Want to save some serious money at Starbucks?

December 9, 2008



Of course you do.   At the risk of turning this site into Martha Stewart Living, I wanted to turn you on to two very easy tips to save some money on your daily trip to Starbucks.   And why not?  After all, we're now “officially” in a recession, so any way to save some cash is probably worth looking into.

Obviously, the best way to save money at Starbucks is to stop going there altogther — but if you're on the daily plan like I am,  that's probably not an option.  So short of going cold-turkey, here are two quick and effective money-saving tips:

Tip #1.  Buy your Starbucks Cards at Costco.


Costco sells a 5-pack of $20 Starbucks Cards for about $80.  So before you even purchase your first drink, you've already saved 20%.


Tip #2:  Register your Card.

Once you purchase your 5 cards, pick ONE of them and register it online at http://starbucks.com/card/.   This takes about 30 seconds — you simply enter the 16-digit number and the scratch-off PIN, and you're done.   Why should you do this?   Starbucks gives you all sorts of cool benefits when you use a registered card, one of which is that you get your syrup FREE if you happen to be a latte drinker.  That amounts to a discount of $0.65/per drink, which is significant (especially if you get your fix every day.)  And all you have to do is use your card.  How easy is that?

Now, the final step is to take the remaining 4 cards of the 5 that you just purchased at Costco to your favorite Starbucks and have them transfer the balance of those 4 onto the card that you registered.    Now you'll have ONE registered card with a balance of $100 to use for all of your purchases, and to receive your benefits.   When it's time to reload the card, simply head to Costco and buy 5 more cards and transfer all 5 to your registered card….and so on, and so on.  You get the idea.

So, how big are your savings?

Let's take a very typical example.    A typical grande latte runs $3.85.   When you use your card, you get the syrup for free — a savings of $0.65.  So now your cost basis is $3.20.  But since you purchased your card at Costco, it's actually 20% less, or $2.56.   Without batting an eyelash, you just saved $1.29… or 33%! 

There — I just made your daily treat (vice) a little less expensive.  Bon Apetit!

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  1. Bill on December 9, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Great idea. Here’s another: take that jar of spare change down to Coinstar and get 100% value in Starbucks gift cards, plus a $10 bonus if you deposit more than $40. Free money!

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