Commissary Coupon Policy

DeCA’s Coupon Policy

Commissaries accept valid manufacturer coupons when redeemed in-accordance-with the terms stipulated on the coupon.

Coupons must contain: the word “coupon”; a message to the retailer specifying the terms and conditions for accepting the coupons; redemption address; the purchase requirement; and a specially stated face value.

Coupons will only be accepted for items purchased by the customer.

Only one coupon per purchase, or purchase requirement, as stipulated on the coupon may be accepted.

Coupon stacking is not permitted.

Additional cents off coupons cannot be used in conjunction with ai “buy this, get that free” or “buy item A and get SX off item B” type coupons.

Additional cents off coupons cannot be used in conjunction with items sold in a multi-pack, twin pack, club pack, etc.; these items are sold as one unit and considered to be one item or purchase.

“Military” or “commissary” coupons are manufacturer coupons and cannot be used in conjunction with another coupon.

If a commissary has “linked” a coupon to an item, meaning the coupon value is automatically deducted from the item at the time of sale, an additional cents off coupon cannot be accepted.

A paper coupon and a Commissary Rewards Card digital coupon cannot be accepted for the same item.

Coupons will only be accepted as specified on the coupon.

If a particular brand, size, or type is stipulated, the coupon cannot be used on another similar item.

If redemption verbiage limits the number of “like” coupons, additional coupons will not be accepted; e.g., if a coupon stipulates, “Limit 4 like coupons,” only 4 coupons will be accepted.

If a coupon limits the number of like coupons per shopping trip, or other similar verbiage, e.g., “Limit 4 like coupons per shopping trip,” transactions cannot be split into multiple transactions. A shopping trip consists of entering the commissary, selecting merchandise, paying for it, and leaving the store with the paid merchandise.

If a coupon places limits such as, “Limit 4 like coupons per household per day,”transactions cannot be split into multiple transactions nor can additional items be purchased using duplicates of that coupon the same day.

If a coupon stipulates, “Limit 1 coupon per person,” a duplicate of that same coupon cannot be accepted again at any time.

If a coupon states a value “up to,” but not to exceed a certain dollar amount and provides a space for the selling price to be written in, credit will be given for only the actual cost of the product.

Valid coupons will generally be entered at the value stated on the Ifthe face value of a coupon exceeds the cost of the product (“overage”), the customer will be given the full face value of the coupon, unless prohibited by the manufacturer’s terms and condition printed on the coupon. In instances where the coupon prohibits the coupon value from exceeding the selling price of the item, the coupon value will be given only for the selling price of the item being purchased.

All coupons must be written in Coupons that have verbiage in English plus a language other than English are acceptable; e.g., coupons that contain both English and Spanish.

Manufacturer coupons with another retailer’s logo printed on them will be accepted, provided the verbiage does not restrict the coupon to “only” the retailer advertised.

Photocopies of any coupon are not accepted.

Expired coupons presented at commissaries in the 50 United States will not be accepted.

Paper coupons in overseas areas outside of the 50 United States, will be accepted up to 6 months following their prescribed expiration dates.

This 6-month extension does not apply to Commissary Rewards Card digital coupons; they will not be accepted after the expiration date.

Coupons identified as counterfeit by DeCA or the Coupon Information Center web site ( will not be accepted.

Internet coupons will not be accepted for free products; however, Buy One, Get One Free” coupons are acceptable if they meet all other coupon requirements.

Internet coupons must contain a typical barcode (UPC-A) and/or a GSl DataBar and be Coupons with only a GSl DataBar are acceptable.

If an Internet coupon has a pin number or dot scan barcode, the pin number or dot scan barcode numbers must be unique for each coupon. Coupons with duplicate pin numbers or dot scan barcode numbers will not be accepted.

Coupon values will be deducted from transactions after the surcharge is computed and applied to the full value I of the transaction.



Why don’t commissaries allow both a manufacturer and a military coupon to be used on the same item?

Customers may only use one coupon per purchase in DeCA commissaries. (A “purchase” is the item or set of items a customer must buy to meet the purchase requirements listed on the coupon.) This policy complies with the terms and conditions set by manufacturers for coupon use, and manufacturers only reimburse DeCA for coupons when commissaries follow these terms and conditions.

When retail stores allow customers to use both a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon on the same item, they are still limiting customers to one manufacturer coupon per purchase because store coupons are provided by the retailer and funded by their profits. This practice is not possible in the commissary system, because by law the commissary sells at cost and cannot make a profit, so DeCA does not issue “store” coupons or coupons of any kind. However, DeCA allows manufacturers to make their coupons available to patrons: All coupons found in commissaries (including those marked “military” or “commissary”) are issued by the manufacturers.

Do commissaries accept coupons?

Yes. Commissaries accept most types of coupons as part of purchase transactions in accordance with the terms and conditions stated on a coupon.

Commissaries CANNOT accept “in-house” coupons issued by commercial grocery stores or supermarkets.

Patrons who wish to use coupons as part of a purchase transaction must buy the item(s) indicated on a coupon, and-except in foreign overseas areas-must use a coupon prior to or on the expiration date stated on a coupon.

Commissaries located in foreign overseas areas accept coupons up to six months after the expiration date stated on a coupon.

Do commissaries ever have “double coupon” or “triple coupon” promotions like those offered by commercial stores?

No. The “double” or “triple” coupon promotions offered by commercial stores involve doubling, tripling (or otherwise increasing) the face value of a coupon. Commercial stores who offer these types of promotions get paid by the coupon issuer only for the face value of a coupon, and have to absorb the costs of “doubling” or “tripling” coupon face value in their pricing and profit structure.

Because commissaries are required by law to sell goods at prices set only high enough to cover the cost of those goods, commissaries make no profit from which to pay the costs associated with “double” coupon promotions.

Additionally, DeCA cannot use funds provided for the operation of commissaries to support such promotions, because law strictly prescribes the uses of these funds, and “promotional support” is not among the allowable uses of these funds.

Commissaries do occasionally offer a different type of “double coupon” promotion than described above. For these promotions, manufacturers or other coupon issuers agree that commissaries may accept more than one coupon on the purchase of an item, and usually supply large numbers of coupons to patrons in the commissary in support of such promotions. These “double coupon” promotions involve doubling the number of coupons accepted on the purchase of an item, but DO NOT involve doubling (or otherwise increasing) the face value of a coupon.

May I use coupons in combination on the purchase of an item in a commissary?

No, customers may use only one coupon per item in DeCA commissaries. Even coupons without exclusionary language, such as “NOT TO BE USED WITH ANY OTHER COUPON, ” “NOT TO BE USED WITH ANY OTHER OFFER,” “ONE COUPON PER PURCHASE,” etc. , may not be used in combination on the purchase of an item. This policy is in line with the policies of other DoD resale activities and our commercial counterparts.

Can I use coupons generated from the Internet in a commissary?

Yes, commissaries gladly accept Internet or home-printed coupons provided they meet the following requirements: the coupons must have a typical barcode and Product Identification Number (PIN) or GS1 DataBar. A Dot Scan Barcode may appear below the expiration date, but is only required if stated on the coupon, e.g., “Do not accept without a Dot Scan Barcode below the expiration date.” Internet coupons cannot be accepted for free products, however, “Buy One Get One Free” coupons are acceptable if they meet all other requirements.

Will the commissary accept a coupon that has a GS1 Data Bar on it, but no UPC-A bar code?

Yes. UPC-A bar codes are being phased out, and many manufacturers are putting only GS1 Data Bars on coupons now. Coupons with only a GS1 Data Bar are expected to be the norm for all coupons in the near future, including coupons printed from the Internet.

I have several coupons with the same dot scan bar code or PIN printed on them. Will the commissary accept them?

Internet coupons may have, but are not required to have, a dot scan bar code or Product Identification Number (PIN). If an Internet coupon has a dot scan bar code or PIN, it must be unique for each coupon. Commissaries are not able to accept coupons with duplicate dot scan bar code numbers or duplicate PINs.

My coupon’s face value is greater than the selling price of the item. Will the commissary give me the full value of the coupon?

If coupon “overage” results in a negative balance to you, the commissary will issue you DeCA gift cards in $25 and $50 increments, until the remaining balance owed to you is $24.99 or less, which you will receive in cash.

Why did DeCA change its policy on giving cash back on coupon “overages”?

Commissaries are providers of a benefit that sell groceries at cost, and using the gift cards to cover certain refunds and coupon ‘overages’ discourages practices contrary to DeCA’s mission.

***NOTE*** DeCA has a monthly ad with special promotions.  Check the store for the ad. If you are a military member or a dependent registered in DEERS, you can view the sale items online  – you will need to confirm your commissary shopping privileges.

Find your store’s coupon policy.