Walmart Savings Catcher review: 7 things to know before you sign up

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Walmart store
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Millions of people shop at Walmart every day for its low prices, but there’s an easy way to save more money at the big-box store that even frequent customers may not have tried before!

Savings Catcher is a program that will get you money back when a competitor beats Walmart’s prices on select items.

RELATED: Walmart is making big changes to its Savings Catcher program

Walmart Savings Catcher: Everything you need to know before you sign up

Two members of Team Clark, Chelsea and Nicole, recently told me that they use Savings Catcher every time they shop at Walmart and showed me the actual rewards dollars they’ve received.

In fact, Chelsea is more than $50 richer since she started using Walmart’s Savings Catcher!

If you haven’t signed up for Savings Catcher yet — or even if you’re already using the program — there are a few things that you need to know to get the most out of it.

I’ll explain more on that in just a bit, but first here’s an overview of how Savings Catcher works:

  1. Make an in-store purchase and submit your receipt through the Walmart app
  2. Savings Catcher compares the prices of eligible items that you bought at Walmart to the advertised prices of top retailers in your area
  3. If Savings Catcher finds a lower price, you’ll get back the difference on an eGift card

Ready to get started saving more money at Walmart? After talking with Chelsea and Nicole, I decided to take Savings Catcher for a spin and have some tips for you…

1. Sign up for a Walmart.com account

To use Savings Catcher, you must sign up for a Walmart.com account or use your existing login. Once you have an account, you can access Savings Catcher through the Walmart app (iPhone and Android compatible).

2. You only have 7 days to submit your receipts 

Submitting your Walmart receipts from the app takes just a few seconds, but you only have seven calendar days to do it!

In an email to shoppers, Walmart announced that Walmart Pay will be the only way to submit your receipts to Savings Catcher as of October 29, 2018.

That means you will NOT be able to scan paper receipts within the app or submit them using a computer.

Instead of scanning a paper receipt after paying, you’ll create an eReceipt using the Walmart Pay scanner at checkout. Here’s exactly how it works…

1. Open Walmart Pay and select a payment method (credit card, debit card or gift card)

Step one: Open Walmart Pay and select a payment method (credit card, debit card or gift card)

2. Use Walmart Pay to scan the QR code at the register to generate an eReceipt

Step two: Use Walmart Pay to scan the QR code at the register to generate an eReceipt

3. Tap “Submit Receipt” from the Walmart Pay confirmation page or from your Savings Catcher dashboard on the Walmart app 

Step 3: Tap "Submit Receipt" from the Walmart Pay confirmation page or from your Savings Catcher dashboard on the Walmart app 

3. Savings Catcher doesn’t price match all items 

Savings Catcher applies to many of the items sold at Walmart, but certainly not all of them! It compares the products that you bought at Walmart with identical items on promotion from competitors.

It’s all based on the Universal Product Code (UPC), so items must have the exact same size, weight, quantity, etc.

We checked the FAQ page of Walmart’s website to get a sense of the items that are eligible for Savings Catcher and those that aren’t. Here’s what you should know:

Savings Catcher applies to:

  • Groceries, such as pantry staples including cereal, chips, rice, yogurt, milk, and frozen foods (must be identical and match UPC to UPC)
  • Consumable items such as paper towels, bleach, and trash bags
  • Health and beauty items such as shampoo and makeup

Savings Catcher does NOT apply to:

  • Any food, consumables, or health & wellness items that do not meet the eligibility criteria above
  • Produce
  • Items sold in the Bakery department
  • Fresh or variable weight meat
  • Items sold in the Deli department
  • Seafood
  • General merchandise items including, but not limited to: outdoor living consumables (such as such as fertilizer and bug spray), office supplies, apparel, DVDs, electronics, CD and gaming media, toys, housewares, small appliances, sporting goods, home decor, bedding, books and magazines, shoes, jewelry, furniture and seasonal products
  • Non-branded items
  • Tobacco, alcohol, firearms, gasoline, tires, prescription drugs, optical and photo products and services, or products that require a service agreement such as wireless, automotive or financial products
  • Items purchased and paid for with WIC benefits

“Non-branded items” refers to Walmart’s generic products like Great Value and Equate. Those items are sold only at Walmart, so competitors like Target don’t have exact matches for Savings Catcher to compare them to.

4. Find out which retailers are included in the comparison 

To complete the Savings Catcher comparisons, Walmart says it uses an independent third-party to collect weekly print and online circulars from competitors in your area.

Walmart’s website states: “We compare advertised prices from the top retailers located nearby the Walmart store where you shopped.”

For that reason, Nicole from Team Clark’s social team pointed out to me that shoppers shouldn’t go to a “lonely Walmart” where there aren’t any other stores around for Saving Catcher to compare prices.

Walmart’s website says you can find a list of the retailers that Walmart checks for pricing, but I couldn’t get this feature to work:

“When you submit your receipt using our website, you will see the list of retailers that we are comparing to. When you submit your receipt using our app, you will see the number of top competitors near the Walmart store where you shopped. The name of each competitor will then move across the screen.”

5. Results can take up to 72 hours 

Just like the price comparisons that I conduct for Clark.com, it takes Walmart’s Savings Catcher a little bit of time to check the advertised prices at other top retailers and report back to you.

You should receive your results via email and the Walmart app within 72 hours of submitting your receipt.

6. There are limits… 

There’s a $599.99 limit to how much money that you can earn with Walmart’s Savings Catcher. Once you reach $599.99, you won’t receive any additional rewards for the calendar year.

Walmart says that starting on January 1 of the following calendar year, you’ll be able to submit receipts and collect new rewards.

7. You get an eGift card, not cash 

Don’t expect Walmart to write you a check for Savings Catcher earnings. Instead, earnings are automatically loaded onto a Savings Catcher Rewards eGift Card that you can use to spend at Walmart.

With Walmart Pay, any Savings Catcher Rewards are deducted from the total and then you choose how to pay the balance.

Final thought 

There’s no guarantee that Savings Catcher will get you any money back, but it literally takes less than five seconds to submit your receipt from the app. What do you have to lose?

Even if Savings Catcher doesn’t save you every trip, Walmart’s app has other features that improve the shopping experience:

  • Weekly ad
  • Create a shopping list
  • Browse items by department
  • Price check scanner
  • Refill a prescription
  • Baby and wedding registry
  • Store finder

If you’ve been following my Michael Saves series, you might be surprised that I hadn’t tried out Walmart’s Savings Catcher until now. I love cash back apps and have earned more than $2,000 using them.

For Walmart purchases, I suggest downloading Ibotta, Fetch Rewards and Receipt Hog to get even more rewards!

More Clark.com stories you may like: 

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Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, MichaelSaves.com.
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