Ryan Um | 

The Starbucks Stars from April 22 Were Taken Back — What We Know

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When Starbucks announced that they weren’t bringing back the Starbucks Earth Day Cup freebie, we were all disappointed. With the changes to the Starbucks Rewards program and price increases, it’s getting harder to justify the cost of our Starbucks fix. But when we saw a QR code circulate across social media for 200 free bonus Stars on Earth Day, we were all rejoicing and clinking our lattes together.

However, after redeeming the freebie, Starbucks Rewards members noticed those Stars were taken away from their accounts. So what’s the deal with Starbucks taking back the Stars? Are there any plans on making this right?

Here’s what they’re telling customers and what you can expect from Starbucks in the future.

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Starbucks Rewards members got 200 Stars added to their account when they scanned a QR code on April 22.

starbucks disposable coffee cup on table

On April 22, 2023 (which happens to be Earth Day), Twitter users released a QR allowing Starbucks Rewards members to add 200 Stars to their account — enough for a free handcrafted drink. However, just two days later on April 24, Starbucks removed the 200 Stars from accounts that were ineligible for the freebie, leaving some users with a negative balance. There was a lot of confusion surrounding the QR code. People who did not receive it directly from Starbucks, but rather from a third party on social media, had no idea they were, in fact, not eligible for the Stars promo.

According to Starbucks, “On Saturday April 22, a QR code for bonus Stars given to attendees at an in-person event spread online, going beyond the intended audience. The Stars redeemed through this code have been removed from ineligible accounts. We apologize for the inconvenience.”


Starbucks isn’t planning on returning the Stars to those who claimed the freebie.

Someone holding a phone displaying a news release from Starbucks that reads, "Removed Bonus Stars Published Apr 24, 2023 On Saturday April 22nd, a QR code for bonus Stars given to attendees of an in-person event spread online, going beyond the intended audience. The Stars redeemed through this code have been removed from ineligible accounts, showing as "Ineligible Promotion". At this point we are not re-issuing Stars to any of these accounts. We apologize for the inconvenience.

According to an official notice from Starbucks (pictured above), you will not get the 200 Stars added back to your account. And there’s no word if they’re planning to offer another type of compensation, like a free drink or a discount on a future purchase.

We’ve reached out the Starbucks for a comment, but they have not yet provided information on how to get the Stars back.

However, some users have shared one tip that might be able to help …



Reach out to Starbucks Customer Support asking for your Stars back.

starbucks barisa holding a refresher and a hot coffee at pickup counter

While Starbucks states they won’t be returning the Stars to accounts, Reddit users claim they have had Stars redeposited in their accounts by contacting Starbucks Customer Support. You can either contact them via the customer support phone number (​​1-800-782-7282) or through the chat feature on their support website.

However, this is very situational, and you might not get Stars returned to your account.

Also: If your Stars are in the negative, there’s another option: simply abandon your account and sign up for a new Starbucks Rewards account to start fresh. (You may have to use a different email address.)


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