What is a Catalina

A Catalina (often referred to as a CAT) is a coupon that prints at the register on receipt like paper.  The Catalina Company is an outside marketing agency that affiliates with most major grocery and drug store chains.  They supply the stores with a special machine, located next to the cash register and Catalina coupons are produced when certain offer conditions are met.  Stores will post those offers next to the product (usually right under the sale tag information).


There are two types of Catalinas:

1.  Catalinas that say “Manufacturer’s Coupon” – These work the same way as coupons you clip from your Sunday paper.  The only difference is that they will have the store’s name on them and because of this most competing stores do not like to take them even though technically they should.  I usually use them in the store they came from unless another store specifically states that they are taking competitor’s coupons.  My Walmart will take these types of Catalinas as long as they state a specific amount off of a specific product.  Example:  $1.00 off Purina Dog Chow, but NOT $1.00 on your next shopping purchase.

2.  Catalinas that say “On your next order/purchase” (OYNO).  These work just like cash, but again they will state the store’s name on them and it is rare that you can use them anywhere else.  This is the most popular Catalina because you can use them on most any product.  You can really maximize a deal by rolling them.  By this I mean that you can purchase more of the same product that produced them, use the Catalina to pay and get another one back.  Not all stores allow this, but most do.  Walgreens is the absolute exception to this rule.

Walgreens “Register Rewards” look like a Catalina, but do not always work the same way. They are often difficult to roll.  I’ll cover more of that in my Walgreens Tutorial.  Alternatively, CVS is just the opposite and the best place to start if you want to roll your coupons (they are referred to as “Extra Care Bucks” there)..


Sometimes a Catalina won’t print.  The first thing you should do when this happens is to double check your order.  Occasionally the Catalina machine will run out of paper or break, but usually it is due to making the wrong type of purchase.  Make sure that you have indeed purchased the correct products.  Sometimes the offers are very specific in size and flavors.  Also make sure you have purchased the correct amount as stated in the offer posted on the shelf.  If you have met all the conditions then try going to your store’s Customer Service Counter first.  Usually the store will compensate you with cash.  If this doesn’t work then you will need to contact the Catalina Marketing Company.  Have your receipt with you because they will ask for certain information from it.  You can call them at 1-888-8coupon or you can email them at coupon@catalinamarketing.com and they will send you one in the mail.


Here are a few tips to consider when purchasing for Catalina offers:

  • Only purchase  what is required for that Catalina. For example, if the tag states to purchase up to 6 of an item, then don’t purchase 12 in one transaction.  Maximize your savings by doing 2 transactions and that way you will get 2 Catalinas.
  • It isn’t uncommon for the same Catalina promotions to run at more than one store and not be advertised.  So if an offer is being advertised at Fry’s, but would actually be cheaper at Safeway, it might be worth a gamble to try it at Safeway first and see what happens.  You can always return it if it doesn’t work.
  • Don’t forget to pair up your Manufacturer’s Coupons with your “On Your Next Order” Coupons.  You will not be able to use a Manufacturer’s Catalina Coupon and any other type Manufacturer’s paper coupon  on the same item though (only one Manuf. Coupon per item).
  • Always use your Manufacturer’s coupons FIRST before using your “OYNO” Catalinas.  The reason for this is that you can go into the negative and the “OYNO” are like cash.  If you give them first and then go negative, the cashier will hand you back the last coupon that didn’t work.  You would rather have the “cash” coupon in your wallet then the Manufacturer’s one.  It is much more versatile!


If you ever have a problem with a catalina not printing, and you can’t get it worked out with the store, you can call the Catalina company and they will mail you the promised catalina coupon. Be sure to have this info in front of you when you call 1-888-8COUPON:

  • Store name and address
  • Time you shopped
  • What you bought

Wait until 24 hours after your purchase because the person will look up your actual transaction to make sure you met the requirements. You also have the option of emailing: NCSC@catalinamarketing.com If you email, be sure to include your full name and address so they can mail the coupon.

Posted by: on November 13, 2010 under