Best Prescription Discount Cards

Save on your medications

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When it comes to the rising price of prescription drugs, people are always looking for ways to save. Generic medications tend to be less expensive but your circumstances may require a brand-name drug. People who do not have insurance are at an obvious disadvantage. Even if you have insurance, you may not be able to afford your deductible or copays. This is when you might want to consider using a prescription drug discount card.

The most recent data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that as much as 46% of the population uses at least one prescription drug every month. This may include medications used to treat chronic conditions or a one-time prescription for a short-term illness (i.e., an antibiotic for a bacterial infection).

With so many people in need of prescription drugs, it is disturbing to see the cost of medications rising faster than inflation. A study from researchers for the journal JAMA found list prices increased by 159% and net prices increased by 60% between 2007 and 2018.

Affordability has become such an issue that many people are not taking their medications as prescribed. According to the 2019 KFF Health Tracking Poll, approximately one in four adults finds it difficult to pay for their medication. Looking more closely, 19% do not fill their medication, 18% take an over-the-counter drug instead, and 12% cut their pills in half or skip doses. There has to be a better way to save money.

The 6 Best Prescription Discount Cards of 2021

Pharmacy
Tom Werner / Getty Images 

Best Overall : GoodRx


GoodRx

 GoodRx

Why We Chose It: GoodRx offers significant savings and a network of more than 70,000 pharmacies, plus the convenience of an easy-to-use app.

Pros
  • Free to join

  • Comprehensive coverage of drugs

  • Accepted at more than 70,000 pharmacies

  • Mobile app

Cons
  • Membership to a premium service required for extra discounts

GoodRx is a free program that offers multiple ways to save on your prescription drugs. Anyone is eligible to participate, so long as they are 18 years old and reside in the United States or its territories. Children can also be added to their parent or guardian's accounts.

The program covers "almost all FDA-approved drugs," both brand-name and generic, and can even help decrease the cost for certain pet medications. GoodRx also offers specific guidance for Medicare D beneficiaries to help them make decisions on how to save money on their prescriptions.

The company's website and mobile app allow you to search by drug name for the lowest prices in your local area. You can print or present a coupon from the mobile app to get the lowest rate at your designated pharmacy or use their discount card at any of their 70,000+ participating pharmacies.

Keep in mind coupons may provide larger discounts than cards at times. Medications may be discounted as much as 80% from the retail price.

To access the steepest discounts, the company also offers a premium service called GoodRx Gold that costs around $6 per month for an individual and about $10 per month for a family up to six people. With GoodRx Gold you get a 30-day free trial to see if membership works for you, exclusive savings of up to 90% on prescriptions, and free delivery. Members also receive discounts on services offered in-app, like telehealth appointments, and co-pays are as low as $10 per visit. The company touts the service as an even more effective way to save on prescriptions, especially if you have multiple family members with generic prescriptions since these prices fluctuate less than they would without membership.

GoodRx is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. GoodRx only lists pharmacies verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Best for Local Pharmacy : Optum Perks


Optum Perks

 Optum Perks

Why We Chose It: The Optum Perks prescription discount card is accepted at pharmacy chains and local pharmacies across the U.S., and there’s no membership required.

Pros
  • No enrollment or membership required

  • Accepted at 64,000 locations, including local pharmacies

  • Official prescription discount program of AARP

Cons
  • Not the best prices compared to other programs

Optum Perks (formerly Script Relief, LLC.) offers a free, prescription discount card to get savings at more than 60,000 pharmacies throughout the U.S. The prescription discount card service has partnered with the pharmacy benefits manager, OptumRx, to obtain lower rates on medications.

Optum Perks has saved consumers more than $1.7 billion saved on prescription medications. Over 18.6 million people have used the company's discount card, and more than 64,000 pharmacies in the U.S. accept Optum Perks (not just pharmacy chains, local pharmacies, too).

You don't need to enroll in any program or sign up for a membership to receive your card. Simply search for the discount online, find a pharmacy near you where you can present it (via a coupon or discount card), and print, email, or text your coupon card for your pharmacist to receive your discount.

While the card is not insurance, it makes sense to bring both your insurance card and Optum Perks coupon when you pick up your prescriptions to see which option is more cost-effective.

Rx Coupons are accepted at Walgreens, CVS pharmacy, Rite Aid, and Walmart.

Best for Future Savings : SingleCare


SingleCare

 SingleCare

Why We Chose It: Families can enjoy up to 80% off retail prices with SingleCare, plus earn additional savings toward Rx fills.

Pros
  • Savings of up to 80%

  • Bonus Savings program 

  • Accepted at 35,000 pharmacies

Cons
  • Smaller retail footprint than other programs

SingleCare is a free program available to U.S. residents. Family accounts can include children, but anyone 18 years or older is encouraged to open their own accounts.

Search engines on SingleCare's website and mobile app allow you to search for coupons in your local area, based on pharmacies in the program’s network. You also have the option to use a discount card at participating drugstores.

SingleCare's network includes 35,000+ pharmacies nationwide and prescription medication coverage is broad, with savings up to 80% off retail prices. They provide discounts for a limited number of pet medications as well, namely medications that also have a human formulation.

What makes SingleCare unique is that it offers a Bonus Savings program. When you register for their Bonus Savings program, you'll earn money towards future prescriptions. The program even offers around $5 in bonus savings for enrolling.

Since 2014, the program has saved users over a billion dollars. SingleCare Services, LLC is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. SingleCare is also verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Best On-the-Go : ScriptSave WellRx


ScriptSave WellRx

 ScriptSave WellRx

Why We Chose It: ScriptSave WellRx is accepted at more than 65,000 pharmacies nationwide, and its app and website let you search prices on your prescription medications.

Pros
  • Free to join

  • Works at more than 65,000 pharmacies, including local and independent pharmacies

  • Easily print out your free discount card

Cons
  • Average savings are less than other programs

ScriptSave WellRx is a free program available to people in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam. A simple search on their website can help you locate discounted rates for a breadth of prescription medications in their network of 65,000+ pharmacies nationwide.

All you need to do is present your discount card to the pharmacy of your choice. Discounts on prescriptions, including some pet medications, may be as high as 80%, but on average are in the 60% range. You can also text, print, or email your savings card, so you have it available when you need it.

Medical Security Card Company, LLC is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. The program is verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Best for Home Delivery : Blink Health


Blink Health

 Blink Health

Why We Chose It: Blink Health has convenience on its side — it lets you pick up your prescription at a pharmacy near you, but it also has its own online pharmacy that offers free home delivery.

Pros
  • Offers free home delivery

  • Accepted at more than 35,000 pharmacies

  • Savings up to 80% off retail prices

Cons
  • Limited coverage of medications, compared to other programs

  • Monthly subscription to use Blink Health doctors

Blink Health is a free service and is available to residents in the United States.

Like other prescription drug services, Blink Health allows you to look for the best-discounted rates on its website and mobile app. Savings may be as high as 80% off retail prices, but fewer medications are included than other discount programs. Instead, the company limits itself to approximately 15,000 widely-prescribed medications, as opposed to the usual 60,000 or more in other programs that usually include more cutting-edge and expensive drugs.

What makes the program unique is that it allows you to pick up your medication from one of the 35,000+ pharmacies in its network, but also offers free home delivery. Because all payments are made online, prescriptions you pick up from your local drugstore are scanned from the Blink App on your phone.

If you do not have a prescription, you can take advantage of online consultations with Blink Health physicians to get selected prescriptions (i.e., medications for birth control, cold sores, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, and high cholesterol).

Blink Health, LLC is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. The program is also verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Best for Chronic Illness : RxSaver


RxSaver

 RxSaver

Why We Chose It: If you need more expensive maintenance medications, RxSaver provides a prescription assistance program that allows access to low-cost or free medications.

Pros
  • Offers savings up to 85% off retail prices

  • Accepted at 60,000 pharmacies

  • Rx Advocacy Program to help those who are on high-cost prescription drugs

Cons
  • Smaller network of pharmacies, compared to other programs

RxSaver is a free program for residents of the United States ages 18 years and older. You can search via the website and mobile app for the best discounts on prescription medications, from a network of more than 60,000 pharmacies. You can print a coupon, or share it through your mobile app when you arrive at the pharmacy.

Alternatively, you can use a discount card at your preferred drugstore. Savings are pharmacy-specific and will be the same whether you use a coupon or discount card. Consumers can save up to 85% off retail prices.

For people who have chronic medical conditions that may require more expensive maintenance medications, RxSaver offers the Rx Advocacy Program for a monthly fee of around $60 per month. Participation in this program requires an application to determine eligibility but may allow you to access low-cost or free medications.

RxSaver parent company RetailMeNot, Inc. is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. The program has not been verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Final Verdict

If you don’t have health insurance or your insurance doesn’t cover your medications, a prescription discount card can be a money-saver, giving you access to discounts and savings across pharmacies in the U.S. But while almost all of these programs are free to join, they’re not all created equally. Some give you access to a more extensive network of participating pharmacies, while others offer the added convenience of a mobile app (for searching for the best prices on your prescriptions) or free home delivery. The discount programs here are all worth a look, but GoodRx rises above the rest. Not only is it the most widely accepted prescription discount program (it’s accepted at more than 70,000 pharmacies), it also offers the best prices and most significant savings on widely-prescribed medications. For a fee, its premium membership program also delivers additional savings and convenience features.

Compare the Best Prescription Discount Cards

Prescription Discount Cards Savings Accepted At Home Delivery
GoodRx
Best Overall
Up to 80% (up to 90% with GoodRx Gold) 70,000+ pharmacies Yes, with GoodRx Gold
Optum Perks
Best for Local Pharmacy
Up to 80% 64,000+ pharmacies No
SingleCare
Best for Future Savings
Up to 80% 35,000+ pharmacies Yes, with GeniusRx
ScriptSave WellRx
Best On-the-Go
60% average 65,000+ pharmacies No
Blink Health
Best for Home Delivery
Up to 80% 35,000+ pharmacies Yes
RxSaver
Best for Chronic Illness
Up to 85% off 60,000+ pharmacies Yes, with GeniusRx

FAQs

How Do Prescription Drug Discount Cards Work?

Prescription drug discount cards are a reasonable option. These act like coupons and allow you to bypass insurance altogether. That means no deductibles. You will pay the retail price of the drug, minus the discount. In some cases, you may even get generic medications for free.

Prescription drug discount cards are distributed by companies that also work as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). These PBMs are the middlemen between drug manufacturers, your health plan (if you have one), your pharmacy, and you.

Because they have significant purchasing power, PBMs are able to negotiate prices with drug manufacturers. They pass those savings onto health plans by helping them establish formularies for the discounted medications and to pharmacies by contracting with them to supply those medications.

If you have insurance, you will benefit by using medications listed in your health plan's information. If you do not have insurance, the PBM can save you money directly by way of coupons and rebates when you use pharmacies in their network. One way they do this is by offering prescription drug discount cards.

There are a number of prescription drug discount cards available for you to choose from. It may take a bit of time to sort out which ones will best meet your needs, but we've rounded up the best discount cards available here. Information is provided from each program’s respective website.

When to Use a Prescription Drug Discount Card

Using a prescription drug discount card makes sense for people who do not have insurance, but it can also help those who are covered, too. A discount card cannot be used in conjunction with your insurance, but using one could cost less than a copay or coinsurance for a drug. It may help to talk to your pharmacist to discuss your options.

As with anything that sounds too good to be true, there are caveats. Any medications that are not purchased using your health plan will not count towards your annual deductible and, most likely, your out of pocket limit either.

This could affect Medicare beneficiaries, in particular. Medicare Part D plans have a coverage gap known as the donut hole. After spending a certain amount on your medications every year, your coverage benefits decrease.

You may be able to save money on your medications during this time if you use a prescription drug discount card instead of your Part D benefit, but keep in mind that Medicare may not allow you to take advantage of certain discounts due to federal anti-kickback laws. You will need to check with the particular program you are using to see if you are eligible.

How We Chose The Best Prescription Drug Discount Cards

An online search will bring up a long list of medication discount programs. When selecting one for yourself, you will want to focus on finding one tailored to the specific medications you need.

You may even consider signing up for different cards for different drugs to get the most overall savings. What we did was focus on the prescription drug discount cards that offer the most comprehensive services. The following factors were assessed when ranking the cards included in this review.

  • Credibility: You want to work with a company that has a solid reputation. This assures quality customer service and safe practices. One way to do this is to check their standing with the Better Business Bureau. The legitimacy of online pharmaceutical programs can be assured with verification by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Credibility is given top priority in our ranking strategy.
  • Medications: Programs that include more medications for discounts are ranked higher than those that offer fewer.
  • Pharmacies: Not every pharmacy will accept every discount card. Your pharmacy has to be in the card's network. Programs that offered more pharmacy options were ranked higher.
  • Savings: Every program is going to tote savings of 70% or more off retail prices, but that may only be for a limited number of medications. It may not reflect what you as an individual may expect to save. Programs that are more transparent and provide more specific, financial expectations are ranked more favorably on this list. For example, a company that notes the average percentage of annual savings is given higher priority.
  • Supplemental Benefits: Programs that offer additional services are also considered for higher ranking. This may include tools for Medicare beneficiaries, options for expanded savings, and online physician services. Providing you with tools to save and stay well is our priority. 

A Word from Verywell

Prescription drug discount cards can be helpful for the uninsured and the insured alike. Find one that works for you, but make sure you are using a reputable service that will actually save you money. No one needs to pay more than necessary.


Additional reporting to this story by Stephanie Valera.

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Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Hernandez I, San-Juan-Rodriguez A, Good CB, et al. Changes in list prices, net prices, and discounts for branded drugs in the US, 2007-2018JAMA. 2020;323(9):854-862. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.1012

  3. Kirzinger A, Lopes L, Wu B, Brodie A. KFF health tracking poll – February 2019: prescription drugs. Kaiser Family Foundation. Updated March 1, 2019.

  4. Better Business Bureau. GoodRx.

  5. Better Business Bureau. SingleCare.

  6. Better Business Bureau. ScriptSave.

  7. Better Business Bureau. Blink Health LLC.

  8. Better Business Bureau. RetailMeNot, Inc.