Starbucks has messed with its rewards program again.
A few years back they stopped awarding one star per visit — and giving you something free off the menu every 12 stars — and instead they gave out 2 stars for every $1.00 spent.
That meant it took 300 stars ($150.00 spent) to get that first free menu item, 125 stars (or $62.50) thereafter. People weren’t too happy.
Now they’re blowing it up again.
It only takes a few visits to start getting free stuff.
This is great for occasional coffee drinkers. You still earn 2 stars for every $1.00 spent, but after just a few visits you’ll be able to spend them in the store on free stuff.
For example, 25 stars — which you can get by spending $12.50 (like three or four drinks) — will get you a free extra shot of espresso, splash of coconut milk or some other dairy substitute, or pump of syrup.
Spend $25, and walk away with brewed hot coffee, a bakery item or hot tea.
Bigger ticket items will take longer to earn.
The 125-star freebies for “gold” members are long gone. To get a free handcrafted drink, hot breakfast item or parfait, it now takes 150 stars — or spending $75.00 in store.
It takes a whopping 200 stars for a lunch sandwich, protein box or salad ($100.00 spent).
For the first time, store merch and packaged coffee is a freebie.
The problem is, you gotta spend $200.00 to get the 400 points necessary for it. And can you really hang on to your stars that long?
Stars won’t ever expire for active Starbucks cards.
So, if you can avoid the temptation of getting matcha added to your green tea latte every few visits — I can’t — you can rack up the stars.
Don’t worry — your birthday is still going to get that special “anything” reward.
Rewards members still will be able to pick the menu item of their choice on their birthday, as well as score free refills on coffee and tea.
The rewards program is FAR from the only way to save money at Starbucks.
We hacked the Bucks, and have all the best tips on how to get your caffeine fix for cheaper.
Check out 11 Insider Secrets from a Starbucks Barista.
Plus, we’re always accumulating Starbucks coupons.