• Home Home

Starbucks' 'reusable cup' program can save you over $245 a year — here's how it works

Over the course of a year, you'd save dozens of single-use cups from the landfill while also keeping a few hundred dollars in your pocket.

Starbucks' 'reusable cup' program

Photo Credit: iStock

According to a recent report, Starbucks sells around 4 million cups of coffee per day. 

As you can imagine, it's not ideal to be sending 4 million single-use cups straight to the landfill. But Starbucks actually offers financial incentives to customers who want to help lessen this issue. By opting into the Starbucks Reusable Cup Benefit program, you could save money while also helping the planet. 

How does the Starbucks Reusable Cup Benefit work?

Since the 1980s, Starbucks has offered all customers a 10-cent discount for bringing in their own coffee cups. Then, earlier this year, the company launched its Starbucks Reusable Cup Benefit, which is exclusively for rewards members. As a member, bringing in a reusable cup for your order now lands you both a 10-cent discount and 25 stars in rewards.

If you're a big Starbucks fan, you know stars are like gold, as they equal free drinks. And depending on the frequency of your Starbucks visits, this added benefit could equate to a ton of free drinks over time.

Rules of the program

To qualify for the Reusable Cup Benefit, you have to be a Starbucks Rewards Member. You can either sign up online, or you can go through the mobile app, which offers even more benefits.

To make a qualified purchase, you must order in person at a participating U.S. store. While Starbucks hopes to expand these rewards to drive-through and mobile orders, they aren't quite there yet. Qualifying purchases include handcrafted beverages, brewed coffee, and brewed tea. 

The Reusable Cup Benefit is given on a per-order basis, meaning that even if you use two reusable cups in one order, you'll only qualify for 25 stars. Likewise, the benefit can't be combined with other promotions, like Double Star Days.

What Kind of Cup Can You Use?

You can use any reusable cup, as long as it's clean. But Starbucks' provided in-store "for here" mugs do not qualify.

How much can this program save you?

Let's say you purchased one cup of Starbucks coffee per weekday for an entire year. By participating in the Starbucks Reusable Cup Benefit, here's how much you could save based on your drink order. 

Over the course of a year, you'd save 260 single-use cups from ending up in the landfill while also keeping a couple of hundred dollars in your pocket — even more if you're a PSL fan. 

DrinkCostCost Without the Reusable Cup BenefitCost With the Reusable Cup BenefitHow Much You Save
Tall White Chocolate Mocha$4.58$1,190.80$999.04
Tall Skinny Vanilla Latte$4.21$1,094.60$916.53$178.07
Grande Caffe Latte$4.45$1,157$970.05$186.95
Grande Hot Coffee$2.56$665.60$548.58$117.02
Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte$6.04$1,570.40$1,324.62$245.78
Venti Iced Coffee$3.60$936$780.50$155.50
Venti Bean Crème Frappe$5.43$1,411.80$1,188.59$223.21
Venti Refresher$4.82$1,253.20$1,052.56$200.64

*Calculations are based on pricing from Fast Food Menu Prices and an average of 260 weekdays per year (five weekdays x 52 weeks). The cost with the reusable cup benefit is based on redeeming a free beverage each time 150 stars is reached from the 25-star bonus, plus the 10-cent savings you get on each of your purchases.

Follow The Cool Down on Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter.

Cool Divider