The average U.S. household is enrolled in an estimated 18 different loyalty programs, which made us wonder. . . who has the best restaurant rewards programs?
To make your life easier, we took a look at the top spots and did some digging so you can decide which loyalty program is right for you!
These 21 programs made the list based on the value of the perks being offered, how easy it is to participate, customer support, trustworthiness, and more.
Here are the best restaurant rewards programs in 2023, in no particular order:
1. Starbucks Rewards by Starbucks
How do Starbucks Rewards work? Earn rewards points (called Stars) at a rate of 1 or 2 Stars per $1 spent at Starbucks.
How do I use Starbucks Rewards? Sign up for a Starbucks Rewards account, then show your in-app barcode when you shop to earn stars. You can start spending once you hit 25 Stars (free customization to your coffee), and freebies cost up to 400 Stars (select merchandise or at-home coffee). Depending on what you spend your Stars on, you’ll get 6 – 16% cashback. You’ll want to read our article all about how to get free coffee at Starbucks.
Do I need the Starbucks app? For in-store purchases, pretty much. The only way around it is to buy a Starbucks gift card and connect that to your account online. But the app is the only way to earn points for a cash purchase.
Do Starbucks Rewards expire? Yes. Starbucks Stars expire six months after the 1st of the next month after you earned them. For example, Starbucks Rewards you earned on June 14 will expire on January 1st of the next year. And your Stars automatically redeem from oldest to most recent. To find out when your Stars will expire (and how many), hit the “Details” button by your Stars balance on the Home page of the Starbucks app. Scroll to the bottom of the Details page to find a breakdown of expiring Stars by month.
2. Royalty Rewards by Red Robin
How do Royalty Rewards work? Royalty Rewards isn’t a point system — instead, your 10th item is free when you purchase nine of any combination of the following items: burgers, entrées, wraps, sandwiches, or entrée salads. Teachers and military service people earn extra rewards throughout the year.
How do I use Royalty Rewards? Give your server your phone number to earn and redeem rewards when dining at Red Robin, or enter your phone number on the tabletop device. You can also keep track of your rewards and place orders online using your Red Robin account. Eat at Red Robin 5 times in your first 5 weeks as a Royalty Rewards member to get $20 towards your 6th visit. Members get a free birthday burger once during their birthday month.
Do I need the Red Robin app? The easiest way to track and earn points is the Red Robin app. You can also order food for pickup or delivery in the app.
Do Royalty Rewards expire? The credits you earn towards your free item do not expire, but once you’ve earned your 10th item free reward you have 60 days to use it. You must use your birthday reward by the end of your birthday month, and the 5-visits-in-5-weeks reward must be used within 60 days of earning it.
We’ve got lots more Red Robin savings hacks where that came from.
3. Chipotle Rewards by Chipotle
How do Chipotle Rewards work? Once you sign up for Chipotle Rewards, you’ll start earning 10 points per $1 spent. Plus, Chipotle will surprise you every so often with an extra freebie in your Chipotle Rewards account — anything from double points to a surprise free drink. Become a first-time Chipotle Rewards member and you’ll get an order of free chips and guac after your first purchase — a $3.85 value. Members get free chips and guac with a $5 purchase for their birthday.
How do I use Chipotle Rewards? Redeemable items start at 250 points (small chips) and go all the way up to 8,750 points ($35 in Chipotle merch). Points can be redeemed for food, Chipotle goods/merchandise, and charitable donations.
Do I need the Chipotle app? Nope! You can order Chipotle online and get points as long as you’re logged in to your Chipotle account. You can also upload your receipt from in-store purchases (within 30 days) using the Chipotle points request if you don’t want to scan the app in store, or by following the directions on the back of your receipt. But, the easiest way to track and earn points is the Chipotle app (iOS / Android). You can also order food for pickup or delivery in the app.
Do Chipotle Rewards expire? Your Chipotle Rewards will expire after 6 months of account inactivity, meaning you’ve made no qualifying purchases or redeemed any points.
Check out our favorite Chipotle hacks and freebies for more info on how to satisfy your burrito habit.
4. MyMcDonald’s Rewards by McDonald’s
How do MyMcDonald’s Rewards work? After you sign up for MyMcDonald’s Rewards and download the app, you’ll earn 100 points per $1 spent if you provide the 4-digit code when ordering at the store or when you order through the app.
How do I use MyMcDonald’s Rewards? Redeem your rewards by going to the Rewards tab in the McDonald’s app. Redeemable freebies start at 1500 points. When ordering at the store, just give them the 4-digit code the app provides you. You’ll also get a discount with every order if you use the app! New offers and freebies are added every day.
Do I need the McDonald’s app? Yes, it’s the only way to earn MyMcDonald’s rewards. Plus, you’ll get a free BigMac if you’re a new app user.
Do MyMcDonald’s Rewards expire? Yes, MyMcDonald’s points will expire 6 months after earning them.
If you want to learn how to save even more, check out our McDonald’s insider secrets.
5. DD Perks by Dunkin’ Donuts
How do DD Perks work? You get 5 points for every $1 spent, and once you hit 200 points, you’ll earn a free beverage reward coupon. The DD Perks program isn’t the same as a Dunkin’ account. It’s a separate sign-up. New members get a free medium cold brew. DD Perks members get a free birthday reward.
How do I use DD Perks? The easiest way is to use the Dunkin’ Mobile app to manage points and use your phone to scan your digital DD Card (like a Starbucks card) every time you place an order in store or online.
Do I need the Dunkin’ Donuts app? Nope! A DD Card is how you pay and earn points once you sign up with DD Perks. You can connect a physical DD Card to your Perks account and earn points by using the physical card in store, no app required. You can also print out reward coupons from home.
Do DD Perks expire? Yes; if your point balance is less than 200 then your DD perks points will expire after 6 months if you don’t make a qualifying purchase. Your free Birthday beverage Reward Coupon will expire 7 days after it is issued.
Wanna know more? Check out our favorite ways to run on Dunkin’ Donuts while saving money.
6. My Red Lobster Rewards by Red Lobster
How do My Red Lobster Rewards work? Sign up for My Red Lobster Rewards and start earning 1 point per $1 spent on your meals. You’ll get a reward every time you earn 125 points: your choice between 2 appetizers or a free piece of cake. Plus, new members get 75 points for signing up — that’s more than halfway to your first reward!
How do I use My Red Lobster Rewards? You can only redeem a reward when placing your delivery or to-go order at RedLobster.com/rewards or using the app. You’ll choose between 2 appetizers or a free piece of cake, and those selections change every month.
Do I need the Red Lobster app? No, you can earn points when dining in the restaurant by signing in to your account on the tabletop device or through your RedLobster.com account. But the easiest way to keep track of your points is to use the Red Lobster app. With it, you can place orders for delivery and to go, redeem rewards, and scan your receipt if you (or a friend!) didn’t earn points on that meal.
Do My Red Lobster Rewards expire? Your Red Lobster points will expire after 12 months of account inactivity, but once you’ve earned the automatic reward, the reward expires within 90 days. You can see when your points and rewards will expire by going to the Rewards tab in the Reb Lobster app.
Love lobster? Check out our favorite tricks to get free and cheap Red Lobster!
7. Cheesecake Factory Rewards by the Cheesecake Factory
How do Cheesecake Factory Rewards work? Sign up for the program, and you’ll get coupons sent to your account. These coupons will be given randomly throughout the year.
How do I use the Cheesecake Factory Rewards? Let your server know that you are a member of the rewards program and give them your phone number. If you have a coupon in your account, it will be applied to your account.
Do I need the Cheesecake Factory app? There isn’t an app for the Cheesecake Factory Rewards yet, but you can access your account from their website.
Do Cheesecake Factory Rewards expire? Each reward comes with their own expiration date, so check your coupons to see their expiration of your rewards.
8. Royal Perks by Burger King
How do Royal Perks work? Once you sign up for Royal Perks, you’ll earn 10 points (“Crowns”) for every $1 you spend via their app, website, or in stores.
How do I use Royal Perks? The Crowns can be redeemed for a pretty massive chunk of the menu, with items starting at 250 crowns. Order at least $3 worth of Burger King through the BK website or app, and they’ll give you a reward for a free Whopper to use next time. Plus, if you’re a new user, you’re also eligible for a free Whopper the first time you spend $3 after sign-up.
Do I need the Burger King app? Nope, you can use your phone to go online to bk.com to get your 6-digit code. Provide that code when you order in the store to earn points for your purchase. But if you sign up for BK Royal Perks through the app (iOS / Android), you’ll get 500 crowns. You can use the Burger King app to order ahead or use the 6-digit code when ordering in store.
Do Royal Perks expire? Your Crowns expire 180 days after your last qualifying purchase.
For more ways to save, check out our favorite Burger King coupons and hacks and start getting those free whoppers.
9. Chick-fil-A One by Chick-fil-A
How does Chick-fil-a One work? Once you sign up for Chick-fil-A One, you’ll start earning points towards their 4 reward tiers. The points you earn to reach each tier are accumulated over a calendar year and do transfer into the new year, but your membership level resets on January 1. There are 4 member levels based on the points you’ve earned over that year, and the higher your level, the more points you earn per $1. Check out the Chick-fil-A One page for the complete list of perks each tier receives. Members get a birthday reward — something like nuggets or a sandwich — and it’s valid for 30 days. Spending points won’t change your membership status.
Do I need the Chick-fil-a app? Nope, you can enter your receipt data via your account on the Missed Transaction page at Chick-fil-A.com up to 30 days after purchase to get points. The website also lets you track rewards progress and earn rewards by ordering online.
Do Chick-fil-a One points expire? No, your Chick-fil-a points won’t expire, but once you redeem them for rewards then each reward has its own expiration date. You can check that in app.
Also: Check out our favorite Chick-fil-A coupons and secret menu hacks to get “mor chikin.”
10. My Cold Stone Club Rewards by Cold Stone Creamery
How do My Cold Stone Club Rewards work? Sign up for My Cold Stone Rewards to earn 1 point for every $1 you spend. For every 50 points accumulated, you get a $5 Reward redeemable on an in-store purchase of $5 or more. New members get 25 points and a BOGO free coupon. Members also get a birthday BOGO free coupon, exclusive offers, and the opportunity to win prizes. Up to 7 family members can be added on to your reward account, and everyone’s birthday rewards are recognized!
How do I use My Cold Stone Club Rewards? Give your phone number to the cashier to earn points and redeem rewards in store. You can also earn and redeem points when ordering online — just make sure you’re logged in to your My Cold Stone account. You can also submit receipts for points within 30 days of purchase. Members view their points/rewards at ColdStoneCreamery.com/MyCSC.
Does Cold Stone have an app? Yes! You can get the Cold Stone Creamery app (iOS / Android) to order you ice cream for pick up and delivery. You can also redeem Cold Stone gift cards, use your rewards, and add coupons using their app.
Do My Cold Stone Rewards expire? Your $5 Rewards expire 90 days from the date they are earned and issued. Your birthday BOGO free coupon is valid for 2 weeks; 7 days prior to your birthday and for 7 days after.
11. MyWay Rewards by Subway
How does MyWay Rewards work? When you sign up for MyWay Rewards, you’ll earn 4 Subway “tokens” for every $1 you spend. Once you’ve earned 200 tokens (which means you’ve spent $50), you automatically receive a $2 reward in the form of a digital coupon on your phone. You can stack your $2 Subway rewards — up to $50 off at once! When you first sign up, you’ll earn triple the tokens during your first week of membership — that’s 12% back in Subway rewards. Members also get a free birthday cookie and personalized deals.
How do I use MyWay Rewards? The easiest way to track and earn tokens is the Subway app. You can also order food for pickup or delivery in the app, as well as scan the app for in-store purchases.
Do I need the Subway app? Nope, you can order online using your MyWay Subways Rewards account to earn and redeem tokens. If you have a physical MyWay Rewards card, you can swipe that before checking out — no app needed. You can also submit a receipt to your online account through their Missing Tokens request form within 30 days of purchase.
Do MyWay Rewards expire? You have 90 days to use the $2 reward once you’ve earned it. Any tokens you’ve earned that have not been converted into a reward, so token balances under 200, will after 12 months without any account activity.
Love Subway? Check out our 28 fresh Subway menu hacks to get free subs.
12. Denny’s Rewards by Denny’s
How do Denny’s Rewards work? When you sign up for Denny’s Rewards, you won’t earn points that you can cash in for items at the restaurant like other loyalty programs. Instead, you’ll receive regular emails or text alerts about deals like “$5.99 Super Slam, plus free Denny’s delivery.” New Denny’s Rewards members get 20% off their next order.
How do I use Denny’s Rewards? Deals and promotions go to your email inbox, so you can present those if you want to order at Denny’s. You can also use them when you order online.
Do Denny’s Rewards expire? Each coupon, deal, and offered reward has its own expiration date.
For more tips, check out our favorite Denny’s hacks.
13. Papa Rewards by Papa John’s Pizza
How does Papa Rewards work? Sign up for Papa Rewards and score members-only surprises and deals. Get 1 point for every $1 you spend online or at the store. Once you earn 75 points, you get $10 Papa Dough, which basically functions like a gift card. You can combine your Papa Dough with other promotions and deals.
How do I use Papa Rewards? When you place an order online or in app, you can apply Papa Dough to your total.
Do I need the Papa John’s app? No, you can use the website to place orders and access your rewards info. The Papa John’s app makes the process a bit easier, though.
Do Papa Rewards expire? Your Papa Rewards points will expire if there is no account activity for 12 months, and Papa Dough expires 6 months after you earn it regardless of account activity.
Want more pizza? We know where to get the best National Pizza Day Deals.
14. Fridays Rewards by TGI Fridays
How do Fridays Rewards work? Sign up for Fridays Rewards to earn 1 point for every $1 spent. New members get a free appetizer. You can also earn 10 points for referring a friend. Members get a free birthday dessert the first year as a member and free dessert (with entree purchase) on their birthday in the years to follow. Loyalty members get access to exclusive deals.
How do I use Fridays Rewards? When you reach 75 points, you’ll get a free appetizer, kids meal, nonalcoholic beverage or dessert. Once you hit 150 points, you’ll get a free entree.
Do I need the TGI Fridays app? No, you can give your server your member number or phone number when you’re seated to earn points on your meal. You can also log in to your Fridays Rewards account online and manage your points and rewards there, as well as place orders. But if you forget to scan your app when you make your purchase, you have 72 hours to add receipt information to the app.
Do Fridays Rewards expire? Your points will expire after 12 months of account inactivity. Once you redeem a reward, you have 12 hours to use it, then the points will be returned to your account.
15. International Bank of Pancakes by IHOP
How does the International Bank of Pancakes work? This is IHOP’s brand-new rewards program that replaces MyHOP Rewards. You’ll get one “PanCoin” when you spend $10. Every 5 PanCoins you earn will get you a stack of free pancakes (reg. $8.79), but rewards cost anywhere between 3 and 30 PanCoins. If you were a part of the MyHOP Rewards, then you’re already signed up! When you sign up, be sure to include your birthday to get an IHOP birthday coupon for another free stack of pancakes.
Do I need the IHOP app? Nope, you can give your International Bank of Pancakes account information to the server when they bring your check to earn points. Earn points by placing orders for pickup using the IHOP app (iOS / Android).
Do PanCoins expire? PanCoins expire after 2 years of account inactivity. Once you redeem a reward, that coupon remains valid for 12 months.
Learn how to get free pancakes for days when you follow our IHOP hacks.
16. PF Chang’s Rewards by PF Chang’s
How do P.F. Chang’s Rewards work? After you sign up for PF Chang’s Rewards, you’ll get 10 points per $1 spent at PF Chang’s via online and dining room orders. New members get a 1,000-point enrollment bonus, and all members get a complimentary dessert or appetizer once during their birthday month.
How do I use P.F. Chang’s Rewards? Every time you hit 2,000 points (a.k.a. spend $200) you earn a $15 reward, which works like a gift card. That’s 7.5% cashback. The easiest way to scan in store and earn points is via the P.F. Chang’s mobile app (iOS / Android). You can also make reservations in the app.
Do I need the P.F. Chang’s app? Nope! You can earn and spend points at restaurants without the app, but you’ll have to give your phone number and/or your PF Chang’s Rewards ID number (which is available by logging in at pfchangs.com). You can also enter receipt information after your visit if you forget.
Do P.F. Chang’s Rewards expire? The $15 rewards are automatically issued when you hit 2000 points. Once issued, the rewards are valid for 60 days. Points that have not been converted to rewards will expire after one year of account inactivity. Birthday rewards expire the last day of your birthday month.
17. Firehouse Rewards by Firehouse Subs
How do Firehouse Rewards work? Sign up for Firehouse Rewards to earn 1 point per $0.01 — 100 points per dollar — you spend at Firehouse Subs. The Firehouse Subs app lets you earn points when you order food in app, and you can also submit receipts to earn points (iOS / Android). New members get a “free large drink with sub purchase” coupon. Members also get a free medium sub as a birthday reward.
How do I use Firehouse Rewards? Once you hit 6,000 points ($60 spent) you’ll earn a free small sub with purchase. Other rewards include a free salad (8,000 points), medium sub (8,000 points), large sub (10,000 points), or even a deluxe catering platter (50,000 points). To redeem a reward in store, you must first apply it to your account online or in app.
Do I need the Firehouse Subs app? You don’t need an app to earn or spend points; in fact, you don’t even scan the app at the register — just give your phone number.
Do Firehouse Rewards expire? Currently, Firehouse Rewards don’t expire! Yay!
For more ways to save, check out our Firehouse Subs menu hacks.
18. MyMike’s by Jersey Mike’s
How do MyMike’s Shore Points work? After you sign up for a free MyMike’s account, you’ll earn 3 – 12 points per item purchased, depending on what you get.
How do I use Shore Points? The Jersey Mike’s app is the primary way to earn Shore Points, where you scan your unique QR code at the register to get credit for purchases (iOS / Android). Also, Exclusive coupons pop up from time to time in the app. When you’ve accumulated enough points, you can redeem them for about 8% cashback:
- 48 points for a free Mini Sub (up to $6.55)
- 72 points for a free Regular Sub, Wrap, or Sub in a Tub (up to $8.95)
- 144 points for a free Giant Sub (up to $14.95)
Do I need the Jersey Mike’s app? Yes, if you want to get points for in-store purchases or you want to upload a receipt to get points. Otherwise, you earn points by placing orders via the website.
Do Shore Points expire? Nope! ShorePoints never expire.
Wanna know more? Read all about saving money at Jersey Mike’s.
19. The DQ App by Dairy Queen
How do Dairy Queen points work? You get 1 point for every $0.10 spent, rounded to the nearest dime. DQ makes earning points pretty easy, and after only $15.00 spent, your 150 points will score you a free regular fries or onion rings. Other rewards include a free small cone or pretzels and queso (200 points), and a Mini Blizzard (250 points) — among many others. The DQ app also contains daily deals from Dairy Queen and lets customers place pickup orders.
How do I use Dairy Queen points? Earn and redeem points by using the DQ app to order ahead, or scan your account barcode at the register.
Do I need the Dairy Queen app? Yes, using the app is the only way to earn and redeem points.
Do Dairy Queen points expire? Dairy Queen points are valid for 365 days after they’re earned.
Get more blizzards and spend less when you use our favorite Dairy Queen hacks.
20. Freaky Fast Rewards by Jimmy John’s
How do Freaky Fast Rewards work? Once you sign up for Freaky Fast Rewards, you’ll earn rewards based on the number of visits you make. Rewards are random per account, but expect to earn a freebie or discount every 2 to 4 visits. Earn a free sandwich after your first order with Freaky Fast Rewards and a free sandwich on your birthday.
How do I use Freaky Fast Rewards? Use the Jimmy John’s app to order, track, and redeem Freaky Fast Rewards (iOS / Android). When you give your number at checkout, the cashier will let you know if you have any rewards and ask if you want to use them. Easy!
Do I need the Jimmy John’s app? Nope! You can earn and redeem points by providing your phone number if you order in store, or log in to your Jimmy John’s account when you place an online order.
Do Freaky Fast Rewards expire? Yes, but each reward is different, so keep an eye on your rewards when you get them.
Want more sandwiches? Check out our favorite Jimmy John’s menu hacks for freebies and discounts.
21. MOD Rewards by MOD Pizza
How do MOD Rewards work? MOD Rewards is one of the most straightforward programs we’ve seen; just sign up for MOD Rewards to start earning 1 point per $1 spent. Members can receive surprise rewards, so check your account frequently.
How do I use MOD Rewards? Once you hit 150 points, you’ll get a free menu item (excluding alcohol and gift cards). Scan in store or upload your receipt’s barcode up to 7 days after purchase using the MOD Pizza app (iOS / Android). You can also create a MOD Pizza account and order online for delivery or pickup to earn and redeem MOD Rewards.
Do I need the MOD Pizza app? Technically no, but there’s no way to order in store and receive points without the app.
Do MOD Rewards expire? Earned freebies expire after 60 days, so use them quickly.
22. Noodles Rewards by Noodles & Company
How do Noodles Rewards work? As of writing, new members get a free entree reward when they sign up for Noodles Rewards. Once enrolled, there are 3 tiers that determine how many points you earn:
- Classic: 0 – 1,600 points
- Earn 8 points per $1 spent
- Signature: 1,601 – 6,600 points
- Earn 10 points per $1 spent
- Premier: 6,601+
- Earn 12 points per $1 spent
Do I need the Noodles app? Nope, you can give the cashier your phone number or earn points by placing an order while logged in to your account at noodles.com.
Do Noodles Rewards expire? Once you select an offer to redeem with your points, you must use that offer within 60 days. After that, it expires so you’ll lose both the offer and the points it cost.