My Thoughts on the New Starbucks Rewards Program

I spend way too much money on coffee each month. I have a Keurig at home, but I just can't resist an iced coffee from Starbucks. Serious...

I spend way too much money on coffee each month. I have a Keurig at home, but I just can't resist an iced coffee from Starbucks. Seriously, iced coffee is my favorite. So, I treat myself (very often) to Starbucks.



So, the new rewards program had me feeling some kind of way when I heard about it. Being a customer who generally only buys iced coffee (which is $3.55), I would get a free drink or treat after buying 12 coffees (about $43). With the new program, you earn 2 stars per $1 spent, and 125 stars are required for a free drink or treat (about $63). For someone like me, who generally buys basic coffee, not flavored drinks or frapps, the new program hasn't seemed like the best thing. 
Don't get me wrong, I understand the reasoning behind the new program (it's actually very similar to Dunkin's but better). It just isn't the best for me. 
Some things that I like about this new program are that you still get the same perks as before, like a free drink on your birthday and free refills on hot and iced coffee or tea. I also like that there are special days and "challenges" for gold card members where you can earn extra points. Each month, there is a day to earn double stars (4 stars per $1 spent, instead of 2). There are also challenges, for example if you go to Starbucks ten days in a row you get 125 extra points (which is enough for a free drink or treat). The challenges are temptations for me, and make me feel the need to go every day. I see what they did there, and it worked.

I'm spending more money than I was before, so I'm not too happy about that. But the fact of the matter is, I'm going to buy the coffees anyway, so I might as well earn free drinks from it. 

So, how does the Starbucks reward program work?
Starbucks Rewards allows you to load money onto a Starbucks gift card (physical or digital, on your phone). Every time you pay with your card, you get 2 stars (points) for every $1 spent. For gold status members, after 125 stars, you can get any drink or bakery item for free. All members automatically become "green" members, and get the benefits listed above - free birthday drinks, earning stars, free refills, plus pay by phone and order ahead. You become a gold card member after 30 stars (within a year), and you have to earn a star at least 30 times each year to renew your status. With gold card status, you get all of the green member benefits, plus a free drink or treat after each 125 stars earned, monthly double-star days, and a personalized gold card (my favorite!). Right now, all green status members can automatically become gold card members with any purchase between now and May 2. Gold card members will earn an extra year of gold status. Click here to sign up and earn your gold status after just one visit! You have one week to earn gold status with one purchase, so make sure to sign up now!


Are you an avid Starbucks customer? What are your thoughts on the new program?









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8 comments

  1. I'm not really a fan of the new rewards program either- it doesn't benefit me very much. I do agree that when there are challenges, I feel the need to go as many times as possible.

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    1. Yeah, it definitely has me spending more money. Which sucks!

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  2. I've seen the new rewards program ads around but I never really go to Starbucks so I had no idea what it was all about. I did hear that they brought back the S'mores frap so I think I will have to get one of those next time I'm by a Starbucks lol.

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    1. Yes! I saw that just the other day. I'm sure the lines in New York will be much longer though, so good luck!

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  3. Ok so I'm the opposite of you haha I spend my money there on the fancy drinks I can't make at home and do my iced coffee and basic stuff at home. So I am actually happy with the new program because I get a free coffee faster now! before I was spending about $6.10 on a drink, so roughly $73 for a free drink. Now, I only have to spend about $60-ish! But I also like that with this program its per dollar spent, because i would get so annoyed if I picked up a coffee for myself and my hubby or something, but you only get one star per purchase! So now I get rewarded for all my money spent! :)

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    1. I totally feel ya! People think I'm crazy because I spend my money on something I could make at home, but iced coffee from home never tastes the same to me. Bleh. I guess I'm "basic." Who knows?
      And I agree that it's also a good thing because I'm getting those extra stars if I have a big order. So it does make a ton of sense.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I will break even or come out ahead with the new program. My typical drink is a venti soy chai, which is about $5. Sometimes I get the Oprah chai, which is more expensive. Sometimes I'll treat myself to a bakery item with my drink.

    So just from my drinks, I've been earning a free drink after about $60. But when I factor in my Oprah chais or my treats, I'll earn free drinks more quickly than I did before.

    I also love the bonus stars, but I never do the multiple days in a row offers. My nearest Starbucks is in a Kroger, which doesn't qualify for bonus stars, just regular ones. So to get the bonus stars, instead of walking to Kroger, I have to drive 10 minutes down the road. I only bother for really good bonuses, or if it's been awhile since I treated myself.

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    1. That's so odd with the Kroger thing! My town only has two Starbucks - one on the college campus and one in the Kroger. I usually go to the Kroger because I can use the Rewards program normal there, but not on the college campus. (They can't even scan my phone. I have to bring my physical card with me.)
      But yeah, the new program has it's ups and downs, but what doesn't?

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