National Cheeseburger Day 2022: Free Cheeseburgers at McDonald's, Burger King, Shake Shack

Find out where you can get free cheeseburgers, BOGO deals and more discounts on Sept. 18.

Dan Avery Former Writer
Dan was a writer on CNET's How-To and Thought Leadership teams. His byline has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, NBC News, Architectural Digest and elsewhere. He is a crossword junkie and is interested in the intersection of tech and marginalized communities.
Expertise Personal finance, government and policy, consumer affairs
Dan Avery
4 min read

National Cheeseburger Day is Sept. 18.

ATU Images/Getty Images

National Cheeseburger Day is Sunday, Sept. 18. The term "the cheeseburger" was trademarked  by Louis Ballast of Denver's Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in March 1935, but restaurateurs from California to Kentucky have claimed credit for the popular sandwich. 

Whatever its origins, the cheeseburger is a mainstay of the American menu: We consume nearly 50 billion hamburgers a year, and a good number of them come slathered in cheddar, Colby, American or Swiss.

Here's how your favorite burger restaurants are celebrating National Cheeseburger Day. For more burger-centric fare, find out if the Impossible Burger is really healthier and what kitchen gear you need to assemble the perfect hamburger.


7-Eleven cheeseburger

Get a 7-Eleven cheeseburger for two bucks on National Cheeseburger Day.


On Sunday, 7Rewards and Speedy Rewards loyalty members can enjoy a 7-Eleven 1/4-pound cheeseburger made with Kraft American cheese and served on a brioche bun for $2. You can also order the deal on the 7NOW app


Applebee's cheeseburger

Get an Applebee's cheeseburger, fries and soda for $11.


In celebration of National Cheeseburger Day, participating Applebee's are offering a special Burger Bundle deal -- that's a handmade cheeseburger plus fries and a Mountain Dew Dark Berry Bash drink or other Pepsi beverage -- for $11. 

The deal applies to Applebee's Bacon Cheeseburger, Whiskey Bacon Cheeseburger, Quesadilla Burger, Impossible Cheeseburger and even the old-fashioned hamburger without cheese.

Order online on the Applebee's website or via the Applebee's app on Sunday.

Big Deal Burger

Dickey's Barbecue Pit Big Deal Burger

Big Deal Burger has a pair of National Cheeseburger deals.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit

Founded in 1941, Dickey's Barbecue Pit currently has 550 locations across the US and eight other countries. The chain is offering a National Cheeseburger Deal via its virtual brand Big Deal Burger: On Sept. 17 and 18, get a Big Deal Burger single with cheese for $5.

"A true barbecue burger can only come from a wood-burning pit," Dickey CEO Laura Rea Dickey said in a statement. "And that's what we offer."


BurgerFi Juicy Lucy

BurgerFi's Juicy Lucy


Order a burger on the BurgerFi app between Sept. 19 and Sept. 26. and get a $5 reward to use toward your next purchase of $15 or more.
Here's one option: For a limited time, BurgerFi is offering the Juicy Lucy, a cheeseburger with white cheddar, American and Pepper Jack cheeses melted between two Angus beef patties.

Burger King

Burger King cheeseburger

Burger King is offering free cheeseburgers for Royal Perks members in honor of National Cheeseburger Day

Burger King

On Sept. 18, Royal Perks members can enjoy a free cheeseburger with a minimum purchase of $1 at bk.com or on the Burger King app. 

Carl's Jr

Carl's Jr Western Bacon Cheeseburger

Buy one Western Bacon Cheeseburger at Carl's Jr on Sept. 18 and get another one free when you enroll in the My Rewards program.

Carl's Jr

This National Cheeseburger Day, Carl's Jr. is serving up special deals for My Rewards members. New members can take advantage of an in-app offer for a free Famous Star or Western Bacon Cheeseburger with purchase when they register. And any My Rewards member can get a Famous Star cheeseburger for $1 when they buy one at full price.

Plus, members receive double points for all cheeseburgers purchased through the app on Sept. 18.

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen cheeseburgers

DQ's Signature Stackburgers are $1 off on Sept. 18.

Dairy Queen

Get $1 off any of DQ's Signature Stackburgers on Sept. 18 when you order it as a standalone item through the DQ app.


Hardee's Famous Star Cheeseburger

Sign up for Hardee's My Rewards program and get a free Famous Star cheeseburger (pictured) with purchase.


Folks out West have Carl's Jr. but in the South, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, the same fast-food chain goes by Hardee's. The good news is they both have the same National Cheeseburger Day deals: New My Rewards members get a free Famous Star or Western Bacon Cheeseburger with purchase, and all members can get a Famous Star cheeseburger for $1 when they buy one at full price.

You'll also double points for cheeseburgers purchased through the app on Sept. 18.

Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box cheeseburger

The Jumbo Jack Cheeseburger at Jack in the Box is $2 on National Cheeseburger Day.

Jack in the Box

The Jumbo Jack Cheeseburger is a grilled all-beef patty topped with two slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, mayonnaise and ketchup.

You can get one on National Cheeseburger Day for $2 with any purchase on the Jack in the Box mobile app.


McDonald's Double Cheeseburger

Fans voted to make McDonald's Double Cheeseburger free with a $1 purchase on National Cheeseburger Day.


Which cheeseburger is featured in McD's National Cheeseburger Day deal? The home of the Big Mac let fans decide by voting online earlier this week.

The winner, the Double Cheeseburger, will be available for free with a $1 purchase through the McDonald's mobile app on Sept. 18.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack cheeseburger

A Shake Shack cheeseburger.

Shake Shack

Select Shake Shack locations are giving away free cheeseburgers from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m on Sept. 18. Order a Shake Shack cheeseburger via DoorDash and type in the promo code SHACK.

Make sure your local Shack is participating, and all you'll have to pay is tax and tip.


Smashburger cheeseburgers

Bring a friend to Smashburger on Sept. 18 to take advantage of a BOGO deal. 


On Sept. 18, Smashburger is offering a buy one, get one free deal that lets diners mix and match single or double patties and any of Smashburger's protein options, including beef, grilled chicken, turkey and black bean. 

This promotion is available both in-store and online with the promo code BOGO22.

Wayback Burgers

Wayback Burger's Oktoberfest Burger

Wayback's Oktoberfest Burger.

Wayback Burgers

On Sept. 18, snap up a buy one, get one free classic cheeseburger deal via Wayback Burgers' mobile app. 

While you're ordering, consider some of the fast-casual chain's new fall items, including the S'mores Shake, cheesy onion rings and an Oktoberfest Burger, served on a pretzel bun and topped with onion rings, cheese sauce and German mustard.


Dave's Single at Wendy's

Get a Dave's Single with cheese for free through Sept. 21 at Wendy's.


To celebrate National Cheeseburger Day, Wendy's is offering a free Dave's Single with cheese with any purchase on its app. The deal is only good one time, but it's available through Sept. 21.

White Castle

White Castle 10-sack

White Castle's Cheesy 10-Sack.

White Castle

White Castle is currently offering a Cheesy 10-Sack, featuring 10 cheese sliders for $9 (or $10 in Arizona, New Jersey and New York). Pick your choice of cheesy toppings: American, smoked cheddar, jalapeno or ghost pepper.

Plus, through Sept. 30, White Castle is offering 20% off any order on the Craver Nation app. Grab a bunch of Double Cheese Sliders and save money while you celebrate National Cheeseburger Day.