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Posted: April 12, 2016

Dunkin’ Donuts challenges Starbucks' new rewards program

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11: A customer enters a Dunkin' Donuts store in midtown Manhattan on July 11, 2011 in the New York City. Dunkin' Brands Group Inc., the parent of Dunkin' Donuts, plans to raise as much as $401 million by selling its initial public offering of 22.3 million shares, which are expected to fetch between $16 and $18. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)
Ramin Talaie
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11: A customer enters a Dunkin' Donuts store in midtown Manhattan on July 11, 2011 in the New York City. Dunkin' Brands Group Inc., the parent of Dunkin' Donuts, plans to raise as much as $401 million by selling its initial public offering of 22.3 million shares, which are expected to fetch between $16 and $18. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)

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            Dunkin’ Donuts challenges Starbucks' new rewards program
The Horseshoe Casino in downtown Cincinnati boasts a Starbucks off its casino floor. File photo/NICK DAGGY / STAFF

By Mark Fisher

Dayton.com

Dunkin’ Donuts is challenging its competition, rival coffee shop Starbucks.

>> Read more trending stories  

This week, the two corporate coffee-shop giants exchanged a few figurative punches in their nationwide loyalty programs.

According to Nation’s Restaurant News’, Dunkin’ Donuts waited until Monday night -- the eve of Starbucks’ rollout of its new loyalty program -- to unveil its new mobile app and a “DD Perks Rewards” promotion to help customers get a free drink faster.

The latest version of the Dunkin’ Donuts app allows users to pay with a virtual DD Card using Apple Pay at participating locations, as well as to earn loyalty offers and rewards and give gift cards, according to NRN.com.

New DD Perks members receive a free beverage and 125 points if they enroll in the program by April 21 plus 125 points on their second and third store visits when they pay with their enrolled DD cards.

Dunkin' explained the new rewards in a news release

"With the DD Perks Rewards program, guests earn five points for every dollar they spend on qualifying purchases at Dunkin’ Donuts when they pay using an enrolled Dunkin’ Donuts Card, either plastic or via the Dunkin’ mobile app. Once a member accrues 200 points, he or she receives a coupon for a free any-size beverage of their choice, redeemable at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants. DD Perks members also receive a coupon for a free, any-size beverage upon enrollment and on their birthday. Additionally, throughout the year DD Perks members receive exclusive, personalized, special offers to earn bonus points for specific food and beverage purchases." 

"Our guests are the cornerstone of our brand, and we are committed to continuing to exceed their expectations," said Sherrill Kaplan, vice president of digital marketing and innovation at Dunkin’ Donuts. "Our DD Perks Rewards program, recognized as one of the most robust and fastest-growing programs of its kind in our industry, honors our extremely loyal fan base by making it seamless and affordable to earn free beverages quickly. With 4.3 million DD Perks members, we look forward to welcoming new guests and rewarding them with even more points to keep them running on Dunkin’.”

Starbucks launched a new loyalty program on Tuesday in which loyalty members will earn two stars for every dollar they spend, rather than earning one star per visit, as they did under the previous rewards program.

>> Starbucks customers are not happy about the company's new rewards program

The new program allows members to redeem a free item after accumulating 125 stars, which can be earned after spending more than $60.

Starbucks also upgraded its mobile app to include more personalized features.

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