| USA TODAY
Perk up, coffee fans.
Tuesday is National Coffee Day, the ultimate day to get – and stay – caffeinated for little or no cost.
Restaurants, convenience stores and brands alike are toasting the made-up holiday, which is held annually on Sept. 29, by giving away free coffee and serving up discounted brew.
The free cups might also help you stay alert during the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. The 90-minute debate starts 9 p.m. ET.
Starbucks is starting the holiday early for members of its updated Starbucks Rewards loyalty program that launched Sept. 15.
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On Monday, the Seattle-based coffee giant kicks off its month-long “Starland” augmented reality game with more than 2.5 million prizes like free coffee, free breakfast and stars.
Then on Tuesday, members who order a grande or larger handcrafted beverage using the order ahead and pay feature on the Starbucks app will get a free drink loaded to their account for use on their next visit, the company announced in a blog post.
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Coffee rival Dunkin’ has dubbed National Coffee Day as National Dunkin’ Day.
Local coffee shops are expected to be busier than usual Tuesday too, according to Womply, a small-business software provider.
“National Coffee Day is one of the more popular days of the year for local coffee joints,” Brad Plothow, Womply vice president of brand and communications, told USA TODAY last year. “Expect big deals and longer-than-normal lines if you venture out to your favorite coffee klatch.”
Want to extend the free coffee holiday? Get free cups and discounts year-round by using restaurant and convenience store loyalty programs. Many programs give you a free cup for joining.
National Coffee Day deals and freebies
The following offers are available Tuesday, Sept. 29, unless otherwise noted. Always check with your closest location as offers and participation can vary. Also, some will require you to have a restaurant’s app or be signed up for emails.
Barnes & Noble: Get a free hot or iced tall coffee with the purchase of any item from the “bake case” at store cafes.
Biggby Coffee: Get a free 20-ounce hot or iced brewed coffee with any purchase Tuesday. The offer doesn’t apply to cold brew, lattes, tea lattes or specialty beverages.
Caribou Coffee: Buy any large beverage Tuesday and get 50% off any bag of pre-packed beans to take home.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: With any food or beverage purchase over $2, get a free regular size coffee. Also Tuesday through Oct. 5 via Postmates get $3 off a $15 purchase.
Corner Bakery Cafe: This National Coffee Day promotion is getting a late start. The chain is giving loyalty members one free coffee daily for the month of October starting Oct. 1. To take advantage of the daily reward that can be used for one free regular coffee (espresso, cold brew, iced or hand-roasted) or tea, sign up for the loyalty program by 11:59 p.m. CT Oct. 4 at www.cornerbakerycafe.com. No purchase is required to get the free drinks but specialty coffee drinks are excluded.
Cumberland Farms: Text COFFEE to 64827 on Tuesday to get a digital coupon for a free hot or iced Farmhouse Blend or Bold coffee in any size Tuesday. Those already in the text database should automatically receive the offer Tuesday morning.
Duck Donuts: Get any size hot or iced coffee for free Tuesday with a purchase.
Dunkin’: With any purchase Tuesday, get a free medium hot or iced coffee at restaurants nationwide.
Godiva: Get 30% off coffee bags at Godiva Boutiques and online.
Huddle House: Get a free cup of coffee with any dine-in purchase Tuesday at all locations.
Jack in the Box: Get a free regular hot or iced coffee with any app purchase Tuesday.
Kolache Factory: Get a free 12-ounce cup of coffee with a coupon the chain says will be posted on its social media sites. Print the coupon or show the coupon on the phone. Available in-store and for curbside.
Krispy Kreme: Everyone can get a free brewed coffee Tuesday, no purchase necessary. But rewards members get an extra freebie with the free coffee – one free doughnut of their choice. Become a rewards member through the Krispy Kreme app or by visiting www.krispykreme.com/rewards. Both deals are valid “via pick-up and drive-thru at participating shops across the U.S.”
Love’s Travel Stops: Get any sized coffee or hot beverage for $1 Tuesday and when the discounted coffee is purchased through the Love’s Connect app all proceeds go to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Rewards members also can use a free drink refill credit for the purchase and Love’s will donate $1 on their behalf.
Nekter Juice Bar: Get a 16-ounce Cold Brew Smoothie for $5 all-day Tuesday.
Panera Bread: Sign up for the MyPanera+ Coffee Subscription and the first month of unlimited premium hot coffee, iced coffee and hot tea is free. After the free month, pay $8.99 per month. Sign up at www.panerabread.com.
Panera coffee subscription offers unlimited coffee
Panera’s new coffee subscription program offers unlimited hot and iced coffee and hot tea for $8.99 a month.
PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans: For every bag of coffee bought, in person or online Tuesday, the brand will donate a bag of coffee to active U.S. military members.
Scooter’s Coffee: Get a free small coffee Tuesday for going into a store or through the drive-thru.
Speedway: Get a free 16-ounce hot coffee from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Starbucks: The coffee giant kicks off a week of offers, games and “exciting ways” for loyalty members to earn stars toward free drinks and food Monday with the start of the Starland contest at www.starbucksrewardsstarland.com. On Tuesday, order a grande or larger handcrafted beverage and get a free drink offer loaded to your account. On Thursday, members can collect triple stars on orders.
Stewart’s Shops: Get a free hot, iced or cold brew coffee from noon to close Tuesday. Coffee and Cold Brew Refreshers are excluded.
Tim Hortons: From Monday through Oct. 26, purchase any size hot or iced coffee for $0.99 through the Tim Hortons app or at timhortons.com. Modifications are extra. Learn more at www.timhortons.com/offer-terms.
TravelCenters of America: UltraONE loyalty members receive a free cup of coffee when printing off a coupon at the kiosk Tuesday. All other travelers can get a cup of coffee for 99 cents at participating locations, the chain said.
Wendy’s: Starting Tuesday through Nov. 4, participating Wendy’s in select parts of the country are giving free hot coffee with the purchase of a breakfast sandwich. The participating markets are Boston; Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; Springfield and Holyoke, Massachusetts; and Cleveland/Youngstown, Ohio. In other parts of the country, check the Wendy’s app for offers.
More deals: Local coffee shops and smaller chains may also offer free coffee or discounts Tuesday. An easy way to find out is to check social media.
National Coffee Day 2020 contests
Clio Coffee: The brand is giving away50 Clio Brewers plus a month supply of coffee pods in a contest that goes through Tuesday. To enter, tag @ClioCoffee on Instagram and #MissedAmericano in a post sharing the details of your missed vacation to Italy. One winner from each state will be selected at random.
Milano: For National Coffee Day, the cookie brand is partnering with designer Tan France “with the creation of a limited-edition Milano x Tan France Cup & Saucer set, crafted to make eating Milano cookies even more indulgent.” Milano will be giving away a select number of the limited-edition sets that include Double Dark Chocolate Milano cookies Tuesday through Oct. 2 on its Instagram page @Milanocookies. Look for an Instagram post Tuesday to learn more.
Silk: The dairy-free brand is giving 100 fans free oatmilk, Silk Oat Yeah “The Extra Creamy One” oatmilk, with a contest on Instagram. To enter, visit Silk’s Instagram @Silk at 10 a.m. ET and comment on “which featured Extra Creamy drink you’d like to try most (from influencer favorites Vibrant & Pure, Namaste Upbeet and Sweet Greens Vegan).” The contest ends at 11:59 p.m. ET Tuesday and Silk says it will randomly select winners and notify them through Instagram direct message.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko