRx Gold membership plan. Does this make any sense? Not really. What should you do?
I still get value from the GoodRx Gold membership plan. However, I look up how much each prescription costs—using the "free" plan and the GoodRx Gold plan—and instruct Kroger to use the cheaper of the two. It is a little extra work, but, with practice, it becomes second nature.
The Bottom Line
Saving money is an art. It may take time, experience, and a helping hand but the results are worth it. At AwardYourMiles, we specialize in helping individuals and families reduce their travel expenses—by using credit cards. Try our Credit Card Selector Calculator for free to determine the value of the credit cards in our database based on your spending habits. Feel free to use any of our Award Travel Tools to learn more about how we may be able to help you!