4 Ways To Save at Starbucks in December, Including Possible Starbucks for Life Prize

monticelllo / Getty Images
monticelllo / Getty Images

Today is the most anticipated day of the year — at least for coffee lovers. It’s the day Starbucks for Life officially kicks off, providing Rewards App members with the chance to get game plays with every drink order (plays that can result in some big prizes or discounts!).

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Among the prizes are bonus stars that can be applied towards free drinks and bakery goods, a cold brew kit, gift cards and even Delta Miles, the latter a part of Starbucks’ new partnership with the major airline. Also up for grabs this year are instant prizes for cafe items — and there are even challenges that customers can complete to get additional entries each day.

What is Starbucks for Life?

But the biggest prize of all is, of course, Starbucks for Life, which grants two lucky people a free treat every day for three decades. As the official game site explains it, “The winner will receive a daily credit for 30 years for one free food or beverage item at participating Starbucks stores in the U.S.”

The game continues through Jan. 1, 2023, but, if you’re really angling for that free coffee for life prize, the truth is the odds are not really in your favor. There are only two game pieces awarding that top-tier item and, as Starbucks explained, 3,917,000 total game pieces will be doled out this season.

Even so, Starbucks is feeling in the giving mood this month and there are still a number of other ways to save at the coffee chain in the next 31 days.

Sign Up for Bonuses Via the Starbucks Rewards App

First and foremost, if you sign up for the Starbucks Rewards app (which you will need if you want to participate in the Starbucks for Life game), you’ll get extra star rewards for preloading money onto your account from a debit or credit card — or for linking a Starbucks gift card. Rather than one star for every dollar that is earned in a normal setting where you don’t use preloaded funds, adding money ahead of time will net two stars per dollar. It takes 150 stars to get a free drink and 50 stars for some baked goods, so that double boost will help bring you to the threshold quickly. If you’re going with friends, perhaps offer to buy their drinks in the app and let them square up later.

Earn Delta Miles

In October Starbucks announced a big partnership with Delta Airlines, giving loyal customers of both brands the chance to earn twice the rewards. As INC. noted, Delta has long had a relationship with the coffee giant, serving its brew on flights and in airport lounges. But this new partnership links the two company apps for customers’ benefit. Per INC., “If you’re a member of Delta’s SkyMiles and Starbucks’ Rewards programs, you can now link the two programs and earn one mile for every $1 you spend at Starbucks. And, if you buy Starbucks on a day that you’re traveling, you’ll earn double miles.”

Bring in Your Red Cup

As GOBankingRates previously reported, Starbucks launched its annual Red Cup Day on Nov. 17, providing customers with a free collectible and reusable cup for both cold and hot drinks. Any time someone purchased a holiday drink on that day only, they received the coveted Red Cup. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Bring in that cup every time you visit this month for the barista to pour your drink into, and you’ll get 10 cents off.

Add Alerts for Special Deals

Another great benefit of having the Starbucks Rewards App is that the company will often send daily or weekly promotions and, if you have alerts set up, you’ll be the first to know about them. It might be the chance to earn extra bonus stars for promotions based on your shopping habits (i.e. earn 90 extra stars for ordering a Caramel Macchiato once a day for a week). The chain has often offered a “buy one, get one free” drink special during the holidays, too. However, no date has been given yet — so stay tuned to the app!

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If you do participate in the Starbucks For Life game this month, here’s what you might be able to win:

  • Starbucks for Life: 2 winners.

  • Starbucks for 6 months: 25 winners.

  • Starbucks for 1 month: 100 winners.

  • Delta Air Lines flight certificates (2 round-trip domestic flights): 40 winners.

  • 1,000 bonus stars: 8,000 winners.

  • 500 bonus stars: 1,000 winners.

  • 150 bonus stars: 35,000 winners.

  • Moccamaster coffee brewer: 20 winners.

  • $50 Starbucks gift card: 1,000 winners.

  • Cold brew kit: 100 winners.

  • $1 off a handcrafted beverage coupon: 50,000 winners.

  • Reserve tote: 2,000 winners.

  • Ornament: 2,000 winners.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 4 Ways To Save at Starbucks in December, Including Possible Starbucks for Life Prize