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McDonald's Major New Customer Perk Is Rolling Out Nationwide

Get ready to earn free Big Macs, fries, Happy Meals and more.

McDonald's has long been a holdout when it came to rewarding its biggest fans with free food. There was the McCafe program, sure, which would give participants a free coffee drink, but no matter how often you'd be eating those Chicken McNuggets, the chain never offered to reward you for it. All that's about to change.

Starting July 8, McDonald's will be rolling out its biggest and first-ever loyalty program involving food nationwide. Joining the ranks of some of its largest fast-food competitors, like Burger King, Wendy's, and most recently Popeyes, the chain will enable customers to start earning points with each McDonald's purchase. Those points will, of course, translate into free food.

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When you sign up and create an account through the mobile app, McDonald's will treat you to a free order of fries. Then after placing your first order, you'll get a choice between a complimentary vanilla cone, cheeseburger, McChicken, or hash browns. Beyond the initial free grub, you'll also start earning points. When you use the app to place a digital order or scan it when purchasing at a McDonald's location, you'll score 100 points for every $1 spent, and after amassing 1,500 points, you'll be able to redeem them for another free menu item.

The chain confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that its rewards categories will consist of four tiers, with the highest tier achieved at 6,000 points. This will get customers a free Big Mac, a Quarter Pounder with cheese, a Happy Meal, or a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. All in all, free food is to be had at every turn.

While for some, this will be a completely new perk, several territories have already had access to the loyalty program for several weeks while it was being tested. As of February of this year, new territories were being added to the test, including areas of New England. McDonald's has launched similar loyalty programs in several foreign markets, including Canada, but this is its first domestic program where customers can earn free food.

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Mura Dominko
Mura is ETNT's Executive Editor, leading the coverage of America's favorite restaurant chains, grocery stores, and viral food moments. Read more about Mura