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 IOS App: Now with Passbook Integration

Starbucks is really on top of things with the new IOS 6 supported, Passbook integrated version of its app. The coolest novelty of the new Starbucks app is that, when you load your mobile Starbucks card to Passbook, you’ll get a push notification through your locked home screen, every time you walk into one of your favorite Starbucks stores. That means you can pay, instantaneously, which is really convenient, considering most people (read: at least me) are pretty sloppy pre-caffeine and cannot be bothered to type in pass codes and shuffle through a million apps.

What else is amazing about the Starbucks app?

  • It’s still got everything I consider essential, like the drink builder tool, which lets you digitally craft you signature beverage, budget its calories, and learn how to order it correctly so you sound more put together than you actually are.
  • Load any Starbucks card to the app, load and reload it with funds from your phone, and pay exclusively through your smart phone’s screen. For every drink you buy with your Starbucks card, you earn one star. Earn 12 (as of October 16) and you’ll get a mobile offer for a free treat or drink.
  • Send mobile “eGifts” to friends via Facebook or email, and you can pay simply through your Starbucks card.

    Your friend will receive a digital email card and he/she can turn it into a mobile gift card by entering the card number into the Starbucks app.
  • Receive free, weekly music downloads

Look, Starbucks can be an expensive habit, but it really is easy to get your fix for free (at least some of the time). If you’re shopkickin and you have a Starbucks addiction, make sure you trade in your kicks for a Starbucks card, so you can earn even more coffee, on the house.