Starbucks Is About to Make a Big Change to Its Rewards Program

Starbucks thinks it's time to start rewarding those not-so-regular customers, too!

Whether you love your coffee black as night or sweeter than honey, Starbucks has your back. The smiling siren is a friend to all regulars, handing out special perks and rewards if you’re loyal enough. Recently, Starbucks has decided that no one should be missing out.

The Starbucks Rewards Program, made to give back to its most faithful buyers, is now lending a hand to those of us who can’t make the everyday coffee run.

How Starbucks Rewards Works…for Now

If you don’t know how the current Rewards Program works, here’s the rundown. For every dollar you spend, you’ll receive 2 stars. Once you reach 125 stars, you can redeem them for a free drink or a free food item. By the way, that includes secret menu drinks.

The more stars you rack up, the more you get back. Since just a $5 order will earn you 10 stars, this system is a huge advantage to customers. If you earn enough stars for an official membership, you have access to free in-store refills on brewed teas and coffees and a free drink on your birthday, too! (But maybe don’t order this one.)

Psst! Here’s how to get Starbucks drinks free for a whole month.

So…How’s It Changing?

Starting April 16, Starbucks won’t be requiring their customers to reach 125 stars to redeem a reward. Instead, you’ll be able to redeem fewer stars for smaller rewards. You can see the detailed list of rewards here.

  • 25 stars: 1 extra espresso shot, extra syrup or non-dairy milk substitute
  • 50 stars: Brewed hot coffee, bakery item or hot tea
  • 150 stars: Handcrafted beverage of your choice, hot breakfast sandwich, oatmeal or parfait
  • 200 stars: Lunch sandwich, protein box or salad
  • 400 stars: Starbucks merchandise or one bag of brew-at-home coffee

Instead of the standard 125 stars, it’ll now cost you 150 stars for a free handcrafted beverage. While that can put a damper on the new system, you now have the option to save up to 400 stars for Starbucks merch, like mugs and other trinkets.

Why is this change such a great idea? Customers who don’t get a regular coffee break can get rewarded for less frequent visits, and regulars are rewarded with much better prizes for their loyalty. Now that’s what we call a win-win!

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Laurie Dixon
Having a passion for writing her whole life, Laurie joined the Taste of Home team to bring together her two favorite things—creative writing and food. She spends most of her time playing with her dog, drafting up short stories and, of course, trying out new recipes.