secrets to Starbucks rewards program

Secrets to the Starbucks Loyalty Rewards Program

I LOVE Starbucks!  I love everything about it – I like the coffee.  I like the baristas.  I like the environment.  I like the food.  I like the feel of being there.  I especially love their rewards loyalty program!

secrets to Starbucks rewards program

In fact, their rewards program is what enticed me to become a loyal Starbucks coffee drinker.  Like I said in my posts How I Earn Extra Income Part 1 and How I Earn Extra Income Part 2, if I’m going to purchase a product why not get the most out of it?

If you aren’t familiar with their rewards program or even if you are currently a part of their rewards program, let me show you why it’s such a great reward to coffee/tea drinkers!

*note:  The links below are not affiliate links.  I am in no way earning money or rewards from this post.

First, get a Starbucks gift card and register it online with Starbucks or through the Starbucks app.  Next, use your registered card (or app) when making purchases to earn a star for each purchase.  Then, get free rewards for each 12 stars earned (with Gold level) and on your birthday!

Sounds easy, right?  Well, it is!  AND it gets better!

There are three levels in the rewards program.  Each level is determined by how many stars you earn in a twelve month period.  In other words, the more Starbucks you enjoy, the higher the level!

Starbucks reward levels

Here are the levels and benefits:

  1. Welcome:  Start at this level when you register your Starbucks gift card and get a free drink or treat on your birthday plus 15% off your purchase at
  2. Green:  After you earn your first five stars, you advance to the Green level.  At this level enjoy the Welcome benefits plus free brewed and ice coffee and tea refills during your visit at a participating store when paying with your registered rewards card.
  3. Gold (and my favorite level): Collecting 30 stars in twelve months puts you at the Gold level!  I love this level and here’s why – you get all the Welcome and Green benefits plus a free drink or food for every 12 stars earned.  By the way – that free drink is any size!!  How awesome is that??  You also receive a personalized gold card!

Pay for your Starbucks with your registered card or your phone using the app

I want to quickly point out the stress of participating stores.  Where I am living, Starbucks stores are located in the Target and Martin’s Giant food store.  They are not the stand alone stores.  At these types of stores, Starbucks will give stars for each purchase when paying with a registered card, but do not honor coupon codes sent to your email and do not redeem free drinks/food for earned stars.

Please do not let this discourage you!  The earned free stars can be saved for a few months, so save them for later when you are near a participating Starbucks store.

Are there other ways to earn stars and free rewards?  Yes, there is!!

ways to earn from Starbucks rewards program

  • Purchasing specially marked bags of Starbucks coffee that contain a star code.  These are the bags of coffee at your local grocery store that have a gold sticker affixed to the front.  Once purchased, peel off the sticker, find the code on the back, and enter online.
  • Sometimes Starbucks will have times to earn bonus stars, and these notices will be sent via text or email.  For example, from January 7 to January 10 earn a bonus star for coffees bought after 2 pm.
  • Participating in the Star Dash!  Star Dash is when so many stars are earned during a specified time frame.  For example, during the month of December if I earned 10 stars in two weeks, I got a $5 Starbucks gift card or earn 20 stars in four weeks, I get a $10 Starbucks gift card.  (These numbers are just examples.  I do not know the exact number of required stars.)
  • Participating in exclusive email and text messaging offers such as buy a $5 gift card for a friend and receive a $5 gift card for yourself.  Or, reload your Starbucks gift card through your account and receive a $5 gift card.
  • BOGO!  Often Starbucks will have promotional periods where they will give you a free drink for buying a drink.  The most popular is the buy one Frappuccino and get a free Frappuccino for a friend! I love those deals and usually participate with my sister.
  • Target’s free gift card with purchase deals!  Target will often times have deals where you buy four bags of Starbucks coffee and receive a $5 Starbucks gift card.  This is usually when I stock up on my bags of coffee to brew at home.

how to earn star codes for Starbucks

How to enter star codes:

When on the landing page after you sign into your Starbucks account, scroll down to ‘My Rewards’ under the ‘My Account’ section.  There you will see the ‘Enter Star Code’.  Note: you can only enter two star codes per day.

ways to earn from Starbucks rewards program

Also notice you can see your rewards in this section.  The bar across the top of the photo is how many stars before gold status, how many stars before your next earned reward, and how many earned rewards you have not used.

To get a more detailed account of your Gold level benefits and earned stars, click on ‘See more details’ next to the ‘My Rewards’.  This will be the next page you will see:

ways to earn from Starbucks rewards program

Five things to notice on this detailed view:

  1. Gold level status expiration
  2. Rewards level status
  3. Gold level rewards
  4. Stars earned and how many stars to next free drink/treat
  5. Number of free rewards earned

From here you can click on ‘Rewards History’ and ‘Enter a Star Code’ in the left side bar.  The rewards history will show you the current month (past months can also be seen when clicked) and the days you earned stars as well as how many stars you earned on those days.

ways to earn from Starbucks rewards program

Other ways I get the most out of my Gold Starbucks card:

  • I always ask the barista to ring up my purchases separately (if buying more than one drink/treat) so I get more stars in one trip.  For example, if I’m getting a café mocha with a slice of their amazingly delicious pumpkin bread, I ask for him/her to ring up the bread first and pay for it (one star!) and then ring up the coffee and pay for it (another star!).  I just got two stars from my one stop!  Pretty cool, huh?  And I’ve never met a disgruntled Starbucks barista, so this has never been a problem for me.  Thank you to all you Starbucks baristas!
  • Opt-in for all email and text messages.  They will notify you of free earned rewards, upcoming promotions, sales, coupons, etc.  Not adding this will cut your reward benefits in half.  Please make sure to sign up!

Here’s how to sign up for email and text messages:

From the landing page after logging into your Starbucks account, click on ‘Edit’ by the ‘My Profile’ heading:

ways to earn from Starbucks rewards program

On the next page click on (1) ‘Contact Info’ in the left side bar and then (2) add/update email and mobile number.

ways to earn from Starbucks rewards program

Using your Starbucks account you can reload your card, unregister a card, transfer balances between cards, report lost/stolen cards, and purchase new gift cards for your family and friends!

I really enjoy Starbucks coffee and they get pretty pricey (for my budget anyway), but this is one luxury I do not cut out of my budget!  Actually, I don’t think it should be counted as a budget item because I can’t remember the last time I purchased any Starbucks item with my own money (other than the bags of coffee, of course).  I always get gift cards through Swagbucks and Kellogg’s Family rewards!

If there are other ways you earn with Starbucks coffee, please share with me!

This post was happily shared with Christian Mommy Blogger for Fellowship Fridays!


4 thoughts on “Secrets to the Starbucks Loyalty Rewards Program”

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