The True Value of a Starbucks Refill

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 2.29.17 PMI’m addicted to coffee. I’m specifically addicted to Starbucks coffee. I love it all: caramel macchiatos, mocha frappuccinos, even the new Starbucks bottled ice coffee (it’s inexpensive and amazing!). Because your caffeine fix could either cost you a ton of money or save you a ton of money, depending on how much coffee couponing savvy you’ve acquired, it’s worth it to investigate all the ways your smart phone can save you money on one of what I consider life’s essentials. Just in case you haven’t read my recent posts on how to save a ton of money with SnipSnap and other simple strategies at Starbucks, here is a quick recap:

SnipSnap Your Treat Receipts

Download the Starbucks App and Register a Card with My Starbucks Rewards

Purchase Starbucks Discount Gift Cards

SnipSnap Drugstore Deals on Bottled Starbucks Coffee

Attend Frappuccino Happy Hour

SnipSnap Starbucks Dollars off/BOGO Food and Drink Coupons

Today, I’m talking about Starbucks’ free refills. If you’ve registered a card with My Starbucks Rewards and use it to purchase your beverages, you’ll earn a star for every drink you purchase (limit one star per transaction). Once you earn a certain amount of stars, you’ll earn green status, and then gold. Once you’ve reached green status, you’ll earn a free refill of lower-cost Starbucks beverages (iced tea, iced coffee, and hot brewed coffee) after after every drink you enjoy (in-store; if you leave, you can’t come back and get your refill). Previously, the language of the Starbucks refill policy was very vague and it was believed A) you could only receive a refill if you originally ordered a tea/brewed coffee beverage and B) you had to have originally ordered a tea/brewed coffee beverage to qualify for a refill of the same beverage you originally ordered. However, this is not true! I read this fabulous post by Melody from StarbucksMelody today, which points out that Starbucks has recently cleared up its refill policy and the language is now crystal clear:
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This means that you qualify for a coffee/tea refill no matter what drink you originally purchase and enjoy in-store. Want some passion tea after your frappuccino? Go for it. Want some brewed coffee after your passion tea? Go for that too.

I’m pretty stoked about this news and I’ve already tried it out (it’s not hard for me to earn Starbucks refills because I can work at just about any Starbucks location for hours on end). So, next time you buy any coffee treat at Starbucks for a work/study date, friend date, or date date, make sure you leave with something delicious to take home.



Starbucks Rewards Get Bigger, Better, Faster

If you’re not getting free drinks at Starbucks, there’s a problem. Because most people I know have old Starbucks cards wedged inside their wallets. And a card is all you need to register for My Starbucks Rewards. You’ll create a Starbucks account that lets you reload your car and track your stars. What are stars? They’re what you earn when you make a purchase with your Starbucks card and, once you earn thirty, you’re a gold member, eligible for caffeinated freebies, like refills and birthday drinks.

Even better? The Starbucks app lets you keep track of your rewards, plus reload, check the balance of, and pay with a mobile version of any of your registered Starbucks cards.

Way better? Starbucks is getting ready to revamp its gold card rewards program. Right now, you have to make 15 purchases with your Starbucks card before you receive a free drink certificate in the mail. But, starting October 16, you’ll only have to make 12 purchases to get a free drink or food item, and these new offers are completely mobile and redeemable from the Starbucks app on your phone.

The bad news? Starbucks is no longer offering free syrup and soy milk for cold holders, nor are you up for a free tall coffee when you purchase a pound of coffee beans. Blah.