Chain restaurants are always searching for new ways to keep you coming back, and one angle they’ve been working is creating limited-time “passes” that give the holder special benefits. For example, Taco Bell has experimented with a monthlong unlimited taco pass in recent years: for a one-time fee of $10, you could get a free taco every day for a full month. Subway has released its own version in the past, and starting today, the Footlong Pass is available for purchase yet again.
If you’re a frequent Subway customer, you might wonder if the Footlong Pass is a wise purchase. Let’s break it down to see how you can get your money’s worth from it.
What is Subway’s Footlong Pass?
The Subway Footlong Pass, which is available for purchase here, costs a one-time fee of $15. It’ll only be available to Subway MyWay Rewards members. Once the pass kicks in starting on April 1, users have the full month to purchase a footlong for half price, redeemable once per day. Orders can be placed online or via the app.
According to a press release, the Footlong Pass first debuted in August 2022. Subway notes that during that initial rollout, all 10,000 passes sold out in under six hours. To prepare for high demand, there are now 250,000 Footlong Passes available for purchase by rewards members. Customers have until March 25 to redeem a pass, while supplies last.
Is the Subway Footlong Pass a good deal?
We’re going to think about this in terms of local prices; your costs may differ. At the location nearest to our Chicago office, most of the footlongs available on the Subway Series menu (Subway’s new-ish and quite popular specialty sandwich menu) cost $8.49-$9.99. The standard menu of Classic Sandwiches has a few cheaper options for footlongs, ranging from $7.19-$9.99.
If I wanted to save at least $15, so as to offset the upfront cost of the Footlong Pass, I’d have to order a footlong from the Subway Series menu on three different days in the month of April. Then I’d basically be even, having spent $15 upfront on the pass and accrued $14.97 in sandwich discounts in the process. If I preferred something cheaper from the Classic menu, I’d need to order between four and five footlongs to make back the $15 investment.
After those thresholds, pass holders are essentially getting the benefit of $5 footlongs, saving between $3.60 and $5 per sandwich. As with any fast food pass, it’s really a frequency game. If you order footlong sandwiches roughly once a week, you’ll pretty much break even—but of course, breaking even isn’t really the point. Customers who order footlongs more often than that stand to actually benefit a bit from the upfront investment. And if you’re a daily Subway customer, on both weekdays and weekends, you can technically save $150 across the whole month.
Considering the Footlong Pass nets you discounted food as opposed to free food, however, you’re still forking money over to Subway upon each visit, in addition to the $15 you already paid. Consider Taco Bell’s Taco Lover’s Pass, which was $10 and netted the customer a “free” taco every day for a full month, with no additional purchase necessary.
If you think about it, Taco Bell’s pass was also less about free food and more about steeply discounted food. The Taco Lover’s Pass essentially meant that if you did get one taco every day for a month, they’d have cost about $0.33 cents each out of the $10 you initially paid up front. Still, the idea of waltzing in, grabbing free food, and leaving somehow feels like way more of a perk than the notion of a Subway discount accrued steadily across 30 days’ worth of purcases.
In my opinion, the Footlong Pass is only really worth it if you’re already ordering a footlong multiple times a week on a regular basis, or if you can commit to doing so in the month of April specifically. The pass will definitely save you a few bucks if you put it to use, but that requires a bit of planning and dedication. Imagine how frustrated you’ll be at the end of April if you cough up $15 right now and don’t end up getting your money’s worth.