Dunkin’ drops DD Perks for new rewards program

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Dunkin‘ has rolled out a new rewards program.

The company dropped its DD Perks program and replaced it with “Dunkin’ Rewards” in October 2022.

The new program’s fundamental change is that rewards are now tiered while also opening the opportunity to get free food items instead of only beverages.

The old program gave 5 points for every $1 spent. Dunkin’ has increased that to 10 points for every $1 spent under the new program.

Under the old program, hitting 200 points meant that customers could earn a free drink (under normal earnings, that’s $40 in spending).

In some ways, this ended up being favorable to customers who figured out they could game the system by cashing in rewards for pricey items. What counted as a free drink was not well defined beyond the apparent requirement of it being at least partially liquid and served in a cup.

The new program, meanwhile, lets customers get free tea at 400 points ($40 in spending) and free hot or iced drip coffee at 500 points ($50 in spending).

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages and Dunkin’, so fans of that particular beverage are essentially being asked to pony up $10 more to get the same reward.

The program expands its offerings by adding new options for food and more complex beverages:

  • 150 points: One espresso shot added to a drink, 3-count Munchkins donut hole treats or 6-count hash browns
  • 250 points: One classic donut
  • 600 points: A Wake-Up Wrap with or without meat or a bagel with spread
  • 700 points: A small, medium or large hot or iced, espresso, cold brew, cold brew with cold foam or Dunkin’ Refresher
  • 800 points: A breakfast sandwich with your choice of meat, egg, cheese and bread
  • 900 points: Any size frozen drink or signature latte, hot or iced

The program also adds a “boosted status” for customers who visit more than 12 times in a month. When this requirement is met, members get 12 points per $1 spent for the next three months, though this can be extended indefinitely if the 12-visit minimum per month is maintained.

Customers with boosted status have to spend about $41.67 to get a free cup of coffee, or just $1.67 more than before.

It’s worth noting that the 700-point tier refers to beverages as “crafted” — similar to Starbucks’ way of distinguishing between “brewed” and “handcrafted” drinks. The 900-point level uses the name “premium sips” while 150-point rewards are called “Li’l Treats” and 600-point awards are called “Bites and Bagels.”

The program will also triple points for purchases made the day before, day of or day after a customer’s birthday plus offer special offers and perks throughout the year, though it does not appear to give customers a free item as it did previously.

As to be expected, the program changes are being met with resistance by many customers who have noticed it becomes a bit harder to earn rewards.

For customers who routinely order the same type of item and then use their reward for a similar one, however, the change is less noticeable — with the added bonus that they can now get free food items.

The new rewards program at Dunkin’ is similar to how Starbucks has evolved its program to tie rewards to spending. Originally, Starbucks would issue free drinks based on the number of visits made (technically the number of transactions), which made it easy to game the system by breaking up orders into multiple transactions.

There was also no limit of the total value of a reward drink (though some stores and baristas would interpret the rules differently) and it became somewhat of a viral trend to try to trade in a reward for a complex drink with multiple shots, flavors and other add-ons that could sometimes push the retail value to $50 or more.

Dunkin’s new program also has the feel of a blend of rewards and loyalty, given its boosted benefit, which encourages repeat visits (essentially 2-3 per week) within a set period of time rather than just the occasional one.