The days of the $5 footlong at Subway may be gone, but there are still plenty of ways to save at the iconic sandwich shop.
From Subway’s calorie-conscious No Bready Bowls to secret menu items, to creating your own mix-and-match combos, we’ll help you customize your Subway sandwiches so you can “eat fresh” rather than “eat cash.”
1. Sign up for Subway rewards to get 4% back on your purchases.
Subway’s got a free rewards program that lets you 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.
When you first sign up, you’ll earn triple the tokens during your first week of membership — that’s 12% back in Subway rewards.
The best part? You can stack your $2 Subway rewards — up to $50 off at once!
Tokens expire if you don’t make a purchase for a year, and your $2 rewards expire 90 days after you add them to your account. You can’t earn tokens via third-party delivery services like Uber Eats and DoorDash, and not from catering orders, either.
2. Subway rewards members get a free birthday cookie and personalized deals.
Check the Subway app; they’ll offer special promotions from time to time that’ll earn you bonus tokens or give you freebies. We recently got a free six-inch sub with a purchase of a 30 oz. drink, for example, and just saw an offer for 10% off an order in the app.
And a free cookie on your birthday is never a bad way to celebrate.
3. Take the receipt survey and get two free cookies or a small fountain drink once a week.
Hold on to your Subway receipt; there’s a survey on it. Complete their 1-minute survey within 5 days of purchase, and you’ll get a code to write down on your receipt. During your next visit, present your receipt (with code) to the cashier.
The code is good for two free cookies (reg. $1.38) or a small drink (reg. $1.99) when you purchase any sub, salad, or wrap. And you can redeem one of these codes once every seven days.
If you really love Subway’s cookies, by the way, you should know that a dozen cookies costs $6.29 (or $0.52 cents per cookie) and platters of 36 cost $18.49 (or $0.51 cents each).
4. Sign up for Subway emails to receive coupons and promo codes in your inbox.
If you want Subway deals but don’t want to mess with the app, you can always sign up for emails instead and get digital coupons and information about promotions sent to your inbox.
We recently received a digital Subway promo code for buy one footlong, get one 50% off (BOGO50).
5. Split a footlong sub between two people to save 20%.
Sharing is caring. Whenever I’m eating Subway with someone else, we try to decide on a footlong sub to split. My friend customizes her half with her choice of toppings, while I customize my half with mine. (I haven’t found another sandwich chain that does that.)
We both get what we want for 20% less! For example, a six-inch Subway Cold Cut Combo is $5.39, while a footlong is $8.59. So instead of paying a total of $10.78, we just pay $8.59.
6. Get $6 off when you order three Subway footlong subs.
If you hit up your local Subway restaurant with a couple friends in tow, think about putting everyone’s sub on one order, because Subway will knock $6 off your total when you buy three (or more) footlong subs.
Instead of paying $31.77 for three footlong Steak & Cheese subs, for example, we’re paying just $25.77 — making each footlong $8.59 (reg. $10.59).
7. Make your salad bigger with free, unlimited veggies.
While you can get unlimited veggies on your sandwich, it’s hard to fit a lot into the bread. Salads and No Bready Bowls, though? Load ’em up!
There are only three things you’ll have to pay for if you want to add more: extra meat, extra Subway cheese, and smashed avocado.
For everything else, all you have to do is ask your sandwich artist to double the veggies as you customize your salad.
8. The new Subway menu means the end of the Sub of the Day deal.
To breathe new life into their offerings, Subway announced an “Eat Fresh Refresh” campaign in July 2021 that included the largest menu update in the company’s 57-year history.
In addition to improved digital experiences and fresh new ingredients, breads, and sauces, Subway introduced a handful of new sandwich creations — and made the customer-favorite secret menu Subway pizza sub a standard option on the regular Subway menu.
They deleted some stuff off the menu, too. One of the best values on Subway’s menu has been their Sub of the Day promotion, but the rotating $3.50 deals for six-inch subs are no longer available. Oh, and Subway’s soup is no longer on the menu, either.
9. Ask for the old-school “V cut” in your bread so you can fit more toppings.
Subway restaurants used to cut a bit more toward the top of the bread, which added extra space to pile all the ingredients. The so-called “V-cut” (also known as the “old cut”) holds the toppings better, so when you ask for extra veggies and proteins, the sandwich artists can stuff more in there.
Not sure how the “old cut” works? Have your sandwich artist cut a V into the top of your bread. They’ll then remove the top part like a lid and pile on all the toppings.
10. If you upgrade your sandwich to a meal deal for $2.99, you’ll save up to $1.29.
Making your sandwich into a combo is an easy way to save a buck. For $2.99, you get a bottled drink and a bag of chips or two cookies with your order. Sold separately, a bottle of soda costs $2.79, chips cost $1.49 and two cookies cost $1.38.
11. Get 50% more meat when you order your sandwich ‘Deluxe’ style.
You’ll pay extra to “double” the meat on your sandwich — $1.50 for six-inch subs and salads, $3 for a footlong — but if you only want 50% more meat for less, just ask for the sandwich, salad, or bowl to be made “Deluxe” style. It’ll only cost $0.75 for a six-inch and $1.50 for a footlong, salad, or No Bready Bowl.
If you’re getting a melt, double meat will cost you $1.50 for both sizes, but “Deluxe” style will only cost you $0.75 for both six-inch subs and footlongs.
12. Scoop out the middle of your bread to save up to 200 calories on a footlong.
Is Subway healthy? People ask this all the time, and the answer is: It depends on how you order. But here’s one way to eat a little healthier.
Asking your sandwich artist to scoop out the middle of the sandwich bread before adding the fixings may save up to 200 calories on a footlong or 100 calories on a six-inch. That’s less than the calories in flatbread, and you still get that fresh-baked bread taste:
Wraps actually have more calories than getting a footlong with the bread scooped out. Subway’s tortillas are anywhere from 290-300 calories, and there’s no scooping anything out.
Subway competitor Jimmy John’s scoops out the middle of their bread as a rule. You have to actually ask them NOT to do it if you want all the bread.
13. Or skip the bread entirely with Subway No Bready Bowls.
Subway’s No Bready Bowls are sandwiches without bread, served in easy-to-transport bowls.
Any sandwich on the Subway menu can be converted to a No Bready Bowl, but while they leave out the bread, these cost the same as their footlong counterparts — but have significantly fewer calories.
The footlong Subway tuna sandwich, for instance, costs $9.59 and has 850 calories, while the tuna No Bready Bowl only has 550 calories. In fact, you could double the protein for $1.50 and still end up with fewer calories (810) than the footlong sandwich.
14. Just realize that No Bready Bowls are really just higher-priced salads.
How are No Bready Bowls different from salads, you ask? Well, the bowls have twice as much protein in them, but you can always modify your salad to have twice the protein and actually save money in the process.
The black forest ham No Bready Bowl has 130 calories of protein and costs $8.99, while a black forest ham salad with twice the usual amount of protein (140 calories of protein) only costs $8.19.
15. Subway online orders have access to a ‘secret’ menu of limited-release special sandwiches.
Any online search of “Subway secret menu” finds plenty of websites devoted to all the ways you can order specialized sandwiches, but there’s an easier way to discover exciting new flavors on the menu: Order Subway online or through the app and click on “The Vault,” with features a collection of not-so-common selections that are available for a limited time.
Check out the Dangerwich (Black Forest ham, pepperoni, Genoa salami, crisp bacon, provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, banana peppers, mustard, and mayo on Italian Herbs & Cheese bread) and the Tuscaloosa (which has steak, bacon, Monterey cheddar, lettuce, green peppers, red onions, mayonnaise, and Baja chipotle sauce).
16. Skip Subway’s giant 6-foot party subs for $88; they’re not a good deal.
Whoa! Have you ever seen the six-foot-long party sub that Subway says feeds 25 people? These are on their catering menu for $87.99, but it’s not a good deal; you’re overpaying for the visual shock factor.
If a six-foot sub feeds 25 people, that’s like ordering six footlong sandwiches, and making four people split each one of them (and one person doesn’t get to eat) — or, more specifically, a little less than 3 inches of sandwich per person.
The $87.99 mega-sub, if cut into footlongs, costs the equivalent of $14.67 per footlong — way more than the $8-10 average for any footlong sub on the Subway menu.
You’re better off buying eight Subway Cold Cut Combo footlongs for $8.59 apiece (for a total of $68.72) and cutting them into thirds; you save $20 and everyone eats a little more.
17. Kids meals are the best value on the menu (when you buy a six-inch sub, too).
Good news: If you want one of the Subway Fresh Fit Meals for Kids, there’s no maximum age. Anyone can get them.
The kids meals come with a four-inch sandwich, a drink, and your choice of chips, a cookie, or a pouch of applesauce. These aren’t a bad deal at $4.50, but they’re even cheaper ($1.99) when you buy any regular-priced sub (six-inch or footlong).
The only downside is that you can only get black forest ham, turkey breast, or veggie delight subs as your sandwich in the Subway kids menu.
But just think: A family of four could get dinner for about $15 if Mom and Dad pay separately. Parents could buy a lesser-priced six-inch sub (Veggie Delights are $5.69), add a $1.99 kids meal to each order, and then everyone could split the chips and drinks (free fountain refills if dining in).
Sadly, you can’t order Subway kids menu items at subway.com or through the Subway app, but some food delivery services do offer them — your mileage may vary.
18. You’ll pay more for Subway menu items when you use third-party delivery apps.
Delivery services like GrubHub and Doordash like to tempt customers with $0 delivery fee offers, but those companies make their money in other ways, such as increased menu pricing.
A footlong tuna sub at my local store costs $9.59, but that price goes up to $11.49 on both Doordash and GrubHub. Add-ons like smashed avocado and extra Subway cheese cost 20% higher on these apps as well.
Even if you order delivery through Subway’s own website, you’ll pay service fees — even a $2 “small order fee” if your total cost is less than $10 — that add several dollars to your bottom line. If you can avoid having it delivered, you’re always better off driving to the store and picking up the food yourself.
19. If you’re feeding 8 or more people, you can save 20% with Subway To Go boxes.
When you’ve got a big gathering to feed, consider Subway’s To Go boxes (you have to buy a minimum of eight boxes per order). Six-inch To Go boxes cost $6.29 each and contain a sandwich, chips and a cookie. You can choose one of seven sandwich options — Turkey Breast, Black Forest Ham, Italian B.M.T., Cold Cut Combo, Veggie Delite, Spicy Italian, or Tuna.
This is a pretty good deal when you consider that the six-inch sub would cost $5.69 by itself. Adding chips ($1.49) and a cookie ($0.69) would bring that total to $7.87.
20. But shy away from Subway’s Classic Bundle, as it costs too much per person.
Subway’s Classic Bundle claims to feed seven people with 5 footlong subs, 12 bottled drinks, 12 bags of chips, and 12 cookies for $80.94 — or $11.56 per person.
None of those quantities are divisible by seven, which means everyone gets 1.71 drinks, chips, and cookies, but only eight-and-a-half inches of a footlong sandwich? Color us confused. That really doesn’t seem to add up to $11.56 in value per person.
Why not select the previously mentioned Subway To Go boxes instead? You’d only pay $50.32 for eight (which is the minimum purchase allowed) six-inch sub boxed meals — more than $30 less than the Classic Bundle and with much less waste. You could even upgrade the To Go boxes to footlong sandwiches ($8.49 each, for a total of $67.92 for eight) and still save $13.02. Everyone gets a full footlong sandwich, chips, and a cookie, with one extra box for the luckiest (or hungriest) person in the room.
21. When ordering Subway online, beware that you must select “no toppings” if you truly want no toppings.
You can add a lot of toppings and condiments to your order at Subway, but some folks just want a plain turkey sandwich without any fixins. That’s not a problem, just make sure you select the “no toppings” box during your order. It’s the first option on the list.
If you just leave all the boxes blank and assume you’ll get a topping-free sandwich, you’ll be disappointed. When no options are selected, Subway will make your food with what they call “the standard build,” which is spinach, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green pepper, and onion.
22. Keep an eye out for a free Subway footlong deal on National Sandwich Day, Nov. 3.
November 3 of each year is National Sandwich Day, and Subway has celebrated in the past by offering good specials on their subs — including a “buy two footlongs, get one free” deal when you order Subway online or through the app.
23. Around the holidays, Subway gift card promotions will earn you free sandwiches.
In November and December 2021, Subway offered a free six-inch sub (redeemable Jan. 1 – March 1, 2022) with the purchase of a $25 gift card. There was a limit of four bonus cards per order, but there’s no limit to the number of orders you could place.
24. Or just get discounted Subway gift cards for up to 7.4% off from Raise.
Gift card websites are a great way to spend less on the stores and restaurants you frequently shop at. At Raise.com, for instance, you can secure a $50 Subway gift card for $46.32 — which represents a 7.4% savings. When we checked, there were more than 150 gift cards with discounts of 7% or more.
25. Order secret Subway menu items like the Chicken Parmesan sub.
Back in 2010, the Chicken Parmesan sandwich was actually a standard part of Subway’s menu. They still have all the ingredients for it, which makes it the perfect secret menu item.
To order the Chicken Parmesan, get a sub with oven roasted chicken breast, marinara sauce, and top it with parmesan cheese. Want it cheesier? Add some provolone. And then get it all toasted.
The best part is that it costs the same as a regular oven-roasted chicken breast six-inch ($5.99) or footlong ($9.59).
Here are a few other secret Subway menu items and ideas:
- Chicken Pizziaola Sub: A Subway pizza sub, but with chicken added.
- Chicken Cordon Bleu Sub: Ham, chicken and swiss cheese.
- Sweet and Sour Chicken: Any chicken sub with a combination of two Subway sauces — sweet onion sauce and red wine vinaigrette.
- Eggs Florentine Flatbread: This fancy sandwich has egg whites, red onions, spinach, black olives, banana peppers, and Italian dressing, served on Subway flatbread.
26. If Subway breakfast is available, the healthier and cheaper option is choosing a wrap over a footlong sandwich.
Not all Subway restaurants are open for breakfast. If you’re lucky enough to be in a market that does open early, it’s worth pointing out that Subway breakfast wraps are a little less expensive than the footlong sandwich versions and contain fewer calories.
We’ve studied the Subway breakfast menu and determined that the egg and cheese footlong on the lowest calorie bread available (Toasted Artisan Italian) costs $8.59 and has 750 calories. The spinach and tomato basil wrap options cost $7.99 and have 700 calories.
On the higher end of the Subway breakfast menu, steak, egg, and cheese footlongs on Toasted Artisan Italian ($9.59) have 890 calories, while the wrap versions ($7.99) have 810 calories.
27. Ask for onions and bell peppers to be toasted with your sub.
If you’re not a huge fan of raw onions and bell peppers, then we have the perfect hack for you. Add onions and bell peppers to your sub before it’s toasted, and you’ll get all the flavor boost without the bite.
28. Become a Sandwich Artist to get a free sandwich during each shift.
When you work at a Subway restaurant, you get a free shift meal (six-inch sub, chips, and a drink) and 50% off any other time you come in to eat. Since each individual Subway is owned independently, specific benefits may vary, but it’s pretty standard to get a free sandwich per shift.