Emily VanSchmus | 

7 Easy Ways to Get Free Starbucks Coffee

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With Starbucks drink prices increasing all the time, we’re always on the hunt for Starbucks coupons and deals. I mean, who doesn’t love free coffee? If you love an iced latte but don’t love the price tag that comes with it, you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up the best Starbucks hacks to help you get free Starbucks coffee. 

There are several ways to get free (or at least discounted) Starbucks drinks, but they don’t all work all the time. Learn about all the ways to get free Starbucks coffee so you know how to take advantage of your rewards and when to cash in on your freebies. 

Learn how to maximize your stars and take advantage of all the current Starbucks deals so you can save on your next Grande latte. 

Ways to Get Free Starbucks Coffee

Collect Starbucks Stars and Rewards 


If you don’t already have the Starbucks app, stop what you’re doing and download it right now. Seriously—the Starbucks Rewards program is the easiest way to earn rewards like free drinks and upgrades. When you order or pay for your drinks through the app, you’ll earn reward points (called stars). Once you’ve collected enough stars, you can redeem them for free drinks. 

There are five tiers for Starbucks Rewards, but these are the two most important if you're looking for free drinks:

  • 100 Stars — Get a free hot or iced coffee, tea, or bakery item.

  • 200 Stars — Free handcrafted drink (Cold Brew, signature lattes and more) or hot breakfast.

I’ve been using the My Starbucks Rewards app for more than a decade, so I’ve picked up a few helpful tips to hitting 100 Stars as quickly as possible.

Here are the easiest ways to maximize your rewards: 

Order on Starbucks Triple Star days.

Starbucks frequently offers double- and Triple-Star days, which means the points you earn on each purchase are doubled or tripled. You’ll receive notifications in the app and via email about upcoming star days, so I try to time my weekly latte run around them. 

Pay with gift cards, not your credit card.

When you pay with cash, credit card, or debit card, you’ll earn one star per dollar spent. (If you pay with cash, you’ll need to have the barista scan your app so that you get credit for the purchase. But when you pay with a Starbucks gift card through the app, you earn two stars per dollar.

I’ve gotten in the habit of using my credit card to reload my in-app Starbucks gift card so that I always get double the points. (And the money is coming from the same place anyway.) 

Key takeaway: Always pay with a registered Starbucks card and if you can combine that with a Triple Star offer — you could earn up to 30 Stars on a $5 purchase. That's a 500% increase on Star Rewards than if you paid $5 with a credit card on a non-Star Day.

Stick Around for Free Refills

One perk of ordering in-store is that select Starbucks drinks come with free refills. As long as you pay with your Starbucks app and stay in the store, you can pop back up to the register after you finish your drink and get a refill of plain coffee, tea, or cold brew.

The best way to take advantage of this, in my opinion, is at your Target Starbucks location. Grab your drink, do your shopping, and get a free refill for the drive home.

Bonus tip: Since cold brews are an acceptable refill, take it home and stick it in the fridge for the next day — that's a free iced coffee you can enjoy later.

Go on Your Birthday


Once a year, you’ll get a free Starbucks drink on your birthday with the rewards app. Technically, the offer is for one free food or drink item—but since you can order any drink  in any size, using the birthday deal for a free drink is the better value. 

There are a few restrictions, but for the most part the free birthday drink really is as good as it sounds. You do need to have the Starbucks Rewards app and use it to make at least one purchase in the 7 days before your birthday.

If you meet those requirements, your birthday coupon will appear in the ‘My Offers’ tab of the app beginning at midnight on your birth date. Keep in mind you can only use the offer on your actual birthday, so be sure to take advantage of it. 

Play Starbucks Games

Periodically, Starbucks offers in-app games you can play to earn rewards and freebies. Right now, the Starbucks Summer Game is in full swing — through June 7, 2024. Starbucks Rewards members can enter the sweepstakes daily (up to two times per day) for a chance to win a trip for two to Costa Rica. Of course, you may not win the grand prize, but you can play each day for a chance to win stars, gift card credits, and free drinks.

You don’t even have to buy anything to play. Log in at starbuckssummergame.com and scroll down to the bottom of the site and click the link to "enter without making a purchase".

Another popular game, Starbucks for Life, typically runs during the holiday season — usually from Thanksgiving to New Years. Turn on notifications in your Starbucks app to stay updated on game opportunities. 

Take Advantage of Current Starbucks Promotions

Starbucks’ current offers are always changing, but we keep track of all the updated deals to make things easy for you. You’ll frequently find BOGO offers or account-specific offers—like 'buy XYZ drink 3 times in the next week to earn 100 stars' in the app, so it’s always worth checking the ‘My Offers’ tab before ordering. 

The app is also where you’ll find holiday deals, such as free coffee for veterans on Veterans Day. 

Starbucks Offers To Expect in June

  • BOGO free drinks from noon - 6 p.m.

    • Friday, June 7

    • Sunday, June 16

    • Friday, June 28

  • Weekly Deal Drops (surprise deals in-app every Monday)

Score Bonus Points for Personal Cups


Starbucks locations allow you to bring your own refill cup, and they’ll reward you for it. And better yet — now you can bring in any reusable cup from home, not just Starbucks branded cups. As long as it's clean and can fit Starbucks standard sizes.

Each time you order with a personal cup, you’ll get 10 cents off and 25 bonus Stars — which add up fast if you’re a frequent customer.

You get a free coffee or tea with 100 Stars, so you’ll get a free Starbucks coffee after every four purchases made using the cup discount. Free coffee every fifth visit sounds like a great deal to us.

Buy Discounted Starbucks Gift Cards

Save enough on a discounted Starbucks gift card to treat yourself to a free coffee. Sites like Raise.com and CardCash sell Starbucks gift cards at a 3% - 4% discount.

Right now, there is a $100 Starbucks gift card on Raise.com being sold at a 3.5% discount for $96.54. Thats a savings of $3.46 — and enough to grab a free Starbucks coffee.

These sites also sometimes give first-time users an even deeper discount on their first purchase. Plus, you get 2x the Starbucks Stars when you pay with a gift card instead of cash or credit, so a discounted gift card technically double dips on perks.

Starbucks Free Coffee FAQ

How Do I Claim My Free Drink from the Starbucks App?

To claim your birthday drink in the Starbucks app, click the ‘My Offers’ button at the bottom of the screen. To redeem Stars for a free drink, let your barista know you’d like to pay with stars and they’ll subtract the stars for you when they scan your app. 

Can I Use a Free Drink Offer More than Once?

No. Starbucks free drink offers (including birthday offers and redeeming stars) can only be used once. 

Does Starbucks Give Free Coffee If You Bring Your Own Cup?

No, but you will get a discount and extra stars. For each drink you order using a reusable cup, you’ll get a 10-cent discount and 25 bonus Stars. 

Is Water Free at Starbucks?

Yes, cups of water (any size) are free at Starbucks. They also have bottled water available for purchase, but ice water in an iced drink cup is free. 

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