Before you start redeeming

One super useful promotion comes from the office supplies chain Staples. Toting your vaccination card around town is sure to result in some wear and tear. So Staples is offering to laminate it for free after you receive your final dose.

Hop on over to your local Staples before May 1 and make sure your card is protected.

Donuts

Detail of a doughnut production business with freshly baked donuts coming out of the oven.
Little Adventures / Shutterstock

Krispy Kreme had the internet aglaze when it announced recently that anyone who gets the coronavirus vaccine will get free donuts.

While Krispy Kremes are delicious, a ring of deep-fried dough is probably not enough to get the truly shot-wary on board for the jab. Still, after a full year of pandemic life, a sweet treat is a nice way to celebrate a big step towards returning to normal.

And the offer, which to be clear, is not a one-time deal. You can walk into any Krispy Kreme location throughout 2021 with your vaccination card and walk out with a free, original glazed donut.

More food — and drinks

Three men shot from below, clinking beer glasses in the air
4 PM production / Shutterstock

If a Krispy Kreme donut doesn’t leave you fully sated (or maybe your free joint has you feeling snacky?), local restaurants around the U.S. have deals on meals for vaccinated patrons.

In Detroit, the Oak & Reel is offering its dine-in customers who’ve been vaccinated 50% off.

The Rumbleseat Bar & Grille near Springfield, Massachusetts, is giving its vaccinated diners 20% off their food orders on Mondays.

And Chicago’s The Village Tap bar said it would hand out $10 gift cards to the first 1,000 customers who showed proof of receiving the vaccine.

People in San Francisco can scoop up some free fries at the Super Duper Burgers chain after getting their shots. All you’ll have to do is snap a selfie at the vaccine facility, post it to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #COVIDVaccine.

For the needle-nervous, Cleveland’s Market Garden Brewery advertised 10-cent beers to help patrons unwind post-shot. The offer was available to the first 2,021 people who presented their COVID vaccine certificate.

Once that ends, there is a fun rewards program that will give you gift cards and cash in exchange for the things you already do online like answer surveys and watch videos.

Cannabis

close up of man's hands rolling a cigarette
Mr.wason Charatvisitkul / Shutterstock

In Michigan, one of the states that allow recreational marijuana use, Greenhouse of Walled Lake, a local cannabis dispensary, offered free joints to anyone riding a high after recently getting vaccinated.

The “Pots for Shots” promotion ran from January to February, and gave away more than 4,000 pre-rolled joints to anyone who showed up at the shop with proof of vaccination.

"We’re all stressed out, but the vaccine is hopefully what's going to finally end this pandemic, and we just want to reward people who are going ahead of the curve to get the vaccine,” Greenhouse owner Jerry Millen told CNN.

In Phoenix, the Mint Dispensary offers free edibles to those over 21 who show their vaccination card, while DC Marijuana Justice in Washington, D.C., has a program it calls Joints for Jabs.”

Cash bonuses

Hands exchanging money - closeup shot
Maryna Pleshkun / Shutterstock

Bolthouse Farms, a juice and salad dressing company in California, is so determined to reach herd immunity among its workforce that it’s offering employees $500 cash bonuses for getting vaccinated.

Every one of Bolthouse’s 1,800 full-time hourly workers who gets their shot is eligible for the bonus. By March 22, 1,100 of the eligible employees had already signed up to get vaccinated.

Jeff Dunn, Bolthouse’s chief executive, told The Wall Street Journal his philosophy was to “go bigger now because it gives us the best chance at reaching herd immunity quickly.”

Other employers also are offering financial incentives to workers who get vaccinated. McDonald’s, Starbucks, Target, Aldi, Publix, Dollar General, Chobani, Trader Joe’s, Instacart, Petco, Kroger, Darden Restaurants — to name a few — are providing employees with either paid time or one-time stipends to ensure they don’t miss out on their paycheck while getting their shot.

Finally, did your work give you a bonus for getting vaccinated? You’ll want to make the most of every cent of that sum. Now’s the perfect time to get started investing in stocks to grow your money like a pro. Some investing apps will even give you a free stock to give you a head start.

A free ride

Young male driver inside car with protective face mask
zstock / Shutterstock

If you need help getting to your vaccination appointment, some ride-hailing companies and transit agencies are offering free rides.

Both Lyft and Uber are offering free or discounted rides to vaccine sites.

In Tallahassee, Florida, StarMetro buses are offering seniors free trips to and from their vaccinations. All riders have to do is show the driver some proof that they have an appointment.

Online rewards

Happy young woman sitting on the couch, using her smartphone
fizkes / Shutterstock

E-commerce rewards site Drop is offering its users $50 in points when they share their vaccination selfies on social media, as long as they use the hashtag #DropCovid and tag @JoinDrop.

The promotion runs from April 2 to the end of May.

While you’re online, might as well do your taxes and see if another bonus awaits in your refund. Make sure you are using reliable tax software to maximize your refund.

Entertainment

Old Vintage Arcade Games in a dark room and players playing video games in the background
Atmosphere1 / Shutterstock

Up-Down, a chain of bars featuring vintage arcade games in the Midwest, is offering $5 in free tokens to guests who present their completed vaccination cards. Playfully named “Tokens for Poke’ns,” the offer is available for up to three weeks after you get your final dose.

David Hayden, the chain’s communications manager, came up with the idea after receiving his own vaccination. “It’s something we anticipated for so long,” he told The New York Times, noting that the token giveaway was a way of giving customers something to look forward to after getting their shots.

Meanwhile, Cleveland Cinemas, a movie-theater chain in Ohio, has two locations offering a free 44-ounce popcorn to anyone who presents a vaccination card through April 30.

Missed out on these perks? No biggie

If money has been tight through the pandemic and none of these fun promotions are going to help with the relief you need, you have some options.

Not much of a risk taker and wary of playing the market? That’s OK; a high-yield savings account is a safer option that will apply interest on any bonus cash you’ve acquired.

You could also take that little bit of extra cash, along with any other spare change, and invest it using a beginner-friendly app. And finally, don’t forget to download a free browser extension that will automatically scour the web for deals when you shop online and help you stay on budget.

About the Author

Sigrid Forberg

Sigrid Forberg

Staff Writer

Sigrid is a staff writer with MoneyWise. A graduate of Carleton University's journalism program, she spent the better part of the last six years writing about business and retail. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, baking and riding her bicycle.

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