Pret’s coffee subscription price hike: Is it still worth it?

For £30 a month you can get five drinks a day.

Back in late 2020, Pret launched a subscription service. For a monthly fee of £20 you could (pretty much) get all the coffees or hot drinks you’ll need. Last year it went up to £25, and from April 2023, that is increasing to £30.

I’m not a coffee drinker but even with this hike this could be great value for money for those that do – if you drink enough.

Here’s what you need to know, plus the amount you’ll need to drink each month before you start saving money.

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How the YourPret subscription works

Once you’ve signed up via the Pret website – and entered your payment details – you’ll be emailed a voucher for the month. This voucher will have a QR code which will be scanned at the till so you don’t have to hand over any cash.

The scheme isn’t unlimited, but it may as well be as you’ll be able to order up to five hot drinks each day of the month. That should hopefully be more than enough for most people!

The other key restriction to be aware of is you can only order a new drink every 30 minutes – stopping you using one subscription to get drinks for you and a friend at the same time.

If you want an additional drink you’ll save 10% – but that won’t stack with other discounts such as the reusable cup one. You’ll also now get 10% off food and non-included drinks (eg fizzy cans and water).

The only Prets you can’t use it at are at service stations and two locations in Ireland. The full list is here.

What you can order

As long as it’s a drink prepared by a barista you will be able to order it. So you can get coffee, tea, hot chocolate, iced coffees and Pret Coolers. Non-dairy milks and syrups are included too.

The scheme used to exclude smoothies, but these are no longer sold by Pret.

Cost and cancellation

It’s now £30 a month, with the first month half price (it used to be free). A month is set by the date, so if you sign up on 10 May, your next month begins on 10 June and so on.

You’ll be charged for the next month on the last day of the current month, so in the example above 9 May.

But there’s no minimum subscription term, so you can cancel at any time. You’ll get the full month regardless of when you cancel so it makes sense to not leave it late – just in case you forget.

I’ve also read about some people getting charged after cancelling, so do check this doesn’t happen to you (though this was a few years ago so it’s hopefully sorted now).

Is the Pret subscription good value for money?

Prices at different cafes vary, so for these calculations I’ve had a look at the prices for drinks via Deliveroo in Central London. A Flat White or Mocha cost £3.75, teas £3.10, iced drinks are around £3.90.

(In case you’re interested, in February 2022, those prices were as follows: most coffees cost £2.50, teas £1.85 and iced drinks £2.85.)

Minimum orders to break even

Let’s assume you only drink coffee. To cover that £30 a month cost you’ll need to order 8 coffees a month, so roughly two a week. Any more than this and you’ll be saving money.

If you’re a tea drinker then you’ll need to order 10 teas a month to start saving money. But you’ll only need eight iced drinks to go past the £30 fee.

Savings for frequent orders

For someone who orders a single £3.75 coffee every weekday, you’ll have roughly 22 coffees a month, meaning you’ll essentially get 14 free coffees and save £52.50.

Over a year, taking into account annual leave, sick leave and bank holidays (so roughly 220 days), you’d potentially save £480 in the first year (11 months paid, one month half price).

This graphic was produced in 2020 when the price was £20 a month

Double discount

Club Pret subscribers can also get double the discount on all menu items – including sandwiches, hot food, soft drinks and crisps.

Currently, you can get 20% off of the menu, instead of the usual 10%. This could also boost your savings, especially if you tend to buy more than just hot drinks when you pop into Pret.

As with all discounts though, it’s important to point out that you’ll only make a saving if purchasing these items is already part of your budget.

Buying more than you need or starting to go to Pret because of this discount could actually lead you to spend more than you would if you made your own hot drinks, food and snacks.

Pret also offers a handy savings calculator to help you work out whether a subscription could help you save on items you buy frequently.

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Should you sign up?

Andy’s Analysis

If you are someone who drinks at least those minimums mentioned above, and someone who can or will do that at a Pret, then it seems like a really good deal.

And of course the more you normally drink, the more you’ll save. And since the inflation on individual drinks is much higher than the price hike on the subscription you’ll actually save more money than before.

But, it does come with some downsides.

Like with cinema memberships, to get this value you’d have to stick to just one chain, at least to the point where you’d breakeven. This won’t always be possible or convenient. And doing this could be at the expense of your local independent cafe. You’ll have to make the call

You might also be tempted to buy pastries or sarnies at Pret that you wouldn’t normally get, so bear that in mind.

Plus, as tasty as a hot brew might be and as much as the drinks are “free” past those breakeven numbers, it doesn’t mean you should go overboard. Too much caffeine and sugar aren’t good for you.

5 thoughts on “Pret’s coffee subscription price hike: Is it still worth it?

  1. Waitrose seem to have made this permanent but without making any announcement.

  2. Anybody spending this much on so-called “barista” coffee (and hasn’t the industry done a great job in persuading us that making a cup of coffee is some sort of skilled craft) doesn’t deserve money in the first place. Also, it shows how much of a rip off it is that they’re prepared to give you 150 cups for £20.

    I can buy a pound of coffee for less than the price of one of theirs.

    1. Yes I agree that’s their term “Barista” for the range they provide rather than a sign of any skill! I think if you regularly like a shop-bought coffee and regularly go to Pret it can be a decent option. In more normal times though there are plenty more ways to save such as reusable cups and Waitrose freebies etc

      1. Waitrose don’t offer a free coffee anymore unfortunately!

        I think it’s worth my time, as I can buy a coffee in the morning and a smoothie in the evening. ( This is not my normal routine so I’ll try it out ).

        Most months I pop into Starbucks a couple of times and spend at least £10 in total. Now, I can have two drinks a day for 33p.

        I think it’s a good deal. Hopefully I can get good use out of it.

        1. Yes, it’s a temporary measure due to Covid – but who knows when they can bring it back (and if they eventually will).

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