Free Flight with Rite Aid!

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I just got an email from Rite Aid that they are back offering a free vacation after spending $250 on participating products at their store. This is their “Fabuary” deal and very similar in nature to last months “Happy New Year” offer. While I didn’t take part of last months offer, I know many people were able to get their 2-free Hyatt nights pretty seamlessly. It also seems like once those nights were book they were fully transferable to another hotel or date assuming availability (and that it fit the same award type). While I initially had hesitations with these deals in general, last month proved that that company behind the Rite Aid offers could fulfill the required giveaway.

Rite Aid Free Flight

The deal… Spend $250 at RiteAid on specific items and get 1 free round-trip domestic flight. You also have the option of a free 7-night timeshare room at an RCI property, or a two-nights stay at a camping/cabin rental, or a 2-3 night cruise. You can also spend less (thus redeeming less reward codes), for another offer.

  • For every $50 you spend on participating products (by using your wellness+ card) you’ll receive 1 reward code. Earn 5 reward code and you can receive one of those mentioned travel rewards. You can read more about it here.
  • Once you spend $50 you will receive a Unique Reward Code on your receipt. The $50 does NOT need to be in the same transaction. Go to riteaid.com/fabuary to enter your Reward Code and ultimately select your reward.
  • There are 6,390 participating products! You can view on the products here. They seem to be similar as last months participating products. On the weekly Rite Aid circular and in-store items listed with a “Buy & Earn” sticker should qualify. Just double check that the item is on the long list of participating products and not mis-marked in the store.
  • You must make your purchase by February 28, 2015.

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Redeeming your free flight… Once you enter your Unique Reward Code on the Rite Aid website, you will have until March 28, 2015 to confirm your reward selection. You will need to download and mail the registration form along with a copy of your photo ID or passport. Within 10 days, you will receive a booking code and link via email to the online booking form. In that form you must include three preferred dates and three preferred departure locations and three preferred destinations. Your free flight is valid within 4 months from the date the booking form is complete but you cannot book until four weeks out. So you essentially have a three month window to travel. However, from the reports I read on the Hyatt offer last month, many people included the same date and destination as their three options. And during the booking process when a representative called them they were able to check availability at that point. Although, the terms of this offer say that you will receive an email and not a phone call, but I assume you can go back and forth with the agent that emails you to find a date and flight route that works. Based on the terms the will not just go ahead and book your flight without confirming the route with you. It states that within 8 days of submitting the booking form you’ll receive an email with flight availability. You then must confirm the reservation within two business days.

Participating destinations include: Little Rock, AR; Phoenix, AZ; Los Angeles, CA; Oakland, CA; Sacramento, CA; San Diego, CA; Denver, CO; Hartford, CT; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Fort Myers, FL; Jacksonville, FL; Miami, FL; Orlando, FL; Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL; Sarasota, FL; West Palm Beach, FL; Atlanta, GA; Honolulu, HI; Des Moines, IA; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, KY; Detroit, MI; Minneapolis, MN; Branson, MO; St. Louis, MO; Charlotte, NC; Atlantic City, NJ; Las Vegas, NV; Buffalo, NY; New York, NY; Islip, Long Island, NY; Plattsburgh, NY; Cleveland, OH; Oklahoma City, OK; Puerto Rico, PR; Charleston, SC; Greenville, SC; Myrtle Beach, SC; Memphis, TN; Nashville, TN; Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; Salt Lake City, UT; Virginia Beach, VA; Seattle, WA; Spokane, WA; Milwaukee, WI; Huntington, WV; Washington DC/Baltimore.

Maximizing on the deal… Most likely you will be overpaying for your items since drugstores are typically more expensive than Amazon.com or Costco, for example. However, using manufacturer coupons can be a great way to reduce your cost! Based on the FAQs, one of the questions asks: “Will the dollar amount for manufacturer and Rite Aid coupons that I use to pay for my qualifying items be deducted from my total purchase amount?” and the answer is: “No. Any coupon you use will not be deducted from your total purchase amount. Your coupons are simply your form of payment.” So let’s say you purchase 9 tubs of baby formula at $29 each. If you have a coupon for $5 off 1 and have enough for all 9 items, then that will save you $40. As long as you spend $250 pre-coupons it will print you out the required rewards code even though you actually spent less.

There are a bunch of websites where you can find manufacturer coupons aside from the Sunday paper. They include: coupons.com, iheartriteaid.comrefundcents.com,riteaid.com savings. You can also save coupons directly to your Rite Aid Wellness card here. I also just suggest Googling the product you are looking to buy and including “coupon” in the search. For example, “gerber good start coupon”.

Experience based on last months deal… If you took advantage of the Hyatt (or RCI or 2-night cabin rental) last month, I’d love to hear about your success and the process. While the Hyatt certificates could be changed easily, that won’t be the case with the flights. I am not sure if they are being booked as a normal ticket or free flight vouchers. Being booked as a normal ticket would be best as that will give you the flexibility to change your flight if desired, but depending on the airline you might be hit with a change fee of around $150. Of course if they book with Southwest that would be best for those looking for the flexibility.

Also, this question came about last month about returning the items if you ultimately decided not to participate in the deal. Rite Aid has a 30 day return policy so you can absolutely return, although I am not sure if you can still return if the codes have been redeemed and still take advantage of the deal – anyone want to chime in here who took part in this offer last month?

Overall… This deal has the possibility to be extremely lucrative if: 1) You find good coupons to use, 2) You have purchases you’d be making anyways; and 3) You have the desire/need to fly to one of the participating destinations. I most likely will be participating in this deal. There is a Rite Aid only three blocks away from me. I also love couponing, so I am sure I can get the $250 down to about half and will purchase items I actually needs. A 20-month old does go through lots of diapers!

What about you? Will you be taking part in this promotion?

Comments

  1. this reminds me of the deal JC Penny did years ago for purchasing Dockers clothing. My husband got a new wardrobe and I got 4 tickets for a family trip! I would participate in this deal Ina heartbeat, except the nearest Rite Aid is 175 miles away.

    • @Michael – I believe you are limited to one per account. In regards to booking for another person I really am not sure. We will have to see how it plays out.

    • @Paul – You are supposed to give three destinations, so they could always say no availability to Honolulu. But it should work.

  2. I am reading the T&C carefully.. but unlike their January ridiculous redemption steps for the Hyatt nights.. I think this is totally achievable… I am in!

  3. @Angela, it looks like online orders will qualify. The items needed for each online order are:
    –Order Number
    –Receipt Date
    –Type of Wellness+ Account (Gold, Silver, Bronze)
    –Your Rite Aid Unique Reward Code

  4. Have 2 kids, can I make riteaid accounts in their names to get them tickets? Also, can we specify airline? Do they tell you airline? SWA would get me companion seats.

    • @Jonathan – I believe you might need to be 18 years old to participate (but I suggest double checking). You cannot specify the airline unfortunately. Also, if multiple people in your family participate there is no guarantee that they will put you all on the same flight.

  5. @Jonathan — There is no guarantee that they will give all family members the same destination. They might fly you and your wife to Honolulu and the kids to Newark, NJ… 🙂

  6. I received the items I ordered online this afternoon. All were selected from the list, and the total was over $50. There was no Reward Code on the receipt.

    An online message requesting a Reward Code, sent about 4 hours ago from the RiteAid website, has not been replied to.

    Fortunately, it looks like returns are free.

  7. I received the items I ordered online this afternoon. All were selected from the list, and the total was over $50. There was no Reward Code on the receipt.

    An online message requesting a Reward Code, sent about 4 hours ago from the RiteAid website, has not been replied to.

    Fortunately, it looks like returns are free.

  8. OK – sent in my form and id, got my email back with the booking link. FYI – Honolulu has been removed from the destination pull-down list. I have waited a week because I want my travel to be in the middle of June – I’ll report how it goes with the redemption next week….

  9. Also at the booking form stage. I have an email in to the them as well as a promised call back from a supervisor on what to do with the disappearing Honolulu option. I’ll BBB complain if that fails (have until April 23rd, so should be plenty of time). Can always select SJU as a backup, but I’d prefer Hawaii!

    Its funny, since even on the booking email I received it still listed Honolulu as an option….

    • @A Different Paul – Please share the end result with me! I am also going through the promotion but haven’t yet purchased the required $250 amount.

      • The finally called back and said they removed Hawaii as a destination and kept referring to the T&C’s.

        Not sure if its worth fighting more….

  10. OK – I requested departures in mid-june from Honolulu, Maui and Kona to Huntington, Ft Myers and Jacksonville – it said departure cities just needed to be domestic (no restrictions) – so we’ll see how that goes……

  11. OK – spoke with the concierge today and she said she was having trouble with her “system”. I was able to get a confirmation number from her (USAirways system) – but all the flights were showing as canceled (Maui to Jacksonville round trip mid-June). She is supposed to fix and call me back……..I can see on the backside of the reservation (I’m a travel agent) that the tickets are supposedly being charged to a credit card that bills to the marketing manager of TRCo marketing in NYC…..

    • @jack w – Interesting. Let me know what ultimately happens. I’ve completed the bonus but have not yet submitted the paperwork.

  12. OK – here we go……I have my e-ticket receipt from AA (the concierge gave up on USAirways and did it on AA). It is a ticket from Maui to Jacksonville FL in June round trip. Taxes charged – $110.73 (actual taxes $100.73 plus $10 fee to TRCo). Value on ticket – $1065.49 (charged to TRCo credit card). I’ll hope for a schedule change between now and June so I can get full value voucher – if not $200 change fee and $865.49 voucher……so I win?

    • Nice! That gives me hope for the ones I submitted, though I picked departures only served by Delta.

      A family member of mine (legitimately different household) is going to pick GUM, SPN, and PPG as departure locations. Technically, those are domestic….excited to hear what they say about it.

        • Well, as expected, this is turning into a huge pain. They use some phantom “availability” excuse, and would not let me book anything within 4 weeks of them calling me (not submission of form). This was after offering me a flight on a different set of dates (within 4 weeks) that I turned down as it was tues-thurs flight….. I’ve been going back and forth with them for 2 days now.

          • @Paul – Ughh, that’s annoying! I completed the $250 spend, but still have to send in my form. I am sure I’ll hit some pain points as well.

          • Well, finally got something booked. Wasn’t ideal, but it was on DL at least and a $750 ticket. After a change/cancel fee of 200, minus the 75 I had to pay in taxes, it will come out to 475 in airfare, plus all the rite aid goods for free.

  13. Fyi flight booking are not going to be só easy as people think and hawaii hás Been removed from the list of participating locations.

  14. OK – had a schedule change as hoped on my Maui-Jacksonville ticket earned on this promotion. Full value voucher on its way to me from AA – $1065.00. I win.

    • Thanks for all of the information about booking flight ticket via the Rite Aid Fabuary promotion. I’m not familiar with the cancel ticket/schedule change and I have a few question about this:
      1) is the $200 change fee pay out of pocket and you get a voucher on the full price of the ticket $1065?
      2) How is the voucher going to work? Is it ok to use on multi-flight tickets (e.g 2 flight tickets at around $540?) or did you get a refund on the ticket price $1065?
      3) Is there any exp date on the voucher?
      TIA

      • 1. If I voluntarily changed it would have been $200 taken from the value. Since it was a schedule change of over 60 minutes AA gives full value voucher.

        2. Yes it can be used for multiple tickets – basically another voucher issued for the residual ($1060-$500=$560 residual voucher).
        3. 1 year from date of issue.

        4. Voucher in my name but it can be used for another as long as I don’t sell/barter it (standard AA boilerplate).

  15. I’m planning to get a voucher/credit from the airline for other locations I actually go, is there anything I should know before I finalize the booking with the concierge agent?
    If there are any airlines I should avoid due to the exchange/refund policy?
    After I received my flight ticket (e-ticket from email?), how long should I wait to contact the airline for exchange/credit?
    Also, what is “voluntarily changed” and “schedule change of over 60 minutes”? TIA

    • @Apple Y – They have taken forever to get back to me, so I am not sure yet. But I will be calling them today to see where they are in booking my flight (for the 2nd time already).

      Typically a no fee change is one over 60 minutes, but you can always try your luck with a shorter one. DO NOT contact the airline for at least 24 hours or else they will cancel the ticket and it will go back to the credit card paid.

      • Thanks for your reply. However, I’m still did not get what is the meaning of “over 60 minutes” and what is the different between “schedule change” and “voluntarily changed”. TIA

        • @Apple Y – A schedule change is when the airline changes the flight schedule. So instead of departing at 9am, for example, the airline changes the flight to 10am. With a change shorter than 60 minutes you might still be able to get them to cancel/change the flight with no fee. A voluntary change is when you decide to change the flight with no fault of the airline – I think this is what you are inquiring about?

  16. dealswelike thanks very much on your detailed explanation.

    I’m curious about that if it’s normal for airline have schedule change? and the airline will notify the ticket holder (by email? as we have e-ticket) they are having schedule change?

    It’s hard to imagine that (like in Jack W’s case) the airline is having a schedule change for a flight in mid-June.

    I’m sending the booking form in these few days and let’s see what will happen next.

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