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50 Restaurant Rewards Programs That Are Worth Joining

Group of friends eating at a restaurant
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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.

If you find yourself indulging in a daily Starbucks coffee, meeting your friends for lunch every Friday at Chipotle and driving your kids to McDonald’s after every soccer game, it’s time to get rewarded.

Starbucks, Chipotle and McDonald’s are part of a growing group of restaurants dishing up discounts, deals and even free meals for loyal customers — especially those who order online or use the company’s app.

Eating out won’t save you money. But if you’re going to do it, why not save a little on your next purchase?

Some rewards programs keep it simple by offering dollar amounts off your purchase, while others tempt loyal customers with free food or beverages.

We’ve gathered the details of dozens of restaurant rewards programs to help you decide what works for your wallet and your taste buds.

Here’s a list that moves through the following categories: coffee, breakfast, dessert, burgers, chicken, sandwiches, pizza and other restaurants.

1. Starbucks

Starbucks
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The Starbucks Rewards program offers customers the chance to earn “stars” on every $1 spent and then redeem them for free food or drink items.

More stars earn better rewards. You can choose a free espresso shot or dash of syrup for 25 points, while 50 points can get you a brewed hot coffee, hot tea or bakery item.

Save 400 stars and you could get a free Starbucks cup or bag of coffee. Starbucks Rewards members also get free refills of hot beverages in-store. On your birthday, you can get a free coffee or food item of your choice.

2. Dunkin’

Dunkin' Donuts
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The Dunkin’ restaurant loyalty program, DD Perks, gives customers the chance to earn points by scanning their loyalty ID in-store or placing a mobile order. Members get a free beverage reward at 200 points.

DD Perks members also receive a free beverage on their birthday along with special offers year-round.

3. Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee
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Caribou Coffee Perks members can check in during their visit by giving the cashier their phone number or app barcode, or by swiping their Perks card at the register. More check-ins and purchases lead to more rewards.

Once you reach 140 points, you can redeem them for a free drink of any size. Points can also be traded for free upgrades or food, depending on current options. Caribou Perks rewards usually have a redemption period of two weeks. You get special offers sent to your account and a free drink of any size for your birthday.

4. Dutch Bros

Dutch Bros
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Dutch Bros Rewards members receive 125 points just for joining and get 5 points per every $1 spent. You can get a free medium drink with 250 points; all other drinks are free at 325 points.

5. Peet’s Coffee

Peet's Coffee
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Peet’s Coffee rewards program, Peetnik Rewards, offers members free drinks, breakfast sandwiches and more. For 25 points you can order a free espresso shot, syrup or topping, while 120 points earn a free handcrafted drink. Accumulate 400 points for a one-pound bag of freshly roasted coffee beans. Depending on your point level, you can opt for dollar amounts off your purchase. Earn 1 point for every $1 you spend.

You also receive 25 free points on your birthday and a free baked good or drink on your Peetnik Rewards anniversary.

6. Krispy Kreme

A free Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnut next to a COVID-19 vaccination card
EWY Media / Shutterstock.com

Rather than points, the Krispy Kreme Rewards program focuses on four different categories: single doughnuts, coffee, specialty coffee and dozens. You get one credit each time you purchase an item in those specific categories. After 12 items of the same type, your next one is free. You receive a free doughnut when you sign up. Rewards members also get offers and free items. Once a reward is earned, you have 90 days to use it.

7. Einstein Bros. Bagels

Einstein Bros
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If you prefer bagels to doughnuts, you can sign up for Shmear Society Rewards. New members receive a free bagel and “shmear” with a separate purchase. (A shmear is Einstein Bros. lingo for bagel spread.) Check in with your phone number or app barcode while ordering to receive credit for your purchase and 2 points per $1 spent.

Rewards members get a free egg sandwich for their birthday. Redemption periods for rewards vary between two and 14 days, so be sure to check your dates. Unused points expire after six months.

8. Tim Hortons

Tim Horton's
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Tim Hortons changed its loyalty program in 2020 as a way to expand its Tims Rewards offerings, and now tracks points instead of visits. Customers now receive 10 points on orders of 50 cents or more and can redeem points for items at different reward levels that start at 60 points.

9. Jamba Juice

Jamba Juice
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Download the My Jamba Rewards app and create your account in-app to qualify for $3 off your first order and $2 off your second (with a $10 minimum purchase). Earn one “Banana Point” for every $1 you spend, then get $3 off your purchase once you’ve reached 35 points. Once you’ve spent $15 as a rewards member, you qualify for a free smoothie on your birthday.

10. Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt

Orange Leaf
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The Orange Leaf Rewards program is fairly easy. You can join online or pick up an Orange Leaf Loyalty card or gift card at a participating location. Register a new account to accumulate points and get $3 off your first purchase. Earn 10 points per $1 spent and receive $5 off after 500 points.

Your reward is automatically placed into your account and can be redeemed by presenting your card or account number at check-out. If you’re not sure how many points you have, you can check your account online. Members also receive special promotions and coupons, such as $5 off on your birthday.

11. Dairy Queen

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If you live near a participating location, you can download the Dairy Queen mobile app to earn reward points or order ahead. Redeem 200 points for a free small regular or dipped cone or 250 points for a free mini Blizzard. You can find other rewards in the app. Check the location details in the Dairy Queen app to see if your local restaurant participates in the rewards program.

12. Cold Stone Creamery

Cold Stone Creamery
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If you’re not a fan of sharing your ice cream, Cold Stone Creamery’s rewards program has you covered. The My Cold Stone Club awards you a “Buy One, Get One Free Creation” after joining as well as on your birthday. Every $1 spent earns 1 point, and the points are automatically converted to a $5 off coupon once you reach 50 points. You also get 25 bonus points for signing up.

You can add up to seven family members and their birthdays to the same account. Everyone on the account can earn and redeem rewards. You can create an account online or in the Cold Stone mobile app.

13. Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt

Pinkberry
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If you don’t like cluttering your smartphone with too many apps or you prefer physical cards, you can still participate in Pinkberry’s rewards program. The frozen dessert restaurant gives customers the option of using either the Pinkberry app or a physical “Pinkcard.” Either way you register, you get a free small frozen yogurt with toppings after every 10th purchase and on your birthday.

14. Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box restaurant
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Jack in the Box is a newcomer to the world of restaurant loyalty programs. Available exclusively with their mobile app, the “Jack Pack” gives customers the opportunity to earn points on in-app purchases and redeem those points on rewards that can be added to mobile orders.

15. McDonald’s

McDonald's
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The go-to restaurant of busy parents everywhere has a rewards program that will have you saying “I’m lovin’ it.” New MyMcDonald’s Rewards members get a free order of large fries after downloading the McDonald’s app and signing up for the loyalty program. You also get a choice between a free order of hash browns, vanilla cone, McChicken or cheeseburger after your first purchase. Every $1 spent earns 100 points and rewards start at 1,500 points.

To earn points or use your selected reward, present an in-app four-digit code when ordering in person or use the mobile ordering feature.

McCafe Rewards have been added to the MyMcDonald’s app so you can track your food and beverage rewards in one place.

16. Burger King

Burger King
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If Burger King is your go-to burger restaurant, you can take advantage of the Royal Perks program. Members can upsize a small or medium fries, hashbrown, soft drink or coffee for free. Earn 10 points, or “Crowns,” for every $1 spent by presenting an in-app code when ordering. Rewards members have the option to participate in challenges to earn bonus rewards. You also get twice as many points during your birthday month.

17. Whataburger

Barre Kelley / Shutterstock.com

The MyWhataburger program tracks visits instead of points. After five visits, you can choose one of seven different food or drink items for free. Pretty simple, right?

18. Steak ‘n Shake

Steak 'n Shake
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Like pairing milkshakes with your burgers? Receive a free shake for signing up for the Steak ‘n Shake Rewards Club. For every $50 you spend at Steak ‘n Shake you earn 50 points, which has a value of $5.

19. Checkers/Rally’s

Checker's restaurant
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After registering with the Checkers/Rally’s Rewards app, you can choose between a free Classic Mother Cruncher or Big Buford. Every $1 you spend earns 5 points, and after reaching 400 points, you automatically get a $5 reward.

20. Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

Freddy's Steakburgers
Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

Download the Freddy’s Rewards app and become a FredHead by creating an account to start earning points toward free food and custard. Every $1 you spend, including purchases of Fry Seasonings and custard from the in-store freezer, will earn 10 points. Different food items can be redeemed for 500, 1,000 or 2,000 points.

21. Chick-fil-A

Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Chick-fil-A One uses a tiered rewards program that gives customers different perks depending on their level. Earn points using a mobile app order or presenting a QR code at the register. Higher tiers earn more points per dollar and better birthday rewards, but every tier receives the opportunity to participate in bonus point challenges and surprise rewards. If you’re feeling generous, some of the tiers let you give rewards to friends or family.

22. Wendy’s

Wendy's
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If you have the Wendy’s mobile app, you can participate in Wendy’s Rewards. Mobile and website orders add points automatically, or you can scan an in-app QR code when ordering in a restaurant. You can redeem rewards on mobile orders or by selecting your reward in the app before presenting your QR code.

Rewards change, but 150 points will get you a free small Frosty, and you can stockpile up to 700 points for a free full-size salad or Baconator. You earn 10 points for every $1 you spend.

23. Popeyes

Popeyes
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Get a free small drink, regular side or apple pie after signing up for Popeyes Rewards. You earn 10 points for every $1 spent and bonus points when ordering select combo meals and family meals. Rewards start at 150 points. Members can participate in happy hour with $1 regular sides on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-9 p.m.

24. Zaxby’s

Zaxby's
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Join the Zax Fanz Club and receive a free Zaxby’s Signature Sandwich. Every purchase you make goes toward earning more rewards. You get more rewards for more purchases. Don’t worry — you don’t have to try their Insane sauce to participate.

25. El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco
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Loco Rewards members get $5 off after accumulating 50 points. If your total doesn’t reach $5, the remainder will be saved in your account for future purchases. Loyalty members also receive a birthday reward.

26. Subway

Subway restaurant
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At Subway, you can make your sandwich as complicated as you want, but their Subway MyWay rewards program is simple. Once you receive 200 tokens, they are automatically converted into a $2 reward that you apply toward your total purchase. You can stack your $2 rewards and use up to 25 at once.

27. Jimmy John’s

Jimmy John's
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When you sign up for Freaky Fast rewards, you can get a free 8-inch sandwich after your first purchase. Members are the first to find out about new menu items and special promotions. Additional rewards can be earned through occasional special offers. Jimmy John’s doesn’t reveal their secrets in advance, but you earn more rewards the more orders you place, both online and in person.

28. Firehouse Subs

Firehouse Subs
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New members of the Firehouse Subs loyalty program receive a free large drink with a sub purchase after signing up. Points earned on purchases can be used for meal upgrades, free subs and more.

On your birthday, you can come in for a free medium sub. If you have children under 15, up to five of their birthdays can be added to your Firehouse Rewards account for a kids birthday offer, in which kids can choose between free kids meals or a free medium sub. Both offers require the purchase of a medium or large sub, chips and drink.

29. Which Wich

Which Wich Sandwich
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The formerly card-based Which Wich Vibe Club Rewards program is now an app. Participation in the loyalty program gets you a free 7-inch regular Wich worth up to $8 after accumulating 75 points and a free Wich on your birthday. You can also order a larger regular sandwich and apply the reward value toward that purchase.

To earn points, scan your QR code or provide your phone number at the register. One point is earned per $1 spent. You automatically receive a free Wich reward after 75 points.

30. Jersey Mike’s Subs

Jersey Mike's
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At Jersey Mike’s, the “Shore Points” you receive for the MyMike’s program depends on what you purchase. Customers earn 3 points for kids meals, 4 points for mini-subs or breakfast sandwiches, 6 points for regular subs or wraps and 12 points for every giant sub. Once you’ve reached 48 points, you can redeem them for a free mini-sub, while 72 points will get you a free regular sub and 144 points earns a free giant sub.

When you register for the email club you get a free sub on your birthday.

31. Potbelly Sandwich Shop

Potbelly Sandwich Shop
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Potbelly Perks will give you a free original sandwich for signing up and completing your first order. You earn 10 points for every $1 you spend, and there will be days where members can earn double or triple points on their orders. Once you’ve reached 1,000 points, you can redeem them for a free entree. On your birthday, you receive a free cookie.

32. Domino’s

Domino's Pizza
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With Domino’s Piece of the Pie Rewards, you can quickly earn points toward a free pizza. An order of $10 or more will receive 10 points. Once you hit 60 points, you can redeem them for a free medium two-topping pizza. If you prefer gluten-free pizza, you can use your points on a small two-topping gluten-free crust pizza by entering “GFCRUST” into the coupon code section when placing your order.

33. Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut
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Pizza Hut’s rewards program offers different rewards depending on how many points you accumulate. You can redeem 75 points for free breadsticks or save up 300 points to get a free large pizza. Every $1 you spend earns 2 points.

34. Papa John’s

Papa John's
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With the Papa John’s rewards program, you can earn their dough and saving your own. Each dollar spent online or at a store earns a point, and the pizza chain gives you $10 in “Papa Dough” once you’ve earned 75 points. The $10 can be applied toward any menu item.

35. Chuck E Cheese

Chuck E. Cheese's
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If you like going to restaurants that will get the kids out of your hair for a minute, you can keep them playing longer with the Chuck E Cheese rewards program. You earn 1 point for every $1 you spend, and rewards are available at 50, 100 or 200 points. You can choose between minutes of play time, e-tickets or a food item at each level, but the rewards get bigger with each point level.

36. California Pizza Kitchen

Osugi / Shutterstock.com

Receive a free small plate when you register with CPK Rewards. Earn 1 point for every $1 you spend, and after 75 points, you get $5 off. The loyalty program uses a tier system for members, and higher tiers earn better rewards. The beginner tier awards a free dessert on your birthday, while higher tiers offer free birthday entrees. You receive a free meal for four after reaching the highest level at 1,000 points.

37. BlazePizza

Blaze Pizza
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With the Blaze Rewards program, every $1 earns one “flame.” Redeem 30 flames for a free drink or dessert. Online orders can redeem 250 flames for a free large pizza.

38. BJ’s Brewhouse

BJ's Brewhouse
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Register with BJ’s Premier Rewards Plus and get a free Pizookie at sign-up and another on your birthday. Every $1 you spend gets you a point, and you automatically receive a $10 reward after 100 points.

39. TGI Fridays

TGI Fridays in Minneapolis
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

After signing up with Fridays Rewards you get a free appetizer with your first entree order. You can get a free drink at 30 points, free kids-menu items at 50 points and more options up to 175 points. On your birthday you receive a free dessert with an entree purchase. Get 10 points when you refer a friend.

40. PF Chang’s

P.F. Chang's
Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock.com

PF Chang’s Rewards is another loyalty program that keeps it simple with dollars-off rewards. For every $1 you spend you get 10 points. After reaching 2,000 points you automatically earn a $15 reward. When you sign up, you receive 1,000 bonus points. During your birthday month you get a free dessert or free appetizer.

41. McAlister’s Deli

McAlister's Deli
Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

McAlister’s Deli is another great restaurant reward program for parents. At the lowest reward level, you can redeem 500 points for a free kids meal or beverage. You can also get a free side or dessert at 1,000 points or your choice of a free entree for 1,500 points. Every $1 spent nets you 10 points. Refer a friend and receive 500 points after they sign up for McAlister’s Rewards and make their first purchase. They’ll get a free tea with your referral.

42. Red Robin

Red Robin
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

If you don’t like to keep track of points, Red Robin is a great option. The restaurant’s Royalty rewards program tracks items purchased. After buying nine eligible items, you receive your 10th item free. Burgers, entrees, wraps, side salads and entree salads all count toward your item total.

If you visit the restaurant five times within five weeks of signing up, you receive $20 toward your sixth visit. Each visit must include one of the menu items mentioned. You get a free burger on your birthday, and Red Robin also offers special rewards for teachers and members of the military.

43. Panera Bread

Panera
Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

Panera Bread also takes the fuss out of rewards by not tracking points. Rewards are based on what purchases you make. When you join the MyPanera loyalty program, you immediately get $5 off a flatbread pizza, a free pastry or sweet treat and 30 days of free delivery. If you also sign up for their emails, you receive other exclusive offers.

44. Fazoli’s

Fazoli's
Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

The Fazoli’s Rewards program offers different rewards based on points earned, starting at 25 points for a free small soft drink or Italian ice. At 125 points, you’re eligible for a Fresh Tossed Family Meal. Earn 1 point per $1 spent.

45. Chipotle

Chipotle
Northfoto / Shutterstock.com

Join Chipotle Rewards and receive free chips and guacamole after your first purchase. (If you’re not a guac fan, you can substitute salsa or queso blanco.) You can swap your points for free food and Chipotle merch, or even donate them to charitable causes.

46. Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings
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Whether you’re team traditional or team boneless wings, you can sign up for the Buffalo Wild Wings rewards program. As a Blazin’ Rewards member, you can spend your points on free food, merch or game tickets. You also score some free wings during your birthday month.

47. Qdoba

Qdoba
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Qdoba Rewards offers points based on number of visits and a four-tier system. After three visits, you’re upgraded to the second tier, where you earn 100 bonus points on every order and 10 points per $1. At the highest tier (25 visits), you earn everything from the lower tiers plus an additional 10 points per $1 and a monthly mystery perk.

48. Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Noodles & Company’s Noodles Rewards is another tier-based program. The first tier earns 8 points per $1, the second tier earns 10 and the third tier gets you 12 points. Free items for redeemed points range from an extra add-on for 150 points to a free entree for 1,500 points. After you join and make your first purchase, you receive a free small entree to redeem on your next visit. You also get a reward on your birthday.

49. Famous Dave’s

Famous Dave's Barbecue
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

To get a free burger or sandwich, just download the Famous Dave’s app and sign up for the rewards program. If the burger or sandwich you order includes a side, the side item is also free. Once you’re a member, every $1 you spend will earn 1 point, or “Bone.” You receive a $10 reward after accumulating 100 Bones.

You can refer Facebook friends and receive 20 Bones after they sign up using your referral code and earn their first Bones.

50. Golden Corral

Golden Corral
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When you download the Golden Corral app and sign up for the restaurant’s rewards program, you get a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase. You can use the app to scan your receipts and earn 1 point for every $1 you spend. You get a $10 reward after reaching 100 points. If you also sign up for the Good as Gold Email Club, you receive a free beverage, exclusive sneak peeks and a birthday offer.

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