Starbucks Free Refill Policy Clarified

freegreatpicture-com-16842-coffee-and-coffee-beans-close-upOK, time for some more useful money saving coffee information most of you may not be aware of:

Free refills of coffee or tea with the purchase of ANY beverage at Starbucks!

Many of us frequent Starbucks to get our favorite coffee or tea fix and are aware that if you use your Registered Starbucks Card (gift card) once you reach the Green or Gold level, refills are FREE. Awhile back, you could only get a free refill of coffee or tea if you purchased that same coffee or tea during the same visit. Recently Starbucks has updated their FAQ section with a clarification:

Starbucks Rewards members at Green and Gold levels are eligible for free refills on brewed or iced coffee or tea, regardless of the original beverage purchased, while they are in a participating Starbucks® store. Once you leave the store, your visit has ended and any subsequent coffee or tea refill thereafter would be considered a new purchase.

Here is a direct link to their policy:  They key change made recently is “regardless of the original beverage purchased“.

I’ve written about this because there’s been quite a bit of confusion not only among us customers but also to Starbucks Baristas. Just last week I was told they typically don’t do refills of iced coffee with the purchase of a Frappuccino, and the employee showed me their policy on a little sticker fixed to the counter. They provided the refill, however I had my tablet with me and brought up the web site to show them how it’s officially explained by Starbucks. The Barista appeared to take it constructively as I was not complaining.

So let’s explore some possible uses for their new policy:

  • Buy a latte – get a free refill of brewed coffee. (typically they will provide this in the original cup)
  • Buy a Frappuccino – get a free refill of iced coffee.
  • I’ve not attempted to get a refill of iced coffee after purchasing a hot drink yet. But per their policy I linked to above it should not be a problem.
  • NOTE: All refills must be requested during the same store visit. You cannot leave the store and come back later for the refill.
  • Without a registered Starbucks card, the refills have previously been just 50 cents. But why not get a card and reap the benefits, such as any free drink or food item for your Birthday!

I hope this clarified the confusion that appears to be out there on Starbucks refill policy. Let us know your experience with it in the comments below.

Home Brewing:

Aeropress NewIf you’re like me and also buy Starbucks coffee for home brewing, you’ve got to try the AeroPress! It truly does make one of the best cups of coffee you’ll ever taste. 2,000 five star Amazon reviewers also agree. See our take on it here.



Verismo angleOr if your budget allows, brew the same coffee, lattes, espresso as at the store with the Verismo. See our review here.



A few good reads on Starbucks, all bestsellers:

The success of Starbucks Coffee Company is one of the most amazing business stories in decades. What started as a single store on Seattle’s waterfront has grown into a company with over sixteen hundred stores worldwide and a new one opening every single business day. Just as remarkable as this incredible growth is the fact that Starbucks has managed to maintain its renowned commitment to product excellence and employee satisfaction.



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