On any given day you can find me at a Starbucks working away on this blog!
That’s probably one of the reasons I’ve discovered so many hacks for getting cheap and free Starbucks drinks!
It’s a good thing too since it costs more than a pretty penny to buy a Starbucks drink these days.
In fact, Starbucks raised their prices 3 times within a matter of a few months not long ago, attributing it to inflation. (yeeeaaaaah riiiiiiiight!)
Yet that hasn’t deterred many people (including myself) from nabbing Starbucks coffee on a daily basis.
I can’t speak for everyone else, but being able to give myself this small luxury is a form of self-care.
To that extent, I’ve actively searched for ways to make money, not just save money.
Ultimately, if you can make more money relative to how much you spend, then the impact felt on your pocket will be little to none.
Creating this passive income affiliate blog is one way in which I earn extra money every single day….more than enough to cover my Starbucks addiction!
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7 Free Starbucks Coffee Hacks
One easy hack you can do right now to lower your Starbucks drink cost is to buy from a Starbucks Corporate Owned Store vs. a Starbucks Licensed Store.
I never realized there was a difference in pricing until multiple Starbucks stores opened within a one mile radius of where I live.
Normally, I pay with the Starbucks app and just assumed the same amount was being charged at each location.
Licensed stores charge more due to licensing fees and higher operating costs.
So if you can avoid these stores such as the ones inside the Target or Shaw’s grocery store, then you can save yourself a bit of money that way!
But you’re really here to find out how to get the Starbucks freebie drinks. So let’s dive right into that!
P.S. – Make sure to save this pin so you can come back to this post later on as needed!
1. Sign Up for Starbucks Rewards Program
I wasted many years of getting free Starbucks coffee by not becoming a member of the Starbucks Rewards program. It’s such a shame!
If you’re a frequent Starbucks drinker, then you should definitely take advantage of the free perks you get as a loyalty rewards member.
When you join the Starbucks Rewards Program, each purchase will earn you ‘stars’ that can be used towards free Starbucks drinks, food and merchandise!
How many Starbucks stars do you need for a free drink?
You need a minimum of 100 Starbucks stars to redeem a free Starbucks drink.
At this rewards tier, you can redeem stars for any of the following:
Brewed hot or iced coffee or tea, or bakery item (such as a cake pop or cookie), OR a packaged snack (such as popcorn or potato chips) OR one (1) Cold Siren Logo Plastic To-Go Cup (24 oz only) or one (1) Siren Logo Plastic Hot Cup (16 oz only)
Starbucks Star Rewards Redemption Breakdown
- 25 Stars – Customize your drink (espresso shot, non dairy milk, syrup and more)
- 100 Stars – Brewed hot or iced coffee or tea, bakery item, packaged snack and more
- 200 Stars – Any handcrafted beverage (such as a cold brew, latte or Frappuccino® blended beverage) or any hot breakfast item (such as a breakfast sandwich or oatmeal)
- 300 Stars – One packaged salad or lunch sandwich, or one packaged protein box, or one packaged coffee item (such as whole bean coffee)
- 400 Stars – Select merchandise items with a value up to $20 U.S. Dollars (pre-tax)
I’m a big iced coffee drinker. So whenever I hit 100 points, I cash in my rewards for my free drink!
Another clever hack to earn Starbucks stars fast is to load a Starbucks gift card to your loyalty rewards app and use it to pay.
This way, you’ll earn 2 stars per $1 dollar spent versus 1 star per dollar.
It’s an easy way to double your star rewards points without having to make another purchase!
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2. Starbucks Free Birthday Drink
If you’ve been wondering whether Starbucks still gives you a free drink on your birthday, then the answer is YES!
As a matter of fact, this Starbucks freebie is one of my favorite birthday freebies to nab each year!
So if you’ve been wanting to nab yourself a Starbucks PSL, but have hesitated due to the high price of the handcrafted drink, then this is your opportunity!
Is Starbucks Birthday Drink Any Size?
Yes, your free Starbucks birthday drink can be redeemed for any size complimentary handcrafted beverage. You can also choose to redeem your gift for a free food item or complimentary ready-to-drink bottled beverage.
My cousin recently redeemed his free Starbucks birthday reward for a venti Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino®. That's a $6.32 drink he received completely free!
How to Get Starbucks Free Birthday Drink?
Before you go claiming your free Starbucks birthday drink, there are some requirements you must meet in order to qualify. These aren’t hard to fulfill, so don’t worry!
Here are the requirements:
- You must join the free Starbucks Star Rewards program 7 days prior to your birthday
- Provide your birthday in your account information
- Make at least one Star-earning transaction prior to your birthday each year
Once you’ve completed the requirements, your birthday reward will be automatically loaded onto your account on the day of your birthday.
And hey, if you're looking for the perfect gift to give to your Starbucks obsessed friend, then make sure to check out my Starbucks gift guide!
3. Earn Free Starbucks Gift Cards
Did you know that there are plenty of ways to earn free Starbucks gift cards?
Yup! It’s true!
I’ve used it to rack up hundreds of dollars worth of free Starbucks gift cards in the last couple of years!
The app is free to use and anyone can start earning points today. Simply download Fetch and enter referral code: AWPFV8 to earn free sign up bonus points.
Still, they present a unique way to get yourself some free Starbucks coffee drinks!
The Seated app is another option to consider.
This app rewards you cash back for dining out at your favorite city restaurants. You can cash out your rewards for free gift cards, including Starbucks.
In Boston, when I’m not nabbing cheap groceries and cooking at home, I use Seated to earn when dining out!
The neat part is that Seated also offers a solid $10 sign up bonus reward to fast track your way to free rewards.
4. Join Swagbucks
Another way in which I’ve been nabbing free Starbucks gift cards is by using the free money making website Swagbucks.
The website rewards you for completing simple online tasks such as playing video games, browsing the web, taking part in online surveys and more.
Tasks you successfully complete earn you Swagbucks points that can be redeemed for free gift cards.
It’s an unconventional way in which I earn free drinks, but hey, it works!
Since your SB points can also be redeemed for free PayPal cash, I’ve more often than not gone that route versus the free gift card option.
Although, I'll generally use my SB points to redeem Starbucks gift cards when they're on sale.
Typically at the beginning of each month, I’m able to nab these at a 12% discount on the site.
If you’re looking to get a FREE Starbucks $25 gift card, then you should definitely consider Swagbucks.
Feel free to read my full Swagbucks review on how I’ve earned over $1,200 using the free site. (that’s enough to pay for one year’s worth of free Starbucks coffee!)
5. Get Free Refills
Free refills at Starbucks is another way to get free coffee, but it requires you to make a purchase first.
If you’re someone who works remotely and occasionally wants to try working at a Starbucks coffee shop, then this hack comes in handy!
I’ve sat at a Starbucks for 5 hours at a time working away on my blog, and have been able to nab free iced coffee refills during this time.
The way I look at it I get free WiFi, a charging station and unlimited coffee refills for the rock bottom price of only $5.19! per day ha!
In order to qualify for the free drink refills here’s what Starbucks says:
“At participating stores, you can use your registered Starbucks Card or Starbucks® app to purchase a beverage and then present that same Starbucks Card or Starbucks account in the app to get free refills of brewed coffee (hot, Iced Coffee or Cold Brew), and tea (hot or iced, not including lemonade) during the same store visit regardless of the original beverage.”– Starbucks Customer Service
If you’re not a Starbucks loyalty member, the good news is you can still get a refill at a discounted price of $0.53. It’s a great deal despite the coffee not being totally free!
FYI – The Starbucks free refill program does not work at some Starbucks Licensed stores. So if you're having trouble getting this freebie at your local Starbucks, then this may be the reason! Although, you can still get refills at $0.53.
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6. Starbucks BOGO
Starbucks BOGO 2023 days are another easy way to nab a free Starbucks drink to share! You can buy any handcrafted beverage (size grande or larger) and get one FREE.
Usually, these run during specific times in the day around 2pm – 7pm. In my opinion, it’s their slowest time period for coffee sales and this promotion is a good way for them to bump up sales.
It’s great because that means you can nab yourself a ‘pick me up’ afternoon drink, and get an extra one to share with a co-worker or friend!
7. Free Starbucks Coffee on Veterans Day
On Veterans Day, Starbucks honors veterans, military service members and military spouses with free coffee.
It’s an honored Starbucks tradition and one that many people are happy to see back again after a short hiatus!
Participating stores will give you a free Starbucks drink of either a tall (12-ounce) hot or cold brewed coffee as a small gesture of gratitude for your service.
During the 2023 holiday, Starbucks also donated $100,000 each to two mental health and wellness organizations supporting the Veteran community.
It’s great to see this program back, and we’re all so thankful to our U.S. Veterans for your service and sacrifice to our country!
Get to Cheap Starbucks Drinks Faster
So now that we went over the free ways to get Starbucks drinks, let’s go over how to earn star rewards faster and get discounted drinks too.
Let’s face it, you’re not always going to be able to finagle your way to a free coffee today, so might as well check out these next few Starbucks hacks.
Complete a Starbucks Challenge
Earn star rewards faster by completing member reward challenges. These used to run on a bi-weekly basis, but lately I’ve noticed it running a bit infrequently.
An example of a previous challenge included purchasing any Frappuccino blended beverage 3x within a given time period to earn 80 bonus stars.
One challenge I participated in was ordering any drink for 5 straight days to earn 40 bonus stars. These tend to be easier bonus stars to nab since I grab a Starbucks iced drink every single morning!
Bring Your Own Cup (Reduce Waste)
Earn 25 stars and get 10 cents off your drink when you bring in a clean, reusable cup to a participating cafe. It may seem like a small savings, but remember, you’re also helping the environment by reducing single-use cup waste!
I use my reusable Starbucks freebie cup I got from ‘Red Cup Day’ to nab my extra savings!
Double Star Days
‘Starbucks Double Star Days’ are just like they sound. On these special promotional days, Starbucks will reward you with double the usual points when you order on that particular day!
This promotion runs several times a year. So keep your eyes peeled for when you receive the promotional email!
Starbucks Promotional Games
Look out for fun Starbucks promotional games for an opportunity to earn even more stars while taking part in fun games! At the time of this writing, the ‘Starbucks Summer Game’ is happening, and there are tons of prizes to win!
Some fun prizes that members can win include: a Starbucks Adventure of a Lifetime paid vacation, a $250 Starbucks Gift Card, or 1,000 Bonus Stars.
You also have a chance to instantly win Bonus Stars, Starbucks gift cards, exclusive Starbucks Reserve™ merch, Cranium 25th Anniversary Edition board game and more!
Earn Cashback on Starbucks Gift Cards
A simple way that I use to consistently get my Starbucks drinks at a discount is to use the Fluz app.
The gift card app will earn you cash back rewards for purchasing Starbucks gift cards. You can then cash out your earnings to PayPal or use it towards another gift card purchase.
In a recent transaction, I earned $2.95 cash back from purchasing a $15.00 Starbucks gift card on the Fluz app! I loaded the card to my Starbucks app, and doubled dipped with double star rewards. 😎
Now, you shouldn’t expect to be able to buy a $10 gift card for $5 on the app, but do expect for your cash back rewards to add up to significant savings. Plus, you’ll earn a special sign up bonus when you use this referral link to join.
So if you’re looking for discounted Starbucks gift cards online, look no further than the Fluz app!
Now that you know how to get free drinks at Starbucks, you may want to add FREE money into the mix as well!
I routinely get free money from participating in sign up bonus offers. So I put together a list of some of my favorite $25 sign up offers that you can take advantage of as well.
So if you can’t get yourself a free Starbucks coffee today, then at least you can use your free money to buy it for yourself!
- 7 Free Starbucks Coffee Hacks
- 1. Sign Up for Starbucks Rewards Program
- 2. Starbucks Free Birthday Drink
- 3. Earn Free Starbucks Gift Cards
- 4. Join Swagbucks
- 5. Get Free Refills
- 6. Starbucks BOGO
- 7. Free Starbucks Coffee on Veterans Day
- Get to Cheap Starbucks Drinks Faster
- Final Thoughts