(Links in this post are affiliate links. I will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking those links. See my disclosure page for more information)
As a blogger I spend a lot of time in Starbucks working, especially during my son’s soccer season when it is the closest place to his practice field with WiFi and plug-ins should my laptop need charging.
Of course, there are days that I don’t go to Starbucks to work, but to meet friends or simply because it has been a hard day and at that moment it feels like a caramel macchiato would be the perfect thing to help me trudge through to a better one.
Perhaps you can relate. If you can, I want to let you in on a little secret. I rarely pay for a single Starbucks drink from money out of our paychecks. Instead I use point programs, rebate apps and survey sites to earn Starbucks gift cards to support my habit.
I don’t spend a lot of time earning those gift cards either. My secret is to join several different programs, apps and survey companies and then figure out the quickest way to earn points on each platform. This means my earnings at each company are low, but my earnings when you combine all the different companies–it is enough Starbucks gift cards to keep my habit fully funded and sometimes even enough to share with others.
8 Places To Earn Starbucks Gift Cards
For each of these programs listed below I suggest you take 15 to 20 minutes browsing their ways to earn so that you know which earning methods best suit your personality.
There are over 20 ways to earn SB points at Swagbucks that you can then trade in for gift cards.
The simplest way to earn is to download the Swagbucks toolbar and enter all your web searches through it. I have run the numbers a few times and discovered I earn on average 100 SB points a week this way. That means every 5 weeks I would have enough points to earn a $5 Starbucks gift card.
However, there are so many more ways to earn at Swagbucks that I used to average $10 or more in Starbucks gift cards each month in my pre-blogging days when I had very few referrals simply by doing things I already do online like shopping or buying daily deals.
You can easily earn a $5 Starbucks gift card each month from Bing Rewards (psst, the name is soon changing to Microsoft Rewards) by heading to your dashboard each day and clicking through the PC search area and hitting related searches until you earn 15 points. Then use the app to do 20 rapid searches and earn another 10 points. That gives you 25 points. Repeat that for 30 days and you have 750 points, which is more than enough for a $5 Starbucks card–even if you forget to do them several times during the month.
InstaGC can be a bit tricky when it comes to earning points, but what I love about their program is that you get your Starbucks card instantly. So if your friend invites you for a last minute coffee and your gold rewards card is empty (more on that card in a moment) you can hop over to InstGC and if you have 500 points or more you can cash out and grab a $5 Starbucks card in seconds.
I find the video section to be the fastest place to earn points. Do it with the volume down low while you are watching TV or reading at night and you should be able to earn points at a fairly decent speed.
To earn points at Prize Rebel make sure you follow them on Instagram and Facebook where they often share codes that will earn you points when you enter the codes into the promo code area on the site (it is that little ticket symbol at the top corner of the screen). Here is another tip: press “get notifications” on their Facebook page and you won’t miss a promo code.
Another fairly easy way to earn points is to watch the videos in the “Engage Videos” tab. There are usually a few easy point actions in the offer wall area too. If you have more time, Prize Rebel’s survey area is fairly generous with points compared to many other point programs I have tried out–but their surveys can be lengthy.
MyPoints is the first point rewards program I ever joined. My favorite easy point actions are the emails they send you where you can click through and earn 5 points–I earn a $10 gift card each year just doing this. That isn’t much, but it doesn’t take me any time at all to click through their emails while I am stuck in line at the grocery store or fast food restaurant.
MyPoints also offers pretty high points for shopping through their site at your favorite stores. One Black Friday I made $50 in gift cards from MyPoints this way!
MintVine offers cash out for a Starbucks gift card valued at $10. You earn 5 points each day by taking a second to answer their daily poll. You can also earn points by buying your daily deals through their “local deals” tab. If you search around their “offers” area you can usually find a few ways to earn quick points.
What I really like about MintVine is that if you go into their “survey street” section they offer an estimate of how long a survey might take you and it is usually very accurate. Plus, if you get screened out it is usually pretty fast and you sometimes earn a few points for your time.
If you like filling out surveys, this site is a great one to join and earn Starbucks gift cards from.
The only thing I don’t like about the site is that it can take what seems like a long time for points to clear and it takes a few days for e-gift cards to be delivered.
Ibotta is so much more than a grocery rebate app. You can get money back on your movies, clothing, eating out, pet supplies and more.
They currently only offer a $20 Starbucks card, which would take some time to earn but slowly your rebates will add up and in the meantime you can keep your my Starbucks rewards card filled with gift cards earned from faster sources.
One think I love about Shopkick is that you don’t have to buy a thing to earn points. You simply have to have the app open as you walk into stores that are offering walk in points.
They often have special promotions where they offer crazy high walk-in values. If you live in a town with stores that participate you can earn a fair amount of points each time you shop.
One way to make your Starbucks gift cards go further
So a few times above I have mentioned my Gold card and my My Starbucks Rewards gift card. Both are the same card.
Several years ago now Starbucks started the My Starbucks Rewards program. They just recently changed it all, but now that I am a few months into the new program I am really liking it.
To join, go here and register a Starbucks Gift Card (you need a physical, hold-in-your-hand gift card to do this). Make sure to opt in for their emails because their emails are full of great reminders such as double point days, BOGO sales, special My Starbucks Reward members offers and more.
Once you have registered a card you can refill it with the gift cards you earn from the 8 places above by going to the My Starbucks Rewards website and signing into your account, clicking on the “cards” tab, and then pressing on “Transfer Funds”. Click “transfer to” and then enter the new gift cards card number and card security code. You physical gift card is now all ready to go.
You can also download the app and the balance of your gold card will be saved in the “pay” tab, but from what I can tell you still need to go to the website to fill your card even if you do use the app and not the gift card.
You will get your own pretty gold colored Starbucks card once you reach 300 stars. Until then, once you are signed up and in the program you will be a green status member and at that level you will get a free drink on your birthday, plus free refills on certain drinks while in store.
You collect 2 stars for every dollar spent so that means you need to spend $150 to get a Gold card, but you are given a full year to earn it.
Once you reach gold level you get so much more than a gold colored gift card with your name on it. You get a free drink or food item with every 125 stars you collect and you can take advantage of double star days so you can start collecting those points faster.
3 More Ways To Lower The Price Of Your Starbucks Habit
I know that not everyone enjoys participating in point programs, filling out surveys or uploading receipts into rebate apps so these next three options are for those people–because everyone deserves to keep their Starbucks habit for less.
1. Discounted Gift Cards
There are websites where you can buy gift cards at a discount. Here is how it works: you purchase a $25 gift card, but you only pay $22.50 because you purchased it for 5% off. You just saved $2.50 before you even walked in the door to purchase anything.
My family has used Cardpool for years to save money on home renovations, movies, clothing and more. When I wrote this I saw that they had Starbucks gift cards for 9% off, meaning a $10 gift card cost you $9.10 and shipping is free–or you can get an electronic gift card if you prefer.
My family has not yet used the Raise App, but I have seen other bloggers that I trust mention it. Raise is an app and offers only e-gift card codes at a discount.
Daily Deal Sites
About once a year or so Groupon and/or Living Social offers a half price Starbucks e-gift card deal.
Ask For Starbucks Gift Cards As Gifts
I don’t know about you, but I don’t need one more thing for my home, so I love it when I get gift cards to my favorite coffee shops and restaurants as gifts. I love it so much that when people ask me what to get as a gift I generally always say, “Give me a gift card and I will think of you while spending it.”
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.
Get snail-e-mail in your inbox each week!
A weekly email with the feel of snail mail. A peek into my week, a few deals so good I just have to share, and links to all of Snail Pace Transformations latest posts!