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Sure, a cup of black coffee is just $2 to $4 bucks, but if you drink 2 cups a day, every day, this can add up pretty quickly.
If free coffee promos and rewards from all your coffee purchases can save you some cash, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of them, right?
Where to Get Free Coffee via Rewards Programs
If you’re here for free Starbucks, I wrote a comprehensive guide on the many ways you can get free coffee any time of the year at your nearest Starbucks branch.
They also give away free coffee grounds, if you’ve got a garden that needs extra nutrients.
In the past, rewards programs use a standard member’s card, where the establishment stamps a space every time you visit or buy your favorite coffee drink.
Today, with the rise of smartphones, almost all cafes and coffee shops have their own phone apps, where you can keep track of your rewards more easily.
Other national chains to get into your radar include:
1. Dunkin Donuts
I’ve known fanatics of Starbucks, but there are also people who flock to Dunkin Donuts not for their donuts, but for their brewed coffee.
The brand’s black coffee is so distinct that their loyal customers even buy their beans for times their only option is to brew the coffee themselves.
To get free Dunkin Donut coffee, you need to be a Dunkin Perk Member. Register via the iOS or Android apps.
- For every $1 you spend on Dunkin Donuts, you receive 5 points. Once you save 200 points, you can redeem it for a free coffee.
- You can also use your loyalty ID QR code (you can find this on your DD app) to get free Dunkin Donuts coffee on Wednesdays.
Download and install the McDonald’s Rewards app (iOS and Android), then complete the registration process. Every time you buy a McCafé drink, you have to make sure the cashier scans your QR code on the app. Each purchase counts as 1 drink and once you buy 5 McCafé drinks, you get the 6th one completely FREE.
There is also the “national coffee day McDonald’s rewards” where you get a free cup just by ordering via your app, or “paying” at the branch using your QR code.
As a member of the 7REWARDS loyalty program, you earn points every time you spend money on 7-Eleven and 7-Eleven Cafe branches.
You’ll need the official app (iPhone or Android) for this to work.
Every $1 you spend earns you 10 reward points, which you can use to buy future drinks. Some 7-eleven promos include:
- Buy 6 cups of coffee, and get the 7th FREE.
- Get a free cup of coffee (or Slurpee) during your birthday month.
- Fill up on fuel at 7-Eleven and get your next cup of coffee at only $1.
4. Tim Hortons
Tim’s Rewards work the same way as other loyalty programs – you scan the QR code every time you purchase from the store so you could earn points.
When you get enough points, you’ll know if you can redeem:
- Get brewed coffee or tea for 70 points
- The famous French vanilla or iced coffee requires 100 points
- You’ll need 140 points for either the Classic Iced CAPP, Cold Brew, or any Espresso drinks
The freebies you can get would depend on your reward level.
Sometimes, members of the loyalty program get to enjoy seasonal promotions like $1 coffee.
Every March, Tim Hortons celebrates “member month,” or all the members of its Tim’s Rewards program.
During Member Month (March), rather than earning 10 points, registered members will earn 20 points per eligible transaction during their visit(s), which means they’d be able to double their points and save up more quickly.
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5. Biggby Coffee
Unlike other companies that use apps for rewards, Biggby is still old school.
Every member who joins the BIGGBY Nation loyalty program gets their own card. As a member, you get:
- Free coffee anytime on your birthday month.
- Special members-only deals at selected stores.
- Frequency program (10th coffee is free after paying for the first 9 cups with your BIGGY card).
There’s also the weekly “e-wards” where the freebie or discounted product changes each week.
6. Caribou Coffee
You’ll need to join the Caribou Perk Members program and download the app (Android/Apple) on your smartphone.
- After your first visit as a Perks member, you’ll earn a free beverage.
- Use the app every time you purchase, since each dollar you spent earns you 2 points.
- Once you’ve reached 140 points, you can redeem another free coffee.
- Get a free beverage on your birthday and other special events.
7. Krispy Kreme
Rewards members who visit participating Krispy Kreme shops across the U.S. can receive brewed coffee and any doughnut of their choice for free, no purchase necessary.
Krispy Kreme regularly sends out coupons for a free Krispy Kreme donut and coffee during the month of your birthday.
Krispy Kreme, which is known to give students free donuts when they show an A on their report cards, has a wide range of promotions throughout the year. Make sure to check your email to get notified about current giveaways.
If you live near a QuickChek convenient store, you should definitely sign up as a Rewards member to save points. You’ll need the QuickChek app (iPhone or Android) downloaded and installed – you’ll be scanning your QR code for every purchase.
As a QuickChek member, you can:
- Get a $5 Reward for every $50 you spend.
- Buy 8 coffees using the QuickChek app and get the 9th one free.
QuickChek participates in National Coffee Day, so watch out for offers available in stores within your area.
The more you visit QuickChek, the more freebies you can get. For example, if you visit QuickCheck 4 to 9 times a month, you can get 1 FREE coffee each month. But if you visit more than 10 times a month, you earn TWO free coffees per month.
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Other Ways to Get Free Coffee
Sometimes, you don’t need to visit coffee shops to get free coffee. These tried-and-tested approaches may be new to you, but many people have used them to enjoy their favorite coffee drinks without paying a cent.
- InboxDollars and other paid surveys – When you complete online surveys and perform other tasks like playing games, watching videos, and referring friends, you get to earn points that can be used toward gift cards and vouchers for Starbucks.
- SwagBucks and other cashback apps – Use these apps for your regular shopping both online and offline, then once you’ve gathered enough rewards, you can convert them into Starbucks, McCafe or Dunkin Donuts gift cards and use them to buy your favorite coffee drinks.
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Holidays with Free Coffee Giveaways
As you can see from the cafes listed above, many coffee shops, restaurants, pastry shops, bakeries, and hotels give birthday celebrants a free cup of coffee. You just need to ask if they do.
During the following occasions, the establishments that participate in the fun offer coffee giveaways without the need for loyalty or reward apps.
- National Coffee Day (September 29) and International Coffee Day (October 1) – Because they are just days apart, these holidays are often grouped as one (or sometimes the companies just pick 1 to celebrate. This is the most popular “coffee holiday” where you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee totally free from brands you LOVE. Aside from the coffee shops above, other companies that participate in this event annually include:
- Au Bon Pain
- Super Coffee
- Whipped Drinks
- Casey’s (need Casey’s Rewards membership)
- Einstein Bros. Bagels
- Panera Bread
- Peet’s Coffee
- Sonic Drive-In
- Pumpkin Spice Day (October 1) – If your favorite cafe sells pumpkin spice coffee (like Starbucks, Yogurtland, or Green Mountain Coffee Roasters), check out their promos by the end of September.
Other not-so-popular, coffee-themed holidays include National Gourmet Coffee Day (January 18), National Irish Coffee Day (January 25), National Coffee Cake Day (April 7), Espresso Italiano Day in Italy (April 17), National Coffee Milkshake Day (July 26), National Coffee Ice Cream Day (September 6), National Frappe Day (October 7), National Cappuccino Day (November 8), and National Espresso Day (November 23).
Of course, you can also follow specific cafes like Panera to be up-to-date with current promotions and stalk coffee brands on their respective websites and social media spaces to get in with giveaways like free coffee samples.
The U.S. spends more than $40 billion on coffee each year. It’s about time you take some of the money you spend on your favorite drink back or at least be rewarded for being loyal to your coffee brands.