Starbucks Card Rewards/ Loyalty

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NEWS: MyStarbucksRewards has added a benefit: When you use your registered Starbucks card to pay for your at-home coffee purchase, you earn a star for each coffee item. In other words, whole bean coffee (both core coffees and Reserve coffee), K-Cups, Verismo pods, and packages of Via Ready Brew now all earn an extra star for each coffee item purchased. If a customer bought a chocolate chip cookie, pound of Pike Place Roast, and tall iced tea in one transaction, the customer would earn two stars: One star for the transaction, and one more star for the pound of whole bean coffee. This added benefit is available at company-operated Starbucks locations.

This is a big change! I think it also reflects how nimble MyStarbucksRewards is and how it is ever-changing to meet the needs of its participants. Since coffee is at the core of what Starbucks does, I see this as long overdue.

The official statement on the MyStarbucksRewards change is here.

Also, there’s a sale going on for whole bean coffee.

In Canada only, the sale starts now and goes to the 7th of April:

At Home Coffee Event CANADA

In the United States, there is a pre-sale offering 25% off of whole bean coffee if the customer has received a special email from MyStarbucksRewards for the pre-sale or has received a coupon from a barista for 25% off whole bean. From April 1st through April 7th, Starbucks whole bean coffee is 25% off in the U.S. and no special coupon on invitation is required.

At Home Coffee Event Image

Time to stock up on coffee!

Just as a reminder, anybody (both partners and customers) can join MyStarbucksRewards. Grab a Starbucks card at the register, load money on it, and then register your Starbucks card to unlock your perks. Be sure to track your own rewards. No barista will ever say to you, “Surprise! You have a reward! Would you like to use it now?” You have to keep track of your own rewards. I find it easiest to track my rewards with the mobile phone app.


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2Admin Day and Easter Starbucks cards March 2014Beginning April 1, 2014, Starbucks will introduce two new limited cards into their Starbucks card lineup. One card is an Easter Starbucks card. It’s so cute! The classic Starbucks cups are decorated like painted eggs and hidden in grass. Look closely, and you’ll even find a ladybug made it onto the Easter card.

The other card is an Administrative Professional’s Day card. Admin Day this year is April 23rd.

I think both of these cards are very clever. Thank you very much to the Starbucks card collector who sent me this image. I believe this is the first Easter Starbucks card that Starbucks has ever produced. There was an Admin Day card in 2013.

Just as a reminder, you can register any Starbucks card and beginning earning loyalty perks. There are three levels of rewards: Welcome, Green, and Gold. When you reach Gold level, there is no requirement to switch and use the actual physical gold card – I’ve seen that cause confusion. Use whatever card you like, so long as it is registered to your profile at, loaded with money on it, and used to pay for your transaction. At the Gold level of benefits, you’ll earn free rewards which can be used for food or beverages.

Visit for all the official details on My Starbucks Rewards.

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A Star Dash is an invite from Starbucks to earn something extra from Starbucks based upon earning stars within a specified time period.  All of the Starbucks Star Dashes represent one-to-one marketing, meaning that they are tailored to the person who receives them.  How many stars you need to earn in the dash is based upon your past transaction history.

Now is the time to sign up for the first Star Dash of 2014.  Many customers will have received a Star Dash invite – if you use the Android phone app, you won’t see it there.  You’ll need to log in your profile at  Log in to your account and check what you have waiting there!  You don’t want to miss any of your rewards either – I have heard all kinds of stories of people simply not realizing they had digital rewards.  You must affirmatively track your own rewards.  No barista will ever say, “Surprise, you have a reward!”

Back on the topic of the Star Dash, here’s what the first Star Dash of 2014 looked like for me:

Untitled-1 Melody's Star DashIf I earn 40 stars by February 11th, I will get 20 bonus stars.  Please do not be alarmed in reading this.  YOUR Star Dash may not look like this at all!  Some people will get emails that tell them that they’ll earn bonus stars if they earn as few as 8, or 12 stars before the 11th of February.  Some of the emails may show the rewards as a $5.00 and $10.00 gift card, depending on what yours looks like!  Do not assume that your Star Dash will look like mine.  I have heard that there is a lot of variation to this first Star Dash – yours is tailored to you!

You log into your profile, and click to “Join Now.”  One very confusing thing is that the second page, confirming that you’re in states that the stars must be earned before February 9th.  Here’s the second page:

Untitled-2 - Stardash chart

That’s a little confusing – February 9th or February 11th?  I will email an official Starbucks spokesperson and try to find out more information about which of the two dates is correct.

One reader of this blog received this Star Dash:

image- 7 - Star Dash - Bill's Star Dash challengeAs you can see, some people are doing a leisurely Star Walk, and others are on a serious Star Run.  ;-) Which Star Dash did you receive?

If you are not part of MyStarbucksRewards then what you need to do is this:  go to Starbucks and grab a gift card.  Put at least $5 on that card.  Register it online at  You will get a free drink reward if you register a Starbucks card (your first card; this is not for existing MyStarbucksRewards members) before the 7th of February.  And again, your valuable rewards will just expire on you and go to waste unless you take the time to track them.  For those of you who do have a Gold Card, keep in mind that you are not required to use it.  Use any card registered to your profile.  Join now, and get a free drink!

Untitled-4 Free drinkSo did you get a Star Dash, and what was your challenge, tailored to you? (Here’s one reader who has to get 25 stars to get his Dash reward.)

If you like browsing different card styles, or more on this topic, please click through the past Starbucks Card articles.

EDIT – JANUARY 28, 2014:

I have heard from an official Starbucks spokesperson:

“We will extend the Star Dash through the 11th.”

Now you know the right end date.



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Register Your Starbucks Card: Earn Rewards

by Melody on January 1, 2014

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DSC00299 Register a card handoutWelcome to 2014.  Happy New Year’s Day!!

Millions of Starbucks cards were activated in December.  Lots and lots of people got Starbucks cards as gifts during the holiday season.  Now is the time to register that card and start earning rewards.  It’s been a while since I’ve reminded people to register their cards to earn rewards under My Starbucks Rewards, but now is the perfect timing to do so.  By the way, on Thursday December 19, 2013, a record 2.4 million Starbucks card were activated on that day alone.

Maybe you got a card that looks like one of these below: there are tons and tons of card designs, all of which will work to earn you your rewards.

DSC00283 Register a Starbucks cardMy Starbucks Rewards has three levels to it.  The starting point is here – register a card loaded with money on it.  If you don’t have a profile already, start here.

The entry level to MyStarbucksRewards is the Welcome level – Register your card.  I believe that your profile has to be considered “activated” meaning a card on that profile was used at least one time since being registered.  Keep in mind, your profile will allow you to register a variety of cards.  The “Welcome” level gets you the following:

  • Free birthday drink (you must have registered your card at least 30 days before your birthday).
  • A coupon for 15% off any purchase at

After five uses of your Starbucks card (within the calendar year), you’re at the Green level.

  • All the Welcome level benefits.
  • Free refills inside of Starbucks.  (You may want to read the refill policy to understand the Starbucks definition of a refill).

After 30 uses of the card (within the calendar year), you’re elevated to the Gold level.

  • At the Gold level, you get valuable rewards that can be used on free food or beverages.  (Note: the Starbucks “Evenings Food” items are excluded – Sorry, their amazing mac and cheese isn’t available as a “reward” item).
  • Coupons for discounted food and beverage.
  • A shiny gold card with your name on it.  (You are not required to use that card – you’ve got a registered card – keep using it if you want.
  • And, of course, all the Green, and Welcome level benefits.

There are some important things you should know about MyStarbucksRewards:

  • A “use” of your card is when it is swiped through the register as a form of payment – that is one “star.”
  • At no point will a barista ever say, “Surprise! You have a reward!”  You MUST keep track of your own rewards.  I personally find this easiest to do by tracking my rewards on the Starbucks Android Phone app  (obviously there is an iPhone app too).  I hear stories over and over again of people who earn rewards, and never use them before they expire because they simply didn’t know they had them.  You must affirmatively track your own rewards.
  • You may find the licensed store locations earn you stars, but cannot redeem rewards there.
  • The rewards are subject to change.  The first generation of My Starbucks Rewards launched in April 2008, and that version didn’t look anything like the current version.  The rewards program has changed several times in the past (almost) six years, so it is possible that it could change again.  Keep up on Starbucks news by following StarbucksNews on Twitter, reading official blogs, and/or reading unofficial blogs like this one.
  • You will earn “stars” on your profile each time you use your card to pay at any Starbucks store, Evolution Fresh store, or Teavana store.

I thought I’d highlight two cards that I really like a lot:

DSC00297 Starbucks as a community gathering place card^ That card is a core Starbucks card, easily found in Starbucks stores all over.  In the past, Starbucks has a history of designing cards that are based upon real stores.  The First and Pike Starbucks Card, as well as the card featuring the First and Battery Starbucks (the store is between Bell and Battery in Belltown) are both examples of that.  I reached out to someone I knew in the Starbucks card department at the SSC and asked him what this above card was about.  He said that it is not based upon a real store, rather it “represents any place where Starbucks is a community gathering place.”  I thought that was pretty cool – I always look at this card and think of it as the “community gathering place card.”

DSC00295 copy^ The Evolution Fresh card is indeed a Starbucks card.  I just think it’s pretty and cool, so I thought I’d highlight it here.  That card is the only Starbucks card (to its detriment – it’s been known to confuse people) that actually does not have the word “Starbucks” on it anywhere.

One thing I’d like to see for 2014 is another Starbucks “donation” card.  This would be a card where generally five cents from each transaction when the card is used is given to a good-cause organization.  Actually, five cents might not sound like much, but given the millions and millions of customers each week who cycle through Starbucks, it has the potential to be huge.  If you don’t know what I mean, this 2010 Starbucks Conservation International Card is a perfect example of the kind of donation card that I’m referring to.  (By the way, if you see that card in use today, by all means, you can still use it just as you can use a bazillion cards with a variety of designs on them, but it no longer donates to Conservation International).  We are global citizens, and coffee is a particularly global product!

I even have a listed of possible good-cause organizations for Starbucks to partner with! ;-)  All of the organizations below are ones where Starbucks has at least some history of partnering with them in the past, in one way or another.

  • CARE – Fights poverty in developing countries.  In the 1993, Starbucks was the single largest donor to CARE.  Starbucks seems to have forgotten about them, or if they currently donate to them, there’s zero news and media about it.  It’s still a very worthwhile cause.
  • Mercy Corps – Mercy Corps does a wide variety of things from helping the environment in developing countries, feeding starving children, and focusing on women’s education in countries where it’s not the norm for women to get an education.  Both Teavana and Tazo have a history of donations to Mercy Corp.  I’ve mentioned Mercy Corps a few times on this blog, and I think I’ve mentioned the idea of a donation card for Mercy Corp before.
  • Conservation International – Starbucks has a long history of partnering with Conservation International, and through that partnership helped to develop their coffee sourcing standards known as CAFE practices.  I’m always in favor of reinvigorating this partnership.
  • Ethos Water Fund - This already is a Starbucks-run organization, but I think Starbucks could magnify what they’re doing here.

This blog post is much longer than I intended!  Register your card and earn rewards!


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The Starbucks Card: 2001 – 2013 – Then and Now

December 20, 2013

On December 19, 2013, Starbucks customers activated a record 2.4 million Starbucks cards – just in that one single day.  Official Starbucks spokesperson Linda Mills confirmed for me that 2.4 million cards were activated. I bet in 2001, when the Starbucks card was just in its baby beginnings, nobody thought about people activating 2.4 million […]

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Starbucks Steel Card 2013: A Limited Card through

December 5, 2013
Thumbnail image for Starbucks Steel Card 2013: A Limited Card through

Starbucks will soon be offering a new stainless steel card.  It’s available beginning this Friday, and will be sold exclusively by  There is only 1,000 of these cards, so they’ll be gone super fast.  I can’t even imagine that I’ll be lucky enough to get one! Some readers may recall that last year Starbucks […]

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NEWS: Starbucks launches Tweet A Coffee (Send a Starbucks Gift Card via Twitter)

October 28, 2013
Thumbnail image for NEWS: Starbucks launches Tweet A Coffee (Send a Starbucks Gift Card via Twitter)

News: Today Starbucks launched a new way to give a friend a Starbucks gift card.  It is called “Tweet a Coffee.” You link your Twitter profile to your Starbucks profile, and then can send tweets of $5 Starbucks gift cards. You can use any major credit card as a form of payment, but the first […]

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

October 10, 2013

Starting 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 […]

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An Amazing My Starbucks Reward: An Evening with Sheryl Crow

September 21, 2013
Thumbnail image for An Amazing My Starbucks Reward: An Evening with Sheryl Crow

On September 17, 2013, I picked up an email from My Starbucks Rewards which looked like this: Yes, I was totally surprised to get this! Wow!  I don’t really know how I ended up so lucky.  All I know is that I am totally happy and grateful that I got to experience this!  This was […]

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Current Promo: Bonus My Starbucks Rewards Stars after 2:00 p.m.- now through 9/4

August 31, 2013

Currently, there is a promotion for “Bonus Stars” if you are using your registered Starbucks card to pay with your purchases, after 2:00 p.m.  The promotion runs now through September 4, 2013.  I have seen a ton of conversation on Twitter and Facebook already about this promo, but I thought that just in case my […]

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