Doctor of Credit (link) recently ran a post about a Safeway gift card promotion; where if you purchase $125 in Gift Card Mall gift cards you would receive a promo code on your receipt for a $25 Visa Gift Card redeemable online. I don’t usually shop at Safeway, but today I gave it a shot.
Today I was scheduled to fly on an Alaska Airlines 737 delivery; however last minute it was canceled due to Boeing needing some extra time to finish. I already had rearranged my schedule and rented a ZipCar, so I had a few hours with a car and decided to head to a Safeway.
This particular promotion is a bit tricky because you only receive the receipt AFTER you have checked out and paid for your non-refundable gift cards. I knew that I had to be careful, so I checked in with the assistant manager. She had never heard of the promotion, so told me to call 1-877-SAFEWAY. I spoke to a friendly agent that found the promotion and said that it was NOT limited to certain stores but would be good at any location.
With this in mind, I went to the check out with $125 ($100 + $25) Lowe’s gift cards sold by Gift Card Mall. Lowe’s is one of the cards pictured on the ad image. I paid and waited to see the receipt. The only receipt that came out was the normal Safeway receipt and activation code.
Confused, I went home and went to the website. It asked for a promo code; which my receipt didn’t have.
I clicked on the Chat button and spoke with “Manny”. He said that I should have received a “Catalina receipt” with the code and directions on how to redeem it for the gift card. With out this Catalina receipt, I wouldn’t be able to get the card.
A Catalina receipt, after googling it, is one of those machines that prints out the coupons that most people just ignore.
I called the store to ask if the cashier had maybe thrown away the Catalina receipt. The person on the phone remembered me and went and looked in the trash but there was no printed receipt. The manager said I could come back and they would figure out something.
So back I drove to the Safeway. I even checked the check-out stand myself; no Catalina receipt (but there was a machine there). The manager very nicely gave me a $25 Visa Gift Card from the store.
Well, being the maniac that I am, I decided to try another Safeway store to see if it would work there (knowing very well I might not get the $25 gift card, at this point I was fine with that, I just wanted to test out this offer).
I purchased $125 in Macy’s gift cards this time and went to a self check out line where I saw that someone before me had received a printed Catalina receipt for $2.00 off laundry detergent. The Catalina machine worked; great!
I purchased the gifts cards — no Catalina receipt.
A store employee came and helped me. I explained the situation, and he, very kindly, did the same thing as the last store. They gave me a $25 Visa Gift Card paid for by the store.
Here is what I think happened. Even though the agent at 1-877-SAFEWAY told me it was good at any Safeway location, I think it the promotion is only run in certain markets. When I got home and looked at Doctor of Credit‘s site again, I noticed he had linked to an ad scan from California:
I am in Washington, and my local store’s ad scan looked like this:
No mention of the prepaid $25 Visa Gift Card.
Overall it is unfortunate that Safeway isn’t aware of any location restrictions on the promo; nor is it mentioned anywhere on the promo website. I was lucky enough (twice) to have helpful store staff that took care of me.
In conclusion; I would encourage you to make sure the promo is listed in your store’s ad before trying this out. If you aren’t sure, it is not worth the effort to get the Safeway gift card promotion.