Am I the Last Person to Learn About the Starbucks Free Refills Hack?

And it's not just at Target, either.

A starbucks cup on a natural background with a tricolor border.
Photo: mysondanube/Getty Images

Picture this: I was scrolling on my TikTok and came across a video from @jordan_the_stallion8 in which the creator describes how "professional Target shoppers" know the best Starbucks hack around. That hack? You can get free Starbucks refills inside the store (so long as that location contains a Starbucks) for as long as you shop. I was dumbstruck and could not believe this was true.

Well folks, apparently it's not just Target either. According to a blog the brand posted on its website, Starbucks' policy is, and always has been, to give free refills in stores. Of course, there are stipulations, but suffice it to say I was shocked. Here's the fine print, and how to take advantage of this too-good-to-be-true deal.

How to Get Free Refills at Starbucks

First and foremost, you have to be at a participating location. As mentioned, the Starbucks locations in Target stores abide by the policy, as do all other Starbucks locations. You cannot get free refills at a Starbucks drive-thru.

Then—here's the important part—you must use the Starbucks app or a registered Starbucks card to pay for your first drink in order to get subsequent refills. When it comes time to ask for your refill, you'll likely be required to present that same card or app to the cashier in order to cash in on your free drink.

And, of course, there are stipulations on which drinks qualify for refills. Unfortunately, you won't be getting free refills on that $7 brand new Cinnamon Caramel Cold Brew, or any other specialty drinks for that matter. According to the written policy, you can get refills on, "brewed coffee (hot, iced coffee or cold brew), and tea (hot or iced, not including lemonade)...regardless of the original beverage."

That means you can get as many refills of hot or cold coffee as you'd like, even if you started out with a quad shot-oat milk-pistachio latte.

The final clause in the policy (I promise!) is that you can only get refills during one visit, meaning you must stay in the store while you enjoy your first (or second, or third) drink to get refilled. If you're working or studying in a Starbucks, you can sit back and relax knowing you'll get free refills for as long as you're inside the café.

Target shoppers keenly noticed it counts as one visit if you get your drink, go shopping, then stop for a refill on the way out, since you never left the store.

The Bottom Line

While there are certainly conditions to getting those free coffees, we'll take 'em where we can get 'em, especially considering Starbucks' recent, disappointing changes to its rewards program. This is one TikTok hack that actually works, and (probably) won't tick off your barista, either.

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