Fast food is already pretty cheap and affordable to begin with. But over the years, chains have found ways to keep us coming back and save money at the same time – enter the loyalty program. Full of exclusive deals, coupons, and free stuff, here are the 15 Best Fast Food Loyalty Programs.
When you’re craving some tasty fried chicken, and you don’t know which joint to go to, Chick-fil-A could be a good bet. The Chick-fil-A One rewards program recently underwent an upgrade and introduced a brand new membership tier full of rewards and bonus point challenges. Basically, the more you spend in a year, the higher your membership status gets and the bigger your perks become. Every time you buy something, you get points, but depending on your membership status, you can get more points per dollar. Whether you’re a Silver, a Red, or hold the ultimate ‘Signature’ membership status, you have access to an impressive amount of deals and rewards by using your well-earned points. You can even sign up to receive a birthday reward! Loyal customers have helped the chain achieve one of the highest Customer Satisfaction ratings and the average restaurant pulls in an average of $3.1 million dollars in sales yearly. Basically, when it comes to chicken and the rewards that go with it, Chick-fil-A is doing something right.
There’s nothing we buy more of every day than coffee, so it would make sense for the largest coffeehouse chain in the world to have a solid, profitable loyalty program. Lucky for us, Starbucks has exactly that – one of the best mobile experiences out there! Starbucks Rewards was implemented in 2016 and now counts over 20 million active members. The key to the program’s success is that it’s a simple, easy, and convenient way to make the best out of your daily purchase. Each customer is awarded two stars for every dollar spent, and they can use those stars to redeem free drinks and food. By downloading the app, you can also place and pay for orders advance, thus avoiding any lines. These mobile orders now make up 7 percent of the orders at Starbucks in the U.S, which represents a 16 percent increase. Of course, there are tons of other perks when joining Starbucks’s reward program, so why not check it out and see for yourself!
13. Taco Bell
Recently, Taco Bell decided to join the loyalty program hype and offer its customers the chance to get their hands on some free food. To start things off smoothly, just by downloading the app just before the rollout of the program, you could claim a variety of free items – like a free Chalupa Cravings Box one day and free Doritos Locos Tacos the next. To earn points, it’s really easy – all you have to do is make qualifying purchases on the app, and you will earn 250 points for every $25 spent. And after 250 points are earned, you can get a reward! As you navigate the loyalty program, you can also unlock VIP rewards like bonus point challenges, exclusive offers, and extra gifts on your birthday. The app is also the best method of contactless ordering, a way to skip window payment completely and a really useful advantage to have in this day and age.
12. El Pollo Loco
If we based our rating solely on customer feedback, then El Pollo Loco would earn the title of “Best Fast Food Loyalty Program” right now. Thanks to the new and improved Loco Rewards launched last year, the Mexican chain has seen a 40% annual growth in membership. It uses a pretty straightforward approach and works much like any other loyalty program – every dollar spent will earn you points, whether it’s an in-restaurant purchase or online order. With every 50 points, or $50 spent, you will get $5 off your order, which you can apply to your purchase, up to $20. You also have access to countless deals, specials, and personalized offers – all you have to do is scan the QR code on your receipt in the app, and you’ll discover a whole new world of savings, but hurry up if you don’t want to miss out – points expire 6 months from the issuance date!
Everybody knows about Domino’s iconic tracking service – a way to know where your pizza is at all times – but not a lot of people know about their loyalty program. Every time you place an order, you collect 10 points, and after 60 points? You can redeem them for an entire free pie! Piece of the Pie Rewards members not only get pretty sweet deals but, they can also be the first ones to know about them. When the quarantine first started, Domino’s wanted to make sure its customers were safe, so the chain offered 50% off all pizza deliveries in March, and reward members were the first to be let in on the offer. Domino’s also offers a complete School lunch program called the Smart Rewards program. Every time you buy a Smart Slice, you’ll earn points that can be used to support your local schools.
Of course, a giant fast-food chain like McDonald’s would have a killer loyalty program – happy customers equals happy restaurant! It’s the perfect way to keep your existing customers happy, all the while attracting new ones. The new McDonald’s Rewards Program can be accessible simply by downloading the app and scanning every in-store purchase to collect points. No matter what you buy: a Big Mac, a combo meal, or even just a soda, it can all earn you points. Lately, however, the deals have been pretty stellar for coffees. For every five McCafe drinks you buy, you’ll get a sixth for free! But that’s not all! The Golden Arches also offers a plethora of new coupons every week, exclusively available on their app. Plus, if you buy any combination of applicable hot beverages or fries through the app, you’ll earn a reward to redeem either a free medium beverage or medium fries! You simply can’t pass up on these deals!
Once again, coffee is an important part of many people’s daily routine, so it wouldn’t hurt to get a little bit back once in a while – especially if you buy from the same place every day. Dunkin’ offers one of the best rewards programs when it comes to coffee shops. The DD Perks Rewards Loyalty Program was introduced nationwide in January 2014 and is now fully integrated into the chain’s app. When you become a member, you can earn 5 points on every dollar spent, and then after 200 points, you can get yourself a free beverage of your choice. It was originally designed to provide customers with new levels of convenience, and well, to see if it was successful, we can let the numbers speak for themselves. There are now more than 16 million satisfied members of the DD Program. Dunkin’ proudly describes it as “one of the fastest-growing loyalty programs in the industry.”
8. Dairy Queen
Dairy Queen is the ultimate summer destination when you want to cool down on a hot day. And since DQ’s specialty is the Blizzard, why not sign up for the Blizzard Fan Club! This is a club we can pretty much all get behind, to be honest. By signing up, you will join millions of other fans who receive tons of free coupons, blizzard promotions, exclusive offers, new flavor updates, Blizzard Of The Month announcements, a blizzard coupon for your Bday, and so much more. As for the regular DQ loyalty program, it’s like any standard program: you earn points with every qualifying purchase ordered ahead through the app or by scanning your phone at the register. You can then use those points to redeem whatever you’d like, all customized specifically to your taste. In other words, don’t waste any time and become a member before summer starts, you won’t regret it!
With Subway’s loyalty program, getting a tasty sub has never been easier – or as exciting! Subway’s MyWay Rewards program literally does it all, and having access to it is a piece of cake. From exclusive deals to digital wallets and restaurant locations, you can find everything you’re looking for, all in one convenient app. Every time you spend a dollar, you get four tokens, and with 200 tokens? You can redeem $2 off your next purchase – meaning you have a $2 discount for every $50 you spent! These tokens can be earned in many ways, including using the chain’s app, swiping a registered Subway Card, or by simply providing your phone number at the restaurant. You can also unlock freebies – like a stack of Subway’s famous cookies and be eligible for personalized offers and Surprise Awards. Doesn’t this sound like one of the best bargains yet?
For a fast-casual food joint, Chili’s has always been a rather early adopter when it comes to technology, and this advantage has been particularly helpful these days with the recent “stay at home” rules. Not only can you get free chips & salsa or a non-alcoholic beverage by visiting participating Chili’s at least once every 60 days, but you can also score a lot of freebies simply by signing up to the My Chili’s Rewards program. Along with free food and drink, you will also have access to 1-tap ordering, as well as the ability to use your rewards when you’re ordering to-go, curbside, or for delivery – all methods to encourage as little contact as possible. My Chili’s Rewards Program also offers personalized Rewards like free kids meals, free delivery, free appetizers, and even free dessert on your birthday. There’s never been a better time to go to Chili’s than now!
We asked, and Wendy’s answered! The chain has finally decided to venture into the world of loyalty programs to, yes, better its digital growth, but also to help its customers grab some enticing deals. Even though it took years for Wendy’s to cave in, it sounds like it was more than worth the wait. Members of the program can earn 10 points per dollar spent every time they order through the mobile app or scan their QR code at the counter or drive-thru window. The only bad news is, orders placed through third-party delivery services do not qualify for rewards. After accumulating enough points, you can unlock many free items from the Rewards Store and opportunities to earn bonus points. According to Wendy’s, digital customers spend 20% to 60% more on its mobile and delivery services and visit four times more than regular customers. The chain expects these sales to drive growth tremendously over the next few years, all thanks to their loyalty program.
Chipotle also recently launched its loyalty program in hopes of increasing its digital presence and let’s just say it was a very successful decision. In less than a year, the program had grown more than 50%, going from 8 million to 12 million members! But why are people so excited about Chipotle’s reward program? Well, aside from the occasional free burrito bowl, you can also enjoy a lot of alluring deals. Obviously, there’s the “you get points every time you spend a dollar” factor – which can earn you free Chipotle menu items after you reach 1,250 points – but there’s also the free delivery offered from time to time and the very generous birthday favors. This new rewards program has greatly helped the chain, especially during the hard times of the pandemic. So, to enjoy some delicious burritos – sometimes for free – download the app and become a part of the Chipotle family!
As the chain serving one of the best chicken sandwiches on the market, there was no way Popeyes would miss the chance at offering its customers a way to get one for free. With Popeyes’ reward program – much like with every other program on this list – you can earn points for every dollar spent whenever you order digitally or in-store. As you accumulate those points, you can get your hands on attractive rewards by using the chain’s app. While this alone would be enough to make customers happy, Popeyes takes it one step further. You can have your order prepared in advance and skip the line for a hassle-free takeaway. You can also benefit from a smooth and secure online payment and an uninterrupted ordering experience. Sure, this is more of an “app-exclusive” than it is a membership, but it’s still a great way to enjoy and receive special deals and perks.
2. Panera Bread
Panera Bread – unlike many other newbies – has been in the loyalty program game for what seems like forever. Ever since 2010, loyal customers have been able to enjoy all the advantages and deals the program has to offer. The card-based loyalty program rewards its members with tons of free food and bakery items, invitations to special events, recipe books – oh, and, let’s not forget, free coffee all summer long. With so many perks, how could you resist signing up? MyPanera has over 21 million active members, and over 50% of the company transactions occur using MyPanera cards. By becoming a member, you get to experience one-of-kind opportunities – and it all starts with a free sweet treat. You can even get free surprises and sneak peeks at new menu items. To get access to all of these wonderful benefits, all you need to do is sign up. Honestly, Panera Bread, you’re doing something right; keep it up!
1. Del Taco
Just by looking at the name of its loyalty program, you can tell that Del Taco is not messing around. If you’re looking for free food, amazing deals, and unique opportunities, then joining the “Raving Fan Fan Club” should be your next move. From the moment you sign up, you get showered with gifts – well, okay, you get showered with free tacos – but honestly, same difference. You get not one but two free delights, which is always a plus. And, when it’s time to celebrate your birthday, you can get a free premium shake. Putting the free stuff aside, you also have access to exclusive coupons and the chance to try out some new menu items before everyone else. Now’s the time to join Del Taco’s inner circle and treat yourself to some incredible offers.