disloyalty card
DC Disloyal

As a rule, coffee shops try to reward customers for coming back again and again — buy 10 cups, and you’ll get one free. But the D.C. Disloyal card instead rewards customers for trying new spots. Get the card punched at six independent coffee shops across the city, and get a free cup at the end — from whichever establishment you choose.

This program recognizes that even capitalism isn’t always a zero sum game, so it treats indie coffee shops as one interconnected community, instead of as competitors. Here’s what the creators wrote about the card:

A scene like this deserves not a loyalty card but a disloyalty card, which encourages people to visit different neighborhoods, try coffee from different roasters each shop presents on their menus, and meet some awesome coffee professionals.

The six coffee shops (Blind Dog, The Coffee Bar, Peregrine Espresso, Chinatown Coffee, Filter, and La Mano) are spread out enough that most people would have to go out of their way to visit at least one of them. And in the process, all of the shops have the chance to earn new customers — people who might head to a Starbucks in a new neighborhood because they have no idea there’s an indie cafe around the corner, or people who will stay loyal to their local coffee shop in Eastern Market but tell friends in Takoma Park about their new find.