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

For £25 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. From April 2022, that is increasing to £25 for existing customers, while newbies will already pay this higher amount.

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. And if people do this I can see this season ticket model being used elsewhere. You’ll save cash and the business has some guaranteed money coming in.

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

pret coffee subcription

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.

The only Prets you can’t use it at are the following service stations:

  • Cherwell Valley Services (Moto),
  • Exeter Services (Moto).
  • Rugby (Moto),
  • Southgate (Motor Fuel Group),
  • Souths Mimms Services (Welcome Break),
  • Victoria Road (Motor Fuel Group)

What you can order

First of all, it’s just for drinks, so you can’t get any food as part of the subscription.

As long as it’s a drink prepared by a barista you will be able to order it, with just a handful of exceptions.

So you can get coffee, tea, hot chocolate, iced coffees, frappes and smoothies. Non-dairy milks and syrups are included too.

You can’t get a handful of smoothies (Cocoa, Almond Butter & Banana Smoothie, Raspberry, Mango & Ginger Smoothie, and Avocado, Mango and Ginger Smoothie) or any drinks from the fridge such as water or coke.

It’s worth noting that the BBC reported a raft of complaints in 2021, often because cold drinks were unavailable.

Cost and cancellation

It’s £25 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 February, your next month begins on 10 March 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 March.

But there’s no minimum subscription term, so you can cancel at any time. You’ll get the full month regardless 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.

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.

Most coffees cost £2.50, teas £1.85, iced drinks £2.85 and smoothies £3.35.

Minimum orders to break even

Let’s assume you only drink coffee. To cover that £25 a month cost you’ll need to order 10 coffees a month, so roughly two or three a week. Any more than this and you’ll be saving money.

If you’re a tea drinker then you’ll need to order 14 teas a month to start saving money. But you’ll only need eight smoothies to go past the £25 fee.

Savings for frequent orders

For someone who orders a single £2.50 coffee every weekday, you’ll have roughly 22 coffees a month, meaning you’ll essentially get 12 free coffees and save £30.

Over a year, taking into account annual leave, sick leave and bank holidays (so roughly 220 days), you’d potentially save £275 in the first year (11 months paid, one month free).

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

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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 at 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. 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 caffine and sugar isn’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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