How Does Kroger Community Rewards Work?

If you shop at Kroger and have a Kroger Shopper’s Card, it could do more than earn you cashback. Every purchase you make could count toward a donation to your favorite charity. The Kroger Community Rewards program donates to your chosen charity based on your purchases at Kroger.

All you need is a Kroger Shopper Plus card and to designate your chosen charity. Then when you shop, Kroger donates on your behalf – it’s a win-win for everyone.

What are Kroger Community Rewards?

Kroger Community Rewards is a nationwide charitable program that donates money to designated charities. Kroger has always been a community-minded business, but the Kroger Community Rewards takes it to the next level.

Kroger started the program not only to help charities in need but also to build sales. Community-minded consumers are more likely to shop at Kroger, knowing their spending will help their favorite charities. It helps both the business and the community while allowing consumers to have control of where their dollars go.

How do they Work?

To take part in Kroger Community Rewards, you need a Kroger Shopper Plus card with a digital account. You can obtain your card in-store and register your account online to get a digital account.

If you don’t have a Shoppers Card, you can sign up for a digital account and set up an alt ID here

The Shopper’s Card gives you access to exclusive sales and coupons. You can also earn cashback on your purchases, redeeming the rewards on your Shopper’s Card to use on your next grocery trip (dollars off your grocery bill) or as PayPal cash.

Once you have a Kroger Shopper’s Card you’ll link it to your favorite organization. All you have to do then is shop like normal and Kroger will donate a portion of your total purchase to your favorite charity.

How to Sign Up?

It’s easy to sign up for Kroger Community Rewards using these steps:

  1. Create a digital account

If you already have a Kroger Shopper’s Card, you just need to register it online to get your digital account. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Shopper’s Card yet, you can create the digital account online and automatically enroll in Kroger Community Rewards

  1. Choose your charity

Once you have a digital ID, log into your account and search for your favorite organization. You can search by name or NPO number if you know it.

  1. Select the name of the correct charity and click ‘save.’ 

Within 7 to 10 business days, you should see the name of your charity at the bottom of your receipt with a statement about how your purchase today helped ‘XYZ charity.’

Do you Need to Update your Charities Annually?

Kroger requires that each shopper revisit their account annually (by April of each year) to update their charity choices. If you don’t update your charity choice, you will no longer be contributing a part of your sales to your favorite charity. This is to ensure the dollars donated go where the community wants them to go, as needs and desires change through the years. 

What Charities are Included?

Kroger has an extensive list of charities included in its Community Rewards program, however, there are some exclusions.

All proceeds must be 100% for charitable contributions that serve the communities around Kroger. The funds cannot be used for political purposes. They also cannot be used for legal or administrative purposes. 

Kroger revisits its charitable organizations annually and if at any time any organization is found using the funds for political, legal, or administrative purposes, they are removed from the program.

What Purchases are Excluded?

While Kroger pays community rewards on almost everything in the store, there are some exclusions including:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Government-assisted insurance programs for prescriptions
  • Stamps
  • Gift cards
  • Lottery
  • Fuel
  • Sales tax

What is the Kroger Shopper’s Card?

To participate in Kroger Community Rewards, you need a Kroger Shopper card. Most Kroger shoppers have one, but if you don’t, here’s what you should know.

The Kroger Shopper’s card is a loyalty card. It gives you exclusive access to sales, digital coupons, and exclusive deals not to mention Community Rewards. The Shopper’s Card is also how you enroll in Fuel Rewards to earn money off your gas purchases at Kroger.

It’s free to sign up for the program and if you download the app, you don’t even need to carry your card. While it takes a little time to ‘clip’ the deals to activate them before you shop, it’s often well worth the savings. 

How Kroger Community Rewards Compares?

Kroger isn’t the only grocery store offering community rewards, Safeway and Albertsons stores also have a community rewards program. Here’s how the Safeway Community Giving Program compares to Kroger Community Rewards.

The Safeway Community Giving Program isn’t tied to their shopper loyalty card. Instead, the charitable organization sells gift cards with a face value of $5 or $10. Shoppers can use the card at Safeway or Albertsons, with each purchase giving back to the charity that sold them the card.

The cards are reloadable, which is the draw in the program. Every time a shopper reloads the card and uses it to pay for groceries, the charity earns a percentage of the purchase. Charities earn between 3% – 5% of the total amount spent on reloadable cards.

The amount the charity earns is based on the total amount reloaded on the cards. The more the charity’s supporters reload, the higher the percentage the charity earns.

This is different from the freedom Kroger offers its community. There aren’t any gift cards to buy or reload – buyers just need to link their favorite charity to their Shopper’s Card which most Kroger shoppers have since it’s how you get access to coupons, sales, and cashback rewards.

Kroger Community Rewards FAQ

Do pharmacy purchases count toward Kroger Community Rewards?

Yes, any pharmacy purchases you make that require cash out of pocket count toward Community Rewards purchases. The only exceptions are government-assisted prescriptions or prescriptions for which you don’t owe a copay. If you don’t pay any money out of pocket, there aren’t any sales to use toward the charitable donations.

Can I donate to more than one charity at a time?

Unfortunately, you can only contribute to one charity at a time. If you have two favorite charities, consider giving to one charity for six months and then changing your charity for the second half of the year so you split up your spending and donations to your favorite charities.

How do I know my Kroger card is registered with my chosen charity?

It takes Kroger 7 to 10 business days to register your charity to your account. Within that time, check the bottom of your receipt. It should state ‘your purchase just helped XYZ charity.’ If it doesn’t show the charity after 10 days, contact customer service for help.

Do Kroger Fuel Rewards interfere with Kroger Community Rewards?

Kroger offers a variety of programs to help shoppers and the community including Fuel Rewards. Fortunately, you can earn both Fuel Rewards and contribute to your favorite charity with the same sales. Even though the sales count toward both programs, they are separate – Fuel Rewards are for consumers and Community Rewards are for charities.

When do you re-enroll for Kroger Community Rewards?

You must re-enroll in Kroger Community Rewards annually by April. If you don’t select your charity again, you will no longer be contributing to Kroger Community Rewards.

Here’s why.

Kroger wants to give each charity a fair chance at earning donations. The annual re-enrollment gives charities a chance to attract more people to include their charity on their Shopper’s Card. It also gives Kroger a chance to revisit its list of charities to ensure every charity is getting an equal chance at securing donations.

How do I make sure my purchases count toward my charity?

You must always provide your Kroger Shopper’s Card or Alternate ID, which you create online when you check out. If you shop online, enter your card number or ID to make sure you get credit for the purchase.

Final Thoughts – Using Kroger Community Rewards

If you shop at Kroger, you should have a Kroger Shopper’s Card – it’s the only way to save the most money. You can use the Shopper’s Card in addition to other coupons, so it puts more money in your pocket.

Your Shopper’s Card also helps you do good for the community by choosing a charity to donate a portion of your sales. It takes only seconds to log into your account and choose a charity. You must redo this annually to ensure your charity always receives your ‘vote’ and a portion of your sales, but again it takes just minutes to do some good in your community.

Kim Pinnelli is a personal finance freelance writer and contributor. She lives in the Chicago suburbs, writing from home for the last 13 years. Kim enjoys helping people understand personal finances and writes on topics about saving money, investing, planning for retirement, and ways to increase income. In her free time, Kim enjoys hanging out with her 3 children, reading, crocheting, and spending time outdoors.

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