Marcus Lawrence | 

Starbucks Red Cup Day Gets You a Free Cup With a Holiday Drink Purchase

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Starbucks Red Cup Day is the official kickoff to the Starbucks holiday drinks season, offering free reusable cups to customers for one day only.

You can get these free Starbucks winter cups by ordering any size drink from the holiday menu. The cups are all decked out for the holidays with festive designs, plus they're made with 75% recycled content.

So when is Red Cup Day happening next? How do you get one of these Red Cups? When do you need to show up to Starbucks? How many of them can you get? We’ve got what you need to know.

And while you wait for November, text HACKS to 57299 for savings tips sent to your phone.

Starbucks Red Cup Day is a one-day-a-year free-cup-with-purchase event.

When you order any of the limited-edition drinks available on the Starbucks holiday menu, you’ll get a free 16-oz (Grande) reusable red cup — while supplies last. You can get the freebie regardless of how you order — in-store, drive-thru, app, Uber Eats/DoorDash.

KCL predicts the next Starbucks Red Cup Day will be Thursday, Nov. 21, 2024.


Starbucks hasn’t officially announced the date for their next Red Cup Day, but after tracking this event for 6 years, our team at KCL predicts that it’ll take place on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2024. 

How do we make our prediction?

Since 2021, Starbucks has scheduled Red Cup Day for a week before Thanksgiving. In 2024, Thanksgiving is on Thursday, Nov. 28, so expect Red Cup Day to take place on the 21st. 

Here are the recent start dates for the sale, which inform our prediction:

  • Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023

  • Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022

  • Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021

  • Friday, Nov. 6, 2020

  • Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 

  • Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018

Get to Starbucks early on Red Cup Day — supply is limited.

a person holding up a starbucks red cup inside of starbucks

If you wait until late morning on Red Cup Day, you may find that all your Starbucks location’s red cups are gone. The annual event is known to draw a crowd, and cups disappear long before the end of the day.

Most Starbucks cafes open at 5 a.m. There are also Starbucks locations that are open 24 hours a day, but most of those are in Las Vegas or airports.

If you get your Starbucks at Target, you can afford to sleep in a little. Target typically opens at 8 a.m., so that’s the soonest you could grab your red cup. And, yes, last year, Target locations had the cups.

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You must buy a holiday drink to get the free cup.

The holiday menu changes every year, but here’s an idea of the kinds of drinks that will qualify you for the free reusable cup:

  • Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato

  • Caramel Brulée Latte

  • Chestnut Praline Latte

  • Gingerbread Latte

  • Gingerbread Oatmilk Chai

  • Hot Chocolate

  • Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso

  • Oleato Gingerbread Oatmilk Latte

  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate

  • Peppermint Mocha

  • Peppermint White Hot Chocolate

  • Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte

  • Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

  • Pumpkin Spice Latte

  • Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte

  • White Hot Chocolate

In 2023, Starbucks debuted four new single-use “red cup” designs.

Photo of the four Starbucks Red Cup Designs: Plaid, Candy Cane, Ribbons, and Baubles.

Every year Starbucks gives their standard single-use cups a holiday makeover, and in 2023, they had four new hot cup designs, that all blend red, green, white and pink:

  • Party Plaid: Designer Bridget Shilling created the Party Plaid cup with a modern twist on a classic plaid scarf, using an unexpected color palette and adding geometric elements for a stylish look.

  • Peppermint Swirl: Inspired by the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha, the Peppermint Swirl cup features swirling waves of color that create an illusion of movement, making it inviting for customers to interact with.

  • Ribbon Spool: The ribbon bands on this cup were designed to evoke joy and a sense of imperfection, reminiscent of how holiday ribbons are stored for wrapping presents.

  • Bauble Wrap: Shilling’s favorite design, the Bauble Wrap cup, features festive ornament shapes wrapped around the cup at an angle, giving it a unique and bold appearance, like a creatively wrapped gift.

After Red Cup Day, use your new cup to earn Starbucks Rewards.

someone sipping a coffee and looking at their phone at starbucks

We expect to see the Starbucks Refill Cup again this year.

green starbucks 16 ounce coffee ad tea refill tumbler

Last year, the Starbucks Refill Cup released in December. For $64.95, you could purchase a tumbler that got you free coffee all January long. Click the link; we’ll tell you how much you have to use a refillable cup to make it worth it. Then you can decide if that’s the next tumbler you’ll get from Starbucks.

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