THE BEST COFFEE LOYALTY PROGRAMS, RANKED BY WHAT YOU ACTUALLY GET

Starbucks is not the clear winner.

What do you think I did today? I got a toasted bagel and hash browns as well as a medium iced espresso ( with almond Milk) for only $3.03. Why? Because I love the rewards program at my coffee shop. Although there are many lists of the best coffee rewards programs online, they often need to be more accurate. Here’s the top ranking with the place that earned me the $3 breakfast.

#1: Pret

Pret offers a coffee subscription for those who live near one. You can order any organic tea or coffee you like, hot or cold, up to five times per week and for $24.99 per month. It is a good deal, though you will need to wait for refills every 30 minutes. The subscription costs $10 more per month and includes both espresso and barista-made beverages, such as chai lattes, hot chocolate, or cold brew. You can add a flavor or an espresso shot to your add-on. It’s a bit expensive, which is why it’s #5 on the list. However, it points out that it is the same price as purchasing two drinks per week for the month.

#2: Panera

Panera Bread offers two options for coffee and snack lovers: A MyPanera program which functions as a regular loyalty program and gives you points for purchases. You also get free stuff on your birthday. This is the one we are looking at. This one has unlimited sips. The name says it all. Unlimited drinks are available for $119.99 per month or $119.99 annually. This includes charged lemonades, hot and iced teas, and, yes, hot coffees. You can order any size drink you like every two hours. If you’re seated in the restaurant, you get unlimited refills.

#3: Starbucks

Starbucks is the most popular coffee loyalty program, although this is not surprising. While the rewards program has some merit, its main benefit is its ability to save you money on Starbucks’ notoriously expensive drinks. One star is earned for every dollar spent (or two stars if money is preloaded into the company’s app). The stars can then be redeemed for free upgrades or other perks. It’s completely free to join. You will need to spend $25 to receive a flavor syrup or dairy substitute. You must spend $200 to earn a sandwich or salad or $100 with preloaded money. You can also get free coffee refills and bonus star challenges through Double Star Days and Bonus Star Challenges.

#4: Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee’s free to join Perks program gives you two points for every dollar spent. However, those dollars can only be spent in the store, or online. This means that any gift sets or mugs you purchase online will also count toward your point fund. You can upgrade your beverage size for 25 points and get any size of brewed coffee or tea for 50 points. One hundred fifty points are required to purchase a sandwich or crafted beverage. You can also answer trivia questions in the app every day to earn 10 cents off your next order.

#5: Dunkin’

Last year, Dunkin’ revamped its loyalty program. People hated it because it increased the points needed to get a coffee. They are wrong. They fear change. One, you can spend $1 to get 10 points, and two, if you are a “boosted”, member, you get 12. You must visit Dunkin’ 12 times a month to become boosted. Easy. It’s easy. I have 4,514 points that can be used to buy a variety of treats. It costs 150 points to get an espresso shot, hash browns or 3 Munchkins donuts. Two hundred fifty points is for a donut. 250 calories per donut. Five hundred calories for coffee, 600 calories for bagels, 700 calories for crafted espresso drinks, and 600 calories each for small breakfast items. These are easy to reach compared to other loyalty programs. It’s even easier when you consider that you can get bonus points by ordering ahead of time on Mondays and ordering any week’s special offer.

You also get tons of coupons. You can get a medium iced coffee free with every purchase, a bacon avocado tomato sandwich free with every purchase, or a $2 medium espresso latte for no reason. There are coupons everywhere! The best loyalty program is Dunkin’.

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