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You can no longer use paper loyalty cards at McDonald’s – here’s why

THE coffee chain McDonald’s has made a major change to its coffee loyalty scheme – signalling the end of an age-old tradition.

McDonald’s has officially scrapped its paper version of McCafe Loyalty.

It now means anyone with existing paper cards can no longer redeem them for a free coffee as the scheme went “fully digital” from July 1.

It comes as disgruntled fans have been hitting back, claiming they’ve been refused a free drink despite not being aware of the major change.

Meanwhile, some have even said they will use Greggs for their coffee out of principle after being denied their freebie by the chain.

What’s changed

McDonald’s has said the loyalty scheme has continued on its online app, MyMcDonald’s which allows people to collect five virtual stamps, and have a sixth coffee for free.

It said that the move is more “generous,” reducing the number of stamps needed from six to five and mitigates the risk of losing physical stickers.

It has said the loyalty scheme will only be available to mobile phone users which can be capable of running the app, admitting that users without will not be able to take part.

But not everyone is happy

McDonald’s has been criticised for the change on social media, with one man describing the move as scandalous.

Joel Douglas, who attempted to redeem the voucher just three days after July 1, said he had been refused after visiting a drive-thru.

He said: “If they’re still giving out cups with loyalty cards on them and customers who have collected them for years have still got some left, they should be honouring them – at least for a few weeks, not just saying no.”

Another, Kev Adams echoed concerns and tweeted the chain, saying: “Just been in to one of your branches to redeem my loyalty card only to be told we don’t accept these anymore, buy coffee on the app, my loyalty card  is in date – what’s the problem.”

Meanwhile, Russ Sefton threatened to abandon the chain in favour of Greggs out of principle, after it did not honour its loyalty card. 

He said: “@McDonaldsUK how can you sell me a coffee yesterday the refuse my loyalty card this morning. Looks like you lost out to a company that looks after it’s loyal customers @GreggsOfficial.”

What McDonald’s have said

McDonald’s has said that it has given customers three months’ notice to help avoid any disappointment, saying that all existing cup stickers will not be accepted.

It said on its website: “McCafé Loyalty became fully digital from the 1st of July, existing cup stickers are no longer valid from this date.

“We gave customers three months’ notice to help mitigate any disappointment.”

It did not suggest that any further grace periods would be allowed, nor did it suggest existing loyalty cards could be converted into points on its app.