During your couponing adventures, you may have wondered, “How do you know if a coupon doubles”?
When I first wrote this post (back in 2012), it was much easier to look at the numeric codes of the coupons and tell if a coupon would double. Here is what I wrote:
“One way to tell if they double (or not) is by looking at the code on the coupon. If it starts with a 6 or a 9, it won’t double. If it starts with a 5, it will!”
Fast forward a few years, and there has been a major shift in the way coupons are coded. The reason they have changed, is to cut down on coupon fraud, and increase efficiency/accuracy. That is great news for ethical couponers! It provides less hassle during checkout, and helps us keep our couponing integrity intact.
Below you will find an example of coupons that are coded with the old style. It shows the first digit as a clue to doubling or not. Then, I’ll give an example of the newer style.
How to Know if a Coupon Will Double
Here is the old UPC-A type coupon. It was easy to look at the first digit and see if the coupon would double. I’ve circled the first digit on the UPC code, so you can see what I mean. If it started with a 5, it would double. A 6 or a 9 would not.
Let’s look at the next graphic. The newer style coupons may have both the UPC-A barcode format, along with the GS1 DataBar barcode format (graphic below – top half), or may have only the GS1 DataBar format (graphic below – bottom half). Most coupons today only show the GS1 DataBar, making it hard to tell if it will double.
Source: Bar Code Graphics
So, to recap. If the number starts with a 5, the computers will automatically double the coupon (at stores that allow it). On the GS1 DataBar coupons, there is no discernible way to tell if the coupon will double based on the numbers. My recommendation is to go by the wording on the coupon itself.
Still not sure if a coupon will double?
Try this great FREE app in the iTunes store, for your iPad or iPhone: Double Coupon Checker.
All you do is scan the coupon in question, and a simple YES or NO will appear on the screen! Voila!