It’s easy to be dismissive of loyalty programs. On paper, the benefits look piddling. But when it’s month-end and you’re feeling the pinch of a cash flow crisis, that’s when those points add up and suddenly that free drink or snack you couldn’t otherwise afford feels like a lifesaver.
In this article, we will take a look at the Dunkin Donuts loyalty program, specifically the Dunkin Donuts Birthday Drink, and how you can grab on for yourself.
What is the Dunkin’ Rewards Loyalty Program?
Loyalty program members get 10 (not 5!) points for every dollar spent. The rewards loyalty program is only open to individuals. Groups, businesses, and organizations need not apply. For every 200 points you accumulate, you receive a coupon for a free beverage.
Points and coupons are not diamonds. They are not forever. Use them or lose them. Unredeemed coupons are deleted after 30 days. If you don’t buy anything for 6 months, your points expire. Once they’re gone, you can’t get them back.
By the same token, if you haven’t used either your card or the app to make a significant purchase in the past 12 months, DD will close your account.
Points you’ve earned don’t always appear immediately after purchase. In certain circumstances, it can take up to 24 hours for them to reflect both in the app and on the website.
If you have a DD card, the network is down, and staff is unable to log your purchase with the rewards system, call Customer Care at 1-800-447-0013 or email them at [email protected]. (One more reason to prefer the app.)
Points are not limited to beverages. They can also be redeemed for the food items listed in the DD Rewards Catalog.
What’s in the Dunkin’ Donuts Rewards Catalog?
These eats and drinks are available for points:
|Li’l Treats||150||One espresso shot added to a drink, 3-count MUNCHKINS® Donut Hole Treats or 6-count hash browns.|
|Donuts||250||One classic donut.|
|Tea||400||A small, medium, or large hot or iced tea.|
|Coffee||500||A small, medium, or large hot or iced coffee.|
|Bites & Bagels||600||A Wake-Up Wrap® with or without meat, or a bagel with spread.|
|Crafted Drinks||700||A small, medium, or large hot or iced, espresso, Cold Brew, Cold Brew with Cold Foam, or Dunkin’ Refresher.|
|Breakfast Sandwiches||800||A breakfast sandwich with your choice of meat, egg, cheese and bread.|
|Premium Sips||900||Any size frozen drink or Signature Latte — hot or iced.|
How Do I Register for the Dunkin’ Donuts Rewards Program?
Download the app or create an account on the DD website.
When you register, you will be asked to supply a password and basic information like your name, email, and mobile number. These are required fields: you have to fill them in to register successfully.
A field that isn’t required for registration is your birthday. For that reason, you might miss it. You absolutely must fill in this field to qualify for your birthday freebie.
If you have already registered, either in the app or by creating an account on the DD website, go back now and make sure that the birthday field has been filled in.
Another field that isn’t required for registration is your zip code. This is important because from time to time there will be offers and promotions specific to your location. If the GPS on your phone is turned off, your zip code will serve as your default location.
If you register on the website, you will receive an email asking you to confirm your registration. Click on the link provided in the email to activate your account. If you don’t complete this step, your account may have been created but it will not have been activated.
As soon as you’ve registered, transfer some funds into your account. While paying with cash or a debit/credit card is fine, paying with money you’ve already loaded onto the system creates a seamless record of all your transactions. This makes it easier and faster to resolve problems if at some point there is a query or dispute.
Successful registration automatically qualifies you for a free beverage of any size your heart desires.
What are Qualifying Products?
In most cases, it’s easier to remember what doesn’t qualify.
1. Products that Don’t Qualify
- The purchase of a new DD gift card or reloading of an existing one.
- Reward coupon redemptions don’t count as this would amount to being rewarded twice: once with the coupon, then again for the value of the coupon redeemed.
- The purchase of retail merchandise, Keurig Brewers products, and newspapers.
- Bulk offerings and time-limited offerings.
- Charitable donations made in-store.
- Products purchased online, either at shopdunkin.com or elsewhere.
- Products sold in Dunkin’ /Baskin-Robbins® combo locations
- Money spent on delivery fees, surcharges, admin fees, and sales or other transaction taxes will not earn you points.
2. Products that Do Qualify
Any DD product (food, beverages, etc.) purchased in-store that isn’t on the naughty list.
What are Qualifying Visits?
Dunkin’ Donuts places a particular emphasis on how often you visit their stores. I’d like to think that it’s just your happy, smiling face they want to see. At any rate, they’re prepared to give you 12 points on the dollar if you buy something on 12 separate occasions within a calendar month.
Meeting that requirement earns you Boosted Status. Separate visits can be on the same day but not within an hour of each other. So don’t walk in and out twelve times in quick succession and expect to earn bonus points. Also, your purchases have to total at least 99c after tax.
Boosted Status lasts for 3 months. If you enable the mobile app’s notifications, it will remind you in advance when your Boosted Status is about to lapse.
What is The Dunkin Donuts Birthday Drink?
Once you’re successfully registered, you’re entitled to a complementary any-size handcrafted beverage of your choice when your birthday rolls around. It has to be handcrafted and not a bottled drink like soda and water.
Your complimentary birthday beverage does not include extras, substitutions, and add-ins like espresso shots, non-dairy milk, flavor swirls, and cold foam. You have to pay for those separately.
Also, don’t feel like you have to claim your reward on your birthday. The offer is valid for a grace period of 7 days so take your time.
Another birthday benefit is 36 points per dollar spent for every purchase made the day before, after, and on your birthday. So, if there’s a big ticket item you’ve had your eye on, that’s the time to buy it.
DD Handcrafted Beverages
Since your complimentary birthday beverage has to be handcrafted, let’s take a look at what’s on offer:
|Coffee||Brewed all day from freshly-ground Arabica beans|
|Iced Coffee||A blend of coffee and ice|
|Cold Brew||Coffee made in small batches from Arabica beans steeped for 12 hours in cold water|
|Americano||2 shots of espresso diluted with boiling water|
|Iced Americano||An American blended with ice|
|Latte||Espresso blended with steamed milk|
|Iced Latte||A latte blended with ice|
|Signature Latte||A latte with topped with whipped cream and drizzled flavors|
|Iced Signature Latte||A signature latte blended with ice|
|Macchiato||Instead of adding milk to espresso, this drink is made by adding espresso to milk. The brown spot is the ‘stain’ (macchiato).|
|Iced Macchiato||A macchiato blended with ice|
|Cappuccino||A foam-topped latte|
|Iced Cappuccino||A foam-topped latte blended with ice|
|Espresso||Coffee extracted from the beans under a minimum pressure of 8 bars|
When you’ve got a moment, go to the Dunkin’ Donuts website (link below) and read up on the Loyalty Program. Read the instructions, rules, and terms and conditions. Watch a couple of YouTube videos. Become an expert.
A sure way to avoid disappointment (and misunderstandings) is to not assume that the DD staff always gets it right. They do their best but people make mistakes. At the end of the day, they’re your points, so the onus is on you to make sure that they’re being allocated correctly.
If you’re in any doubt, don’t hesitate to ask. If you’re not sure if a product qualifies for points, seek clarification before completing the transaction.
Shell service stations, in conjunction with DD, are offering a discount on fuel prices when you fill up. This is the type of promotion you should be on the lookout for.
Another way of earning DD points is to take surveys with its affiliates. There are also promotional games you can play.
What happens if I’m already a member of DD Perks?
If you’re a member of DD Perks, you have already been enrolled in the Rewards Loyalty Program.
What happens to my DD Perks points?
They will be transferred to your Loyalty Program account along with any benefits you’ve accrued.