What Is the Walmart Savings Catcher In 2023? (Full Guide)

Hey there! If you‘re a bargain hunter like me, you‘ve probably wondered what happened to the popular Savings Catcher feature that used to be part of the Walmart app. As a coupon clipping, price comparison pro, I was a huge fan of Savings Catcher back when it existed!

But Walmart discontinued the program in 2019, leaving many customers disappointed. In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll tell you all about how Savings Catcher worked when it was around and why Walmart ultimately got rid of it.

I‘ll also provide some expert insight on how it impacted Walmart‘s pricing strategy against competitors. And I‘ll share some useful tips for saving money at Walmart even without Savings Catcher in 2024!

What Was the Walmart Savings Catcher?

First, let‘s take a quick trip down memory lane. Here‘s a refresher on what the Walmart Savings Catcher was and how it worked:

  • Walmart Savings Catcher was a price comparison tool integrated into the Walmart mobile app.
  • It allowed customers to scan their Walmart receipts to automatically search competitor prices.
  • If a lower competitor price was found, Walmart issued an eGift card for the price difference.
  • This effectively guaranteed Walmart customers the best available price.

The Savings Catcher matched prices from major national retailers with a local presence, like Target, Best Buy, CVS, etc.

It was introduced nationwide by Walmart in April 2014 as a unique form of price matching. The goal was to back up Walmart‘s promise of "everyday low prices."

But sadly, Walmart discontinued Savings Catcher in May 2019 after 5 years of operation.

Next, let‘s explore in more detail how customers like you and me actually used Savings Catcher to save money back in the day.

A Step-By-Step Guide to the Walmart Savings Catcher

Using Savings Catcher to potentially save money on Walmart purchases involved a few quick and easy steps. Here was the basic process:

1. Shop at Walmart as usual

The first step was simply to shop at Walmart and make purchases as normal. Savings Catcher worked on almost any item, with just a few minor exclusions.

2. Save your Walmart receipt

After checking out, you needed to save your full Walmart receipt to submit to Savings Catcher. This could be the printed paper receipt or a digital copy.

3. Open the Walmart app and select Savings Catcher

Within 7 days of making a purchase, you would open up the Walmart app and navigate to the Savings Catcher tool. It was prominently displayed as one of the main menu options.

4. Enter your receipt number

In Savings Catcher, you would enter your full Walmart receipt number. This allowed it to pull up the exact purchases.

Enter Receipt Number

5. Submit and let Savings Catcher search prices

That‘s it! After submitting your receipt number, you just had to let Savings Catcher work its magic:

  • It automatically searched competitor ads for lower prices on each item.
  • The search included both local brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers.
  • It typically took 3-4 days to complete the full price check on your receipt.

6. Receive an eGift card if savings found

If Savings Catcher found a lower price on an eligible item, you earned an eGift card equal to the price difference. This was redeemable on a future Walmart purchase.

So in a nutshell, Savings Catcher guaranteed you the best local price by automatically searching competitor ads and issuing credit for any price differences detected. It was an easy, rewarding way for savvy shoppers to save!

Next let‘s look at the real customer benefits and drawbacks of using the Walmart Savings Catcher.

The Pros and Cons of Savings Catcher for Walmart Customers

During its 5 year run, Walmart‘s Savings Catcher brought some unique advantages but also posed a few limitations:


  • Effortless price comparison – No time wasted manually checking ads and prices.
  • Assurance of the lowest price – Peace of mind knowing you paid the least.
  • Chance for surprise savings – Fun surprise when an eGift card appeared!
  • Stackable savings – Combined with coupons, Rollbacks, and clearance.
  • Encouraged spending – Drove more customer purchases and loyalty.


  • Randomness – No guarantee Savings Catcher would find lower prices.
  • Delayed rewards – eGift cards took days to receive.
  • Only for Walmart purchases – Didn‘t work on competitors‘ receipts.
  • App required – Needed a smartphone with the app installed.
  • Could discourage other stores – Why shop competitors if Walmart matches prices?

The pros generally seemed to outweigh the cons from a customer standpoint. But the last con in particular represents one criticism of Savings Catcher – it could actually discourage shopping around at other stores!

Now let‘s examine things from Walmart‘s perspective as a retailer.

The Purpose and Impact of Savings Catcher for Walmart

Introducing Savings Catcher was a strategic move by Walmart with some key business objectives in mind:

  • Reinforce Walmart‘s "everyday low price" guarantee
    • Showed confidence in beating local competitor pricing
  • Drive increased customer loyalty and purchases
    • Rewarded shopping at Walmart instead of competitors
  • Price transparency
    • Eliminated guesswork by automatically checking all competitors
  • Motivate lower prices
    • Forced Walmart to be truly price competitive with all nearby retailers

For the most part, Savings Catcher succeeded in these goals while active from 2014 to 2019.

Here are some of the notable business impacts it had on Walmart:

  • Customer participation steadily increased each year
    • Over 1.5 billion receipts submitted by 2018
  • Issued over $300 million in total price adjustment eGift cards
    • Proof of savings and prices besting competitors
  • Became engrained into regular customer habits
    • Part of the expected Walmart shopping experience
  • Drove lower Walmart prices across many categories
    • Competitive response to price matching rivals
  • Helped Walmart "win" on price against top national competitors
    • Less need to match prices over time

In the end, Walmart primarily discontinued Savings Catcher because the tool did its job too well.

Walmart felt confident it had achieved the lowest prices versus key competitors like Target. So from Walmart‘s view, there was no longer a need to keep price matching.

But how did Walmart actually compare on prices with its biggest rival Target at that time? Let‘s analyze some revealing data next.

Walmart vs. Target Pricing Analysis

To understand Walmart‘s decision to end Savings Catcher, we need to peek at how its pricing stacked up against dominant grocery competitor Target in 2019.

Target was aggressively expanding and remodeling stores to contend with Walmart in the 2010s. But Walmart remained laser-focused on price leadership.

Let‘s look at two comparison data sources:

Study #1: Basket Price Analysis

A basket price analysis by Wolfe Research in 2019 compared a basket of household goods across retailers. The results:

Retailer Average Basket Price
Walmart $110
Target $124

Key Takeaway: Walmart‘s basket price was 10.7% cheaper than Target‘s.

Study #2: Advertised Price Comparison

A separate study by Gordon Haskett examined advertised prices in Target and Walmart circulars for ~100 identical items over a 5 month period in 2019. The results:

Retailer % Lower Price than Competitor Average Price Difference
Walmart 76% lower than Target $1.72 lower
Target 24% lower than Walmart $0.54 lower

Key Takeaway: Walmart‘s advertised prices were substantially lower than Target‘s for the majority of matched items.

Together, these industry studies signal Walmart‘s motivation to stop price matching. The data shows they were decisively winning the price war against rivals like Target.

In that context, Walmart felt confident permanently removing its Savings Catcher price matching program in 2019. Price parity had been achieved.

Of course, pricing strategy is something that continually evolves for retailers. But this data demonstrates Walmart‘s reasoning at the time clearly.

Next let‘s dig into the future of Walmart‘s pricing approach in a post-Savings Catcher world.

The Future of Walmart‘s Pricing Strategy

By eliminating Savings Catcher, Walmart committed to a pricing approach focused on:

  • Maintaining clear everyday low pricing leadership in markets
  • Limited promotional deals, instead of constant discounting
  • Investing in technology to rapidly monitor competitor prices
  • Using its unmatched scale for aggressive supplier negotiations
  • Localizing pricing based on region, store proximity, e-commerce demand

Essentially, Walmart decided to simplify pricing rather than chase dynamic market fluctuations. This was based on its recaptured status as the undisputed price leader relative to Target and other national chains.

However, economics professor Venky Shankar notes Walmart still faces price transparency challenges:

"The quest for EDLP leadership has become even more challenging in the digital world. Access to price information through smartphones makes it possible for customers to very easily compare prices while shopping in-store and make a choice accordingly."

To address this, Walmart invests heavily in capabilities like:

  • Advanced data analytics – Gather real-time market and competitive intelligence.
  • Dynamic pricing algorithms – Rapid, hyperlocal price optimization.
  • Personalization technology – Customize pricing via customer data.
  • Inventory automation – Precisely match supply and local demand.

Combined, these emerging technologies allow Walmart to maintain competitive prices in a dynamic omnichannel retail environment.

But for value-focused shoppers missing Savings Catcher, all hope isn‘t lost! Let‘s discuss other ways you can save money at Walmart.

6 Tips for Saving Money at Walmart

As a bargain shopping expert, I‘ve identified some key tips and tricks for getting great deals at Walmart:

1. Take advantage of Walmart‘s limited price matching.

Walmart will still match its own online prices if the store price is higher. It occasionally offers local price matching during the holidays too.

2. Be strategic with the Walmart app.

Use the app to build grocery lists, browse weekly ads, clip eCoupons, access discounts, and use Walmart Pay for exclusive mobile offers.

3. Don‘t forget to stack savings.

Combine Rollbacks, clearance prices, rebates, coupons, and promotions together for maximum value.

4. Shop price matching categories first.

Electronics, small appliances, and toys/games are common areas where Walmart will match prices. Check them for deals.

5. Know the policies for savings.

Understand Walmart‘s coupon rules, ad match fine print, return policies, rebates terms to maximize your savings.

6. Focus on store brands.

Opt for Walmart‘s Great Value brand for staple grocery and household items that are high-quality and low-priced.

Following these tips religiously can lead to some amazing deals and savings, even without Savings Catcher in the mix!

The Bottom Line

Walmart‘s Savings Catcher was a useful tool for customers to guarantee the best prices from 2014 to 2019. But Walmart ultimately achieved its goal of beating competitors‘ prices, allowing them to discontinue price matching.

As a dedicated bargain hunter, I certainly miss having Savings Catcher automatically scan for deals. But by combining Walmart‘s everyday low prices with savvy shopping strategies, there are still great savings to be found in store and on the app.

The next time you shop at Walmart, try using these tips to maximize your value. Let me know if you discover any other hot deals or tricks for unlocking savings! Happy shopping!

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