Promo: Register a Starbucks Card, get $5 on your card from Starbucks.

IMAG4075 Chalkboard - Fourth and Union Starbucks 28 Feb 2013 $5 promo for registering a Starbucks cardFrom now until March 14, 2013, Starbucks has a promotion going on to encourage people to register their Starbucks cards.  If you register a Starbucks card, Starbucks will put $5 on your card.  You have to create a new profile, and be registering the first card to your new profile.  For existing  MyStarbucksRewards members, such as myself, you don’t receive the $5. This is a great idea to get new members to sign up to MyStarbucksRewards, and since it is a free $5, it’s absolutely worth mentioning!

For those who don’t know what the MyStarbucksRewards program is, allow me to give a short recap.  Once you create a profile, activate a card, and use it at least once, you’re at the “Welcome” level of benefits.  At the “Welcome” level, you get a free birthday drink (digital reward).  At the “Green” level of benefits, you can take advantage of free refills when you stay in the store (same-store visit only).  A refill is when a customer orders brewed coffee (whatever happens to be brewing, such as Pike Place Roast), iced tea, or iced coffee, after a higher priced beverage purchase during the same store visit.  There is no free refill available under Starbucks rules once you leave the store.

At the “Gold” level of benefits, you receive free food or beverage rewards.  (There are some limitations – the Evolution Fresh juices and “Evenings” food items are not included.)  Look for your rewards to appear digitally!  These rewards are very valuable so check your profile now and then, or keep track of them using the Starbucks app on your Android or iPhone smart phone.  Once you reach the “Gold” level (30 stars earned in one year), you earn free food or drink every 12 stars.  Once in a while Starbucks will offer promos earning customers bonus stars.  For example, right now through the end of March, you are earning  bonus stars for your at-home coffee purchases.

That’s been just a very quick overview of MyStarbucksRewards.  There is an FAQ page for this promotion too.

I thought I would share a few MyStarbucksRewards fun facts.  It’s stunning how huge MyStarbucksRewards has become!  I recently had a brief conversation with an official Starbucks spokesperson who mentioned that there are now 5.8 million MyStarbucksRewards members in the United States, including over 3 million Gold card holders in the U.S.  Now that’s huge.  The loyalty program added more than one million members just in Q1 of 2013.  Wow.

On a complete change of topic, this morning I had the most amazing vanilla latte.  The partner on bar really puts a lot of work and finesse into what he does, and he makes it look as if it is effortless.  Here’s what my beverage looked like:

IMAG4072 Vanilla Latte made by Jesse 28 February 2013 Pine Street Starbucks

He didn’t switch and use special equipment.  This morning’s drink was definitely a nice Starbucks moment, and so I thought I would share.

It feels like Starbucks is constantly giving me things to write about.  This article here caught my eye.  I have not tried it yet, but if you are browsing the New York Times via the Starbucks Digital Network, you now get 15 free articles.  I wonder if this is something people will use?  Would you use it?

That’s it for updates from the land of  Thank you for reading!


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  • purple1

    I can’t put my finger on it but there is something about this promotion that I do not like. What great latte art! I truly wish the partners at my local store did this. They just always seem to rushed and not interested in creating this type of art.

  • Melody

    I’d be curious what it is you don’t like. I suppose if an established MSR member wanted to take advantage of it, you could just create a new profile, with a new email address. I just can’t complain about a free $5, and I’m happy for anyone who gets it.

    As I was writing about the latte art latte, I was thinking of DadCooks how he calls the great baristas, “Baristas” with a capital “B” and the ones just there to get a paycheck “baristas” with a lowercase “b.” I think he would be impressed with the Baristas at this store!

  • denise r

    I think MAYBE what @purple1 is MAYBE referring to is a feeling that the “loyal’ might be rewarded more, or that the idea if giving $5.00 to a new customer, or getting one to register their card seems…..???? I thought a bit of that when I first saw the sign on the 27th. No one gave me $5.00 the first time I registered a card. ??? just maybe???

  • Melody

    @Denise – Oh I see that. I still just feel happy for free $5 for whoever. When it comes to the Gold card, one thing that seems weird is that there seems to be a change on when you get your first free beverage/reward. Way back when, when I received my Gold card, it came with a reward coupon attached for a free drink. Based on comments from MSI, it sounds as if now, when you earn Gold for the very first time, there’s no free drink at all, and you have to wait for 12 stars from Gold to get your first reward. I am not really certain if this is a real change, but it sounds like it based upon what I’ve read on MSI. And based on things I’ve read in my Twitter stream, it sounds like Starbucks has gotten slower about getting new Gold cards out in the mail – Can take a while to get the actual card! I don’t care about the actual card, but many people do. You and I realize that you can earn stars and take advantage of the program without ever using the actual Gold card, but that point confuses many.

  • purple1

    Denise R perfectly put for me thanks. Yes, I sort of feel there are different levels of promotions and maybe that is the way it should be, however, sometimes I feel SB figures once a rewards member well a customer stays a rewards member. And yes Denise R I did not get $5.00 when I registered my card. And didn’t you mention Melody of the large number of MSR members?

  • denise r

    @Melody and @purple1: When I got my ‘gold card’, as I think you did too Melody……we were rolled into “gold” from the ending of the “black 10%” card….(which I did pay for, the $25.00 but it was well worth it and I’d love it again) I know some were given it but way back then, but then and pretty much always, I paid with cash, so there was no ‘tracking’. Either way, I don’t remember getting a free drink with that gold card, but I may have. I think that would’ve been a common courtesy when they were ending an entire program. I specifically remember when I got the new info from an sm, and I called you and faxed you copies of the brochure. THAT was some very hot news. Either way, am I happy for someone to get a free $5.00? yeah, but I do feel if they’d been such Sbux-lovers, they’d already be registered. I know I have been ‘criticized’ or maybe even just misunderstood because I feel Sbux is NOT going in the ‘right’ direction. Am I loyal? totally. I am a BOLD-all-day Sbux lover. I’m just not feeling the same kind of ‘love’ back that there used to be. There are great partners, and I am really glad to have them. But the turn-over is higher than ever right now. (partners) I just met our new dm……told her my thoughts, our ‘bad’ remodel, with split wooden chairs etc. Of course she did not say anything ‘against’ Sbux but did acknowledge there is a more rapid rate of partner turn-over than ever before.
    I really have to run….would like to write more. maybe later!

  • Melody

    @DensieR – I distinctly recall that the paper covering for my Gold Card (when it arrived in the mail) including a coupon for a free drink. I think that would be a nice touch to reinstate.

    I think there are plenty of customers out there who just don’t know or understand what the card rewards are, and I don’t dismiss the idea that they are not good customers because they’re not already registered. Friends we’ve not met start out as strangers to us or the program.

    I understand that it would feel good to do something more for those who have been Gold Card members for years. If all 3 million Gold card holders got a $5 reward, Starbucks would give away 15 million (which arguably, as HUGE as they are and the billions in profit, that might not be totally unreasonable) but I’d rather see 15 million go to other things. You could argue that Starbucks probably has some way to track the subset of customers who spend the most out of the 3 million. That;s probably true. There could be sub-layers and tracking that we don’t know about.

    Starbucks has grown and transformed itself, and I don’t need a different kind of Starbucks to be happy with it or where it’s going. I think my area has less turnover than yours. That I think is true. I can name several store managers around me who have been with the company more than ten years. Having said that, on the whole, I think Starbucks has work to do and improvement to make in making partners happy and making sure the turn over isn’t so high – I blame most the current problems on lack of labor.

    What happened to your DM? Do you know anything about the new DM? I do worry about too many DMs being outside hires. Was it that nice German-speaking DM that left Starbucks? Do you know if you still have the same RD? It’s funny, I don’t think I’ve ever met an RD I didn’t like!

  • purple1

    Denise R and Melody so many thoughts after reading your most recent comments. The turnover of partners around here is also more than I would hope and as you have said Melody being in the corporate neighborhood perhaps turnover is less. The DM of my local store is a nice man for sure but he is very strict to the book. In conversations often I find he often finds it hard to see my side because he is so much into the SB line. Re giving more to gold card/rewards members- I think SB should review this and acknowledge these customers a bit more. Melody, I am not sure that SB cannot do both- acknowledge gold/rewards members and also contribute to causes that make the world a better place. Isn’t it possibly true that without the customers SB would not obviously exist the way it does? Back to partners- I still believe training has to improve, communications has to improve and the good partners have to feel that they mean something to the corporation. We have some really good partners, we have some really bad partners. I also believe as I have said before that it would be neat to have the DM/SM do focus groups. When I said something to the SM about this idea, he just shrugged if off and said there is no time.

  • Rebecca

    @Melody – I do think a lot of our current problems could be solved with more labour. But I do think that part of the problem is that we don’t use the labour we have effectively. Or rather, across all stores, we don’t use our labour effectively. I get a lot done with the labour I have. I know a lot of SMs who don’t. And those are the SMs that are usually crying about the lack of labour and using this as an excuse for why things aren’t done. And if I’m being brutally honest, I see no difference in the execution of their daily tasks with more labour than with less. However, with my labour the way it is now, I have no wiggle room if something does not go according to plan – sick partners, partner needing to have some connect time, unexpected busyness etc. And that, quite frankly, stinks :(

    I used to work at a church, that was growing exponentially, and my boss was always saying “As we get bigger, we need to get smaller” and we talked a lot about getting people connected into community groups of smaller people so that the congregation could still feel cared for, even as the staff of the church had to do more and more administration tasks. I think Starbucks would benefit from thinking this way too – as we get bigger and bigger, we need to get smaller – more relevant to the communities we’re in, and more tools for SM’s to care for/empower their partners, because it’s not going to come from higher up anymore – it can’t.

  • Rebecca

    @Purple – I have done a focus group once before, and no one showed up, even though lots of customers expressed interest, and even signed up. While I wouldn’t shrug your idea off (not great customer service), I wouldn’t do a focus group again for the same reason – not an effective use of my time. I would however, love to have feedback from regulars, and have certainly found that having a quick chat with a regular customer while they fix their coffee can offer me some profound insight on my store :) I’d encourage you to ask to have a quick convo with the manager and offer feedback that way!

  • purple1

    Rebecca I can assure you I have numerous conversations with the SM at my local store as well as a partner or two that I really like. I tend to find these conversations go nowhere and I suppose the focus groups would go nowhere as well. I make sure to chat with the SM on the good things in the store as well as the bad and overall issues good and bad with SB. He is always amazed at how much more I often know than he does! Thanks Melody!

  • Melody

    @Purple1 – I hate to say it, but I’m not a huge fan of the idea of ‘focus groups.’ There are two reasons why: First the sample is small. Just statistically, you’re most likely to get a representative idea of what people want when you sample a large group. And secondly, if you get a random selection of a small group of people, you’re getting neither a large group, nor or you necessarily getting anyone who is particularly knowledgeable.

    As far as I can see, some companies are shifting away from focus groups to larger survey and forum sites. Usually, the company can reach a MUCH larger scale of people, and they can recruit a diverse sampling. If Starbucks has such a forum/survey community (meaning by invitation only, I am not referring to MSI), I don’t know about it, and I’m not part of it. (Obviously, I’d love to be.)

    I have heard of retailers doing this kind of thing. One time, a while back, I got an email invite to this one: – I did a couple of surveys, but haven’t heard anything more.

    I think Starbucks could do more to tap into its customers. Lululemon has a “brand ambassador” program. Just not totally sure that focus groups is the answer.

  • Purple1

    Melody I understand what you are saying and I probably am dating myself re the focus group angle. I guess I would just like to see SB use the info loyal and regular customers can give them. I think those register surveys are too narrow and I think they are missing out of getting valuable info.

  • Brian Villoni

    could not take my postal code. I triede to enter 6 times it still would not accept my postal code

  • asnani

    excellent chai latte coffee and tea.

  • Stephanie

    I really love Starbucks but I have a question how do you earn the green stars to fill up your cup sorry

  • Poppy Steele

    Just signing up. How do I enter my postal code

  • iniskia williams

    Starbucks has a young mike that works in store9494. the cashier had been charging me 2.00 for refill but today he charged me .50 in which was the right price. he was very kind. explaining my refill. Starbucks please do something for Mike he make yur store look very good
    lkld, fl

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