GOLD NEWS: My Starbucks Rewards adds more perks; Cards are shiny & new!

MSRExpansion_InfographicStarting October 15, 2013, there are more perks when you are Starbucks Gold!

More Rewards:

You can now redeem your “Lucky Dozen” rewards on bottled beverages in the ready-to-drink cold case inside Starbucks stores!  This means that you can use a Lucky Dozen reward for a bottled tea, Evolution Fresh juice, a canned Refresher, or other RTD item!

Also new, when you receive your birthday reward, you’ll now get a coupon for 15% off your next purchase at  Of course, My Starbucks Rewards Gold-level members still earn a star for each transaction at all Teavana and Evolution Fresh stores.  In addition, you can now have the option of redeeming your Lucky Dozen reward for a free one ounce of tea at Teavana.

(Keep in mind My Starbucks Rewards is very seamless.  You can use your Teavana – Starbucks card to earn stars, or any Starbucks card you wish – so long as it is registered to your Gold-level profile and has money on it.)

Also beginning October 15, 2013, Starbucks is reporting that many airport Starbucks stores in the United States and Canada will now be able to redeem the Lucky Dozen rewards!  You’ll both earn stars, and be able to redeem them at the airport!

The cards have a new sparkle look:

There’s one more amazing thing.  The new Gold cards have a pretty new sparkly look to them:

New Gold Card - 9 October 2013I like the sparkly version much better than the original flat-style gold cards that were issued when the program began in 2009.  (In 2008, there was a Black Gold Card, but that was a very different program than the current program).  So pretty!  I think I may start finally use my gold card.  I’ve been using an Evolution Fresh card for quite a while now.

Don’t worry if you’ve reached gold but have not yet received your card.  Just make sure that you’re tracking your rewards with either the iPhone or Android app, or logging in to to see all your rewards – even if you’re still waiting on your gold card to arrive, you can still earn and use your Lucky Dozen My Starbucks Rewards.  (Once your profile reaches the Gold level, you start earning your rewards every twelve “stars” once you reach gold.  And, you can even earn stars for buying coffee at your local grocery store.)

(Find me on Instagram as StarbucksMelody, if you’re interested.)

Edit on 10-11-13 at 5:00 p.m. —  Caution – I have been able to confirm with an official Starbucks spokesperson that the breakfast sandwich promotion mentioned below was by email invite.  I am sorry to disappoint, and apologize for any confusion.  If you did not receive a promo email from Starbucks, then you’re not earning the bonus stars.)

Bonus stars with breakfast sandwiches now through October 15:

Last but not least, you can earn stars much faster with “bonus stars.”  Right now, through October 15, 2013, Starbucks will give you 3 stars every time you’re purchasing a breakfast sandwiches!  That’s one way to get to your Lucky Dozen rewards faster, or get to gold faster, if you’re not there yet!

Bonus Stars for Breakfast Sandwiches

(Edit: I was contacted by a reader who forwarded to me his email – some people got an email that offered them 5 bonus stars with each breakfast sandwich! Wow.  This reader didn’t get the same email as I did.  I had assumed that everyone would earn bonus stars for breakfast sandwiches, but didn’t realize that some people would earn a higher level of stars for each breakfast sandwich.)

Untitled-2 - 5 bonus stars with breakfast sandwiches



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  • Amanda Barton

    Melody…thank you for your response to my question…when I asked a barista about it even they looked confused. So there IS a way for them to do it on their register when I tell them I want to use a free reward..that’s good to know. Thank you for clearing that up for me

  • Melody

    @AmandaBarton – The problem is that the baristas can’t look up anything, and don’t know what rewards you have on your profile. You can’t hand your card over to a barista and say, “Would you please tell me if I have any rewards,” — The answer would only be “no.” The barista cannot hand you back the card and say, “Oh you have four rewards on your card.”

    So, you have to be pretty assured in knowing your own rewards! And you say, “I have a reward,” and then the reward is recognized when the card is swiped at the time of the transaction, but the barista can’t look it up in advance.

    I know I am saying the same thing twice. But, this is a kicker that confuses all kinds of people.

  • Stacie

    I have a gold card. Aren’t you supposed to
    get a lot of free things with the gold card?
    Like free flavorings, free refills on teas and
    other things. The Baristas don’t seem to
    know what you can get and not get on the card.
    I understand about your rewards that’s something
    you should keep track of yourself. But I
    do think they need to know if certain cards
    you get things free. I ask them and they have
    no clue. How can I get the perks of having a
    gold card if the Baristas don’t know the
    perks I am intitled to get. Also are they
    ever going to change the amount of stars
    you get per purchase. If I buy a coffee and
    a snack I should get two stars not one. It
    takes for ever to even get gold status.
    Thank you

  • Melody

    @Stacie – I certainly agree that Starbucks partners should know the card rewards backwards and forwards. Some do. Some don’t.

    There are NO free syrups/sauces (flavorings) with the current Starbucks card (regardless of what level of card – green or gold). There was an old version of the Starbucks loyalty rewards program that did have free syrups. That is gone.

    The main green level perk is the free refills. You must stay in the store, and then you can get refills of iced tea, iced coffee, hot brewed coffee, regardless of original beverage. (The intent here is if you bought a tall mocha, and wanted a tall iced passion tea or a tall brewed coffee of the day – often Pike Place Roast – then the answer is “yes.”) The free refill perk – available at the green and gold level – is a very generous one.

    At the gold level, the main perk is free rewards that can be used for beverages or food.

    That’s an over simplification of the rewards – go to for more info.

  • Stacie Wood

    Thanks for responding back. Honestly that’s
    not much of free perks with the gold card.
    You spend the money to get to that level you
    should get more than just free drinks when
    you reach 12 stars. It takes awhile to even
    get to 12 stars when you only get one star
    per visit. One pump of a flavor shouldn’t
    cost 60 cents that’s crazy. To me that should be
    free. If you want more than one pump find
    charge 60 cents. Starbucks makes a lot of
    money they should better there perks for people who
    spend the money in there stores. After all
    we are the ones who keeps them in business.
    Thanks again:)

  • Melody

    @Stacie – You actually get one star each time your card is used as a form of payment at Starbucks, Teavana, or Evolution Fresh stores. It’s possible to get many more than one star per day.

    I think it is a little true that the current rewards program is weighted a bit in favor of those who live in very close proximity to many Starbucks, and so can visit very frequently – since frequently is the only metric that Starbucks rewards as loyalty.

    Keep in mind, about one-fifith (a little less roughly) are daily Starbucks customers. These people are earning a lot of rewards.

    And you’re paying for a premium brand experience. That 60 cents pays for one pump of mocha or 100 pumps of mocha. All together, everything pays for your baristas to have great benefits, be able to offer great customer service (drink remakes as needed), and the refill policy is amazingly generous if you stay in the store.

    It’s all a balancing act.

  • Erin

    How did you get a new gold card? Thanks.

  • Stacie

    Erin I got a gold card once I received 30
    stars. It took awhile before I actually got it in
    the mail. It’s actually my first Gold Card.

  • Erin

    Yes, I have a gold card, but I am wondering about the new “more sparkly” gold cards.

  • Stacie

    I guess they are the ones they giving out now
    once you get 30 stars. I honestly have
    not received any extra perks. Except after
    12 stars I get a free drink and on my birthday
    a free drink or food item. Not much different than
    the regular green card. What ever your getting on
    your gold card now is probably the same
    with the new sparkly card. They make you
    think you are getting a lot but your not. I was
    thinking I was going to get a lot more perks.

  • Erin

    I don’t expect any additional rewards, I just want a sparkly new card.

  • Stacie

    lol. They are pretty cool looking. I would
    try and email Starbucks and see if they
    can send you the new sparkly card.

  • calwatch

    I am getting a lot more coupons from Starbucks, though, with six or seven the last few months. This does not include star challenges. That is a perk of Gold, although you can’t use it too much or else Starbucks just expects that you will go with or without the coupon. I generally use half the coupons I am issued.

    As far as the star system, the alternative is a dollar based rewards system, like some airlines have (where a dollar spent equals one point, for example). The equivalent value would be 12 points equaling $1 credit on a Starbucks card. They are pros and cons to both. Drip drinkers would suffer greatly from this, but people who buy coffee for the office or major espresso drinker would have a field day. The other thing is that Starbucks moves a lot of their food, like salads and sandwiches, through free stars. I doubt that many people are interested in a $5.95 hot sandwich when you can get much more than that at Quizno’s or Subway.

  • Stephanie

    I always use my Starbucks app to pay as a gold member. My friend always receives special promos like free espresso and 1/2 priced teas that I never receive. I have the options selected in my settings to receive emails and special promos. Just wondering why I’m not getting these?

  • marie

    To get more then one free star a day you must DO SEPARATE PURCHASES! I do it all the time-the cashiers are use to it…

  • Laura

    Hello, I just become a Gold member and am very excited, but I’m confused about something. Previously, I used a gift card a pay for my purchases, so I could earn stars. Now that I have a gold card, do I still need to do that, or can I give them my gold card and pay with cash or something? Let me know, thanks!

  • Melody

    Hi Laura! Welcome to being a Gold card holder – and I hope you’ll click “like” and/or subscribe to this little site. I’ll always do my best to keep you up on the latest Starbucks news. :)

    In order to keep earning any rewards, you have to pay with a Starbucks card loaded with money on it – you could, if you wanted, keep paying with your gift card.

    If you decide that you want to pay with cash, you’re going to stop earning valuable stars.

    So, track your rewards either on or the mobile app. Use your rewards!! Good for food or drink! And, if you want to use that shiny gold card, transfer your money on to it. I think, it should come pre-registered to your – but double check. I’m just not certain!

    If you get an eGift, you can also easily transfer that money to your Gold Card! Welcome!

  • marie

    Laura: You can transfer the balance of your gift card on to your Gold Card…I have done that before when my dad gave me a Starbucks gift card.

  • marie

    When i am in line at Starbucks and plan to buy a drink and my card is low or out of money- i will give the cashier 5 bucks to re-up my card at the point of purchase.You need to re-up your card first then give the re-uped Gold Card as payment.The Min. amount you can re-up is 5 bucks.
    That way you will insure that you get a gold star…I have noticed if the complete purchase amount must be made on the Gold Card or you get no star.One time i bought a drink and i was 11 cents short on my gold card so i paid the remainder with some change i had.I went to look up my purchase online to see if i got my star for that day and i did not.

  • Justin

    Im sure its been posted before but if you tend to purchase 2 or 3 drinks at once then ask to have them all as separate orders but then just pay with the one card and you’ll receive one star per drink or whatever

  • marie

    Yes that is true…

  • Beth

    I feel I am getting ripped off in stars! I have purchased drinks seperatly and still only 1 star also bought food seperatly and still no more then 1 star a day and sometimes I don’t even get a star!!!! Ticks me off

  • Melody

    Hi Beth! Before getting too upset, call Customer Service! It can take a day for your stars to show up. And if you call Customer Service, I’m sure they’ll help you!

    Starbucks Customer Service Phone:

    800-Starbuc (800-782-7282)
    Mon – Fri 5 AM – 8 PM (PST)
    Sat – Sun 6 AM – 4 PM (PST)

  • Beth

    I have two accounts one for the United States and one for Mexico as they can not be combined they are different and it happens to me in both countries the same thing. You can only use the app in the states and it will say I earned 4 stars for the day yet I only get 1 it’s so weird

  • marie

    When you do separate purchases and only one star shows up- sometimes it’s a lazy cashier that will say she/he did it separate but did not.It happened to me so many times-I would get home check my rewards and find out i did not get those extra stars that i really needed.
    What i do is this- for every separate orders get a receipt for each one,that way if your stars don’t show up in a few days you have proof in your hands.The Starbucks i go to- At first i would have to get a receipt every time because the cashiers kept on ringing my purchases up wrong.I now know which cashier will ring up my purchases separate like i want. The ones that i don’t know i always get a receipt.
    I mean Starbucks is not cheap and we deserve to get every star that we have earned.
    I think this is a very informative site…

  • Corrie

    I earned gold level on Dec 24th, updated my address not long after, it’s march now and still haven’t received my gold card…. Is it normal to take so long?

  • Jennifer

    I received my Gold Card. The account number on the back is different from the gift card account number I have registered on my app. If I transfer the balance on my gift card to my Gold Card in order to use my Gold Card, can I discard the gift card and the Gold Card continue to earn stars?

  • Stacie

    I don’t see why you would need the gift card once you have transferred the balance to your new gold card. Keep for awhile if your unsure. You can always add money to the gift card later on for later use or give it to a friend.

  • The Kwan

    @Jennifer you have to register your new gold card by signing in and adding it to your account. Although it’s a gold card, until you do this, it would not earn stars when you use it. After you transfer the balance, you can then throw away the original gift card However, I would hold onto it for a little while just in case.

  • marie

    I noticed very few coupons this month March/2014…Has anyone else had any food or drink coupons this month?

  • David

    I have gotten quite a few email deals with a code that I have to show the barista to get the deal. sometimes they already know the code. I have gotten a lot of bonus star offers too via email especially this month

  • marie

    I found 2 coupon codes for 10 FREE STARS-5 per each code

    10 FREE Starbucks Stars, NO Purchase Necessary

    Starbucks is offering 10 free bonus Starbucks stars with 2 promo codes. NO Purchase Necessary.
    Log in to your Starbucks account here
    Enter Codes MCATALINH and MCATALINM, (each code is worth 5 stars)


  • Beth

    Thank you!

  • Melody

    I definitely need to do an article soon about these codes for stars!

  • marie

    I would love for you to do an article about star codes-they are all over the place…and also the promos they do Ex;earn 30 stars in one month get bonus 20 stars.
    It is not always the same or same amount of stars to earn or the reward amount.

  • Melody

    @Marie – I’m amazed at how many bonus star codes are out there. There are codes that print on Safeway receipts that get you 5 stars. (I really need an image of those receipts that I can use on the blog. I don’t have a Safeway card and never shop there). And there are a ton of star dashes. Some people recently got a dash that was visit 3 separate stores and earn bonus stars.

    It’s amazing. The bottom line is that it’s not the giving out of stars that is expensive. It’s the redemption. The most expensive thing Starbucks could do would not be to give out more stars. It would be to have baristas say “Surprise, you’ve got a reward.” Redemption rate would sky rocket. Right now there’s “slippage” to the program.

  • Shay

    I use to receive coupons all the time on the app but I haven’t gotten on on this app…is that done away with?

  • Alex

    I am a little confused about setting up the gold card for first use. The info I got with it said that it was pre registered, but I do not see that it is associated with my current card or profile. Is there a way to do this, to add or associate the gold card to current registration info?

    And I assume that I would have to transfer any money balance to the card, but is there a way to transfer any recent stars accumulated?

    It would be very helpful to see a general article about this. The new gold card is fun, and nice looking, but I want to be sure that I set it up correctly, if it matters.


  • Dijji

    Am I the only one that completely stopped getting any coupons/codes once I upgraded to gold? Now that I’m gold, I don’t get ANY coupon codes. I used to get up to like 2-3 discounts a week, but I haven’t gotten any in a month.

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