Walmart's Coupon Crackdown: Inside the Restrictive New Rules
The big-box retailer has issued a new policy that will impact shoppers looking to save.
If you've found that your grocery bill remains wildly expensive, you're certainly not alone. Even though inflation has improved, food prices are still up—and they have us budgeting accordingly. Many shoppers have taken to retailers like Walmart, which is known for its lower-price promise. But now, the big-box retailer is making a change that could have shoppers looking to save money out of luck. Read on to find out more about the coupon crackdown happening at Walmart, and what it could mean for your next shopping trip.
Walmart shoppers have started sharing complaints about coupons.
Over the past couple weeks, several shoppers have taken to social media to detail recent issues with using coupons at Walmart stores.
"Help @Walmart my local store would not help me out with coupons and would not take them if the self checkout wouldn't take them. What happened??? The manager wouldn't even look at the coupons," one customer wrote in an Oct. 14 X post.
"Walmart fights every coupon now," an X user responded.
In a separate post from Oct. 22, another customer said, "Coupon group chat upset our Walmart coupon doesn't work anymore."
The retailer recently updated its rules.
The trouble shoppers are now facing may have something to do with new restrictions from Walmart. According to the store's website, the retailer updated its coupon policy on Sept. 24. This might come as a surprise to many, as Walmart hasn't changed its rules surrounding coupon usage in nearly six years, Coupons in the News reported.
The coupon-centric outlet explained that the new rules are bringing Walmart's coupon policy in alignment with that of other major retailers. An internal memo notified staff that register software at Walmart stores would be updated during the week of Oct. 25 to automatically enforce the latest restrictions.
One of the biggest changes will prevent shoppers from getting money back.
There are several changes in Walmart's updated coupon policy. But one of the most noticeable is the elimination of overage, according to Coupons in the News. Up until the new rules were released, Walmart was one of only a few retailers left that would honor the full value of a coupon no matter how much the product was actually priced.
That meant that if your coupon was worth more than the product you were using it on, you could get cash back or apply the difference to your overall transaction to lower the total cost. But as of Sept. 24, the retailer's coupon policy explicitly states that this will no longer be the case at its stores going forward.
"Walmart does not give cash back nor will any overages apply to the remaining items in the transaction if the value of a coupon is greater than the purchase value of the item," the policy reads. "The value of a coupon will be applied up to the price of the item and any excess value will not be applied to the transaction total."
But there are other new restrictions as well.
Walmart's decision to eliminate overage is not the only change shoppers may notice with its new coupon policy. The retailer is also now imposing like-coupon limits and override restrictions. Going forward, Walmart will "accept only one paper manufacturer coupon per item for in-store purchases," and it has set a "limit of four identical coupons per household, per day."
The new rules also indicate that Walmart will no longer let employees override the register if it rejects a coupon, Coupons in the News reported. According to the outlet, the retailer's old policy stated that "in select circumstances a register prompt will occur during coupon transactions that require a CSM or Management to validate the manufacturer coupon(s)."
But that provision has been removed. In its internal memo, the retailer further noted its crackdown on overrides, stating that "if the paper manufacturer coupon does not scan it should not be accepted," and warning cashiers that "the Vendor Coupon (override) key should not be used, as using this key may result in a financial impact to the store," per Coupons in the News.
Best Life reached out to Walmart about these changes, and we will update this story with their response.