This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.
Coupons can be lifesavers, allowing us to save money on items that we never even knew we needed.
Whether you use them online, or cut them out of newspaper the old-fashioned way to keep in your purse, they are so easy to use.
However, there are drawbacks to using coupons, especially if you are the kind of person who tends to forget deadlines.
There is nothing worse than finding a coupon that you really looked forward to using has already expired.
But, when does a coupon expire? When is the latest that it can be used?
In this article, we will look further into the facts of coupon expiration dates, finding out whether you can use one on the actual expiration date or not.
Why Do Coupons Expire?
Life would be so much easier if coupons never expired, right? We would be able to spend those tiny paper slips without fear of being rushed, or worrying about forgetting the expiration dates.
While you find a coupon that has the three magic words ‘No Expiration Date’ printed on the front, it is rare. It is more likely that the discount is stamped with a deadline by which it must be used.
Nowadays, marketing programs that involve traditional advertising, ad campaigns, online marketing, and in-store showcases sometimes use coupons as a component.
As a result, coupons include expiration dates because businesses want you to utilize them to purchase the associated product before they expire.
Coupons are frequently utilized in marketing campaigns. In order to determine whether the product will be successful, brands want to collect as much data as possible early on.
They can then adjust accordingly to the item while processing the data to direct their upcoming marketing initiatives.
Can You Use a Coupon on the Day it Expires?
When using a coupon, it can be pretty confusing to work out when exactly you can use it.
Usually a coupon will have its expiry date written on it. But, does that mean that it should be used on that date, or the day before? When is the last day that you can use it?
To answer this question: yes, a coupon can be used on its date of expiration.
Typically, a coupon can be used right up until 11:59 pm on the day of its expiry. Meaning that it’ll go out of date as soon as the day is over. This would be at midnight.
So, if your coupon expires on October 18th, you can use it on that day. It will expire at midnight on October 19th, and you can use it up until that exact time.
Depending on your current time zone and the time zone of the firm issuing the online coupon, you might be able to utilize it after the expiration date.
Later in this article, we will go into more detail about this.
What Time Does A Coupon Expire?
Most coupons will display an expiration date, but not an expiration time. Therefore, you may be wondering at what time your coupon will expire during that exact date.
Online deals are typically only good until the end of the working day, which is 11:59 in the time zone where the store is. The coupon is no longer valid the day following the deadline.
As a rule, you should expect the coupon to become unusable at 11:59pm on the date that it expires. Unless stated otherwise, you should be able to safely follow this rule.
So, for example, say your coupon expires on October 18th, 20XX. The last possible time that you can successfully use that coupon would be at exactly 11:59pm on October 18th.
Once the clock strikes midnight, the coupon will expire, and can no longer be used.
Can A Coupon Be Used After Its Expiration Date?
Unfortunately, there is no way of getting around this one. Once a coupon has reached its expiration date, you will (typically) not be able to use it anymore.
Some retailers will allow a short grace period in which they will accept coupons that are not long gone out of date.
However, this is fairly rare, and you should not expect any retailer to accept an expired coupon.
So, typically, you will not be able to use a coupon after it has expired.
However, even though we are unable to use discounts after they have expired, there are others around the world that are still able to.
For instance, military locations overseas will actually accept certain coupons for up to six months after they have expired.
You can support a military family by forwarding over your outdated coupons if you know one stationed abroad.
If you don’t know where to start, there are agencies online that can assist you in getting them distributed at military bases outside the United States.
Business Days And Calendar Days: Why Do They Matter?
The distinction between business days and calendar days when using a coupon comes down to the precise moment at which a coupon expires.
Even if there are still two hours left in the day, if your grocery store of choice shuts at 10 p.m., you will only have until 10 p.m. on the day that it expires to redeem the coupon.
However, if the store is open all day around, the coupon will be usable until midnight on the day that it expires.
The coupon is the same, sharing the exact same expiry date, but the difference is made depending on the opening hours of the store.
If the grocery store shuts at 10pm, you won’t be able to use the coupon after that time, as, well… the store won’t be open.
So, no matter the expiry date of the coupon, it ultimately comes down to the opening hours of the store in question.
You may have until midnight on that day to spend the coupon, theoretically, but you cannot spend it if the store has shut early.
Now, this factor also comes into play if you are spending the coupon online.
If your coupon can be redeemed in states in different time zones, you can technically spend that coupon online if the website in question is based in that specific state.
For example, if you are living in New York, and you have a coupon that can be spent at a Californian company, you may be able to spend that coupon after midnight in your time zone.
This is due to the fact that California is 3 hours behind New York. Meaning that you would have until 3am New York time to spend that coupon online.
This is why it is so important to consider business days over calendar dates when using coupons. If you don’t time your spending right, you may end up losing out.
The Average Lifespan Of A Coupon
Manufacturer coupons typically lose their value three to six months after being issued, but there are some exclusions. It’s possible to locate coupons that are good for a year, and others that expire in a month.
Store coupons typically expire in one to four weeks, leaving the buyer with little time to use their offer.
In the past, coupons had long-term expiration dates. On occasion, coupons with ‘No Expiration Date’ in big bold letters can be found, but these are pretty rare these days.
Today’s businesses use coupons to sell their brands in a somewhat more planned approach, reducing the amount of time a customer must use the discount.
This encourages customers to quickly spend their coupons, therefore spending money at the chosen business.
As we said, it is still possible to find coupons with longer lifespans, or even without expiration dates. However, in today’s climate, it is more likely to find coupons that must be spent within a month or less.
To answer the main question of this article: yes, you can use a coupon on the day it expires. You can use it right up to 11:59pm on that date, unless stated otherwise.
However, you will want to keep in mind that most physical stores are not open 24 hours. Therefore, you may not want to keep your coupon until the last possible minute.
Try to spend it during the daytime of the final day before it expires. This will ensure you actually get to use it.
We hope you found this article helpful.
NEXT RELATED SMART MONEY POSTS:
HERE ARE MY FAVORITE BUDGETING AND SAVING APPS:
iBotta for special offers and cash back on groceries.
Acorns which takes your spare change from purchases and invests it for you to help you make even more money.
Personal Capital for money management. Get a money dashboard, free analysis and personalized wealth advice