There are plenty of free things you can get from fast-food restaurants if you know where to look. Just for getting vaccinated, you can get free donuts, free beer, and free French fries. Plus, with restaurants' loyalty programs, you can earn points that will go towards free menu items every time you order. But one popular fast-food chain's giveaway just blew the rest out of the water: Chipotle announced this week that it is giving away a free Tesla Model 3 to the person who gets the highest score on its loyalty program-themed video game.
While the top scorer will get the Tesla as the grand prize, there are more major prizes for those who come in second, third, and fourth place—they'll all be treated to electric bikes. The rest of the top ten scorers will get an electric skateboard. All told, it amounts to somewhere around $50,000 in prizes.
The giveaway comes as part of the launch of Chipotle's new Rewards Exchange, which gives customers more options when it comes to how they want to spend their loyalty points. As the company's chief marketing officer Chris Brandt said in a statement, the game is "a fun way to demonstrate the speed at which our loyalty members can now earn rewards."
Prior to the upgrade, Chipotle's loyalty points could only go towards free entrees. Now, you can redeem points for beverages, sides, and merch—if you want shower sandals that say "chips and guac" or a baby onesie that says "Sleep tight, little burrito," they may be able to be yours with enough loyalty points. Alternatively, rewards can also be allocated to supporting a range of different non-profit organizations that the restaurant chain partners with.
For more ways to claim restaurant chain freebies, you might want to get familiar with these . . .
Fast-Food Loyalty Programs That Can Save You Money Right Now
This July, the Bell leveled up their rewards program. Just by downloading the app, you were privy to a variety of free items—a free Chalupa Cravings Box one day, free Doritos Locos Tacos the next. You can still get in on the fun: Taco Bell's program offers a free reward after spending just $25, plus birthday gifts and other exclusive offers.
RELATED: Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get all of the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.
Finally! Just last week, Wendy's announced that it will be venturing into the world of rewards programs. A long-time hold-out, Wendy's program sounds like it was worth the wait. Members earn 10 points per dollar spent, and ultimately, can go unlock freebies from the "Rewards Store." For a limited time, get double points when you join the club.
Already a model rewards program, Starbucks recently took it one step further. Beginning this fall, Gold Cardholders will have more freedom to choose their preferred payment method, plus additional ways to earn stars. Just another reason to invest in the Ventis!
Like its caffeinated sister, Dunkin's rewards program (DD Perks) is well-defined. Become a member and earn 5 points on every dollar spent, and then use 200 points for a free beverage of your choice. America Runs on Free Coffee!
If nothing else, Del Taco's loyalty program wins for best name: "Raving Fan." Just by joining, you'll get two free tacos and a free premium shake on your birthday. The exclusive coupons and opportunities to try new menu items first are an added bonus. Get the latest on Del Taco's new revamped menu.
While Shake Shack doesn't have a catchy name for their rewards program, they do have an app. Download it and fill out your profile—not only did ordering just get a whole lot easier, but you'll also receive new coupons via the app. There might be more to come: at the beginning of 2020, Shake Shack sent out a survey asking fans what they might want from a loyalty program. Sounds promising!
Stay-at-home orders have been good to Chipotle: their loyalty program grew 50%, from 8 million to 12 million enrolled. What's all the hype about? Well, besides the occasional free burrito bowl, Chipotle started offering free delivery through their app in March. No one minds paying extra for guac when the burrito is coming straight to your door!
Sweetgreen's loyalty program is a long-standing fan favorite. Similar to the Starbucks' legendary service, you pay through the app and earn points per purchase. Last week the salad spot announced free delivery on weekends, free delivery in Denver, and $5 off when you order through the app. But hurry! This sweetness only lasts through September.
The MyPanera program has been around since 2010, but nothing has seen it grow quite like the pandemic. As of this month, more than half of all Panera's business is done through the loyalty program. Members are clearly loving it—and with free coffee all summer long, who can blame them?
With little-to-no sports this summer, why not join a new type of fan club? The Blizzard Fan Club: one we can all get behind. Besides getting exclusive offers and news, you will also be the first to know about the Blizzard of the Month—valuable information in the heat of summer.
At the beginning of #SaferAtHome, Dominos wasted no time in making quarantine more enjoyable. From March 16 to 22, they offered 50% off all pizza deliveries, and Piece of the Pie Rewards members were the first to know. To stay up-to-date on all Dominos offers, plus enjoy easy delivery and earn points towards free pizza, join Piece of the Pie today.
This fast-casual joint was an early adopter of technology at the tables, and now that we're dining at home, they are proving themselves no less savvy. My Chili's Rewards offers free food and drinks, 1-tap order on all of your favorites, and the ability to use rewards when ordering to-go, curbside, or delivery.
Pizza Hut has been extra generous during the pandemic: in May, they gave away 500,000 pizzas to 2020 graduates. They also rolled out contactless curbside delivery for all customers this April, and extended the expiry date of all My Hut Rewards points to October.
Qdoba recently made their rewards program simpler, mirroring the point-based model of many other chains. Simply order from Qdoba using their app, earn points, and then exchange for free food. However, as an homage to their old system, the brand is keeping a tier-system as well. After 25 visits, you become a certified Qdoba champ. The most recent perk, available only to Qdoba Rewards members, is free chips and queso with the purchase of an entrée!
For more, check out 108 Most Popular Sodas Ranked By How Toxic They Are.