As Americans continue to feel the squeeze of rising drug prices, many people need help to cut medical bills. Prescription discount cards may offer relief. The United States spends more than $1,200 per person each year on prescription and over-the-counter drugs, more than any other industrialized country. These costs can hit consumers hard; more than one-quarter (29%) of Americans report not taking their medication at all or as prescribed because of cost, and three in 10 of them said their condition got worse as a result.
Prescription discount cards are one way to lower drug costs. These cards are not insurance, but offer discounts on the retail prices of medications. Card issuers negotiate bulk discounts directly with pharmacies and sometimes with drug manufacturers. Many discount cards are free to consumers, though some offer memberships—with or without fees—which promise greater savings.
When choosing between discount cards—or whether to use one at all—the most important consideration is how much it will actually save you on your specific medication, though discounts can vary widely. We reviewed 21 prescription discount cards based on the cost, price transparency, accessibility, the pharmacy network, and credibility of the company. Read on for our picks to decide which one is right for you.
Best Overall : GoodRx
GoodRx has great price transparency and cost-saving content, reports the largest network of pharmacies of any we reviewed, and offers a highly rated and widely reviewed mobile app.
Easy to compare discounts
Highly rated, widely used mobile app
70,000 participating pharmacies
Telehealth marketplace and other services
Discount card and online coupons a little disjointed
Facing competition from Amazon Pharmacy
GoodRx makes it easy to search for drug prices, compare discounts, access coupons, and get cost-saving tips. The focus on giving consumers clear, comprehensive price information and multiple options to find cost savings earns GoodRx our top spot.
One downside of the many savings options is that the coupons and the discount card are separate, and discounts may not match entirely.
Its mobile app has an average rating of 4.8 on Google Play and iTunes, which carries a lot of weight because it has more than 500,000 reviews. GoodRx has partnered with Inside Rx and drug manufacturers to offer discounts of up to $1,000 per year on more than 200 brand-name drugs.
GoodRx Gold, a monthly membership program that offers deeper drug and healthcare discounts, costs $5.99 per month for individuals or $9.99 per month for families. This membership program includes more than 1,000 prescriptions for less than $10, equivalent to up to 90% savings. GoodRx also offers discounts on pet medicines and has created a telehealth marketplace to make it easy to see doctors or other healthcare providers if you need a prescription.
One of GoodRx’s advantages is that it brings together a robust set of services, from telemedicine to lab tests, but as Amazon Pharmacy grows, GoodRx will face increased competition from the much larger player.
Best Discounts : ScriptSave WellRx
With average savings reportedly 65% off retail prices, ScriptSave WellRx offers the steepest discounts on average, though specific discounts may vary.
Average discounts are 65% though may be up to 80%
65,000 participating pharmacies
Easy to search for discounts without requiring any information
Get the card by text, email, download, or print
Offers members wellness support such as medication tracking and grocery guidance
Few users on its mobile app
Though many discount cards promise up to 80% or even 90% off retail prices, the average savings may be a better indication of overall cost savings available. Of prescription discounts cards we reviewed who disclose their average savings, ScriptSave WellRx offers the steepest average discounts (65%). Because ScriptSave WellRx has the biggest average discounts—not just large potential savings which not everyone will get—we picked it for best discounts.
Founded in 1994, ScriptSave is owned by MedImpact, a large pharmacy benefit manager that also administers America’s Pharmacy. ScriptSave WellRx does a good job showing sample savings on specific medications and makes it easy to browse without requiring any personal information.
You can sign up for a membership and get more services, such as My Medicine Chest, a personal medication record with tracking and reminders. WellRx also offers pediatric medication discounts and grocery guidance to help you make good nutritional choices.
ScriptSave is accredited with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an average customer rating of 4.9 out of 5. The mobile app is highly rated, averaging a score of 4.8, but it has only 3,200 reviews suggesting mobile is not its primary channel. Keep in mind that average discounts being highest does not mean that every drug is cheaper in every area.
Best for Brand-Name Drugs : Inside Rx
Most discounts are steepest on generic drugs, but Inside Rx has partnered with manufacturers (as well as with GoodRx) to negotiate discounts on more than 300 brand-name drugs.
Partners directly with manufacturers for brand-name discounts
Backed by pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts
Easy to search for discounts
Discounts up to 80%, average discount is 50%
Works with 60,000 pharmacies across the country
Very few users of its mobile app
Inside Rx is owned by Express Scripts, the pharmacy benefits manager acquired by Cigna in 2018. While some discount cards partner just with pharmacies to negotiate discounts, Inside Rx partners directly with manufacturers to negotiate lower pricing for its users.
Because it's one of few discount programs to focus on making brand-name drugs—not just generics—cheaper, Inside Rx wins for the best discount card for brand-name drugs. Inside Rx claims to be the only prescription discount program with more than 300 brand-name drugs. It also has a partnership with GoodRx and drug manufacturers to offer up to $1,000 in savings per year on more than 200 brand-name drugs.
The website is easy to use and doesn’t require any zip code or additional information to search for deals on specific drugs. It also does a good job with price transparency, citing average savings not just maximum potential savings. The mobile app gets an average rating of 4.8, but it has fewer than 500 users. Some competitors have tens or hundreds of thousands of users with comparable average ratings, so take Inside Rx’s app ratings with a grain of salt.
Best for Local Pharmacies : America’s Pharmacy
Whereas most pharmacy discount programs emphasize discounts from national chains, America’s Pharmacy prominently displays local pharmacies, many offering great discounts.
Up to 80% discounts; average discounts 54%
Easy-to-use website and highly rated app
Site shows sample discounts on specific drugs
Get the card by email, text, mail, or download
62,000 participating pharmacies
Though prescription discount cards tout their national pharmacy chain partners for good reason, sometimes your local pharmacy is the best option. America’s Pharmacy earns our top ranking for local pharmacies because it makes it easier than most to find discounts at local outlets. In its search results, America’s Pharmacy includes local options more prominently than many competitors, who often prioritize chain stores and deemphasize local retailers.
America’s Pharmacy offers a lot of other positive features as well. It offers good price transparency with sample discounts on specific drugs and by citing the average discount (54%), not just the total potential discount (up to 80%). It also offers to deliver the discount card by email, text, or mail, or you can download it.
The mobile app has an average rating of 4.8 with more than 100,000 users. Though America’s Pharmacy was only launched in 2018, it’s administered by MedImpact, a pharmacy benefits manager that’s been operating for 30 years. Though newer, America’s Pharmacy is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau with a 5 out of 5 average customer rating.
Best Integrated Solution : Blink Health
More of an online pharmacy than a pure prescription discount card, you can order your prescriptions via Blink Health, and get a prescription for delivery or local pickup.
Includes 15,000 medications
Free home delivery
Offers remote prescribing for certain conditions
Discounts not as transparent as with some competitors
35,000 participating pharmacies (that’s a lot, but competitors have more)
Lower average BBB customer reviews
Some prescription discount cards are simply coupon programs that work like any retail coupon site. Blink Health takes a more integrated approach, offering access to prescribers, not just to the prescriptions themselves, making it our pick for integrated solutions.
You can order your medications for free home delivery or local pick up from 35,000 participating pharmacies. If you don’t have a prescription, you can have a telehealth visit with a licensed prescriber to get medications for birth control, erectile dysfunction, cold sores, high cholesterol, or hair loss.
Because Blink Health isn’t a pure discount card, it’s not optimized for price transparency like some of its competitors, and it has a smaller pharmacy footprint—35,000 compared with as many as 70,000 with GoodRx. But if you have a condition that Blink Health can treat, they offer a one-stop solution. Despite its A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, its average customer review is just 2.2 out of 5.
Best Discount You May Already Have : Amazon Pharmacy
Amazon Prime members already get prescription discounts with an Amazon Pharmacy discount card at 50,000 pharmacies around the country.
If you’re a Prime member, you already have it
Up to 80% discounts on generic drugs, 40% for brand-names
50,000 participating pharmacies nationwide
Free two-day medication delivery for Prime members
Must be an Amazon Prime member
If you want a physical card, you have to print a screenshot
Amazon launched Amazon Pharmacy late in 2020, two years after acquiring online pharmacy PillPack. You can order medications, with or without insurance, from Amazon and get them delivered like anything else you order from Amazon. Amazon Prime members can get free two-day delivery on prescriptions.
For people without insurance or who are paying for medications out-of-pocket, Amazon offers its own prescription discount card, included with Prime membership. The discount card offers up to 80% discounts on generic drugs and up to 40% off brand-name drugs. Amazon’s discount card works at 50,000 pharmacies nationwide.
The downsides are you have to be a Prime member, which costs $119 per year or $12.99 per month, although there are also other benefits of Prime membership. With 126 million people in the U.S. already Prime members, Amazon wins for being the best discount program you probably already have.
If you want a physical card, it’s a little awkward; you have to take a screenshot and print it out. If Amazon’s history is any guide, it’s likely the company will continue to build its pharmacy capabilities and benefits. Stay tuned.
All prescription discount cards promise dramatic savings, some as high as 90% off retail prices. What really matters, though, is how much you can save on your specific medication. We compared companies based on how easy it is to find and use their discounts, as well as the number of participating pharmacies, usability, and additional features. We excluded companies who are not verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacies. All claims are based on company websites unless otherwise noted.
|Company||Wins For||Key Benefit|
|GoodRx||Best Overall||Great price transparency, largest pharmacy network, popular mobile app, and well-rounded offering|
|ScriptSave WellRx||Best Discounts*||Average discount 65%|
|Inside Rx||Best for Brand-Name Drugs||Exclusive discounts on more than 300 brand-name drugs|
|America’s Pharmacy||Best for Local Pharmacies||Makes it easy to find discounts at local pharmacies|
|Blink Health||Best Integrated Solution||Offers prescription discounts plus telehealth services for certain conditions|
|Amazon Pharmacy||Best Discount You May Already Have||Pharmacy discounts included with Amazon Prime membership|
*Discounts vary by prescription, location, and other factors. ScriptSave WellRx may not be cheapest on every drug in every location.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Are Prescription Discount Cards?
Prescription discount cards—now available via mobile apps or websites—are programs that offer discounts on the retail price of prescription drugs. These are not insurance; they are coupons to lower the retail price of prescriptions. Prescription discount cards are often free to consumers but offer discounts through negotiated prices between the provider and the pharmacy.
Who Can Use Prescription Discount Cards?
Anyone paying for prescriptions out-of-pocket—not with insurance coverage—can use a prescription discount card. Some have age limitations. Even if you have health insurance, you probably still have to pay prescription copayments out-of-pocket and you may have a deductible that applies to your prescriptions. Prescription discount cards may cost less than your copayment or other out-of-pocket costs. For people without health insurance or without prescription drug coverage, these discount programs can make medications more affordable than paying the full cash price.
How Do Prescription Discount Cards Make Money?
Prescription discount card providers typically negotiate bulk discounts with pharmacies, and sometimes with drug manufacturers as well. Pharmacies make money for filling more prescriptions, just like any business that competes for customers using discounts. The discount card provider typically earns money from the pharmacies in exchange for customer referrals. Some also charge fees to the customer, such as monthly membership fees for extra discounts.
Do Prescription Discount Cards Work With Insurance?
Prescription discount cards are ideal for people who are paying for medications out-of-pocket, either because they don’t have insurance, haven’t met the deductible yet and have to pay cash, or a drug isn’t covered. That said, even if your medication is covered, depending on your copayment, you may be able to save money using a discount card. If you find you can save money by paying out-of-pocket with a discount card, prescriptions you pay for this way won’t count toward your deductible. You may save money out-of-pocket but take longer to meet your deductible.
Can You Use Prescription Discount Cards With Medicare?
Like other insurance programs, Medicare doesn’t cover everything, and not all Medicare members opt for prescription drug coverage. Even those who do have Medicare Part D prescription coverage face a coverage gap, historically called “the donut hole.” Though the donut hole technically closed in 2020, Medicare enrollees are subject to higher costs in the Part D gap. A federal Anti-Kickback Statute applies to Medicare, which means you can’t use pharmacy discounts when using Medicare Part D coverage. But, like with other insurance, you should be able to use these discounts when you pay out-of-pocket, outside the Medicare system.
How Can I Save Money on Prescriptions?
Drug prices can vary widely depending on where you fill the prescription and how you pay for it. Prescription discount cards give you a way to check where you can fill your prescription to save the most. Some discount providers also offer tips for additional savings, such as using a mail-order pharmacy or replacing a brand-name drug with a generic, if your prescriber agrees.
How We Chose the Best Prescription Discount Cards
We reviewed 21 pharmacy discount companies. Because consumer trust is essential, we checked the “Buy Safely” site to identify discount providers that have been verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). Though none of the companies we reviewed appeared on NABP’s Not Recommended List, we excluded any company that was not explicitly verified. We evaluated NABP-verified pharmacy discount providers on factors such as the number of participating pharmacies, user experience, and value to consumers as defined by the presence of fees to participate.
Every company promotes the potential for dramatic savings, sometimes as high as 90%, but actual individual savings can vary widely by prescription and depending on an individual’s options. Therefore, we rated companies based on their price transparency, which we gauged by factors such as how easy it was to compare prices and how much specific price information or average savings the company provided. We evaluated the overall usability of the websites and incorporated user ratings of the companies’ mobile apps weighted by the number of users on the app. We noted, though did not score, providers offering additional benefits or perks to consumers.