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Are you a Starbucks fanatic who can’t start the day without a cup of coffee?
Do you love the taste of their seasonal drinks, but also don’t want to break the bank?
Me either! Which is why I decided to write this post today 🙂
Who can pass up a tasty caramel macchiato, or a vanilla sweet cream cold brew? My mouth just waters at the thought of them!
Unfortunately, the downside to buying these delicious drinks is that they’re kind of an expensive indulgence…And, like I mentioned in my post Best Tips on How To Save Money with No Spend Days, before you know it you’ve spent around $1,310 a year on coffee alone!
Luckily for us Starbucks fans, there are many ways you can save money and get discounts on your favorite drinks. So you don’t need to cut them out completely!
Even better than that, there are ways for you to get FREE Starbucks drinks, food and other treats that may take your fancy.
So today, I’ll guide you through everything you need to know about how to get your hands on those delicious free drinks.
But first! Let’s break the costs down so you get a visual of how much you would be spending without any discounts and rewards.
Let’s take a Starbucks Grande size cup of Caffe Latte for this example. Costing around $3.65, you would be spending the following amount over the course of a week:
TOTAL PER YEAR: Approx. $1,328.60
That is of course one example based on the Caffe Latte size and cost mentioned above. You could be spending less or more depending on your drink of choice and how often you purchase.
Now let’s move onto the good stuff and how to get FREE Starbucks drinks!
How Do I Get a Free Starbucks Drink?
Who doesn’t want a free Starbucks drink to add joy to their life? It saves you money and you get to have your favorite tasty drink!
Excitingly, there are a few different ways you can get free Starbucks drinks and save some money every year. If you could find a way to save yourself $500 – $1,000 a year on Starbucks drinks, you wouldn’t pass up the opportunity, right??
It’s time to check out the different ways you can get free Starbucks drinks / free coffee and other treats from Starbucks while saving money.
Go ahead and give them a try!
1. STARBUCKS REWARDS 101: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Let’s start with one of the most common ways of earning free Starbucks drinks, which is through Starbucks Rewards.
Starbucks Rewards is a loyalty program that rewards its customers for their purchases at Starbucks. Every time you buy something, you earn stars that can be redeemed for free drinks, food and other rewards. The more stars you earn, the higher your membership level, and the more perks you’ll get.
So, there are three membership levels in Starbucks Rewards: Welcome, Green, and Gold. When you first sign up, you’ll start at the Welcome level. As you earn more stars, you’ll move up to the Green and Gold levels, unlocking more benefits along the way.
Starbucks Rewards is completely free to join. So if you haven’t already done so, you can easily download the Starbucks app and create an account to get started. You’ll be able to track your stars, redeem rewards and even order ahead for pickup using the app which comes in handy!
You can also sign up for a free account online here.
How To Sign Up For Starbucks Rewards and Earn Stars
Once you’ve created your account, you can start earning Stars by making purchases at Starbucks.
How exactly does it work?
I’ll break it down below so you can understand exactly how you can earn Stars.
You can earn 1 Star per $1 spent when you scan your membership barcode in the app, then pay with cash, credit/debit cards or mobile wallets at participating stores. You can also earn 1 Star per $1 spent when you link a payment method and pay directly through the app.
If you want to earn 2 Stars per $1 spent, you can when you load funds and pay with your digital Starbucks Card in the app. And, you can also earn 2 Stars per $1 spent when you pay in person at a participating store with your registered physical Starbucks Card, or scan your member barcode in the app. And then use any physical Starbucks Card (regardless of whether it is registered) to complete the purchase.
You can also earn bonus stars by participating in special promotions. As you earn stars, you’ll unlock rewards at certain milestones (see below). And, you’ll get a free drink on your birthday – hooray!
How Many Stars For a Free Drink at Starbucks? Includes Up-To-Date Changes.
You might’ve heard that Starbucks recently made changes to its rewards program. Here are the reward tiers as of February 13, 2023:
- 25 Stars – Add an extra espresso shot, dairy substitute, or add an extra dash of your favorite syrup
- 100 Stars – Brewed hot (or iced) coffee or tea, or bakery item such as a delicious buttery croissant
- 200 Stars – Handcrafted drink such as a cold brew, latte and more, or, hot breakfast items
- 300 Stars – Sandwich, protein box or a bag of Starbucks coffee to use at home
- 400 Stars – Starbucks signature cup, drink tumbler or your choice of coffee merchandise up to $20
It’s important to note that not all Starbucks stores honor tiered rewards, so it’s worth checking with your local store first to avoid any disappointment!
Starbucks Birthday Reward: How To Get Your Free Birthday Drink
One of the most popular perks of Starbucks Rewards is the free birthday drink!
To get your free birthday drink, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve provided your birthdate in your Starbucks Rewards account. About a week before your birthday, you’ll receive a notification in the app letting you know that your free drink is available.
When you’re ready to redeem your birthday reward, you can simply order a drink at a participating Starbucks location and let the barista know that you have a free birthday reward. They’ll scan your app or card, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying a delicious free drink!
This Starbucks offer is one that customers go mad for!
How To Redeem Your Starbucks Stars For Free Drinks and Food
Once you’ve earned enough stars, you can redeem them for free drinks, food, or other rewards as mentioned above. To redeem your stars, simply open the Starbucks app and head to the Rewards section. From there, you can choose the reward you want to redeem and follow the prompts to complete your order.
Keep in mind that some rewards may have restrictions, such as a limited-time offer or requirement to order a specific item. So just make sure you read the details carefully before redeeming your stars to avoid any surprises.
Starbucks Star Week: What it is and How To Participate
Starbucks Star Week is a special promotion that Starbucks runs from time to time. During Star Week, you can earn bonus stars for making purchases at Starbucks. For example, you might earn double stars on all purchases made during Star Week.
To participate in Star Week, all you need to do is keep an eye out for announcements on the Starbucks app or website. You may need to opt-in to participate, so make sure to read the details carefully.
Do Starbucks Stars Expire? Important Information To Know
Yes, Starbucks Stars do expire.
Stars expire six months after they’re earned, so make sure to redeem them before they expire! You can check on the expiration date of your stars in the Starbucks app or on the Starbucks website.
Tips and Tricks for Maximizing Your Starbucks Rewards
If you’re looking to get the most out of your Starbucks Rewards membership, there are a couple of tips and tricks you can use to maximize your rewards.
First, try to make your purchases during bonus star promotions or Star Week to earn more stars. You can also earn bonus stars by purchasing specific items or by ordering through the Starbucks app.
And secondly, make sure to keep an eye on your rewards and redeem them before they expire. As I mentioned above, rewards typically expire six months after they’re earned, so don’t let them go to waste!
Free Starbucks Drinks: Other Ways To Get Them Besides Rewards
While Starbucks Rewards is a great way to earn free drinks, there are other ways to get free Starbucks drinks as well. For example, you can easily sign up for the Starbucks email list to receive special offers and promotions.
You can also earn free drinks by participating in Starbucks contests or giveaways. Give Starbucks a follow on social media to stay up to date on the latest opportunities.
FAQ’s About Starbucks Rewards and Free Drinks
Q: Can I use my Starbucks Rewards at any Starbucks location?
A: You can use your Starbucks Rewards at any participating Starbucks location. Not all stores honor Rewards so be sure to check with your stores.
Q: I forgot to scan before I paid for my order. Can I still get Stars?
A: Unfortunately, no. Starbucks says there is no way to get Stars for a purchase you already made if you did not first scan the Member barcode in your app or pay with a linked payment through the app. So remember to scan before you pay!
Q: Can I use my Starbucks Rewards to purchase merchandise?
A: Yes! Starbucks Rewards of 400 stars can be used to purchase merchandise up to $20.
Q: What are bonus stars?
A: At times, Starbucks may provide you with the opportunity to earn Bonus Stars, generally through member-exclusive offers. They are often specific to members’ preferences, so you may see offers with details that have been tailored just for you.
Starbucks states that for most offers, the Bonus Stars will appear in your account within 24 hours. However, there are some offers in which the Bonus Stars are not awarded until a later date. Remember to check your email and spam filters to make sure you are receiving all of your emails from Starbucks.
2. GET FREE STARBUCKS DRINKS USING GIFT CARDS!
One of the easiest ways to save money on Starbucks drinks is by earning free gift cards to spend.
When you combine Swagbucks and Starbucks, you get a match made in heaven! You get to do things like surf the web, watch videos, answer easy surveys and shop online. So, many things you’re already doing anyway! Then, you earn points through your Swagbucks account that you can redeem for Starbucks gift cards.
If you follow along with my blog, you’ll know that I mention saving money on your purchases by earning free gift cards and PayPal money. It’s free to do and can be done anywhere, anytime. Like killing time in line, waiting at the laundromat, sitting in transport. The points and dollars start to add up and then boom! You’ve got enough to cash out on awesome rewards.
Swagbucks is safe to use and a 100% legitimate way to earn rewards online. Not only do they offer Starbucks gift cards but they have heaps of other popular gift card options like Amazon too.
They are quick and easy to join with very little effort, so why not give them a go?
3. GRAB YOUR FREE REFILL
To get free refills, aside from on National Coffee Day (I talk more about this below), you need to be a Starbucks Rewards member and use the Starbucks App or your Starbucks Card.
You’ll then be able to get free refills of hot or iced brewed coffee or tea during the one store visit.
You’ll need to scan your membership barcode in the Starbucks App before you purchase your drink, as well as when you request the refill. Or, you can pay with your Starbucks Card and scan it again when you request your refill.
4. GET A FREE DRINK ON YOUR BIRTHDAY!
Woohoo! It’s your birthday and it’s time to celebrate with a complimentary free Starbucks birthday drink!
As I mentioned earlier in this post, this is one of the most popular ways of getting a free Starbucks drink. You’ll need to be signed up to Starbucks Rewards at least 7 days before your birthday to be eligible for a free birthday drink. And you also will need to have made at least one Star-earning transaction prior to your birthday each year.
Now let’s talk about what delicious items you can receive on your birthday!
On your birthday, you have the option of a handcrafted beverage OR food item OR a ready-to-drink bottled beverage.
Raise your hand if you love their delicious buttery ham and cheese croissants! 🙋🏻♀️
5. GET A FREE COFFEE ON NATIONAL COFFEE DAY!
Every coffee lover can enjoy a free coffee at participating stores on National Coffee Day!
Celebrated on the 29th of September, you can bring in your reusable coffee cup and fill up at the cafe. You can choose from a hot brew or iced brewed coffee up to 20 oz.
So look out for your free coffee offer on September 29 and save yourself a few dollars!
6. BRING YOUR OWN CUP
Starbucks has now reintroduced the idea of bringing your own cup to get your coffees and drinks. This was something that came to a halt during the height of Covid because of health concerns.
They continue to offer $0.10 when you bring your own cup to help reduce waste. While that doesn’t seem like much, over time, it all adds up and you’re doing a good thing by helping the environment. If you saved 10 cents a day every day then you could get yourself a free coffee with that amount saved at the end of the month!
7. JOIN STARBUCKS ODYSSEY TO UNLOCK NEW BENEFITS
If you haven’t yet heard of or know what Starbucks Odyssey is, it’s essentially an extension of the Starbucks Rewards membership program. It was launched in December 2022, and was first offered to a small group of members who joined the waitlist. Starbucks says it will start making Odyssey available to more people on the waitlist from January 2023.
So! What exactly is it?
Here it is from Starbucks:
“Starbucks Odyssey is a new experience that offers Starbucks Rewards members the opportunity to explore activities and earn and purchase collectible stamps to unlock new benefits and interactive experiences. Starbucks customers and partners can join the waitlist.”
So it’s a new and exciting way for Starbucks to improve its engagement with customers, with a long-term view in the digital age. For Starbucks fans, they get to feel more connected to one of their favorite brands, access special perks as well as possibly making a bit of money along the way.
As a Starbucks Odyssey member, you can participate in a series of entertaining, interactive activities called ‘Journeys’. Once you complete a Journey, you will earn collectible ‘Journey Stamps’ (NFTs) and Odyssey Points that will open access to new benefits and immersive coffee experiences that you can’t get anywhere else.
They’ve used Web3 technology to reward their members in an innovative way and created a digital experience unlike anywhere else we’ve seen!
8. PLAY STARBUCKS FOR LIFE
This game is available during the holiday season from the beginning of December to the beginning of January.
You participate in small challenges for a chance to win some awesome prizes! It’s a bit of fun with the potential to win prizes ranging from Bonus Stars, gift cards, exclusive merchandise, Delta Airlines Tickets or Starbucks For Life.
What is Starbucks For Life? It’s where you earn a daily credit for 30 years for one free food or beverage item.
Even if you don’t win the grand prize you can still have fun with it and potentially win prizes like free Starbucks for a year, 6 months, 3 months, or 1 month. There are also prizes like $500 Starbucks gift cards or earbuds.
9. TURN YOUR RECEIPTS INTO STARBUCKS GIFT CARDS!
Did you know that when you scan your shopping receipts using the Fetch Rewards app, you earn points that you can then redeem for Starbucks gift cards?
Yes! It’s super easy and I get so excited letting people know about this clever gift card hack.
All you need to do is download the app, sign up using your email or facebook account, scan your receipts and start earning points. That’s it!
Fetch Rewards is unique because you can upload any receipt, digital or physical, and receive a minimum of 25 points no matter which retailer the receipt is from. They accept receipts from the following types of stores:
- Grocery stores
- Liquor stores
- Department stores
- Fast-food restaurants
- Clothing retailers
- Convenience stores
- And MANY more.
It only takes a short while to get your points so hurry now and get started so you can work towards earning free Starbucks gift cards!
Important to note: Fetch has a limit of scanning 35 receipts in a week, so if you have more, you will need to wait out the week and scan when it has reset. They also won’t accept any receipts that are older than 14 days. So be sure to scan as you go each week!
10. BUY DISCOUNTED STARBUCKS GIFT CARDS
Another clever hack for not paying full price for Starbucks goodies is purchasing discounted gift cards. There are a few different places where you can get these, but the two following websites, in my opinion, are the best.
The first one is GiftCardPlace which has a variety of discounts and sellers on offer. And the second is CardCookie. There may not always be available gift cards for purchase, so it’s worth checking in every so often to see whether they’ve got what you’re after. You can enter your email with CardCookie and they’ll notify you when a card becomes available for purchase.
You can of course continue to use places like Swagbucks to work towards earning free Starbucks gift cards to spend on yummy drinks.
And Finally: Sip, Sip, Hooray! Enjoy Your Free Starbucks Drinks!
Starbucks Rewards is a great way to earn free drinks, food, and other perks at Starbucks. By signing up for the program and using the resources to earn free gift cards like I’ve mentioned throughout this post, you can really maximize your rewards and get the most out of your Starbucks experience.
There are so many ways for you to earn free Starbucks drinks and food so you can treat yourself while still saving money.
So go ahead! Treat yourself to that pumpkin spice latte or caramel macchiato – you’ve earned it! 🙂
What are some of your favorite ways to get free starbucks drinks?
My top Starbucks picks:
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