Hopefully you know the basics when it comes to the Starbucks Rewards program: You earn 2 Stars for every $1 spent, and you start qualifying for freebies once you hit 25 points (like 3 or 4 drinks’ worth).

Now, Starbucks is making it easier to accumulate those Stars — but you’ll want to pay attention.

Here’s what you need to know:


Starting Sept. 15, all purchases can earn you at least 1 Star per $1 spent.

If you’ve ever scanned an empty Starbucks card at checkout and then paid with a debit card, you didn’t earn any Starbucks Rewards Stars. Sad.

But with the new change, you’ll be able to scan your unique barcode at checkout and earn 1 Star per $1 spent for any form of payment that’s not a Starbucks card.

That includes cash, debit, credit card, or mobile wallet.

Super timely since you’ll probably be hitting them up for some Pumpkin Spice Lattes in the near future.


Paying with a Starbucks card still gets you 2 Stars per $1 spent.

That is, if said card is registered to your Starbucks account. And if it has money loaded on it.

If you’re OK reloading your Starbucks card and using it when you buy in stores or for online orders, you’ll accumulate Stars twice as fast.



If you’re even a semi-regular at Starbucks, you’ll still want to pay with a Starbucks card.

It takes a LONG time to earn rewards $1 at a time. Earning 1 Star per $1 spent is great if you’re in a pinch, but think about this: you’d have to spend $50 just to earn a brewed hot coffee, a bakery item, or hot tea.

You can’t game the system, either. Lots of people think that they can pay with cash, scan their empty Starbucks card, and get the 2 Stars per $1 spent.

Nope. Starbucks told us that you’re only credited the 2-for-1 rate based on how much you spent with a card.

For example, with the new system, if I paid for a $4 drink with $2 cash and $2 on my Starbucks card, I would get 6 Stars — 2 stars for the $2 cash, and 4 stars for the $2 on the card.

RELATED: Starbucks Changes Rewards Program


Save a little bit more with a discounted Starbucks gift card from Raise.

People sell their unused gift cards online, and you can buy them — for less than they’re worth.

If you want instant savings on a Starbucks card before you add it to your account and accumulate Stars, head to Raise and browse their Starbucks gift cards.


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