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Cuppa Joe: How to Save a Few Beans at Starbucks

I wouldn’t say it’s an addiction. That sounds so negative. It’s more like an appreciation. A severe one. Maybe TLC needs a show called Extreme Coffee Appreciation. I’d star in the first episode because, oh how I appreciate fancy coffee. Does my bank account adore a perfectly-steamed cappuccino? Not so much. Coughing up $4 every morning for a cuppa makes me cringe with guilt even as I indulge.

Starbucks, apparently aware of the ‘Expensive Latte Shame Spiral,’ has created a rewards program for loyal customers.

My Starbucks Rewards program is easy to use and offers great benefits!

  • Purchase a Starbucks gift card and register it online.
  • Use the card at Starbucks and earn a star with each purchase. The more stars earned, the more benefits.

After an initial purchase, cardholders earn a free birthday drink. Use it five times for promotion to the “Green” level which entitles holders to free syrups, free coffee and tea refills, and free drinks with bean purchases.

Earn 30 stars in a year for the “Gold” level: an all-out coffee bonanza that comes with a personalized Gold Card, a free drink with every 15 card uses, and coupons and offers sent to your email account.

My Starbucks Rewards members can log into the Starbucks website for account information, balances, and to reload the cards.

This has been a guest post by Kristen from Arlington, VA
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

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20 thoughts on “Cuppa Joe: How to Save a Few Beans at Starbucks”

  1. Peaceinfaith says:

    I have a 2 a day habits never good when they know you by name : ) I didnt realize the benifits in getting a gift card tommarow!

  2. My favorite coffee deal is FREE coffee at Starbucks every time I bring in an empty bag of Starbucks coffee.  Most of which at max cost $6.50 a bag (but it’s good coffee).  Even better is when I get clearance with coupons.  Then I can get a free Grande hot or iced.  They will always give free syrup so with milk it’s close enough to a latte for me.  And the best part is right now if you go into Target and get one of those free coffees you get a stamp on your receipt for a $2 drink through the end of August!

  3. Nadz9nat says:

    Grinded too and if u accidently buy the beans take it to any starbucks and they will grind it free

  4. Lizcarr0221 says:

    I have a few bags of Starbucks brand coffee beans purchased at the grocery store and they all state in very fine print on the side at the bottom that if you take in the empty bag you will get a free drink.

    • Christy Lussier says:

       That is a big reason why we buy Starbucks brand beans!! Plus its always on sale somewhere, plus I can usually find a coupon :)

    • Kristen says:

       Is it beans only?  Or the ground coffee, too? 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Another great perk of this card is if you have an issue with your purchase (and don’t want to get back in line to complain) you can call the 1-800 on the card and they will issue a credit right to your card. For example, the cashier forgot to give me a treat receipt the other day and I called to find out what I could do and they put a $5 credit on my card! IMO that is GREAT customer service.

  6. Itcbitcemi says:

    Hey KCL, I work at Starbucks and I just wanted to let everyone know, if you order a Frappuccino and get added shots of espresso in it – you should stop. Instead, tell the baristas that you want extra coffee in your Frappuccino. Its FREE to get extra coffee and it has the same amount of caffeine as a shot, and it wont melt your Frappuccino! :) Since shots are 75 cents a pop where I work, this little piece of info has saved alot of my 
    customers money!

    • Itcbitcemi says:

      Also, instead of buying the bottled Ethos water, ask for a FREE cup of water. ANY SIZE, FREE! :)

    • Jennifer Duke says:

       I almost always order my Frappuccino’s with “extra coffee” and they never charge me. They just add 7 pumps of the “frap roast coffee” instead of the normal 5 for a venti. Sometimes they asked for clarification – extra frap roast or a shot. The shots do melt the ice and make the frap more of a slushy.
      Also, there are a couple of locations in my area where the barista’s recognize me and will give me free syrups, upgrade my size for free, or comp me occasionally. It pays to frequent 1 or 2 locations and get friendly with them. :)

  7. Alexisdeals says:

    This Week at all US Starbucks the Treat Receipts are back too! If you purchase anything in the morning before 2pm keep your receipt and bring it back after 2pm for an iced grande drink of your choice for only $2!!! That includes any frappucino with as many add shots as you want! What ever you can fit in the cup!

  8. MoneyMateKate says:

    I did experience one disappintment – no freebie upon reaching Gold. So you don’t get your first free one until you’ve made FORTY-FIVE purchases.

    TIP: You get one star per PURCHASE. If you’re buying 3 drinks, or a coffe and a muffin, split them up! The cashiers are used to this.

  9. Molly says:

    You can also bring in your own reusable cup and save .05!

  10. Tina Lenart says:

    I get free drink coupons ALL the time.. seems more often then the 15 drink requirement. Plus if you get any syrups in your drinks for flavor or sweetening.. the card saves you .50 every drink because the syrups are free with the card.

  11. Momsbyheart says:

    I am a starbucks fanatic and have been a member of this rewards program for over a year.  It’s great.  After 15 purchases using my rewards gift card, I get a postcard in the mail good for a free drink of my choice in ANY SIZE.  So I buy a plain coffee every day and end up getting two postcards per month for freebies.  I use them to get a venti strawberries & cream frap and split it three ways amongst my kids (no caffeine).  They look forward to those postcards!

  12. Teresa Luna says:

    Wow are those supposed to be good rewards? All other coffee places I know of already gives you free drinks with bean purchases, including Peets.  But if Starbucks is the only coffee place in your area, it’s better than nothing.