Best Coffee and Hot Drink Deals for Students

Your student life is very busy! Going to and from your student apartment, lectures and seminars, the university library, and your hectic social schedule, sometimes you need to stop and take a break.  

A cup of coffee to get you going in the morning or a routine stop for a cup of tea in between lectures, might be part of your daily routine.  

Obviously, if you’ve got a good set-up at home, you can save the cost of a daily cup of coffee by just making one at home, but that isn’t always the same as the joy of someone else making you a cup of Joe! 

What drinks deals are out there for students to take advantage of, to perk yourself up with some caffeine without breaking the bank?

Find out the best 7 within our guide. 

drinks deals

1. Costa Coffee 

There’s a Costa on almost every corner in the UK, over 2,500 of them in fact.  

As a student who loves coffee you might be wondering whether there are any drinks deals with Costa, well, good news, there is!  

Costa Club is the loyalty card scheme where you can collect beans (or stamps) with every drink you buy.  

The beauty of this is that you can collect beans not only in-store but also wherever you see a Costa Express machine.

You know the little Costa corners you see in some supermarkets and service stations? 

Once you’ve collected eight beans, you’ll qualify for a free cup of Costa coffee.  

A little Costa hack though is that if you bring your own reusable cup, you get an extra bonus bean on your loyalty card!  

You’ll be reducing your own personal waste and carbon footprint and getting a faster free coffee.  

If you invite a friend to Costa Club, you’ll both earn five beans for your loyalty card too. 

Download the app to get the Costa Club experience. It’s available on Android and iOS.  

Costa Coffee

2. Pret a Manger 

For us, a Pret is one of the destinations for a sandwich if we’re in a rush at a train station before a long journey, but you know what, the coffee is pretty good at pret.  

Now, weirdly, this isn’t the same as the loyalty scheme free coffee on this list, but Pret does have an actual ‘random acts of kindness’ policy where Pret baristas are allowed to give out free coffees to any person they’d like to.  

The management at Pret have confirmed that ‘there’s no real secret to getting a free coffee at Pret’. 

But, you might just be lucky one day and be the person given a free cup of coffee! 

Pret coffee

3. Greggs 

A Greggs sausage roll is a thing of beauty, the flaky pastry, the amazing filling (they do great meaty, veggie, and vegan sausage rolls!).  

However, we’re here to talk about drinks deals, not food deals.  

So, we’ll stop salivating for a second and talk you through the great Greggs hot drinks student deals. 

Get the Greggs app and you don’t even need to buy anything before you can get a free drink!  

The loyalty card app is great too. Once you buy nine of an item, you’ll get the 10th free.  

They have split the categories, so once you’ve bought a given type of food or drink you can begin to stock up the points.  

From time to time, you’ll even find surprise free gifts in the app too – amazing!  

Plus, a little tip too for those of you with an O2 SIM, the Priority offers from O2 include a free drink from Greggs, alongside free sausage rolls and different treats. 

Greggs hot drink deals

4. McDonald’s 

You might not dream of a cup of Maccies coffee in the same way you do about a box of 20 Chicken McNuggets or a Big Mac, but it is a simple, tasty, hot drink.  

Drinks deals from McDonald’s are available through the My McDonald’s app.  

Replacing the old physical loyalty card, every time you order a cup of coffee from McDonald’s you’ll be given a digital sticker as a loyalty card.

The beauty of this is that you don’t have to drink that much coffee before you are given a free one.  

It takes just five hot drinks before you get a free coffee in McDonald’s through your app. 

The best part, there’s a Maccies in every student city or town so wherever you are you can enjoy some of the best coffee and hot drinks deals!

McDonald's drinks deals  

5. Paul 

The tasty chain of bakery cafés is only really found in the capital, so if you’re a student living outside of London this might not be of use to you on a regular basis.  

For London students and those visiting the Big Smoke it is worth knowing about the drinks deals at Paul.  

Again, all you need to do is download the Paul app and there are a few different ways in which you can take advantage of the deals.   

First, there is a loyalty system based on purchases and points. Every time you buy 9 hot drinks, the 10th will be free.  

On top of that, and much like the Greggs app, Paul likes to offer a treat to its customers every now and then, where you’ll be given a freebie out of the blue.  

Sometimes this might be a free cup of coffee to cheer the winter blues. 

PAUL drinks deals

6. Caffé Nero 

At Café Nero there is one of the more generous loyalty card schemes out there.  

So, if you’ve got one close to your student home or university, make the most of a steaming hot cup of coffee this semester!  

The loyalty card app is like what you’ve come to expect from all these coffee chains, with the offer of a free hot drink after you’ve bought nine, but there is more to it than that with Caffé Nero.  

If you take in your own reusable coffee cup, the staff at Nero will give you a bonus stamp on top of your purchase stamp.  

This makes it much quicker to the glorious free cup you’re working towards.  

If you refer a friend to the Café Nero app, they’ll get a free hot drink after making their first purchase, and you’ll get two free hot drinks – wowser! 

Cafe Nero drinks deals

7. Starbucks 

Of course, Starbucks aren’t going to let the side down, are they?  

An iconic world brand of coffee, we are all used to the grim reality that your name will be completely wrong on the side of the takeaway coffee cup when you go up to collect your pumpkin spice latte.  

However, there are ways to soften this blow with a free cup of coffee. 

The Starbucks reward card works in a slightly different way to the others, as you must load money onto the card to purchase with it.  

We’d recommend that you only top up the minimum amount at a time.

So, you don’t waste money and/or feel pressured into buying coffee only at Starbucks.  

You earn three stars for every £1 spent at Starbucks, and when you reach 150 stars you get a free drink.  

This isn’t as generous as others on this list, but once you accumulate 450 stars you will become a Gold Level member.  

At this level you receive a free hot drink on your birthday.  

Another tip, if you are planning on being in Starbucks for a few hours, go for the filter coffee where you are entitled to free refills. 

Is there anything better than free coffee? No, we didn’t think so!  

Starbucks drinks deals

We hope these tips and guides to the hot drinks deals around at our favourite chain coffee shops will help you get your daily fix and the odd free cup thrown in for good measure.  

Let us know if there are any drinks deals that have caught your eye on campus, or any other student discounts and loyalty cards on food and drink.