Your Definitive Guide To Cashing In On Kroger Rewards

Knowing how to dig up a good deal is an art form. Finding the perfect coupon is like uncovering a buried treasure. The warmth of the golden light glowing upon your face is a sign of the rewards to come. When it comes to savings, American grocer Kroger has worked to keep shoppers' pockets a bit fuller since 1883. In that time it's grown into the nation's largest grocer with 28 distinct brands that operate across 35 states. From promotions and sales to deals and offers, Kroger maintains a steady flow of perks for customers.

One of the company's newer money savers is a program called Cash Back Offers and Rewards. It's similar to a loyalty program, which many retailers offer today, except that it gives you the opportunity to receive literal dollars back for making purchases. Discounts and money back? Sounds like a win-win. That said, since its launch in 2019, users have found the process to be complex and confusing. It can sometimes offer a mixed bag of restrictions and user unfriendliness rather than bags of groceries.

We all know the famous quote, "Nothing worth having comes easy." Well, saving money with Kroger's Cash Back program can sure be a hassle sometimes. With inflation changing how we shop for groceries, everyone deserves a good deal. So, to help you overcome the hurdles, we've taken an extensive online deep-dive to give you the definitive guide to cashing in on Kroger rewards. 

What are Kroger Cash Back rewards?

Kroger Cash Back Rewards allows customers to earn money back on in-store and online purchases. It's similar to IBotta and Fluz, which are apps that also offer cash back from purchases made at major grocery store chains, yet functions differently. Rather than an app, discount offers must be obtained online and can only be redeemed by using a Kroger Shopper's Card or PayPal. It's one of several ways to save at Kroger; customers can also save with digital coupons, community rewards, and everyday in-store deals.

Unlike similar rebate programs, Kroger Cash Back involves a lot of steps, which can be super confusing for first-timers. Whereas the aforementioned apps mostly require that you upload a picture of receipts, in order to take advantage of cashback rewards, you'll need to create a digital account, acquire a Shopper's Card, choose your discounts, and further confounding steps. That said, after a few run-throughs, you'll find that Kroger Cash Back rewards are an excellent way to save money at the grocery store.

How can you use Cash Back offers and rewards?

Kroger offers cash back on everything from food and vitamins to cleaning and hygienic products. You can peruse available offers by visiting the Kroger website. Once there, you're given the option of choosing the specific category of the items you're interested in purchasing. When added together, a wide selection of available offers can save you a pretty penny, and like coupons, each offer has a start and end date that varies depending on the item. The expiration date is below the listed cashback offer, next to the product image displayed on the Cash Back Offers page.

Kroger digital account holders accumulate cash back earnings with each reward received. The balance is visible to the right, above the search results, and the amount is what you currently have available to cash out to your Shopper's Card or PayPal. It's labeled as Cash Earned and is located opposite two buttons listed as All Deals and My Deals. The former button displays all active offers, while the latter shows the offers loaded to your Shopper's Card.

What is a Shopper's Card?

The Kroger Shopper's Card is the in-house method for accumulating and using discounts. It's a free membership card that can be acquired in-store or simply by creating a digital account on Kroger's website. One important thing to note is that Shopper's Cards that are received in-store aren't eligible for online-only discount offers until you create a personal digital account. So, while you can take advantage of everyday in-store markdowns, you won't be able to use digital coupons, the Cash Back program, or community rewards.

One mistake you should avoid when shopping at Kroger is not signing up for a card. Members receive personalized and exclusive savings weekly, based on their shopping habits. The card also allows you to accrue fuel points and other cool perks. If you don't have a physical card, you can create a virtual card number when you make a new digital account. The Alternative ID can be entered at checkout in place of swiping your Shopper's Card. Your digital account, physical Shopper's Card, and Alternative ID are all connected. You can easily obtain a Shopper's Card by visiting the customer service desk at your neighborhood Kroger.

Kroger also offers Household Shopper's Cards with account linking. This comes in handy for households that have multiple account holders and allows both to take advantage of their combined discounts. Customers must share the same address and must call Kroger directly to have their accounts linked.

What are the restrictions of the Cash Back rewards system?

Kroger's Cash Back rewards system is far from the user-friendliest discount program around. That said, what its user interface lacks, the savings makes up for. One of the best ways to get the most out of Kroger's Cash Back program is to know what the restrictions are. First, you can't select Cash Back offers without having a digital account that's attached to a Shopper's Card. You also can't receive cash back without having a Shopper's Card and/or PayPal account. And, cashing out is only allowed once every 24 hours.

Customers are limited to 150 Cash Back Offers and Digital Coupons per household and each offer and coupon has individual expiration dates. After loading an offer to your card, it becomes immediately available to use in-store or online. To receive rewards, on the other hand, can take a week to load after purchasing a qualifying product. Most offers can only be loaded once per household. To transfer your rewards earnings to PayPal, your account needs a minimum balance of $20. Only $99.99 can be cashed out per day. 

Cash Back Offers and Rewards can be used at any store that belongs to the Kroger Company, so long as the product is available and the location uses a Shopper's or loyalty card. Although both require a Shopper's Card, Digital Coupons and Cash Back Rewards can not be combined. Lastly, close-out sale items and products that cost less than the discount aren't eligible.

Selecting and loading Cash Back offers

Using Cash Back Offers can be a bit tricky until you go through the process a few times. Even the most experienced coupon-er will find the steps tedious, if not mildly annoying. To view the available Cash Back Offers, log in to Kroger's website and select Save from the homepage menu bar. A tab will lower down to reveal a number of options. Cash Back and digital coupons are located under the Savings Center header — click on the former to navigate to the main Cash Back offers' page, where you'll find everything that you can save on.

The page works like other online shopping websites and allows you to filter search results to specific food items or non-food items. Each item has a Get Cash Back button that you must select. To view all of your selected offers, click the My Deals button, which is located on the left-hand side, above the search results. Offers appear in the My Deals section with a message confirming that your account balance has been credited, after which, you can cash out to your Shopper's Card or PayPal account. For avoidance of doubt, remember that Cash Back Offers are deals you select online and Cash Back Rewards are what you receive after using the offer.

This is how you redeem Cash Back rewards

We've finally reached the "getting moolah back" part of the process. The first step to redeeming your Cash Back rewards is deciding whether you want to cash out to your Shopper's Card or to your PayPal account. You can select how much of the available balance you'd like to transfer over — $99.99 is the daily limit for both options. $20 is the minimum balance you need to use PayPal and your account must be registered and verified. The rewards can be redeemed the next time you go shopping and unused credit carries over to your next grocery purchase.

While Cash Back Offers apply to food and non-food products, Cash Back Reward earnings can only be used on food items. Sometimes, selected offers fail to apply when you make a purchase, in that instance, you can talk to the cashier or contact customer service. Only the registered cardholder or persons who share household accounts can cash out their Shopper's Card.