Starbucks Hacks in Singapore that will Save You Money

Starbucks Hacks (Image credit: Starbucks Singapore)

Gaming the Starbucks system isn’t only fair, it’s probably encouraged. After all, it keeps you entertained, and Starbucks will be happy that it keeps you walking to their cash register. Here’s a few ways that people try to squeeze a buck or two out of a latte:

  1. Get a Tea Bag

If your intent is to sit there as long as possible and talk to a friend, then enjoy a tea buffet. Simply get a tea bag, and you can ask for hot water for a refill. In theory you can do this three or four times before you’re basically drinking water with a faint suggestion of tea, but you’ll have a hot cup in hand while sitting there for an hour.

For those of you not on a budget, do note that it’s best to avoid steeping your tea twice. You know, if you’re a connoisseur or anything.

  1. Get a Starbucks Card and Register It

If you buy a Starbucks card, you have two advantages. The first is that you can control your budget – put a set amount of cash in it every month, and when it runs out you know that you’ve hit the monthly limit.

The second advantage is a free drink on your birthday, and rewards on two tiers (green and gold). These entitle you to use special coupons and rewards, which come crowding into your mailbox. This won’t save you money if you visit infrequently, but if you’re the sort whose there at least once a month, it’s worth the savings.

  1. Staying for a While? Just Buy the Venti.

If you intend to stay and sip for a long time, do consider just buying the biggest size possible. There is no Venti drink on the menu that will cost more than two Grandes or two Talls. It’s simple economy of scale and it makes sense to share or split a Venti with your partner, rather than buying a two Talls.

(Although if you feel you can’t finish it, then don’t waste money by getting the bigger drink.)

Incidentally, a price trick: when faced with three foreign sounding words, most people will pick the one in the middle (i.e. the one the business really wants to sell). That’s why Starbucks doesn’t call them small, medium, and large. Now you know.

  1. Cheap Iced Latte

Say you really need a drink to wake the dead, but are on a budget. A simple trick is to ask for three espresso shots with ice. Put it in at least a Grande cup, although a Venti will do as well.

You then have a two minutes or so to rush over to the counter where they keep the milk, and douse your drink in bovine goodness. Why the timer? Because espresso gets bitter really fast, so don’t linger.

Assuming you pull this off, you could have a very cheap iced latte (under S$5). Be prepared though, it’s strong enough to leave you vibrating for a few hours. Also, it’s not technically allowed so don’t do it repeatedly.

  1. Ask for Your Grande Coffee in a Venti Cup

Just add some milk afterward, or more ice. It will dilute your drink a little, sure, but you’ll get a bit more bang for your buck. Just make sure you don’t go to the extent of emptying out the milk carafes, because the rest of us need it too.

This next one is not a hack, but…
Do remember to use an appropriate credit card, if that’s your mode of payment. If you’re not using your Starbucks card then you may as well get rewards, one way or another. You can find the best credit card in Singapore with SingSaver’s price comparison tools.

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