If You Pay for Refills at Starbucks, You’re Wasting Your Money

Use this handy trick to score free drinks with every visit—guaranteed.

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Raise your hand if you believe that you singlehandedly keep Starbucks in business. Don’t worry, you’re not alone; this world-famous coffee roaster can put a serious dent in anyone’s bank account. Although regularly cashing out for a $5 cup of iced coffee is just one of the problems all coffee lovers understand, we have some good news for your wallet. Turns out, there’s a surprising way to maximize your dollar for every cup of Joe. (And thankfully, it’s not one of baristas’ pet peeves.)

According to Starbucks policy, customers may receive free refills of hot, iced, or cold brewed coffee, as well as hot, iced, or shaken tea, during the same visit at participating stores, a Starbucks spokesperson told Fortune. Plus, it doesn’t even need to be the same beverage both times; a refill-eligible second drink just needs to be any one of those choices listed above. (By the way, you’ll never guess what Starbucks was almost called.)

We can thank Starbucks Melody, an unofficial Starbucks news website, for sharing this amazing trick with all of us loyal java drinkers. Although the policy’s substance hasn’t changed much in recent years, the coffee company has recently adjusted some of the wording, according to the news site.

Here’s how to cash in: To redeem your refill, simply present your Starbucks Card or mobile app at the register for both your first and second orders. But like any great deal, there’s a small catch. Keep in mind that refills are limited to in-store purchases, not redeemable from the drive-thru, and you can’t redeem any more refills once you leave the store. Challenge accepted.

Yep, your coffee addiction just reached a whole new level. Just make sure you don’t have any of the signs you’re drinking too much coffee.

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Brooke Nelson
Brooke Nelson is a researcher at PBS FRONTLINE in Boston, Massachusetts, and writes regularly about travel, health, and culture news for Reader’s Digest. Previously she was a staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her articles have also appeared on MSN, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance, among other sites. She earned a BA in international relations from Hendrix College. Follow her on Twitter @BrookeTNelson.