All you need is status

By Brian O'Connor
Updated February 13, 2018
EC: Getting a Free Starbucks Refill Is Easier Than You Think 
Credit: Photo by Zhang Peng via Getty Images

For years, people have clamored for a way to get a free Starbucks refill. Some sites have covered how customers can get Starbucks refills for as little at 50 cents, but the holy grail—the notion of completely free refills on coffee at Starbucks locations—has gone seemingly undiscovered. But what if I told you that the key to a free Starbucks refill or two has been right under your nose this entire time? Much like the meaning of life, the key to happiness, and the spirit of Christmas, the path to free Starbucks coffee is inside us. Well, in our wallets, anyway, which is almost the same thing.

Getting free Starbucks refills is easy if you're a Rewards member. Anyone who has either a green- or gold-level Starbucks Rewards membership is automatically eligible for free refills at Starbucks locations that participate in the program. Granted, this free refill program only applies to regular drinks, like hot and iced coffee and tea, but it's still better than forking over four bucks every time you're looking to re-up on your tall Blonde Roast with soy milk, three sugars, two ice cubes, and four pumps of pumpkin spice syrup.

It turns out that this hidden refill system has been in place for quite a while, even if it hasn't attracted a ton of publicity in the past. Starbucks has actually offered free refills to Rewards customers who paid via card or mobile app since 2012. And in 2017, Starbucks is bringing back its coffee refill tumbler program, which gives people the opportunity to get a steady stream of caffeine on the cheap (while saving trees and plastic).

So if having more caffeine than you can stand is what you're after, getting your fix via Starbucks is easier than you might have imagined. With a tiny investment, the willpower to stay on-site for hours (the refills stop as soon as you leave), and a huge bladder, you too can drink as much free Starbucks as you can stand. But it might be best to have a cardiologist on speed dial until you know how much you can handle.