Does Walmart’s “Savings Catcher” Actually Work?

savingscatcherWalmart recently began touting its “Savings Catcher” program, which allows shoppers to scan in their receipts and have Walmart determine if the customer could have paid less elsewhere. If so, the difference goes on a gift card (that can only be used at Walmart, of course). But should you trust putting your price-matching in Walmart’s hands?

We haven’t had a chance to test the service yet, but the folks at WFMY-TV in North Carolina tried it out, with mixed results.

The reporters first made a list of 15 items that they knew in advance were on sale at other stores in the area. Since Walmart doesn’t provide a list of exactly which stores are used for price-matching, they stuck to major chains like Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Big Lots, Target, Family Dollar, and Walgreens.

Then they went shopping at Walmart, found all 15 items, for which they paid $36.24. Meanwhile, the total they would have paid if they’d bought each item at its cheaper price at the various other stores was $30.39, a difference of $5.85.

So back at home, they went to Walmart’s Savings Catcher site and entered the receipt number. A few days later — the process takes upwards of 72 hours — they found that most of their items had resulted in refund, but not everything.

In all, 11 of the 15 items turned up on Savings Catcher for less than they paid at Walmart. One item was even found at a significantly lower price than what had been expected, so that was a plus.

But then there were the remaining items that didn’t turn up lower prices. Savings Catcher claimed it couldn’t find a lower price on one of the four items, and it simply couldn’t identify the three others.

When it was all said and done, the service found $4.83 in savings, but left $1.02 unaccounted for. And this was just for a relatively small transaction of $36. A larger order may have resulted in even more items that didn’t turn up savings at competing stores.

Based on just this one test, it seems like Savings Catcher might be something worth trying. After all, you’ve already spent the money; why not see if you can get any of it back. And if you do shop regularly at Walmart, then the restriction of getting your refund on a Walmart gift card is probably not going to annoy you too much.

That said, in addition the 2-3 day wait time to get results from Savings Catcher, there are numerous restrictions on which products are eligible (it appears to be limited to grocery and health/beauty items) and limits on how long you can wait (receipts older than 7 days are ineligible).

If anyone has been trying Savings Catcher and wants to share their feedback, let us know at

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