Starbucks' New Rewards Program Explained By A Barista
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Starbucks' New Rewards Program Explained By A Barista

A breakdown and guide to Starbucks' new rewards program.

Starbucks' New Rewards Program Explained By A Barista

As many Starbucks Rewards Members might already know, the coffee giant will be rolling out a new way for customers to spend their stars and earn rewards. The current program allows customers to spend their stars on drinks, pastry items, breakfast sandwiches/paninis, protein boxes, and other treats. While this isn't changing much, the number of stars needed for these items will.

Earning Stars:

The way in which stars can be earned to use towards rewards hasn't drastically changed. Customers will still receive two stars for every dollar they spend. Personalized Star Dashes will also continue to help members reach rewards faster.

Customers will also still be able to participate in Double Star Days as well as seasonal games including Starbucks For Life.


I've broken down the new tiered program and what customers will have the options of using their stars towards. The new star reward program is as follows.

1. 25 Stars


The first tier of the rewards program allows customers to use 25 stars to receive $1 off additions to coffee and handcrafted beverages.

This includes additional shots of espresso, the inclusion of a variety of different flavors to their favorite beverage, and the use of alternative milk options (such as soy, almond or coconut milk). Customers will see a deduction of up to one dollar off their total.

2. 50 Stars

Sweet Caffeine Cake Starbucks Photography Macro

In the second tier, customers will be able to redeem 50 of their stars to get a free cup of coffee, tea, or bakery item.

This includes hot and iced coffee, tea, and cold brew* or anything in the pastry case such as cookies, muffins, cake pops, loaves, croissants, etc.

*=please double check with your barista

3. 150 Stars


This tier is the most similar to the current rewards program. 150 stars will go towards any handcrafted beverage or breakfast sandwich.

In the current program, customers can get any panini, protein box, sandwich, salad, wrap, etc. The only difference is that now this level now excludes these items.

4. 200 Stars

Red Sauce Sandwich GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy

While RTD&E items are now excluded in the 150 stars level, they have been made their own tier. For 200 stars, customers can now get any panini, boxed wrap, protein box, Evolution Fresh Juice, yogurt, etc.

This will also include bottled beverages such as Teavana iced teas, cold brew, as well as both flavored and plain sparkling/flat water.

5. 400 Stars

Starbucks is now allowing customers to redeem stars for full pounds of coffee and merchandise as part of the rewards program. For 400 stars any mug, pound of coffee, or trinkets (mostly around the holidays) up to $20 can be yours.

*Note* Only Starbucks Corporate stores will be following the five-tier system. Licensed stores (the ones in Target, airports, Barnes and Noble, University campuses, etc) will only redeem 150 stars as a reward.

Another change coming will be that there will no longer be a Green Level, meaning customers will automatically become a Gold Card Member and NOT have to earn 300 stars to start earning stars. As part of a greener and more environmentally friendly initiative, Starbucks will no longer be sending new Gold Card Members physical membership cards. Everything will be through the Starbucks app, however, if you are a current Gold Member and you lose or need a new card due to wear, you can receive a replacement.

BIrthday rewards and star expiration will not change. Your birthday reward can only be used on your birthday and you have six months before stars expire. You will still get an email reminding you to use these savings before they disappear.

A new feature that will launch is that parties can now pay for their own drink and or use multiple rewards with their own card. An example is if Laura, James, and Chloe want to split their order but Jason and Chloe have rewards. Both can use their own stars to pay for their beverages and pastries even though they have separate cards. Laura can still pay with her card/rewards as well however if there is a remaining balance it will be deducted from Laura's account, as she was the last one to scan her card.

The new Star Rewards Program launched on April 16th.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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