Locations in the New York metropolitan area & Washington, DC (find the nearest store here)
The rewards: “It pays to be a Gregular,” the website claims. “It sure does,” Gregulars confirm. At this NYC-based coffee chain, you fall into one of four tiers, each offering a different amount of rewards -- but, unlike at Starbucks, you can start working toward free drinks even at the lowest tier. As a Tier 1 Gregular, you get a $5 credit for every $50 you spend. You’ll also receive special offers (fairly often), a free birthday drink, and a $5 credit any time you convince a friend to register. Once you’ve spent a total of $200 with your rewards account, you’ll reach Tier 2, where you get everything previously mentioned, plus free in-store refills for drip coffee. Once you’ve spent $500, you get bumped to Tier 3, where you will also start getting a free $2.50 credit each month, just for existing. Finally, once you’ve spent $1,000, you arrive at your final destination: Tier 4. As a Tier 4 Gregular, you start getting a $3.50 credit each month ($1 more than the measly Tier 3s), plus a free Gregorys hat. You’ve peaked.
The negatives: Sometimes it’s fun to redeem a coupon, ya know? With Gregorys’ system, you don’t really feel like you’re earning rewards because the credits are added into your account so subtly. Also the tier system… for $1,000, that free hat better be Valentino, at least.