Walmart’s Savings Catcher Review
Walmart’s Savings Catcher program was introduced to take price matching to a new level. By automatically taking the items you purchased and comparing the prices to other retailers, it makes price matching simple. In other words, Walmart is trying to make you confident that you are paying the lowest prices possible. In this Walmart Savings Catcher review I will cover the program in detail and show you how it worked in the real world.
Walmart’s Current Price Matching Policy
For as long as I can remember Walmart has had a pretty simple price matching policy. All you have had to do is bring a competitor’s ad and the cashier adjusts the price at the register. (This policy is still in place if you prefer it.)
In addition to seemingly being an invitation for fraud, this policy sometimes causes lines to backup. If someone is price matching every item in their cart it can take a very long time for them to complete their transaction. I have been caught behind or two of these people in my day.
How Savings Catcher Works
Walmart’s new Savings Catcher aims to make the price matching policy simpler. All you need to do is shop at Walmart like normal, go home and enter your receipt number or scan the barcode on their app within 7 days of your purchase. Walmart’s system then takes your receipt info and compares what you paid to the prices in local competitor ads.
If a competitor has a lower price for the item, then Walmart will give you credit in the form of a gift card. This seems very simple and more desirable as a consumer than dragging a variety of ads at the store and waiting while the cashier manually adjusts the price on each item. Click here for my real world experiences with Savings Catcher.
Savings Catcher & Bluebird
Walmart made a push a couple of years ago when it launched Bluebird with American Express, but since then Serve really has surpassed it in terms of features and attractability. (Serve has online credit card loads & Amex Offers for example.)
I personally have switched over my Bluebird to a Serve card and detailed how you can to. Unfortunately for me, Walmart’s Savings Catcher makes Bluebird a lot more attractive.
Through at least 2/28/15, if you load your Savings Catcher money to Bluebird, then Walmart will double it. (Up to $599.99 per calendar year per account/person. Not per household.) This is a huge win in my opinion. Unfortunately the money loaded to Bluebird from Savings Catcher can still only be used at Walmart. If you shop at the store often, that should not be an issue. Also remember you can buy anything with the rewards dollars and not just groceries.
Bluebird Vs. Serve
While I don’t plan to do an extensive comparison here, if you do a lot of shopping, then Savings Catcher may make Bluebird a better option. Serve comes with $1,000 monthly in online credit cards loads. ($1500 for Softcard version.) Saying you average about 2% cash back for that spend, you are earning $20 ($30 for Softcard) back.
I can easily see families or other people who spend a lot on groceries earning much more than $30 back each month from Savings Catcher. Of course some people use Serve to meet minimum spends for credit card bonuses, which means they are effecitvely earning much more than 2%, but that is a YMMV situation. Also, Serve does have Amex Offers which may affect your decision. Either way, this offer strengthens the argument for Bluebird!
A Few More Things
There are naturally a few restrictions buried in the fine print on their site. First off, you must register for a Savings Catcher account. Additionally, you can only submit 7 receipts per week for price matching. I don’t see this as being an issue for most people.
Naturally some items are exlcuded including: “private label, deli, bakery and weighed products like meats.” They also exclude a host of general merchandise items like electronics, jewelry, apparel, etc. This system is meant to price match groceries.
Walmart uses a third party service to collect the ads and prices for local competitors. Very interesting. They also mention that local competitors are chosen based on top retail sales in your areas as determined by Nielsen. Finally, they take the price before coupons meaning extreme couponers may find it even easier to get their purchases for free. More questions? Check their FAQ!
Does Savings Catcher Work
While this isn’t an extensive test of the system, I searched a couple of my local ads for items and purchased them at Walmart for a higher price. The biggest three grocery chains in my area are Smith’s (Kroger), Vons (Safeway) & Albertson’s. I actually found it difficult to locate a product from each that is more expensive at Walmart.
After coming home, I entered the TC# which is located above the barcode on the receipt along with my transaction date. I had hoped it would process immediately, however the system said it will take 2-3 business days. Find out the results of my test along with other real world Savings Catcher observations in my follow up post.
Savings Catcher Review Conclusion
Walmart is obviously using their new Savings Catcher program to not only grow their grocery business, but to promote Bluebird as well. Ads for Savings Catcher are all over my local store along with the bags and receipts. It is clear that this is a huge new initiative for the giant retailer.