The Starbucks Rewards system is a loyalty program that lets customers earn points (called stars) towards future purchases just by doing something as simple as buying morning coffee.
Free drinks, meals, and even licensed merchandise are easy to enjoy when all the stars you earn add up quickly over time.
Some of the easiest ways to earn stars at Starbucks include paying with a Starbucks Rewards Visa Card, using star codes, using a reusable cup during store visits, and taking advantage of bonus stars days.
In this article, I will cover how to earn stars at Starbucks in ways that are fast and easy so that you can start getting the most out of your well-earned rewards today.
1. Make purchases at Starbucks stores
The most common way to earn stars at Starbucks is to purchase at Starbucks stores. You will receive 1 star for every $1 spent at Starbucks using cash, a debit card, or a credit card.
Stars can be earned with any purchase at Starbucks if you order a custom drink, a breakfast food item, or even a pre-packed snack box.
Whether you’re going for an old favorite or trying something new, you can be assured that you’ll earn stars no matter what.
While buying food and drinks at Starbucks is usually the main reason for going to a Starbucks, other items you purchase will earn you stars.
Customers can also earn stars by buying a wide selection of merchandise, including cups, keychains, and ornaments.
Because you earn stars based on the total money amount spent and not based on the individual item, you will be getting more stars per purchase in comparison to just a regular food or drink order.
2. Sign up for the Starbucks Rewards Program
To get even more stars with your purchases, you can sign up to become a part of the Starbucks Rewards Program.
To join this program, you must provide your personal information and choose a username and password.
After, you will be enrolled in the program to receive special offers, a Starbucks Rewards card, and notifications for times when there are more chances to earn stars exclusive to the Starbucks Rewards program.
If you use your Starbucks Rewards card, you will instead earn 2 stars for every $1 spent in store. While this may not seem a big difference, the extra stars you earn will rapidly increase your star total.
3. Know what Starbucks locations give out stars
It is essential to check to see if the Starbucks location you are purchasing at gives out stars to their customers.
While most, if not all, standalone Starbucks locations and kiosks reward stars, some do not supply that option.
This issue is more frequent with Starbucks stores placed inside certain grocery stores.
For example, Starbucks cafes in stores like Target usually give stars out, but check beforehand so that you know where to go to maximize your coffee orders to the fullest.
In addition, check to make sure that a Starbucks location is a Starbucks store and not just serving their brand of coffee.
A typical example is the inclusion of Starbucks at Barnes & Noble Cafes. The cafe inside these retail bookstores is commonly mistaken for a Starbucks store but instead only serves their coffee drinks through a licensing agreement.
Because of this, these cafes do not accept or give out stars. They operate as independent cafes and have their coupon and rewards systems.
You can still get your favorite coffee-based beverage while you shop here, but you won’t be able to cash in on any rewards.
4. Use a Starbucks Rewards Visa Card
The Starbucks Rewards Visa Card is a credit card that only Starbucks Rewards members can hold, and it is used through Chase Bank.
It operates like other credit cards and linked rewards programs, except it gives stars instead of money when used in transactions.
This card can earn stars with purchases at Starbucks stores or outside of them. Cardholders can get 1 star for every $1 they transfer onto their Starbucks Rewards card.
They can earn an additional 2 stars per $1 when they use their Starbucks Rewards card to buy coffee or merchandise.
Members can earn 1 star for every $2 spent at grocery stores, on transportation services, or paying bills for internet and phone services.
For stores or services that do not fall under these categories, cardholders can earn 1 star for $4 spent elsewhere.
Additional benefits of the Starbucks Visa Reward Card
Signing up for this card is easy, but it requires an annual fee of $49 after the first year.
However, as a bonus gift for joining the program, 300 extra stars will be given the first time the card is used to add money to your Starbucks Rewards card, and 4,500 stars will be bestowed after $500 in total for the first three months of activation.
As an extra unique addition, the stars you earn while using your Starbucks Rewards Visa Card will not expire like the ones received through other purchase methods.
5. Use a reusable cup
By bringing a reusable cup to put your drink order in, you will earn 25 stars on top of what you originally acquired for purchasing the drink.
The reusable cup doesn’t need to be a Starbucks brand one, though they have many available to purchase. As long as the reusable cup that you bring in is clean and in good condition, Starbucks will accept it.
One thing to note is that Starbucks will award 25 stars whether you have one reusable cup in your order or multiple.
So if you are paying for coffee where numerous people in your order have reusable cups, you will only receive 25 stars. However, you can take advantage of this opportunity up to three times a day.
6. Use star codes
Star codes are special codes found on Starbucks products, such as bags of coffee and Keurig cups.
They are added to the packaging as a sticker that you need to peel off after purchasing.
To redeem these points, you must buy the item the code is on and then enter the code into your account online or on your Starbucks mobile app.
After, the star points will automatically be added to your total. You can add up to 2 star codes per day regardless of having multiple codes from various products.
Also, star codes expire after some time, so it is best to load them onto your account as soon as possible.
7. Take advantage of Double and Triple Star Days
Double and Triple Star Days are when Starbucks offers two to three times the number of stars you would generally earn per $1.
These days occur at least once a month, and Starbucks will usually send out an announcement through email or on the app regarding the eligible dates.
To earn these extra stars, all you need to do is make sure that you activate the Star Days offer before purchasing.
If you do not activate the offer, you will only get the 1 to 2 stars per $1 that you typically earn on a regular day.
To activate the offer, you must go into your app and make sure that you press the button that says to activate the offer.
Once this is complete, you can order your drink to your liking as you usually would.
8. Look out for days with Bonus Star offers
Like the Double and Triple Star days, Starbucks will also set days where certain items will bring in a set amount of bonus stars.
Sometimes it may be buying one bakery item for 25 extra stars, a specific drink size, or spending $10 to earn a bonus of 50 stars.
These days are common during the holidays when Starbucks brings out its seasonal items.
If you purchase a holiday drink (like the famous pumpkin spice latte or one of their many Christmas-themed drinks), you will receive bonus stars on top of what you already earned for the money you spent.
If you want to try a holiday drink this coming season or review some old classics, check out my article on the different types of Starbucks holiday drinks offered.
9. Sign up for email notifications
Signing up for email notifications will help you earn stars in two ways: it will notify you when star days are coming and send you links to unique offers.
When signing up to receive emails, you can be assured that you will know when days to earn extra stars are right around the corner.
You will also receive access to offers or links that will let you earn stars in other ways through small tasks.
These tasks include entering a special star code on the redemption site, playing a game through a link or on the app, or activating an individualized offer that has been sent before making your regular in-store order.
There are multiple ways to earn stars at Starbucks that you can easily incorporate into your life to make sure you get as many rewards as possible.
Whether buying items for bonus stars, bringing in reusable cups, or ensuring your email notification alerts are up and running, you will be earning more stars to use for future purchases in no time.