Megan Grant | 

Breaking Down Everything We Know About the Elusive McDonald's McGold Card

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What do the Holy Grail, the philosopher’s stone, the Fountain of Youth, and the McDonald’s McGold Card have in common? They are all objects of great desire and their mere existence is often denied. While being able to turn any metal to gold may be enticing, it fails in comparison to the power of free McDonald’s for 50 years. And that is what the McDonald’s McGold Card promises.

Now there are some rules and we’ll get into those below. For example, the McGold card allows two free McDonald’s meals a week — no more than that — for 50 years. And unfortunately, they are extremely difficult to get and have only been offered to the general public during a sweepstakes promotion — so it’s not something that you can purchase any day of the week. Curious to learn more? Here’s everything we know about the McGold Card, including when it’s been offered and how it works.

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Yes, the McDonald’s McGold Card is real, and there’s been sweepstakes promotions for to win it in 2018 and in 2022.

A graphic of the McDonald's McGold card

If free McDonald’s forever sounds to good to be true, I have news for you. The legendary McGold Card is real, and you and three friends were able to win it in 2022. This wasn’t the first time the McGold Card showed itself, either. The company ran a similar promotion in 2018.


The McGold Card allows the cardholder free McDonald’s for life, and is typically given away during a sweepstakes promotion.

The McDonalds Szn Sharing graphic from December 2022

How would you like to be able to eat McDonald’s for (most of) the rest of your life… for free?

In a winter campaign called SZN of Sharing that ran between Dec. 5 – 25, 2022, if you used the McDonald’s App to make a purchase, you were automatically entered into the contest and could win this fabled prize. Every purchase counted as an entry, although you were limited to one entry per day. Alternatively, you could enter the contest without making a purchase or spending a dime by going to the McDonald’s for Life Sweepstakes website and filling out the sweepstakes form.

If you were one of the three lucky winners, you and three friends would receive the McGold Card, giving you lifetime access to McDonald’s for free — but there were a few rules and restrictions.

Related: Check out our McDonald’s specials and deals to get cheaper food every time.



The McGold Card allows you to get two free meals a week for 50 years.

someone sitting in mcdonalds with six-piece chicken mcnuggets, honey mustard, and fries

The McGold Card allows you to get two free meals every week for 50 years. So, you couldn’t technically eat as much as you want, which your arteries would probably thank you for. Still, it is a decent chunk of change. In 2018, the fast food chain calculated the value of the McGold Card to be worth about $52,000, or about $1,040 per year. McDonald’s even included an additional $22,285 for the winners to pay those pesky taxes on the winning prize, for a total value of roughly $74,285.

50 years is a long time, and if you didn’t want the free meals, you could choose Option B, which still consisted of a McGold Card that had one year’s worth of meals (a $1,040 value). That’s $50,960 in cold hard cash, and the additional $22,285 for taxes, for the same value of $74,285.

If you were one of the winners, you could select three friends to also receive the McGold Card as well. The same exact rules applied to your friends, with the caveat that whichever option you went with — the 50 years of McDonald’s or the cash payout — they would get the same. The only difference was that you, as the winner, would get all of the money for taxes. Of course, you could then choose to keep that money or give it to your chosen friends to help with the tax burden on the winnings. (McDonald’s wasn’t going to cover their taxes, too. I mean, come on.)


Some celebrities and prominent public figures have McGold cards, too.

Promotions aren’t the only way to get your hands on the McGold Card, but the other option may be just as difficult. Influential individuals like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Rob Lowe have been awarded the card, due to their proximity to the McDonald’s company. So, unless you’re Warren Buffett, keep reading.

The McGold Card is a hot commodity and incredibly rare. In the 2022 giveaway, they awarded it to three fans, and three of their friends and family, for a total of 12 cards.


Will the McGold Card Be Back?

women holding cellphone with mcdonalds app in front of meal

While McDonald’s has not publicly stated that they will bring the McGold Card promotion back, I’d like to think that it will make an appearance again sometime in the future. Nothing gets the social media channels hopping like free Mickey D’s for life. Hopefully, we don’t have to wait four years again for the promotion to return. The best way to stay informed is to download the McDonald’s app and keep your eyes on available promotions — especially around holidays and other significant times.

The second best place to hear about the return of the McGold Card? Right here! Be sure to download the The Krazy Coupon Lady app and follow us on social media as we’ll share if and when the promotion does make an appearance again in the future.


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