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McDonald's Just Became the #1 Fast-Food Chain For This Perk

The chain's loyalty program has led to massive growth on its digital platform.

Besides being the top dog of burgers and fries (at least according to sales), McDonald's has now earned another notable #1 spot in the American fast-food landscape. According to data reported by QSR Magazine, the chain has the most downloaded app in the quick-service industry, for the third month in a row.

With 3.2 million downloads in July, the chain is far ahead of its competitors—Starbucks is in second place with just under a million downloads, and Domino's in third with 871 thousand. And it isn't only about the number of people downloading the chain's app, but about the actual traffic on it: McDonald's is estimated to have hit a record 3 million active daily users in the U.S. in August.

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July was a particularly successful month for the chain's digital platform. Thanks to the nationwide rollout of its new loyalty program, the number of McDonald's app downloads shot up by 1.6 million compared to June. My McDonald's Rewards, which can only be accessed through the app, already has 12 million registered users and is among the most popular loyalty programs in the industry.

For those who sign up, McDonald's has several treats in store, starting with a free order of fries. Then after placing the first order, customers get a choice between a complimentary vanilla cone, cheeseburger, McChicken, or hash browns. Beyond the initial free grub, points are earned with every order which can be redeemed for more free menu items down the line.

The chain said its rewards categories 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.

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Mura Dominko
Mura is a Deputy Editor leading ETNT's coverage of America's favorite fast foods and restaurant chains. Read more