How To Get Free Coffee & Which Coffee Shops Offer Student Discount

Looking to cut back on spending but still want to treat yourself to a coffee? Here's how to get free coffee and all the coffee shops with student discount on offer...

Written byHolly Barrow
Published on
Read time7 min read

If you love treating yourself to a takeaway coffee from your favourite local coffee shop but need to cut back on spending, we’ve got you. Here are some of the best ways to get free coffee in the UK and a list of coffee shops that offer student discount! 

Every 20-something has struggled to contain their eye-rolling after hearing the likes of TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp claiming that all they need to do to save enough money to get onto the property ladder is stop spending on coffee, a Netflix subscription and a gym membership… 

But it turns out you don’t have to sacrifice your coffee fix after all, as there are a number of nifty ways you can get free coffee. What’s more, there are some incredible savings to be made with Coffee Club - so that even when you do spend on coffee, you can do so guilt-free by getting it for a fraction of the usual price! 


How to get free coffee

Did you know that a number of the UK’s leading coffee chains such as Costa Coffee, Starbucks and Caffè Nero offer ways for you to get your hands on a cup of Joe completely free of charge?!

From generous loyalty schemes to ‘refer a friend’ programmes, here’s how to get free coffee from your fave coffee spots… 

Free coffee at Caffè Nero 

Caffè Nero is one of the most underrated coffee chains in our opinion, so if you’re yet to give it a go, why not take advantage of these easy ways to get a free coffee from your local branch?

To get a free Caffè Nero, you can: 

  • Refer a friend to the Caffè Nero app - Every person you manage to refer to the Caffè Nero app will get a free hot drink once they've made their first purchase, but more importantly - so will you! The person you refer will either have to sign up to the app or make their first purchase for the referral to be successful. Check out the specific details via the app! 

  • Get your 10th drink free with Caffè Nero’s loyalty scheme - With Caffè Nero’s loyalty scheme, you simply collect a stamp (either via the app or your physical loyalty card) each time you purchase a hot drink. After collecting nine stamps you’ll get your 10th drink absolutely free of charge! 

  • Bring a reusable cup to speed up your stamp collection -  One of the best ways to speed up the process of getting your 10th drink free via the Caffè Nero loyalty scheme is by bringing a reusable cup each time you visit, as this gets you a bonus stamp! 


Free Costa Coffee

Looking for ways to get free coffee from Costa? We’ve got you. 

  • Join the Costa Club (aka Costa’s loyalty scheme) - You will earn one ‘Bean’ for each barista-made drink (hot or cold) that you purchase from any Costa Coffee store. Like Caffè Nero, if you bring along a reusable coffee cup to use, you’ll earn yourself an extra Bean. This means that after purchasing just five drinks from Costa using a reusable cup, you’ll get one for free! 

  • Refer a friend to the Costa Club - If you refer a friend to the Costa app, you can earn a mega five beans as soon as they’ve made their first ‘bean-earning purchase’, so if you refer just two people who both make one purchase each, you'll instantly get yourself a free coffee (or other hot drink!)

  • Exclusive rewards - As a member of Costa Club, you’ll also get a Treat Drop surprise each month in the app and exclusive bonus beans, meaning you’ll soon be on your way to earning a free coffee or drink of your choice. 

With Costa, you’ll also get a freebie on your birthday

How to get free Starbucks


If you’re desperate to try out Starbucks' festive menu but can’t justify the cost (it’s not the cheapest out there, let's be honest), we have just the trick for you to bag yourself a free coffee… 

A number of Starbucks stores offer free refills of filter coffee, meaning you can pay the one-off fee of £1.55 first thing in the morning and enjoy free coffee for the rest of the day - yep, really! This comes in super handy for those long stints in the library; at least you’ve got free flowing caffeine to keep you going. 

You can also get free coffee at Starbucks by: 

  • Earning points via the loyalty scheme - The Starbucks loyalty scheme may not be the most generous out there, but it’s still worth it if you treat yourself to a Starbs quite frequently. You’ll get three stars for every £1 you spend, which will earn you a free drink once you reach 150 stars!

  • Bring your own reusable cup -  You’ll notice there’s a bit of a theme here and we’re all for it! Coffee chains are on a mission to reduce their carbon footprint by encouraging customers to bring their own reusable cups whenever they order a drink and rewarding them for it. Starbucks does this by giving you a 25p discount on your drink order each time you use a disposable cup, which essentially saves you the cost of a coffee after just a handful of orders.

  • Get a free drink on your birthday -  If you’re a major Starbucks fan and manage to earn yourself Gold member status via the chain’s loyalty scheme, you can bag yourself a free drink on your birthday! 

Free Greggs coffee


Unlike most other coffee chains, you don’t have to purchase anything from Greggs in order to get a free coffee (or other hot drink). 

All you have to do is:

  • Download the Greggs app - Yep, it’s really that simple. No purchases needed, Greggs are ready to reward you with a freebie just for downloading the app! 

  • Earn freebies through the loyalty card scheme - The Greggs loyalty card scheme works so that once you've bought nine of a given type of food or drink, you'll get the 10th free.

  • O2 Priority freebies -  If you have O2 Priority, keep your eyes peeled for Greggs promotions - the scheme has previously allowed users to get their hands on a free drink from the chain, such as a free coffee! 

Coffee Shops with Student Discount 


Did you know you can actually get student discount on coffee as a Coffee Club member? With TOTUM and tastecard, you’ll get access to the UK’s largest coffee club included in your membership at no extra cost, giving you a whopping 25% off barista-made drinks at thousands of coffee shops across the country. 

What is Coffee Club?

With Coffee Club, you’ll save up to 25% on barista-made drinks at Caffè Nero, Krispy Kreme, Black Sheep and thousands of other coffee shops across the country, which means making huge savings on your coffee purchases! 

And best of all, you can get all the perks of Coffee Club for FREE when you sign up for TOTUM or upgrade your membership, as you’ll get 12 months FREE tastecard & Coffee Club for every year's TOTUM membership purchased.

Here are just some of the coffee shops which offer student discount via Coffee Club:

  • Caffè Nero

  • Krispy Kreme

  • Black Sheep Coffee

  • Foundation Coffee House

  • Coco di Mama

  • Ditto Coffee

Join the TOTUM club!

Join TOTUM Student for FREE to access hundreds of student discounts on big-name brands like ASOS, Apple, MyProtein, boohoo, Samsung, and more!

Sign up for FREE, download the TOTUM app, and enjoy the latest offers, vouchers, coupons and more at your fingertips. Find out more.

Download The TOTUM App

Google PlayStoreApple App Store
Join TOTUM and download our app

Stories like this

Related offers