If Starbucks is part of your daily (or even weekly) ritual, you should consider joining the store’s customer loyalty program — My Starbucks Rewards. To get started, you must register a Starbucks card (any gift card you find at a café), so your purchases can be tracked. The program is not based on dollar amount spent, but rather each swipe of the card. (One purchase = one gold star.) The new and improved program launches Tuesday, October 16, making it easier and faster to earn rewards.
What changes? You can now choose a drink or food item as your reward. Plus, it now takes only 12 purchases to earn a reward rather than 15 as previously required. After signing up, you’ll receive a FREE drink or food item of your choice on your birthday. After just five purchases, you’ll reach the Green Level, which includes the birthday freebie, as well as FREE brewed or iced coffee/tea refills — while you’re in the store. Once you’ve earned 30 gold stars, you’ll attain the Gold Level status, which includes all of the Green Level benefits plus a FREE drink or food item every 12 purchases, your own personalized Gold Card and special members-only offers.
You must earn 30 stars every year to maintain Gold status. The key to making this reward program work is to always use your registered Starbucks card for every purchase, which, of course, means you have to keep your card loaded. Plus, for example, if you’re purchasing a coffee and scone in a single transaction, it counts as only one purchase and, therefore, one star. However, if you ask to have them rung up separately, you’ll earn two stars instead of one. It can be cumbersome, but, by making every single purchase separately, you’ll earn the maximum amount of stars per visit.