How to get free Starbucks in Canada? Oh, but what about the latte factor? Yes, I have read the Latte Factor by David Bach, and although I’m not one to buy a coffee on a daily basis, I do like a treat once in a while especially in the afternoons when I feel sluggish. I buy a Starbucks coffee once in a while, which is about weekly, as of late. I like collecting Starbucks Stars and it’s not as difficult as I once thought. Here’s a guide on how to get free Starbucks coffee in Canada without having to sign up for surveys.
I started getting a little more into coffee lately and recently got an Aeropress, but before that I was just an instant coffee drinker or a 3 in 1 instant coffee drinker (please don’t spit out your coffee in disdain). I am still not at a coffee aficionado $1300 Breville espresso machine level of coffee drinking though, as the Aeropress and an occasional Starbucks will do.
The content is not provided by the issuer. Any opinions expressed are those of the genymoney.ca alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.
Here are a few ways to get free Starbucks in Canada the classic, old fashioned conventional way, without having to sign up for some surveys or something like that.
I personally don’t like taking surveys and I find them a bit of a waste of time (unless they take less than 5 seconds to answer which is what Caddle does). I like to optimize my time and money, especially if you’re going for a Starbucks treat.
To get free Starbucks coffee in Canada, first off, you should:
Table of Contents
Sign Up for Starbucks Rewards
I like loyalty programs and am pretty loyal to collecting points and rewards to get free stuff, and the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program is probably one of the best (similar to the PC Optimum points) in terms of value received for signing up.
Most of these tips to get free Starbucks stem from having signed up for Starbucks Rewards. You can create a Canadian Starbucks Rewards account here.
Make sure you check off the “Yes, I’d like to receive news, promotions, information and offers from Starbucks.” You can also join after downloading the Starbucks Rewards app on your phone.
With Starbucks Rewards, you can get:
- A free Starbucks on your birthday
- Free brewed coffee or tea refills while you’re in store
- Opportunity to earn Starbucks stars to redeem for free Starbucks drinks or food (this is key!)
Preload a Starbucks card with a credit card when you’re in the app (and pay with your Starbucks card) to get 2 stars for every $1 spend. Otherwise if you just use your credit card it’s 1 Starbucks star for every $1 spent.
The minimum ‘load’ to your Starbucks gift card is $10.
They say Starbucks is actually a bank in disguise because customers have loaded their Starbucks Rewards and cards with….$1.6 billion, and Starbucks doesn’t have to pay interest to their customers like a bank would have to do, and instead can use that float to grow the company for free.
I like using the Starbucks app.
The one great thing about the Starbucks app is that you can order ahead and not have to embarrass yourself when you’re standing at the counter, holding up the line not being able to decide what to order. You can customize the heck out of your order on the Starbucks app and they will have it just the way you indicated.
Great for indecisive people like me!
Also, with mobile ordering from the Starbucks app, you don’t have to talk to anyone. #introvertlife
Buy One Get One Free Starbucks (BOGO)
I first caught the Starbucks ‘regular customer’ bug with an email for a Buy One Get One Free Starbucks.
They send these out occasionally via email and I usually jump on the chance because it’s a good deal (and I love good deals) and it is a way to treat a friend for free since you’re planning on getting a drink anyway!
On select Thursdays of the month at participating Starbucks from 2-7pm, there is a Starbucks Happy Hour and it is Buy One Get One Free Starbucks.
How to Get a Free Starbucks Drink On Your Birthday
One of the best Vancouver birthday freebies and free birthday stuff in Canada is a free Starbucks drink on your birthday (or even food item if that’s what you prefer and you want more bang for your free buck).
To sign up for a free Starbucks drink, you need a Starbucks Gift Card and should sign up for Starbucks Rewards at least 7 days before your birthday.
Then you have to have at least ONE star earning purchase (it is earned usually from buying something at Starbucks) before your birthday each year.
Another thing that’s important to check is to make sure your Starbucks Rewards account online includes your birthday (you can see this in the Profile > Personal Info section of the Starbucks Rewards app).
It takes a bit of planning if you’re not a Starbucks Rewards member already but once you complete the above steps, on your birthday, you can redeem for one complimentary:
- Handcrafted beverage
- Food item, or
- Ready-to-drink bottled beverage
If you’re interested in birthday freebies for the whole family, here are some birthday freebies for kids too.
Link Starbucks with Aeroplan
You can earn both Aeroplan points and Starbucks Stars when you link your Starbucks card with your Aeroplan card.
You can get discounted Starbucks rewards cards when you redeem 1000 Aeroplan points.
However, I would say there is more opportunity to earn Aeroplan points than there is Starbucks Star points though.
Participate In the Starbucks Offers
The Starbucks offers are sent to you via email (it is an AI generated email) and they are targeted offers. Pretty much every week there is a little carrot being dangled in front of me, encouraging me to head into Starbucks to get a drink.
I try not to buy Starbucks coffee unless I have a promotion where I can get bonus Starbucks Stars.
These offers usually go something like this:
- “Order 2 days in a row for 55 stars”
- “Order almost anything within the next 2 days for 25 Bonus Stars”
- “Order a drink after 2pm tomorrow for 25 Bonus Stars”
Some of the requests are very specific, it is like almost like reading scavenger hunt instructions how specific the ask is.
Oftentimes these bonus offers can be used in conjunction with another offer, like the 50% latte offer (two birds with one stone).
Play the Starbucks Summer Game
Another way to get free Starbucks coffee in Canada is the Starbucks summer game.
I got quite addicted to playing the Starbucks Summer Game and I kid you not, sometimes I would stay up until 12:00 am so I could get another 2 free plays.
I think I have a gambler within me who enjoys this sort of thing, I suppose foreshadowing of this was when I was underage and would buy the occasional Scratch and Win lottery tickets at 7-11 hoping that I wouldn’t get carded.
Nowadays, I just have $1000 invested in a bitcoin ETF to itch my speculative tendencies, haha! (FYI I am losing some money so far).
There’s a way to play without having to purchase anything you just click the link and answer some questions. Just click beside *to enter without making a purchase”
It’s a mindless few clicks to answer some questions but watching that ball drop down is kind of mesmerizing.
I earned 170 stars and two 50% off Starbucks latte coupons from playing every one to two days for the duration of the Starbucks Summer Game promotion.
Not too bad, that’s 3 coffees and 2 cheap lattes for mindless clicking that didn’t take very much time!
For Starbuck’s 50th anniversary (their first store opened in Seattle in 1971), they created another game called Starbucks Starland.
Just like with the other games, you don’t need to buy anything to enter or get a play. You just need to answer some survey questions.
So far, I’ve received 10 Starbucks Rewards Stars and a number of raffle tickets.
Starbucks for LIfe Game
There’s also the Starbucks for Life game which runs in the winter and also is a similar same theme to the Starbucks Summer Game, winning instant prizes such as Starbucks Rewards stars.
If you’re wondering what the grand prize is, yes it’s you receiving a Starbucks credit every day for 30 years towards Starbucks food or a Starbucks drink.
the Starbucks Earth Month Game
Finally there’s another game that runs in spring.
The Starbucks Earth Month Game occurs in April, for Earth month in a partnership with World Wildlife Fund Canada.
The grand prize for 2021 was a year of nondairy drinks at Starbucks or an electric bike.
Invest in $SBUX
I don’t encourage investors to become shareholders of certain companies just because they like the product or because they buy the product.
Interestingly, there is a new app in the United States called Grifin where you can “stock where you shop” and buy $1 fractional share in Starbucks every time you buy that $4.95 latte.
However, I admit that having Starbucks dividends pay for your coffee purchases is enticing and somewhat appealing.
Starbucks is a dividend growth company and currently it pays shareholders annually $1.80 USD per 1 share of Starbucks. At the time of writing, it is $85 per share of $SBUX which is a dividend yield of about 2.1%.
It would be considered a low yield dividend stock but the current yield is pretty good for Starbucks.
The dividend yield for SBUX has doubled since 5 years ago, before in 2016 it was yielding $0.80 USD per share. SBUX has a lower payout ratio of 50%. It is the largest specialty coffee retailer in the world. The company expects at least 10% annual revenue growth in the long term for the next 10 years.
So if you went about once a week and spent $200CAD a year on Starbucks coffee, the approximate amount to invest would be $11,400 CAD to have $180 USD in annual dividends from Starbucks.
For more analysis, Motley Fool has a recent write up about Starbucks being a dividend stock.
Please do your own due diligence when investing, this is not a recommendation to buy SBUX but just illustrates an example.
Use A Cash Back Card To Load Your Starbucks Card
I did this when loading my Starbucks card on the app. I used one of my 10% cash back credit cards and I get 10% cash back on my Starbucks load.
As a reminder here are some 10% cash back credit cards available in Canada:
- Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite (can get this card for free if you have a minimum balance in your Scotiabank Ultimate package)
- Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
- Tangerine World Mastercard
- CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite
- BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard
I think it is best to save the application until you have a big purchase you need to do (for example, car insurance), otherwise you might be tempted to spend for the sake of spending in that limited time period.
Use Your Starbucks Stars Before They Expire
One way to make sure you optimize your Starbucks stars is to use them before they expire.
How long do Starbucks Stars last before they expire?
If you earned your stars on August 26, 2022, they would expire the month of July 1, 2023.
To check the stars that are expiring soon, you click on your Star balance in the app, then scroll all the way down past the “Starbucks Rewards benefits” to see the “Stars expiring soon”.
Optimize Your Starbucks Stars
Speaking of redemption, 170 Starbucks stars doesn’t seem like much (because 200 stars is a hand crafted drink such as a latte or espresso drink), but you can really optimize the amount of stars you have and stretch it out.
Unfortunately the Starbucks stars got devalued recently.
What are the Starbucks stars redemption offers?
- 25 Stars allows you to customize your drink with an Espresso shot, dairy substitute, syrup etc.)
- 100 Stars gives you a brewed hot coffee, tea, or bakery item
- 200 Stars you can redeem for a handcrafted drink (e.g. a latte), hot breakfast, or parfait
- 300 Stars gives you a lunch sandwich or at-home coffee
- 400 Stars will allow you to have certain merchandise or at-home coffee (like a bag of coffee)
Okay, now that we know what the stars redemption is, let’s get back to stretching out the 170 Starbucks stars.
A Caffe Misto is a 1:1 of fresh brewed coffee with steamed milk, but you can add a shot of espresso for free within the 100 stars redemption.
A latte, on the other hand, is just espresso with milk (a grande latte has two shots of espresso).
It is only a 100 Starbucks Stars redemption, you can make it a grande, you can add milk foam, whipped cream, two shots of espresso, and 2 pumps of syrup (hazelnut, yum!).
With those above modifications, it is a $6.04 drink (yes, approximately more than the price of a latte) but can be yours for just 100 stars, free Starbucks coffee!
Personally I think the caffe misto tastes just like (or even better) than a latte.
This caffe misto hack comes from One Mile at a Time.
Hope you found these ways to earn free Starbucks coffee helpful! Now you can enjoy your Starbucks coffee while going around town collecting baby freebies in Canada.
Do you have any other tips on how to earn free Starbucks coffee in Canada?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.