How to Select the Best Prescription Discount Card

Selecting the best prescription discount card can be very confusing with such a high number of options available. So how do you choose the best one?

To select the best prescription discount card you need to make sure the sponsoring company is legitimate, trustworthy, and is accepted at a pharmacy in your area. The biggest advertised discount is almost never a realistic expectation of the discount you may receive on your prescription.

Keep reading and I’ll explain how to identify and evaluate the most important factors.

What to look for to make sure you choose the right pharmacy discount card.

The top factors to evaluate are:

  • Is the sponsor company legitimate and trustworthy
  • Is a pharmacy near you in the pharmacy network
  • What is the average discount? (not highest advertised discount)
  • Does the rx discount card use “lowest of pricing”?
  • Does the prescription discount card offer a discount on your medication?
  • Does the discount card have a mobile app?
  • Is the pharmacy discount card free?
  • Does the discount card require activation with personal information or registration to get the discount?
  • Can everyone in the family use the same discount card?

Is the drug discount card company legitimate?

Determining if the drug discount card company is legitimate is fairly easy.

Things to look for that ensure you aren’t falling victim to a scam are:

  • a 24hr toll free customer service number
  • the name and address of the corporate office clearly marked on the card or on their website
  • An “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau
  • The company is verified by the NABP (National Association of Boards of Pharmacy)
  • Make sure you see one or both of the badges below on the website
badges of accreditation of prescription discount cards from BBB and NABP
verification badges. images courtesy of the respective organizations. and

Is the discount card using deceptive marketing?

A number of drug discount cards out there deceptively advertise themselves as being sponsored by your local state, charity, or government agency. 

You can see examples of these by googling “yourstate drug card” with “yourstate” replaced with the state in which you live.  A search for “michigan drug card” turns up the search result displaved below. 

example of deceptive marketing of a prescription discount card
Deceptive marketing example of a prescription discount card. Image is a screen capture from

In no way is this card sponsored or connected with the governing body of the State of Michigan.

These cards market themselves as an “Assistance program” that makes them sound like they are funded by a grant of some sort.  This is not the case.  This is just a marketing ploy to get you to use their product.

The microscopic disclaimer in the footer of

How does the company protect your personal information?

Make sure you read the privacy policy of any discount drug card you think about using.  Some companies use your private information to market other products to you or worse yet, sell it to third parties for the same purpose.  How do you think you get all that SPAM or junk mail?

A reputable company does not sell or share your personal information with anyone without your written permission.

Does the discount card use “lower-of” pricing?

As I explained in the “How do Prescription Discount Cards Work” post, your copay is determined by adding the negotiated price of the medication, the pharmacy dispensing fee, and the “marketing fee”. 

Sometimes the pharmacies cash price also known as the usual and customary (U&C)  price is lower than the negotiated price plus the marketing fee. In this case with discount cards that don’t use “lower-of” pricing the cost of the medication would be more than what the pharmacy would charge without the card.

See the image below as an example of how one person got ripped off paying almost 4 times the pharmacy’s cash price by using a prescription discount card that didn’t have “lower-of” pricing.

a picture showing adjudication of a claim using a prescription discount card that does not use "lower-of" pricing.

Discount cards that use “lower-of” pricing would revert to pharmacies U&C price if it was cheaper than the negotiated copay. 

Expert Tip

Never use a discount card that doesn’t use “lower-of” pricing unless you want to risk paying more for a medication than just paying the cash price. 

You can tell if a discount card uses this methodology by checking to see if they have a lowest price guarantee or by calling the customer service number and asking the representative directly.

Does your pharmacy accept the rx discount card?

Is a pharmacy in your area in the prescription discount card network of pharmacies. If you are located near one of the major chain pharmacies like Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, Publix, or Rite aid you won’t have any problems. These pharmacies are contracted with practically every discount card in America, especially the ones I recommend below.

Some independent pharmacies and smaller regional pharmacies like Meijer, however are not in network with as many pharmacy discount cards.

The easiest way to know is to visit the discount card website and do a quick search for a common drug with your zip code or city in the location field.

How do I get a prescription discount card?

Most programs have websites which allow you access the discount card which can then be sent to you via email, text, mailed to your home address, or even downloaded instantly.  Some plans, like and, also have convenient downloadable smartphone apps

Expert Tip


The Bottom Line

Prescription discount cards are easy to sign up for, free, provide lower drug costs, and have very few disadvantages.  Saving money has never been a bad thing, so why not increase your ability to save?

TFP’s Best prescription discount cards

The very best prescription discount cards that I recommend regularly to my patients are:

My day-to-day experience from seeing thousands of prescription claims a week has been that Singlecare, SearchRx, and RxCut provide the best pricing on most medications.   They check all the boxes on what to look for in a discount card as I stated above.  Make sure to go to, the RxCut website, or download the Singlecare app and check the pricing on your medications.  You may be surprised to see some prices may be better than your insurance, especially if you have a deductible


As a practicing community pharmacist in his home state of Michigan, Joe (AKA TheFrugalPharmacist) is always on the lookout for new information and ways to ensure you can afford your medications and don't get ripped off in America's complicated world of healthcare.

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