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McDonald's Is Quietly Expanding Its New Loyalty Program

For now, the lucky customers in a handful of states can score McDonald's freebies.
FACT CHECKED BY Checkmark Joseph Neese
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McDonald's announced last year that it would be launching a new loyalty program in which customers can earn points toward free menu items. Arizona and Nevada were the first two states to gain access to the pilot program, and the fast-food chain is now expanding its test run into New England.

Though Mickey D's didn't specify which states on the East Coast would be included in the expansion, it confirmed that a nationwide rollout was slated for later this year. (Related: McDonald's Is Making These 8 Major Upgrades.)

"We've started tests in Arizona, Nevada, and New England, where customers can earn points for their purchase and redeem those points for one of their favorite menu items," Alycia Mason, McDonald's U.S. vice president for digital customer experience and media, in a statement to Nation's Restaurant News. "These tests are the first step to gather valuable customer feedback ahead of a nationwide launch later this year."

In the meantime, these lucky test markets can enjoy a new and improved digital experience through McDonald's mobile app, where customers will uncover targeted promos and suggestions for what to order. Experts predict the awards could include buy-one-get-one-free deals for Big Macs, Egg McMuffins, and Quarter Pounders, as well as $1 off coupons.

The fast-food chain has launched similar loyalty programs in several foreign markets like Canada, but this will be a first-of-its-kind program for McDonald's in the U.S. The company lags behind competitors like Chipotle, Taco Bell, and Wendy's, whose loyalty programs can earn customers free entrées. (For more freebies, check out 16 Fast-Food Loyalty Programs That Can Save You Money Right Now.)

However, the Golden Arches does have a loyalty program for its McCafe drinks, where every fifth purchase is rewarded with a free beverage. For more on what McDonald's has in store, check out 5 New Menu Items McDonald's Is Releasing This Year. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.

Mura Dominko
Mura Dominko is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!. Read more