Lots of businesses offer rewards programs. Some are better than others. Before you sign up for one, read what the rewards are. Look for programs that offer perks: free dishes, free meals, VIP treatments or valuable money-saving coupons. Obviously, avoid those that charge a membership fee. Here are some of my favorites.
▪ Hardees has buy one/get one free coupons good until April 30 on burgers, steak quesadilla, biscuit and chicken tenders. Sign up and receive news and coupons delivered to your inbox. You’ll get a coupon for a free small fries and a small beverage with the purchase of any 1/3 pound Thickburger for signing up.
▪ Sonic, for a limited time, is offering half-price single patty cheeseburger from 5 p.m. to close every Tuesday night. Mention the deal when ordering. No coupon is required. Check out the Sonic Facebook page for more details.
Download the free Sonic Drive-In app and set up an account to get a free Sonic Slush. No purchase is required. Once you set up your account, you should receive the offer.
▪ Download the Starbucks app and join the rewards program, and receive a free drink. If you register a gift card online, you’ll start getting freebies as you buy products. I get a gift card, then I reload money on it before I buy my next order. Starbucks.com/card/rewards
For a limited time at Starbucks, order a grande brewed coffee and a bacon, gouda and egg or sausage sandwich, or a cheddar and egg breakfast sandwich, for $5.
▪ By signing up online, you get access to new menu items at Moe’s Southwest Grill and regular discount deals. You also get a free cup of queso and a free burrito on your birthday.
▪ Join Club Cinnabon and get a coupon good for one free minibon roll at participating bakeries. Enter your birthday, and you will receive a gift.
▪ At TGI Fridays, you get a little VIP treatment with Fridays Rewards. You get a complimentary treat every visit (such as chips and salsa), free dessert during your birthday month, and a one-time “jump the line pass” to skip to the front of the crowd for a table. To join, text “JOIN” to “698443” or download the Fridays mobile app, or sign up on the website.
▪ At Subway, there is such a thing as a free lunch. Every dollar you spend with a registered gift card brings you one point closer to free food, such as a six-inch sandwich for 50 points or a chopped salad or foot long sandwich for 75 points. You get 25 free points for signing up. Make sure to opt in to receive personalized bonus offers and a treat on your birthday.
▪ Get extra bonuses from your coffee breaks with Dunkin’ Donut Perks, where paying with a preloaded card earns you five points for every dollar you spend. For joining, you’ll get a free drink, plus another free one on your birthday. After that, 200 points gets you a free beverage of any size. To sign up, download the Dunkin’ Mobile App or go to the website.
▪ Join Auntie Annie Pretzel Perks program and earn a free pretzel after your first purchase. From then on you’ll get 10 points for every dollar you spend. Your next pretzel is just 300 points away. Download the Pretzel Perks mobile app to sign up.
▪ Visit a participating Raising Cane’s restaurant and ask for a Caniac Club card. Register your card on the website. When your email is verified, you will receive a free box combo coupon within 48 hours.
Other deals and freebies
▪ Plan on buying any Easter items? If so, head to Target to get a free $5 gift card when you spend $25 in the Easter shop. Text EASTER to 827438 to receive this mobile offer, which is valid for grass, baskets, plastic eggs, egg dye kits and Easter décor.
▪ Get a free photo with your pet and the Easter Bunny at PetSmart between noon and 4 p.m. April 8.
▪ Celebrate Easter with Geoffrey at all Toys R Us stores from 1 to 3 p.m. April 9. Take part in an egg hunt, win prizes and join Geoffrey for a parade.
▪ York Photo is offering 75 percent off photo canvases when you use the coupon code MDAYat checkout. The offer is available to new and existing customers through April 30. Limit one promo code per order. Shipping and handling starts at $9.99. New to York Photo? Create an account and get 40 free 4 by 6 photo prints. Free print offer must be redeemed on your first order.
▪ Tuesdays are free in April at all YMCAs. Plus, if you join, the joining fee will be waived. Celebrate Healthy Kids Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 29. Visit any Central Kentucky YMCA that day and tell the staff what your child will do to stay healthy this summer, and your summer camp registration fee, $35, will be waived.
▪ Join the Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East for the 18th annual Maternity Fair, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 29 at Marriott Griffin Gate, 1800 Newtown Pike. There will be exhibit booths, maternity experts, giveaways and prizes, plus a grand prize drawing that includes free delivery of your baby. For more information, call 859-313-2255.
▪ Create and share your Disney Park stick figure family, plus get a free printed decal.
▪ Shutterfly is offering unlimited free 4 by 4 or 4 by 6 photo prints when you order through the Shutterfly mobile app. No promo code required. Please note that you will have to pay shipping. This freebie is available for a limited time only.
▪ Send a friend a free Noosa Yoghurt. Simply enter your friend’s email address, choose an image and fill out the short form. The free yogurt offer will arrive via email. Allow four to six weeks for delivery.
Deborah Morris’ every-other-week column, The Fru-Gal, can help you get more for less. Go to her website, Fru-gal-friends.com.