Which program earns more free coffee?

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Which program reigns supreme?

Key points

  • Loyalty programs are a great way to earn freebies from your favorite brands.
  • If you’re a coffee drinker, you might want to join the Starbucks Rewards or Dunkin’ Rewards programs.
  • Find out which rewards program offers more opportunities to earn free coffee.

Loyalty programs can be a great way for consumers to earn freebies while supporting their favorite brands. If you’re a coffee drinker, your favorite coffee might be Starbucks or Dunkin’. Both companies have a free loyalty program.

Dunkin’ has been in the news lately due to its newly updated rewards program. Some believe the new changes to the program are negative, especially for loyalists who use their rewards to earn free coffee. But are the changes all bad news? Maybe not.

As you read about the changes to the Dunkin’ Rewards program, you might be wondering which program is better: Starbucks Rewards or Dunkin’ Rewards. Let’s see how to use these rewards programs to earn free coffee and compare the differences between the two.

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Starbucks Rewards: How to Earn Free Coffee

Starbucks Rewards membership is free. The number of rewards (stars) you earn depends on how you pay for your order.

If you pay with a credit or debit card, you’ll earn one star for every dollar. By using a Starbucks Gift Card, you’ll earn two stars for every $1. You can easily buy a virtual gift card with a credit card in the app. You can exchange your stars for gifts.

The number of stars you need for a redemption depends on what you want to drink.

  • You can get a free brewed coffee for 50 stars.
  • You can get a free craft drink, like a latte, for 150 stars.

Here’s what you’ll need to spend to earn free drinks through this program:

Beverage of your choice

Pay with credit card or debit card

Pay with a Starbucks Gift Card

Free brewed coffee



Free craft drink



Birthday gifts: Starbucks Rewards members receive a free birthday drink (any type of drink) each year. It should be noted that the offer is only valid on your actual birthday.

Dunkin’ Rewards: How to Earn Free Coffee

Next, let’s focus on the Dunkin’ Rewards program. It has recently undergone some changes.

Dunkin’ Rewards membership is free. You will earn 10 points per $1. However, loyal customers will earn more rewards. If you visit at least twelve times in a calendar month, you will earn 12 points per $1. Once you do, you will earn at this higher rate for three months.

As with Starbucks Rewards, different rewards cost different prices.

We will focus on coffee drinks as we did above.

  • You can get a free hot or iced coffee for 500 points.
  • You can get a free hot or iced craft drink, like a cold brew, for 700 points.
  • You can get a free premium sip, like a signature latte, for 900 points.

Here’s what you’ll need to spend to earn free drinks through this program:

Beverage of your choice

Infrequent Dunkin Client

Dunkin’s Frequent Customer

Complimentary hot or iced coffee



Complimentary hot or iced artisanal drink



Free premium drink



Birthday gifts: It should be noted that Dunkin’ no longer rewards members with a free birthday drink. However, the brand offers members the opportunity to earn 3x points all day as a birthday gift.

Which program offers more rewards to coffee drinkers?

If you’re a brewed coffee drinker, you’ll benefit more from the Starbucks Rewards program if you use a gift card to pay for your drink.

If you do this, you’ll only have to spend $25 to earn a free brewed coffee. If you’re a frequent Dunkin customer, you’ll need to spend around $42 to earn a free cup of coffee.

But what about cold brew drinkers? Dunkin’ Rewards wins. You will pay $59 or $70. With Starbucks Rewards, you’ll pay $75 or $150, depending on how you pay for your order.

If you want something special, like a signature latte, you might have better luck with Starbucks Rewards. If you pay with a gift card, you can earn a free latte after spending $75. If you are a frequent Dunkin drinker, this price is the same. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay $90 to win one.

Find what works for you based on the ins and outs of your favorite coffee

So what’s the best rewards program for coffee drinkers?

You’ll need to decide if Starbucks Rewards or Dunkin’ Rewards is best for you. Of course, your coffee and beverage preferences are an important factor.

You may need to adjust your habits to benefit from each program, such as switching to paying with a gift card at Starbucks or visiting Dunkin’ more frequently to earn rewards faster.

It’s also worth looking at other ways to increase your rewards and save money through each rewards program. Both programs allow customers to earn bonus points in their applications.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to take a close look at how your favorite cafe’s rewards program works so you can take steps to increase your rewards. After all, the more free coffee you earn, the more money you can keep in your bank account.

Are you looking for ways to save money in your daily life? You’re not alone. Check out our personal finance resources for advice.

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Ryan H. Bowman