Starbucks HACK to get 'unlimited' coffee for £1.30/day

Lots of us drink several cups of coffee every day and if you’re buying them on the high street, costs can quickly add up. So I’m going to share a simple hack, which should make things much cheaper and stop you feeling like a mug.

I’ve previously uncovered fast food hacks, such as the McDonald’s £1.99 Big Mac & Fries hack and Burger King £2 Bacon Double Cheeseburger hack. This time, I’ve got a trick for you to cheapen your caffeine fix and tax Starbucks with ‘unlimited’ drink-in coffees for £1.30/day.

Now, this won’t work on takeaway coffees, as it’s a drink-in only deal. Though if you'll hang around long enough for more than one drink, or if you’re staying all day - making extensive use of the free Wi-Fi - you can brew some decent savings with this trick. Yet the offer of free refills expires as soon as you leave Starbucks, so you can’t pop in and out all day.

Here’s how it works in three easy steps:

1. Order a filter coffee

If you’ve ever bean (sorry!) to Starbucks, there is a Grande array of different coffees on the menu. There is, however, one drink that isn’t advertised as much – it's the filter coffee, which sometimes doesn't even appear on the menu.

Starbucks sells its standard ‘Tall’ filter coffee for £1.55 (prices vary slightly by location). It may not be the most elaborate drink, but it does the job if you’re not fussy and £1.55 is cheaper than, say, an Americano at £1.95. However, the deal does get sweeter…

2. Get an extra 25p off

You can bag a further Starbucks discount, plus help the environment, if you provide your own reusable coffee cup. This is also true at other coffee chains, such as Caffè Nero, Costa and Pret (see MSE Rhiannon’s blog on Reusable Coffee Cup Discounts).

At Starbucks, you get 25p off your drink, grinding your filter coffee total down to £1.30. And while Starbucks sells reusable cups for £1, it doesn’t have to be a Starbucks-branded cup for you to get the discount – you can use any travel mug you have.

3. Get as many free refills as you like per day

The real trick to this, and what many people don’t know, is you’re allowed to ask for free refills on your filter coffee - as many times as you like. So long as you’re drinking in store (it doesn't apply if you're taking away), you can keep drinking coffee and only pay for the one drink at the start. That gives you unlimited coffee for £1.30/day. Hurrah!

When we checked this with Starbucks, it told us:

“As long as you stay in the store, you can get free refills on your filter coffee. Once you leave the store, a new order would be required to continue the free refills.” 

I also asked Starbucks whether popping out for a bit of fresh air or a cigarette would count as 'leaving' the store. It implied this should be fine, but at the store manager's discretion.

Here's one I got earlier using my Starbucks refillable mug.

Will it always work?

Based on what Starbucks has told me, you can sit inside drinking coffee all day and pay just £1.30/day for the privilege.

I can’t promise it’ll always be unlimited, as sometimes what a company’s press office says can differ from how individual branches interpret the rules – we see this with supermarket coupons, for example, where till staff refuse ‘em despite the store policy clearly stating they should be accepted. Yet the potential saving's decent, and there don’t seem to be any official rules against this (and it’s always worked for me), so it’s surely worth a try.

Do note, however, Starbucks doesn’t serve decaf filter coffee, so if you value your ability to sleep at night, it may be best to impose some kind of limit yourself!

Have you figured out any coffee shop hacks like this one? Will you be trying this? Let me know in the comments below, on Twitter @MSE_Deals or on Facebook.