Walgreens Cash Back Limit, Minimum Purchase, Cards Accepted, & More

Short Answer: Walgreens and Duane Reade offer cash back on debit card purchases as small as $0.01, and you can get up to $20 in cash back per transaction. Getting cash back from Walgreens or similar stores allows you to avoid fees for ATM cash withdrawals. However, keep in mind that Walgreens doesn’t offer cash back for credit card or check purchases. Below, we explain how to get cash back from Walgreens.

Walgreens Cash Back Policy

When you want to buy something at Walgreens, you can pay with cash, check, gift card, debit card, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, or Apple Pay. However, if you want to get cash back, you will need to use your debit card.[1]

You can get $5, $10, or $20 per transaction, and you can get cash back on purchases as small as $0.01. You can get money in whatever form you need — bills, coins, or a combination of both — but you can only get a maximum of $20 in cash back per transaction.[1] If you need more cash than $20, you can just make two separate purchases of any size. Or, you can usually find an ATM next to the register; just keep in mind that if you use an ATM, you may have to pay an ATM fee.

Exceptions

If you are a Walgreens Balance Rewards member and choose to redeem points on your purchase, you still have to spend at least $0.01 in order for you to get cash back using your debit card. Similarly, you cannot get cash back at the pharmacy counter if insurance has covered 100% of the cost.

Duane Reade Cash Back Policy

Duane Reade, which Walgreens owns and which operates primarily in New York, follows the same cash-back policy. The maximum amount you can get back is $20 using a debit card, and you can choose either $5, $10, or $20 at checkout.[2].

Why Get Cash Back at Walgreens Instead of Going to an ATM?

Nowadays, more and more people use debit and credit cards at the register as opposed to paying with cash. With cards, you can keep track of your purchases more easily, and carrying around one card is much safer than carrying large amounts of cash. Many credit card companies also encourage you to use cards by offering points or other rewards every time you swipe your card.

If you need cash in an emergency and you can’t find one of your bank’s ATMs, you’ll have to pay hefty ATM fees at an out-of-network ATM — average ATM fees are currently around $4.72 per transaction.[3] If you instead go to Walgreens or a similar store that offers cash back, you can avoid paying these fees.

Even if you need to get a larger amount of cash, it is still typically cheaper to make a few small purchases of $1 or less at Walgreens than to pay a single ATM fee.

Other Places That Offer Cash Back

Walgreens is not the only large chain that offers cash back with purchases. In general, grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores are good places to look when you need cash back. Grocery stores also tend to have higher maximum withdrawal limits than pharmacies and convenience stores. At most places, you’ll need to pay with a debit card to get cash back.

To find your best options, see our article with the list of stores that give cash back on purchases. If you need to get a lot of cash back at once, you can check out our list of stores that give the most cash back.

  1. Walgreens customer service (800) 925-4733[][]
  2. Duane Reade custom service (866) 375-6925[]
  3. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/02/atm-bank-fees-hit-a-record-high-and-its-draining-your-cash.html[]

10 comments

  • It says on the internet that Walgreens now accepts CareCredit but at the grand opening at Paris, KY it would not accept it. This store was Rite Aid and I had always used my CareCredit there. Thanks.

    • Lindsey Desmet says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hello, Connie! Walgreens does accept CareCredit at all locations, but whether you can use CareCredit will depend on what you are buying. We have more information about this in our research on the stores that accept CareCredit. If you have any issues paying for eligible items with your CareCredit card, you should contact CareCredit directly at (866) 893-7864 for assistance. Best of luck!

  • As of yesterday, Walgreen’s only accept cash. No cards of any sort and no checks either. Do you know why and when it will go back to accepting cards for payment? This happened company wide.

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Lisa,

      According to Walgreen’s website: “Walgreens stores accept cash, check, gift card, debit card, Visa, MasterCard, Discover Network, American Express, or Apple Pay.” I also spoke with a customer service rep today as well, who confirmed that Walgreens accepts this wide variety of payment methods.

  • There are couple times i tried to get cash back with a dollar purchase, a candy bar, they won’t let me. I think it was some sneaky way trying to minimise the loss of transaction fees.

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi John,

      That’s really unusual. Are you using a standard bank debit card?

      • Rebecca Turley says:
        First Quarter Finance logostaff

        Your best bet is to ask your local Walgreens if they have implemented a minimum purchase for cash back.

    • Hillary M. Miller says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Katlin,

      If your Wells Fargo chip card is a debit card (connected to a checking account), then you can use it for cash back up to the Walgreens limit of $20. If your Wells Fargo chip card is a credit card, unfortunately, you won’t be able to use it at Walgreens for cash back, as Walgreens does not allow cash back on any credit card transactions. I hope this helps!

  • Informative article! The information about Harris Teeter especially helped a lot. Thanks!