Inflation Hits the Chick-fil-A Customer Rewards Program

Chicken chain joins trend of increasing the points required to earn freebies.

March 22, 2023

ATLANTA—Chick-fil-A is upping the number of points reward members must use to receive merchandise perks. According to, the chicken chain recently sent customers an email announcing that the increase will go into effect April 4.

The chain didn’t elaborate on which items will be affected or how much the reward requirement will increase. FOX Business reports that while some points will change, the company also plans to give loyalty members the ability to earn more menu items and even complete meals. 

“The decision was a part of a regular evaluation process that takes into account different market conditions and costs to our business,” Chick-fil-A said in a statement. “As a result, on April 4, some of the point values required to redeem certain rewards will increase. We are confident our Chick-fil-A One membership program will continue to deliver great value to our guests.”

This is just one more in a recent string of tweaks to consumer rewards programs, which are making shoppers spend more to get perks. Since the latest period of high inflation began, several major eateries have revised their programs, weakening the power of the point system.

Last month, Starbucks upped its reward requirement. It now requires double the number of points to receive a free hot coffee, hot tea or bakery item. However, the points needed to obtain an iced coffee or iced tea have dropped by a third. Dunkin’ and Chipotle also have altered their reward plans, making it more costly to redeem points for free merchandise.

Interestingly, the latest edition of the PYMNTS Consumer Inflation Sentiment report, “Consumer Inflation Sentiment: The False Appeal of Deal-Chasing Consumers,” which surveyed 2,100-plus U.S. consumers, found that 67% of grocery shoppers and 71% of retail shoppers say discounts and prices are key factors when making their shopping decisions. For the time being, loyalty programs still allow retailers to collect data about customer habits and purchases. But experts speculate that if the traditional rewards model becomes diluted, it will be less relevant to the consumers it aims to incentivize.