Forget Team Hot Coffee vs. Team Iced Coffee. I’m on Team Free Coffee, and it’s totally possible to get a bunch of free coffee when you know where to look and how to sign up. Brands and retailers are willing to reward you for your loyalty, and that’s what you want to use to your advantage. If they can hook you on free coffee, they think they’ll get you coming in for other things, too.
Although that’s probably true to some extent, the best way to maximize these programs is to never overbuy just to earn rewards points. Let them accumulate and then pounce on your freebie!
Here are some great ways we’ve found to get free coffee — both immediately, and over time. For more great money-saving tips, download the KCL app for the latest deals.
1. Starbucks Free Coffee
Starbucks Rewards is perhaps the creme de la creme of coffee rewards programs. You’ll earn one star per dollar spent on the app (when you connect your debit card). You’ll earn 2 stars per dollar when you link a Starbucks gift card to the app and pay that way. When you hit 25 stars, you’re due for a freebie (an extra shot of espresso or syrup). Learn more about how to get free Starbucks.
As a Rewards member, you can get a free coffee beverage when you’ve earned 50 stars. Also, you’ll get a free drink or treat on your birthday with their Birthday Reward perk. Stars expire six months from when you earn them.
2. Caribou Coffee
When you join Caribou Coffee Perks program, you’ll earn a free medium beverage just for completing your profile! This will generate your own Caribou card, which entitles you to earn 2 points for every $1 spent in store, via the app, and on select purchases on cariboucoffee.com.
Once you’ve accrued 25 points, you can start redeeming for add-ons and the like. You’ll get a free cup of coffee when you reach 50 points. You can redeem points for brewed coffee, hot tea, or a bakery item. The more points you earn, the bigger the reward. For example, 400 points gets you either a growler or canteen of coffee, a bag of beans, or a box of K-Cup pods.
3. Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee
Dunkin’ Rewards offers 10 points per dollar spent. You can also achieve Booster status (which is visiting Dunkin’ 12 times in a single calendar month), and you’ll earn 12 points per $1 spent for the rest of the calendar year. This will help you achieve that free sweet, sweet caffeine a little faster.
The Dunkin’ Rewards program is tiered, meaning you get different freebies when you hit different points milestones. To score a small, medium, or large coffee, you’ll need 500 points. You can also earn 3x points on your birthday, the day before, and the day after.
When McDonald’s stepped up its coffee game many years ago, we took notice. While their My McDonald’s app rewards program isn’t necessarily geared towards coffee, you’ll get free large fries when downloading the app at sign up. That said, free coffee is definitely a thing. For every $1 you spend as a MyMcDonald’s rewards member, you’ll earn 100 points. You can redeem these points for all kinds of food and drinks.
At 3,000 points you’re eligible for a free large McDonald’s Iced Coffee. (You’ll need to spend $30 on McDonald’s to get there.)
If 7-Eleven is your go-to for a coffee, you need to sign up for their 7Rewards program. It’s really easy! Just download the app and start earning points on qualifying purchases. You’ll earn 10 points per dollar you spend. Every 1,000 in your member account equals $1 you can spend at 7-Eleven in order to create a discount.
A small house coffee at 7-Eleven costs $1.99, so once you reach 2,000 points, cash them in for your free cuppa.
7. Peet’s Coffee
Peet’s fans are in luck because they offer a couple of ways to get free coffee. Join the Peetnik Rewards Program to earn points on purchases. Download the Peet’s app and make your first purchase via app to get 125 free points. Beyond that, you’ll receive 1 Peetnik Point for every $1 you spend at participating U.S. locations.
When you have 50 points, you’re eligible for one free drip or cold brew coffee. Plus, you can refer a friend to Peet’s. They’ll get $10 off their first Peets.com order, and in turn, you’ll get $20, plus free ground shipping once they make a purchase. There are plenty of items in their online ship you can snag for under $20, like K-Cup pods.
8. Panera Bread
Now if you frequently enjoy a cup of joe at Panera Bread, then you should check the Unlimited Sip Club. You’ll get a free drink every two hours (including coffee!), and the first month is free. After that, you’ll pay $11.99 a month, so you may want to decide if it’s worth continuing or not. If you frequent Panera, this perk would pay for itself after a couple drink orders. Otherwise, it might not be worth it. You can get any size of iced and hot coffee, iced and hot tea, fountain beverages, and Panera Bread’s new Charged lemonades.
It’s important to note there is no points system with MyPanera. Present your card every time you visit and they’ll swipe it. When they have an idea of what you love most, they will supply surprise rewards based on that input.
As a rewards member, you’ll be eligible for free coffee if you visit QuickChek four to nine times per month. Visit 10 or more times per month and you’ll get two!
Related: 30 Free Things You Can (Almost) Always Get Your Hands On
10. Biggby Coffee
Join Biggby Nation to get a free birthday coffee every year. Plus, buy 12 full-price coffees and your 13th one is free. Bags of coffee are similar: Buy nine pounds and your 10th pound is free.