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How to get free drinks at Starbucks
Disclaimer: This post is NOT affiliated with or sponsored by Starbucks. I am NOT compensated by the company in any way. All opinion is based on my own personal experience and what I do to save money at my favorite go-to coffee shop, Starbucks.
I confess I’m a Starbucks addict.
And I probably cannot live without sipping on their Peppermint Chocolate Mocha or the Green Tea Frappuccino at least once a week.
Starbucks is my go-to spot to grab a quick drink and catch up with friends or to work on my small little blog here, which shockingly earns a full-time income of over $120,000 per year and allowed me to quit my 9-to-5 job!
Yes, yes… their specialty drinks are kinda expensive and I’m not going to hide the fact that I enjoy them (I know, it may sound ironic hearing that from someone who blogs about personal finance).
According to this article, the average American spends about $1,100 a year, or $3 per day, on coffee.
No matter how many times you tell me to cut the Starbucks, I just cannot…
I admit that buying a Starbucks every single day (especially their pricier drinks) could leave a dent in your wallet. But if you’re a Starbucks PSL lover like me, there are many ways to save money and reduce your spending at Starbucks.
Even better, you could even get those delicious Starbucks drinks for free!
Isn’t a Starbucks free drink to die for?
But before I go through the hacks on how to get free Starbucks, let’s do a little bit of math.
Assuming a Starbucks Grande cup (their medium size) of Latte or Frappuccino costs $3.35 to $4, this is roughly how much you’ll be spending before taxes…
(and of course, if you order a regular brew coffee, it will be ~40% cheaper).
Having that said, you’re probably spending between $700 to $1,200 per year on your morning hot beverages, which aligns with the article I mentioned earlier.
Now, onto the clever hacks and how to get free drinks at Starbucks…
How to get a free Starbucks drink?
Luckily for you, there are many legit ways to get free Starbucks and save money.
All that means is you’ll have to find a way to get $700 to $1,200 worth of FREE Starbucks each year. Or, at least, find ways to reduce your spending without having to give up on your favorite coffee or latte!
It’s time for free coffee today — these are the things my fiancé and I do to get FREE Starbucks drinks all year round. It’s how we save money each time we make a trip to Starbucks!
Go and give them a try!
1. Earn FREE Starbucks gift cards over here!
This is one of my favorite ways to get free Starbucks drinks!
I mention many times on my blog that I’m able to save money and reduce my spending because my fiance and I both use Swagbucks to redeem FREE $50-$100 Starbucks gift cards!
It’s one of my favorite Starbucks hacks because when you sign up for a FREE Swagbucks account, you can start earning FREE Starbucks gift cards just by doing the stuff you normally do online.
To name a few examples, I earn FREE Starbucks gift cards by surfing the web, watching videos, answering easy survey questions, and shopping online.
I literally just received this e-mail from Swagbucks after selecting my free $50 Starbucks gift card…
Not only does Swagbucks offer Starbucks gift cards, but they also offer many other gift cards to your favorite stores including Amazon! Go ahead and check them out over HERE and redeem a free drink at Starbucks with their $5 sign-on bonus! 👈
This is one of the most well-known and popular surveys and cash rewards programs in North America. It’s absolutely FREE to use and takes less than 5 seconds to sign up.
Swagbucks is safe to use – it’s 100% legitimate and has paid out its members over $320,157,336!
I’ve been a Swagbucks user since 2009 and I recommend them to those who want free gift cards and free stuff!
👉 You can get a FREE $5 bonus from Swagbucks here just by signing up today. 😊
⭐️ Important: Make sure to verify the email from Swagbucks in your inbox so you can start earning free gift cards immediately!
Free $5 Starbucks Drink!
I literally just ordered my free $5 Cookie Crumble Mocha Starbucks drink! You can order any hot or cold beverage you like.
This drink was so refreshing and delightful. Any free $5 Starbucks drink makes the perfect snack or dessert when you deserve it the most.
2. Join the Starbucks stars rewards program for free drinks
You’ve probably heard about the Starbucks Rewards program especially if you’re a Starbucks addict like me.
If not, you can sign up here. It’s free to join!
I’ve been collecting Starbucks stars ever since 2010. Pretty long, huh?
Simply, register your Starbucks card, start collecting Starbucks stars, and you can start earning free drinks.
When you first join, you’re automatically granted the Green Level status and you can start collecting stars. You get 2 stars per $1 spent.
Once you earn 300 stars within 12 months (after spending $150 a year, or $12.50 per month), you’ll become a Gold member and be rewarded with more benefits.
How many Starbucks stars for a free drink?
50 Stars: You’ll get a free brewed hot coffee, bakery item, or hot tea.
150 Stars: Enjoy a handcrafted drink, breakfast sandwich, or parfait.
200 Stars: You can redeem a delicious sandwich, salad, or protein snack box.
400 Stars: Not only can you redeem 8 cups of free coffee at Starbucks with 400 stars, but you also have the option to redeem a Starbucks signature product such as their travel cup, a bag of home-brewed Starbucks coffee, or an accessory.
I guess you could call me a Starbucks junkie with 609 stars earned in 6 months! Woo-hoo!
3. Get free Starbucks drinks via rewards and earn points
These are all 100% free to use with no strings attached. Plus, they’re all quick and easy to join, so why not?
The more you sign up for the more opportunities you’ll have to earn free Starbucks gift cards. Again, it’s one of my favorite ways to stack up on free gift cards so I can indulge in those tasty free Starbucks drinks all year round! 🙂
Seriously, I have my love for redeeming free Starbucks gift cards because it’s how I save money!
Free coffee refill at Starbucks
I was literally telling my friends the other day about this Starbucks hack I use every day and to my surprise, they had no clue about it!
So, here’s my little secret on how to get free drinks and free refills at Starbucks.
Despite being at the Green or Gold Level, you can get free in-store refills which include hot or iced brewed coffee, cold brew, or hot or iced tea when you use your registered Starbucks card. You will also be eligible for a free birthday drink (I talk more about this point later)!
As a Gold member, you get more benefits. 🙂
For one, you get any beverage (in any size) for free every time you earn 125 Stars. You could even choose food from their menu if you’re not feeling for a drink.
Secondly, Starbucks runs a special promotion once a month where Gold members can earn 4 stars for every $1 spent (on double-star days).
I’ve personally been a Gold member since 2010 and I’m loving the perks! 😀
4. Get a free Starbucks drink on your birthday
Yes, you can redeem a free Starbucks drink on your birthday!
Here is a free drink I got from Starbucks on my birthday. It’s a delicious Matcha Green Tea Frappuccino in a Venti – yummy! You can get any special drink you like, so why not go all out and treat yourself to something fun and special? 🙂
While you’re at it, you can also look for the best Starbucks birthday gifts for yourself this year – what better way than to give yourself a nice little treat? They also make the perfect gifts for people who love Starbucks just as much as you do!
This is another reason to fall in love with the free Starbucks rewards program.
For one, it doesn’t cost anything to sign up.
And secondly, you get any size drink you want for FREE on your birthday!
They used to give you up to 30 days to redeem your birthday offer. But they changed this, so now it’s only applicable on your actual birthday.
That means you can go all nuts and customize your drink in whatever way you want. You could even order something from their food menu if that’s what you prefer.
Sausage, egg, and cheese on an English Muffin, anyone? 😊
5. Use Drop to earn free gift cards
My fiancé and I use the Drop app to passively rack up cash rewards on our everyday purchases. These rewards include free gift cards to Starbucks, Amazon, lululemon, Sephora, and more!
That’s how we top up on our Starbucks gift cards to get free Starbucks drinks! 😉
The one thing I really love about Drop is their points can be COMBINED with other rewards, promos, cash back programs, and coupons!
So YES, you can STACK UP your Drop points with Rakuten (formerly called Ebates) and other credit card rewards!
To start earning FREE gift cards with Drop, all you have to do is:
1) Link your debit and/or credit cards (this is how you passively earn points) — rest assured that Drop uses industry-leading security to ensure that your data is always safe. Your bank login credentials are NEVER stored on Drop’s servers.
2) Choose the top 5 places you shop so that you can automatically earn points just for shopping there. This includes Amazon, Walmart, Target, Starbucks (YAS, Starbucks!), Chipotle, Uber, Dunkin’ Donuts, and more!
3) Redeem your Drop points for FREE gift cards (yes, this includes Starbucks gift cards)!
🌟 For a limited time, get your FREE $5 bonus from Drop immediately after linking your first card and using my special referral code, FINSAVVY. No purchase necessary!
Just by doing this, you can even cash out your FREE $5 gift card towards Starbucks instantly! 😊
6. Starbucks specials: buy one get one free (BOGO)
Keep an eye out for their special discounts, especially during the Starbucks Happy Hour promo at all participating stores in the U.S. and Canada!
You’ll get more bang for your buck when you redeem your FREE Starbucks gift cards to make a purchase.
Depending on your location, Starbucks may offer other special promotions that go beyond the buy one get one (BOGO) deal.
For example, sometimes they may give you 50% off any one handcrafted drink during their happy hours. If you’re registered for the Rewards program, they may also give you exclusive member deals to collect more Starbucks stars for more free drinks.
7. Look out for limited-time specials (collect Starbucks stickers)
For example, in our city, Starbucks was handing out free stamp cards during the holiday season.
For every five Grande holiday beverages we purchased, we got one for free!
8. Save money by being environmentally friendly
Last but not least, you can start bringing your own travel mug like a classic Starbucks one each time you visit the coffee shop.
You’ll save $0.10 each time you purchase a cup of freshly brewed coffee, which is equivalent to saving $36.50 per year.
I’ll admit that number alone is not a lot, but it’s good for the environment. Plus, that’s pretty much getting an EXTRA 18 cups of FREE Starbucks coffee! You can’t say no to that, right? 😉
👉 You can view Starbucks tumblers in various fancy styles via Amazon’s website.
9. Get a free drink when you’re at Starbucks working or studying
If you’re like me who likes to study or work at Starbucks on a frequent basis, you’ll notice that the barista may accidentally make the wrong drinks for their customers. When that happens, they always ask if you’d like the drink for free. “It’s on the house”, they would say. I always decline because I don’t need a second drink to add on the extra fat and calories. 🙂
For example, when I was working on this blog the other day at one of my favorite Starbucks, the barista made the wrong drink 3 times within 1 hour! He kept asking people sitting at the tables if they’d like the drinks for free. Many customers around are always hesitant at first because they think it’s too good to be true when a specialty drink is given free of charge.
This is not something that happens all the time, but it’s not uncommon to catch them making the wrong drinks at times, especially when you’re hanging out at Starbucks quite often to study, work, or blog.
10. Get free Starbucks drinks and food in sample sizes
Not only can you score free Starbucks drinks when the barista makes the wrong drinks, but you can also score free sample-size drinks and foods. While working or studying, they may come to your table and offer you bite-sized drinks and snacks. This has actually happened to me many times but I probably witness it more often because I’m always at Starbucks working on my blog.
Just the other day, I was offered a macchiato in a pup cup along with a Starbucks Oat Bar.
Sure, why not since I’m already there enjoying my Peach Tranquility tea? Plus, I thought I may as well take a picture for you to see their small freebies. 🙂
Earning a free Starbucks drink feels like getting free money!
If you follow my blog, you will know that I’m all about saving money and making money. Below are some of my favorite sites and resources that may help you! The best part is that they’re all FREE to join and use!
Not to mention, earning free money can go towards your spending at Starbucks!
Woo-hoo! More ways to save money on your favorite Starbucks drinks! 😊
MyPoints: You can earn FREE gift cards to your favorite stores or cash (your choice) just by watching videos, taking surveys, reading e-mails, and more. MyPoints has paid out its members $236,000,000!
🌟 Sign up for MyPoints and get a FREE $5 bonus immediately when you take 5 surveys! 💵
⭐️ Important: Don’t forget to verify the email from MyPoints in your inbox so that you can redeem your bonus!
Rakuten: You get FREE cash just for shopping at over 2,000 of your favorite stores. This includes Walmart, Macy’s, Apple, Kohl’s, Target, eBay, and so many more! I use Rakuten to save over a few hundred dollars per year just for shopping for the things I normally buy.
🌟 Sign up here for your $10 welcome bonus after making your first $25 purchase through Ebates.
🇨🇦 If you live in Canada, you must use this link to get your $5 bonus.
Related post: To learn more, read my full review and tutorial on how to use Rakuten here. You will fall in LOVE with Rakuten! ❤️
Readers — Are you ready to reap some Starbucks rewards so that you can indulge in your favorite Starbucks drinks? 🙂