Calling all coffee lovers, bean freaks, caffeine heads, etc.! Starting Feb. 27, Panera is launching an unlimited coffee subscription service that will get you a literal limitless supply of coffee for a small monthly fee. Before you even ask: yes, it includes hot tea and iced coffee. So, to reiterate, this includes unlimited iced coffees. Your summer is about to be super caffeinated.
What will it cost for such a service? A sacrifice to the coffee bean gods? The tastebuds you burn every time you take a sip of your too-hot drink? The Panera unlimited coffee subscription service costs just $8.99 per month plus tax. For context, a medium drip coffee at Panera is a little more than $2. If you regularly get five medium Panera coffees a month — if we’re being honest, that’s more realistically about five days' worth of coffee on a good week — the subscription will be more than worth it. What will you do with all the dollars you save? Buy even more coffee, probably?
If “unlimited coffee” isn’t a sweet enough deal for you, Panera also announced that almond milk is now free. As part of their efforts to go “plant-forward,” the food chain is removing the almond milk up-charge, making it more affordable to get a non-dairy alternative. The year is 2020, almond milk comes at no extra charge and you can get unlimited coffee for as much as a Netflix subscription. What a highly caffeinated time to be alive.
Here’s how you can sign up:
- Create a free MyPanera account where you’ll enter some basic info. Now, when the cashier asks “Do you have MyPanera account?” you can say yes and start racking up points to get things like free bakery goodies, drinks, and meals.
- Sign up for the MyPanera Coffee Subscription through your account.
- Revel in what nine bucks can get you while you sip on one of your now-unlimited cups of coffee.
The primary fine print is that you can only redeem your subscription every two hours, meaning you can’t get a free coffee for yourself and a friend unless the friend is OK with waiting 120 minutes to get their free coffee. The subscription is also limited to one per person, which is probably just for your own good. As much as your caffeine-fueled galaxy brain would like to wish it so, an endless stream of coffee probably isn’t great for you. Unfortunately, the subscription doesn’t apply to cold brew iced coffee, espresso beverages, or cappuccino beverages. You’ll just need to make do with your limitless regular coffee.
The new Panera Unlimited Coffee Subscription service is one of the first of its kind. While Starbucks has a beloved rewards program, it functions on a “stars” reward system where you rack up stars for every dollar you spend which can eventually be redeemed for things like free drinks. However, Panera isn't the only chain to try a coffee subscription program.
In March 2019, as reported by TODAY, Burger King released an “unlimited coffee” program which, while cheaper, had quite a few more caveats than Panera's new service. The $5/month subscription provided members one cup of hot coffee every day for 30 days in a row. Neither iced coffee nor refills are included in Burger King’s subscription program.
So, if you’re willing to pay a few extra bucks a month, Panera’s Unlimited Coffee Subscription program not only gives you a few more options, it also lets you get significantly more coffee. (A literal 12 cups a day, every day, if you wanted.) Cheers to staying caffeinated.