Oct 14, 2022 - Economy

Dunkin' fans heated over rewards program change

Dunkin' restaurant with people at counter ordering

Dunkin' has rolled out changes to its loyalty program, which is now called Dunkin' Rewards. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Dunkin’s recent revamp of its loyalty program has drawn critics who are bashing the chain on social media, calling it less rewarding.

Why it matters: Customers have been flocking to reward and loyalty apps as inflation continues to drive prices up and coupons disappear. The programs also have helped restaurants drive digital sales.

Driving the news: The online uproar started when Dunkin’ Rewards replaced the longtime program DD Perks nationwide earlier this month after piloting the program in California in mid-August.

  • Several Dunkin' loyalty members have said they are uninstalling the Dunkin' app and that the changes devalue the program. Others have said they'll visit less.

Details: Dunkin’ Rewards members earn 10 points for every $1 spent compared with five points per dollar with DD Perks.

  • DD Perks only offered free drink rewards for 200 points while the new program gives members a choice in redeeming points with rewards ranging from 150 to 900 points.
  • Dunkin’ Rewards also adds a new loyalty tier — “Boosted Status” in which members who visit 12 times in a calendar month can earn 12 points per dollar spent for three months instead of 10 points per dollar.

Yes, but: Members need to collect more points to redeem a free drink reward, which range from 400 points for tea to 900 points for frozen drinks or signature lattes — up from 200 points with DD Perks.

  • Not counting bonus points opportunities, a DD Perks member earned a free drink after spending $40.

State of play: With Dunkin’ Rewards, a member spending $40 will earn 400 points, which is enough to redeem for a free hot or iced tea.

  • A member has to spend $50 for a 500-point free coffee and up to $90 to get a free signature latte or frozen drink for 900 points, not including Boosted Status or bonus opportunities.

The latest: Dunkin' President Scott Murphy defended most of the program changes on Yahoo Finance Live on Thursday, saying members wanted more variety, flexibility and recognition.

  • Murphy did say the company is thinking about bringing back the popular birthday freebie, which was changed to a bonus points opportunity under the new program.

Dunkin' Rewards point values

The following are how many points are needed to redeem a freebie through Dunkin's program:

  • 150 points equal one espresso shot added to a drink, a three-count of Munchkins or six-count hashbrowns.
  • 250 points, a free classic doughnut
  • 400 points, hot or iced tea in small, medium or large
  • 500 points, hot or iced coffee in small, medium or large
  • 600 points, Wake-Up wrap or a bagel with a spread
  • 700 points, espresso, cold brew or Dunkin' refresher
  • 800 points, breakfast sandwich
  • 900 points, any size frozen drink or signature latte

Dunkin' Rewards deals through Halloween

Meanwhile, Dunkin announced that new and existing members can get a few freebies on the app when they purchase a medium or large drink through Oct. 31.

  • An Axios reporter had four freebie offers with drink purchases on the app: free 10-count Munchkins, breakfast sandwich, muffin and Bagel Minis.
  • Dunkin' is continuing to offer Mobile Mondays where members earn 100 bonus points when ordering ahead with the chain's app on Mondays.

Between the lines: The members-only offers have to be activated on the app and there's a limit of one per qualifying purchase. Offers can vary.

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