CVS Return Policy: It’s Time to Clear Up Some Things

Updated March 21, 2024 by Kyle James

Since CVS Pharmacy sells so many different products their return policy can be REALLY confusing. From food to prescription & non-prescription drugs to a variety of household goods, it can be VERY overwhelming trying to figure out what can be returned and what you’re stuck with. It’s with this in mind that I wanted to do the research and figure out exactly how the CVS return policy works, I hope this article helps you out.

CVS Return Policy: It's Time to Clear Up Some Things

How Many Return Days Does CVS Give Me?

CVS gives you exactly 60 days from date of purchase to do a refund or exchange.

For the most part you can return any non-prescription product for 60 days.

They will return the money back to your original form of payment.

Are There Any Exceptions to 60 Days?


All non-prescription items at CVS (that are eligible for a return) must be returned within 60 days.

See Also: Walgreens Return Policy: Here’s Exactly How It Works

Are There Any Items That CAN’T Be Returned?

Yes, glad you asked…

Gift cards – This one makes sense, only buy what you need.

Prepaid cards – Includes calling cards and Visa gift cards.

Phone cards – Do people still buy these? They must.

Some health care items – Not sure which items can’t be returned, ask when checking out to be sure.

Personal care products – Includes feminine hygiene, pregnancy tests, drug tests, ear care, foot care, and eye care products.

Prescriptions bought online – These cannot be returned to a physical CVS Pharmacy. You need to call CVS at 1-888-607-4287 to discuss your options.

Special-order items – This includes footwear, motorized scooters, and lift chairs. You cannot return them to a brick & mortar CVS location.

Instead, CVS asks you to all Customer Care at 1-888-607-4287 for help with these special-order returns.

Do I Need My Receipt?

CVS asks you to hold on to your receipt as it will make your return quick and easy.

If you don’t have your receipt you STILL have options.

Specifically, you can return the unopened item for an exact exchange or for store credit.

Be prepared to show a valid photo I.D. as CVS tracks your “receipt-less” returns and will ban you from future returns if they think you’re taking advantage of their policy.

When you make a return without a receipt you’ll be given the lowest advertised price of the item during the past 60 days.

See Also: The 8 Best Return Policies in the Known Universe

Can Items Be Opened or Used?

It’s recommended that items be unopened and unused but it does NOT appear to be a deal-breaker.

CVS leaves the door open when it comes to returning these items as their website says “they may be denied a refund or exchange”.

Bottom-line? Give it a try, you have nothing to lose, especially it the product is faulty or broken through no fault of your own.

What About Returning Prescription Items?

They don’t give a blanket YES or NO answer to this question on their website.

Instead they ask you to call them at 1-888-607-4287 to discuss the matter when dealing with prescription meds.

Can I Return Food That’s NOT Opened?


There is no “official” policy on returning food or dairy products to CVS, either opened or unopened.

So I decided to call CVS Corporate and ask the question.

After being placed on hold because the lady didn’t know the answer, she came back on and said it’s up to the manager’s discretion as to whether they’d take back food items.

She did tell me that I would need my receipt, and the item could NOT be opened on tampered with.

So I’m guessing if the food item does not need refrigeration, and was bought a day or two before, you stand a pretty good chance of getting a refund.

What About Returning Pharmacy Items?

Great question.

Let’s start by saying that all CVS Pharmacy Brand products come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee promise.

This means you can bring the item back within 60 days, opened OR unopened, and get a FULL refund on the purchase price. No questions asked.

Bring in your receipt as well.

You can also return these items via the mail by calling CVS at 1-888-607-4CVS and they’ll get you setup on how to do the mail-in return.

All other non-prescription pharmacy items can be returned within 60 days but they MUST be unopened.

See Also: Considering Buying a Money Order at CVS? Here’s How It Works

Can I Return Items Bought from


You can indeed return stuff bought online to ANY brick & mortar CVS location OR via the mail.

To return something via the mail, CVS asks you to call them at 1-888-607-4CVS beforehand to make sure you’re credited properly.

What Happens If I Bought the Item with PayPal?

When returning an item you originally bought online with PayPal you’ll have to settle for store credit.

If you want the refund sent back to your PayPal account, CVS asks you to call them at 1-888-607-4287 to make it happen.

Bonus Tip: Beauty Items Also Come With 100% Money Back Guarantee

Doesn’t matter if they’re used or not, you can bring them back and get a FULL refund.

Makes for a great way to “try out” new beauty items knowing you can bring them back if you don’t like them for ANY reason.

Ask the Reader: What’s your personal experience with the return policy at CVS? Let me know in the comments, thanks.

By Kyle James


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I just returned a pharmacy item I purchased, and when I got home to open the bottle, the security seal was nowhere to be found. Naturally, I’m not putting that in my body, so I went to exchange. I couldn’t exchange, so I asked for store credit to go get another bottle, they wouldn’t do that, only refund to my card. That annoyed me.


Just, 🤔 What was the issue,with how you recieved your Refund?
Store Credit 🚫NO CHOICE🚫 to spend ELSEWHERE only @CVS vs still getting refunded but, just back on your card? ✔CHOICE ✔⭐ FREEWILLING to purchase ELSEWHERE?

Rachel Pickens

??? Eh so you got your money back an your still not happy 🤔 some people 😜


Absolutely horrible. I went to return lights that I purchased online. The cashier told me she did not have barcode. I presented her w online. She calls the manager. He told me I had 2 options, wait for the XMAS lights to go back to regular price? Really, no one carries XMAS products after XMAS or send back by mail. Did not give me a number, nor an email. I go online and I am giving another number to call EVERYONE else gives you a label or a direct shipping address.

On 11/12/2021, I purchased a mouthwash and a Neutrogena set from cosmetics. The Neutrogena set package was open and it had one item only not 2. I called and called the online number for CVS, got passed around from person to person, phone got disconnected. Yesterday, I told the CVS Store Manager what happened. I have the CARE pass, buy often at CVS. He ignored me and offer no solution. I am cancelling my Care Pass and moving back to Walgreens where I have never ever ever had an incident, on the contrary, everyone is sooh kind and professional.
Ruth A. Francis


I bought a few beauty items that did not look good on me, so I decided to return them. I went to the store where I purchased the items with my receipt. I was told by the manager that they do not accept returns on make up.
This was a direct contradiction to what was stated in their policy.
When I called customer service the agent said that return of the items depends on the manager of the store. That is something that I I I did not see in their policy and the customer service person could not explain it.


That’s not true, Cheryl-CONTACT CVS CORPORATE & FILE A COMPLAINT-The ‘NO QUESTIONS ASKED’ MAKEUP RETURN POLICY (implemented at most major drugstores a decade or so ago so that drugstores could compete with high end department stores where potential customers have always been able to try makeup on before purchasing) IS NOT AT THE DISCRETION OF EACH CVS MANAGER-THIS POLICY THAT HAS GREATLY BENIFITED ALL SORTS OF MAJOR DRUGSTORES NATIONWIDE IS A CVS STATEWIDE POLICY-PERIOD!!!

I recently got treated like crap by a brand new to me CVS manager because I had the utter audacity to return a makeup item for which I’d received extra bucks that I’d spent=I honestly wished I hadn’t received any extra bucks that (as you well know) are constantly being offered on makeup purchases. When I apparently committed the crime of the century via immediately (because I was in the store, needed to buy something else, and far too often end up not using my earned extra bucks before they expire) spending my $5 extra bucks on the same day I’d purchased two Revlon lipsticks, I’d honestly thought I’d be keeping both lipsticks (one that was a Christmas present for my mom whom I knew would want the lipstick she’d been wearing for over a decade).

The reason I ended up returning the Revlon lipstick I’d purchased shortly before Christmas was because after Christmas, I ended up purchasing two different Revlon lipsticks I liked much better, received extra bucks on (that I spent) & fully intended to keep. 

I didn’t have a problem with this manager’s policy of subtracting the $5 from my return of the Revlon lipstick I’d purchased for me when I bought my mother’s usual Revlon lipstick for her=It was this manager’s shocking to me attitude that caused me to not even wait until I got home before contacting the complaint department you reach by saying ‘complaint’ when you call the 800 CVS number. The customer service rep I spoke with for quite some time was very empathetic & told me I would receive a call back from CVS corporate within two business days. I’d been shopping exclusively at this CVS for several years and at all different CVS pharmacies (including in other states) for decades! *It’s not my fault I receive extra bucks on makeup items I might end up returning. The first words to me out of this manager’s mouth were an accusatory, ‘WHERE ARE YOUR EXTRA BUCKS YOU RECEIVED FOR THIS PURCHASE’? I was completely taken aback and replied, ‘I spent them’. She actually asked me why I’d spent my extra bucks when I knew I might return the lipstick, Cheryl? I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe this woman was treating me like a criminal-was completely alienating me over a $5 coupon-over me NOT BEING OMNISCIENT-not thinking I might end up returning a lipstick color I’d purchased, liked, and not returned several years beforehand. This manager made me feel super uncomfortable. She put me-who unbeknownst to her was a long time, good, customer at this CVS where she’d been manager for a year-completely on the defensive, and while vowing to myself to never step in this store again if I knew she was working that day told her that they don’t usually ask for extra bucks back. She retorted back, ‘YES THEY DO’.

She’s wrong, Cheryl. Maybe her store does it that way but-in my long-time experience-most CVS stores do not do it that way. I wasn’t some bum off the street-wasn’t even remotely somebody they knew had a reputation for returning items for which I’d received extra bucks. (I hadn’t purchased new makeup in years but ‘in general’ rarely returned anything I bought at CVS). As far as I’m concerned, CVS SHOULD subtract earned extra bucks if you return the item for which you earned extra bucks, but despite what this manager insisted to the contrary, that’s not what CVS cashiers ever do=In fact, many years ago, I returned an item to a different CVS and when I asked the cashier if he wanted the still attached extra bucks coupon at the bottom of receipt he quickly replied, ‘No-keep it’. He didn’t subtract the extra bucks from my return and he didn’t want the extra bucks back. My local CVS has every right to run things differently than have most of the CVS pharmacies I’ve shopped at since the Extra Bucks program first came into being, but the employees working at my local CVS don’t need to ever treat me or anybody else like a criminal!

This manager even asked me for my license and debit card-neither that I’d ever needed for any return for which I had a receipt. I might not have had my license with me-then she would have added insult to injury by not accepting my return and forcing me to come back! This was all taking place while the line was being held up. If my refund was going back on the same card with which I’d purchased the item I was returning and she was deducting the $5 from my refund why did she need both my debit card and my license that I had to take time to locate in my purse? When I asked her why she was asking me for all this stuff I hadn’t needed to provide for any other returns I’d ever made to CVS all she kept repeating to me was that it was because (crime of the century-remember) THE EXTRA BUCKS COUPON WAS NOT ATTACHED TO MY RECEIPT!!!

What you went through at your CVS was not right and neither was what I went through at mine. CVS is a major company located nationwide, and regardless of what that phone rep told you, my common sense tells me that each CVS manager is not allowed to make his/her own rules: There are plenty of other pharmacies you & I can go to for our makeup needs, Cheryl, and all the major pharmacies (RITE AID, for example) intentionally CHOSE to implement that pretty darn awesome unless you’re forced to deal with UNECESSARY crap like this new to me CVS manager recently put me through ‘NO QUESTIONS ASKED’ makeup return policy many years ago!


Can I change diapers for different size


They refuse to exchange an item that was ordered absolutlwy refused

Derek Jones

I try returning a Item that has not been opened, store manager started the refund process to a store credit then i was told they could not return it and had me call a phone number, i was told that due to the amount of returns i had in the the past without receipts i would have to wait till February 16 2023 which is something i don’t agree with only had done 1 other return in the past w/o receipt and was over 1 year ago i took the item back after the date i was told i could get the store credit and told me the same story over again. Really disappointed since i buy my Prescriptions from CVS pharmacy but after this incident i highly doubt i will continue doing business with them.


Hi Purchased Community Brand coffee ( not opened) and now noted the brew date has expired…can’t find receipt and is wondering if my purchase was made on a product that had already expired! Don’t want to make an unnecessary trip and be denied a credit. Please advise


As an employee we cannot use your cvs card to look up a transaction. However if you payed with credit/debit there is a function to look up the receipt if it was within the 60 days.

If you pay cash and don’t have your receipt you will be receiving store credit.

Do better

But you can sign into your care pass cvs account on the app on your phone and if it was used for that purchase then the receipt is stored and can be used within the app digitally

Nicole Dominguez

Can I return items paid with cash and get cash back or cash card I don’t want to exchange


Can I return unopened creamer which we had delivered last night


CVS SUCKS I will never shop here again