For Starbucks fanatics, it can be a bit hard to swallow just how much money you spend at the green mermaid — but there’s a simple hack that can take a little bit of the sting out.
First, you’ll want to be a member of Starbucks Rewards. This free program gives you two “stars” for every $1 you spend. After 125 stars, or the equivalent of $62.50, you get a free food or beverage item of your choice.
The one interesting thing about the free reward item is that it can be almost any single serve item on the menu — so true Starbucks Rewards masters bank rewards for food items, lattes or drinks with extra shots.
It’s a decent offer, but, depending on how expensive your reward beverage is, only comes out to, say a maximum of 5 to 10 percent “cash back” in the form of a free item.
Enter two free apps — Drop and Spent.
With Drop, selecting Starbucks as one of your “power offers” gives you 15 points per dollar spent at Starbucks. You can then cash in your points for a variety of gift cards (including Starbucks ones) starting at 5,000 points for a $5 gift card.
Signing up here will also give you 1,000 free points. Plus, Drop also gives points for other popular businesses, including Target, Walgreen’s, Chipotle and Trader Joe’s.
Then, sign up for another app called Spent. This app offers 1 percent cash back at Starbucks. Spent’s rewards are given as true cash back that can be sent to your PayPal account.
Spent also offers cashback at Whole Foods, iTunes, Costco (which can be combined with the warehouse club’s own cashback offers), Walgreens (Balance Rewards members can get additional rewards points), McDonald’s, Netflix, 7-Eleven, Kroger, Uber and more.
You can also stack the cashback by charging all of your Starbucks purchases to a credit card with a cashback feature, meaning you’ll be getting cash back from Starbucks, the Drop app (in the form of points redeeming for gift cards), Spent and your credit card (which, depending on the bank, may include direct cash back, statement credits or gift cards or other rewards).
Another good app to be aware of, even though it doesn’t offer Starbucks rewards, is Dosh.
Dosh offers cashback, at varying rates, from Mobil, CVS, Sam’s Club as well as many chain and local restaurants and businesses. Sign up using this link and earn a $5 bonus to start.