McDonald's Celebrates Big Mac's 50th Anniversary with Free Burger Coins

The only global currency that sizzles.

By Ethan L. Johns
July 30, 2018

Image: McDonald's

McDonald’s is so global, it now boasts its very own international currency. And no, it’s not some newfangled cryptocurrency.

The Big Mac turns 50 this year, and McDonald’s is celebrating its iconic invention by giving away over 6.2 million limited-edition “MacCoins,” which will be redeemable for a free burger in over 50 different countries—from Argentina to Canada to Kazakhstan to Qatar to Turkey.

Beginning on August 2nd, McDonald’s customers who order a Big Mac at a participating store will receive one of five collectible coins. Until the end of 2018, they can then take the coin to another participating restaurant and exchange it for a free Big Mac.

Of course, according to the Economist’s Big Mac Index—used since 1986 as a lighthearted way to compare currency values and purchasing power—not all Big Macs are worth the same amount of dinero. So the MacCoin is actually a great way to cheat the system. For instance, Swiss burger fans can come to the United States, stock up on Big Mac coins, then return to Switzerland, where they will be able to get a Big Mac for about a dollar less. With the MacCoin it would already be free, so it doesn’t really matter, but you get the point.

Those who do not want free food may choose to collect all five coins, which are decorated to honor each decade of the sandwich’s existence.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns