Starbucks Happy Hour

Starbucks Happy Hour: How Does it Work?

  • Post author:Bob Haegele
  • Post last modified:June 5, 2023

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Starbucks Happy Hour allows you to buy one, get one of your drink of choice (grande or larger). Happy Hour is usually on Thursdays and lasts from 2-7 p.m.

This is a great time to stop into a participating Starbucks® store and get free drinks. That could mean a coffee hot brewed or cold brew. It even includes Nitro Cold Brew!

What is Starbucks Happy Hour?

Starbucks Happy Hour is when the stores give away buy one, get one or BOGO handcrafted drinks, usually a drink size grande or larger.

There’s no magic or secret to it, really. Starbucks Happy Hour is just a special promotion that Starbucks Coffee runs periodically.

In doing so, the company hopes to get more people in the store, generate some buzz, and, of course, word-of-mouth advertising.

Starbucks has been running Happy Hours since 2010, and for most of its history, it mostly focused on free Frapuccino drinks. Note that this link also mentions 50% off, so there can be different deals at different times.

As the link above indicates, however, you can now buy one, get one of many more drinks than just Frapuccinos. Since 2018, you have also been able to get espresso, tea, and other drinks, as well.

Not that although I mentioned 2-7 p.m., in some cases, Happy Hour might run from 3 p.m. to close, or some other hours variation. In any case, even the exact hours can vary.

What You Can Get

You can enjoy everything from Pink Drink to Frappuccino during Starbucks Happy Hour. Most ready-to-drink beverages are eligible, but here are some examples of what you can get:

  • Brewed tea, ready-to-drink
  • Hot brewed tea
  • Starbucks Matcha Pink Drink
  • Iced Coffee
  • Hot coffee
  • Handcrafted espresso drinks
  • Starbucks Reserve beverages

As you can see, there’s a whole lot you can get with a Happy Hour offer. Check out participating Starbucks® stores to find out what you can get!

Is Starbucks Happy Hour Today?

Is today Thursday? If so…maybe? The truth is, we really don’t know far in advance when exactly Happy Hour will be.

As mentioned above, they usually happen on Thursdays, but it’s not like they happen every Thursday or the third Thursday of the month or something.

Instead, it’s just kind of random.

Since there’s no way set-in-stone schedule for Happy Hour, the best thing you can do is either download the Starbucks app or opt into Starbucks’s mailing list.

These are the best ways to not miss out on a great BOGO deal.

When you do that, you’ll get notifications ahead of time telling you when Happy Hour will be. It won’t be super far in advance, but you’ll still know ahead of time.

Oh, and make sure to use the Starbucks app to collect Starbucks rewards. Doing so will help you save even more.

Does It Work at Target?

When I first saw this question, I was like, “yeah, right.” I’m pretty sure I have tried to use my Starbucks card at Target locations in the past, and it didn’t work.

So, Happy Hour seemed like a stretch.

However, I took to the interwebs to find that, in fact, this is a thing that happens.

Of course, there still isn’t a set schedule, so you will probably have to ask at the location close to you whether they participate. Can’t hurt to ask, right?

Does Starbucks Happy Hour Include Refreshers?

Okay, so for this one, I couldn’t find much information. My assumption is that, given that it isn’t mentioned anywhere, this one is probably a negative.

I intend to ask about this at a Starbucks and report back my findings, but for now, I’m going to suggest you do the same if you’re hoping to get some BOGO Refreshers.

Sorry I can’t be of more help right now!

When Is Starbucks Happy Hour in 2020?

When is Starbucks® Happy Hour in 2020? Whenever Starbucks says it is!

Your local Starbucks stores are sure to run one of them sometime in the near future. Just be on the lookout if you want to get a handcrafted drink size grande or larger for free.

If you’ve been reading this entire post, you already know this, but there is no definite schedule for Happy Hours. Basically, Starbucks announces them shortly before they happen on the app and usually to their mailing list.


Be sure you’re in the loop to find out when they are coming up. These are always a great time to get happy hour deals like cold brew macchiatos and other handcrafted drinks.

Why It’s Beneficial

Coffee can be expensive. Although it’s not the biggest expense – I recommend saving money on housing, transportation, and food first, spending $5 on coffee everyday can nevertheless add up.

Related post: 10 Ways to Get Free Starbucks (Get Free Coffee Without Lifting a Finger!)

I say if you can save money on Starbucks without too much effort, like with a BOGO free happy hour offer, then go for it.

You can use some of that money to pay your rent or even invest. Whatever you choose to do with the money you save, more money is always good.

Are Starbucks Happy Hour Cards Real?

In a word, no. Is that decisive enough for you?

To be honest, I hadn’t even really heard about this but stumbled across it when doing some research. But indeed, they aren’t real.

Snopes confirmed this with their fact-checking.

It makes sense, too, because there is no card required for Happy Hour. You don’t even have to have a Starbucks card (though I always recommend it when going to Starbucks!)

So, yeah. If you hear something about a Starbucks Happy Hour card, run away. Quickly. It’s a scam, folks.

Starbucks Happy Hour: Conclusion

Starbucks Happy Hour is a pretty nice way to get a little extra bang for your buck. On select Thursdays, Starbucks will let you buy one, get one of your favorite drink.

Note that the drink must be a grande or larger – you can’t order a tall and get one free. Still, this is a pretty nice deal considering the fact that most larger Starbucks drinks will run you in the $4-6 range.

Being able to get one of them for free is not a bad deal at all! Or should I say BOGO deal.

Have you been to Happy Hour lately? What’s your favorite thing to get?

Hey there. My name is Bob Haegele and I'm a personal finance writer who has been freelancing since 2018. Since then, I've built a six-figure career as a freelance writer. My work has been featured in Business Insider, Forbes Advisor,, USA Today, and many other outlets. Interested in starting a blog of your own? Check out my post on starting a blog.

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