You Can Grab a Totally Free Burger or Chicken Sandwich from Hardee's & Carl's Jr.

Hardee's and Carl's Jr. are starting a new rewards program, which means free food for you.

Carl's Jr Hardee's reward program
Courtesy of Carl's Jr.
Courtesy of Carl's Jr.

Hardee's and Carl's Jr., both of which are owned by CKE Restaurants, are introducing a rewards program, following a path that has become familiar. Fast food giants like Wendy's and McDonald's launched similar programs recently. 

My Rewards will be available through each chain's mobile app. The red and yellow fast food restaurants are not just using the promise of future discounts to bait the hook, though. When you sign up, you'll get your choice of a Western Bacon Cheeseburger, Famous Star, or Hand-Breaded Chicken Sandwich for free. 

Of course, the program will offer other perks as well. The announcement promises discounts like 10% off a digital order, BOGO deals, and "other surprises." You can also use the app to order ahead.

Reward programs love a little confusion in the service of making things seem simple or gaming your perception of the business. This program will give you 10 "Stars" for every dollar you spend. The Stars unlock free food when you hit 150, 300, and 500 Stars. To further make the points, er, Stars confusing, you can get double Stars on every order through May 17.

Whether or not you can remember the celestial math that leads to burger heaven, chains try hard to make the programs appealing. Wendy's always has big discounts available, and they're almost exclusively available through its app. Of course, apps like this often acquire a deluge of data as part of the program. But if you aren't concerned about that, there are some opportunities to get lunch on the house with the new loyalty system from Hardee's and Carl's Jr.

Want more food deals?

Here's our huuuuuuuge running list of all the free food you can get right now, as well as the best pizza dealsreward programs, birthday freebiesgift card offersfood delivery offersalcohol delivery deals, and perks for getting your vaccination against COVID-19. If you want a little more than, say a free taco, we also have you covered with a long list of meals you can get at fast food chains under $5. You're welcome.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin Nelson on Twitter.