Why Is CVS So Expensive? (7 Reasons Why) 

CVS is one of the largest healthcare retailers in the USA, with its mission statement to provide excellent customer care to guarantee return customers.  

However, frequent CVS shoppers have noted that CVS products can be more expensive than other retailers and may wonder why. I’ve done the research, and here are 7 reasons why CVS is so expensive!  

Why Is CVS So Expensive?

1. Cost of Convenience 

It has been suggested that the central reason CVS charges more money for their products is their convenience.

CVS provides several essential products and services, such as medication, and is often in a location that is easily accessible to customers. 

With CVS stores open in such excellent proximity to customers, it means CVS charges more for convenience as they know customers will pay to save time on having to travel further to acquire their essentials.  

2. Open All Hours 

As well as having many stores situated in convenient locations for customers, many CVS stores are also open 24/7 or have long opening hours.

This means that CVS stores are highly accessible to customers and are an easy way for shoppers to stock up at whatever time they need. 

Therefore, CVS can charge more for products that they know their customers need and will buy out of convenience, which is why they are a more expensive retailer.  

3. All in One Place 

By offering a range of products such as pharmaceuticals, essential household items, and even seasonal items, CVS guarantees that its customers will be able to obtain everything they need in one place.  

CVS is aware that its customers would rather pay a little more for the convenience of getting their essential shopping goods in the same place rather than making two trips.

Therefore, CVS offers a variety of products at slightly higher prices as they know their customers will pay for the convenience.   

4. Higher Wages

CVS offers higher starting wages to their staff than the majority of their competitors, making them an excellent company to work for.

In order to ensure they can afford to provide a suitable number of staff for each store and still generate a profit, CVS charges more for their products. 

This way, CVS is able to support their staff by providing better living wages while still ensuring they make a profit to keep their business operational.   

5. CVS ExtraCare 

5. CVS ExtraCare 

CVS has an exclusive program for shoppers to help them save money in stores called ExtraCare.

There are 74 million members of the CVS program, specifically designed to help regular customers save money in CVS stores.

CVS ExtraCare members can earn 2% back on purchases and have access to exclusive discounts and coupons through the program.

The ExtraCare program at CVS allows customers to save money, and the frequency of discounts they offer helps customers combat their high prices to get a good deal. 

6. Rewards Programmes 

CVS also offers free rewards programs such as ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards and the ExtraCare Beauty Club to negate some of their pricier items.

These programs are free to join and give shoppers access to coupons to help them save money at CVS. 

Due to the frequency of discounts and coupons available at CVS, workers online have stated their initial prices are more expensive in order to guarantee they still make money after the discounts have been applied. 

Rewards programs such as GoodRx and GoodRx Gold are also accepted at CVS pharmacies, which means customers can save a substantial amount on everyday medication and goods if they are part of this program.

GoodRx is free to use and readily accepted at CVs, so it is an excellent way to help shoppers save money. 

7. Cheaper than Competitors 

While it appears that CVS is more expensive than its competitors, online shoppers have stated that with the coupons and convenience of CVS, they are actually one of the cheapest retailers. 

Due to their close location, CVS saves shoppers money as it means they do not have to travel as far to get their everyday items, as many of their retail competitors have stores located further out, which means customers have to travel to visit them. 

So while competitors offer lower prices, once the travel costs are added, they are actually charging the same amount as CVS. 

To learn more, you can see our related posts on the CVS coupon policy, why CVS and Walgreens are always together, and the competitive advantages of CVS.


While initially, CVS may seem one of the more expensive retailers due to the additional charges for convenience and access, savvy shoppers can save a substantial amount of money at the retailer. 

By using coupons and CVS reward schemes such as ExtraCare or third-party reward schemes like GoodRx, customers at CVS can save even more money.

So, while CVS might appear one of the more expensive retailers, customers actually have plenty of opportunities to save money on their shopping. 

Photo of author

Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

1 thought on “Why Is CVS So Expensive? (7 Reasons Why) ”

  1. Every CVS I’ve visited in my city has LOST money after jacking up their retail prices. Pure extortion! Staff even admitted it. We’re talking $3.39 for 2-liter soda; $18.69 for a “large” can of cashews; $8.69 for family-sized box of cereal; $5.69 for single rolls of paper towels, and $4-$5 dollars for large cans of soup.
    CVS is now the Bank of America of retail pharmacies – a horrid business model that’s unavoidable in many areas because it’s the only option around.
    Yeah, I hate them.

Leave a Comment