Starbucks Card Rewards/ Loyalty

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Fall Starbucks cards including the Seahawks Fan CardStarting on September 2, 2014, you’ll find some beautiful new Starbucks cards at your neighborhood store. The new autumn seasonal cards include four cards (in the shape of leaves) that can be used as key chain cards, and one traditional card. The one traditional (rectangular) card has a coffee cup with leaves like steam above it. I really like the card with the coffee cup and leaves as steam! Actually, I think all the new cards are very pretty. I personally wouldn’t use a key chain card but I do think they’re pretty.

As always, you can use any Starbucks card to earn and redeem all your MyStarbucksRewards perks – so register your card! Here’s the new seasonal cards:

IMAG1886 Leaves - 4 designs - keychain cardsIMAG1888 - Fall 2014 card - cup with leavesIf you want to learn a little more about registering a Starbucks card, click here. Earlier this year I wrote a quick article summarizing the benefits of registering a Starbucks card (and it still almost entirely contains good information – one thing has changed since I wrote that article here, there are now bonus stars for buying at-home coffee at Starbucks.)

You may soon see a Seahawks fan card available in Seattle Starbucks stores, and some greater-Seattle locations. It’s a “12th Man” type card. When you remove the sticker that says “It’s more than a card…” you’ll find the Seahawks logo underneath it. I have a feeling these cards will go quickly:

IMAG1889 - Seahawks fan card

So if you’re a Starbucks card collector, be on the lookout for these great cards!

Now is a good time to mention that if you’re a Starbucks collector, there will be a Starbucks “Coffee Con” on October 10th and 11th. I assume there will be lots of people with booths who are selling and trading collectibles. I’ll have a booth too and you’ll find me there with a stack of Tales of the Siren books (I’ll take payment in the form of Starbucks cards. One $10 Starbucks card equals buying a book.)

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IMAG1577 Bags of grocery store coffee - U Village QFC 9 Aug 2014Over the past year, I’ve been asked many times, ‘What happened to the free brewed tall coffee that you used to get for buying Starbucks packaged coffee at the grocery store?

That program is gone. The packaging that used to offer a free tall coffee has been phased out in favor of MyStarbucksRewards loyalty program. If you happen to find coffee that still has the free brewed coffee coupon on the side, I would assume it’s old packaging.

If you don’t remember the old program, there’s an official article here on Exchange Empty Coffee Bag for a Tall Coffee.

So why oh why did Starbucks eliminate that perk? I can only make an educated guess, but it seems to me that Starbucks wanted their rewards program to be seamless between grocery stores and between the actual retail stores. It shouldn’t matter where you’re buying your whole bean coffee, you’re earning stars. (And when you’re inside company-operated Starbucks stores, as of March this year, you’re earning bonus stars for your at-home coffee purchases.) In order to start earning stars, put money on any Starbucks card, register it at, and use it to pay for your purchases. Be sure to track your rewards by frequently logging into or using the phone app. Every time the register barista swipes your card, it’s one star (there are some limited exceptions: you’re not earning stars during card reload swipes, and when you’re getting a free refill, no star is earned).

I suspect that customers who are particularly upset about the loss of the tall brewed coffee coupon don’t understand the fun things you can do with Starbucks Lucky Dozen rewards. When your account at is gold level, every 12 stars you earn a “Lucky Dozen” reward.

What can you get with a Lucky Dozen reward? Let me throw out some suggestions:

You can doctor up a Frappuccino and make it a fancy “secret menu” item. Always know the recipe for what you’re ordering! I tried this Strawberry Shortcake Frappuccino recipe. It was totally delicious. What an amazing treat. I wouldn’t do this all the time – it’s dessert in a cup!

IMAG1554 Strawberry Shortcake Frappuccino - 9 Aug 14You can use your Lucky Dozen reward for a free one ounce of Teavana loose leaf tea, at any Teavana store:

IMAG1562 Teavana Store Univ Village 9 Aug 2014IMAG1576 one ounce of free teavana tea

You can use your Lucky Dozen reward on any salad, panini, or food item at Starbucks. (Evenings food and beer and wine is not included as a Lucky Dozen reward). This is incredibly valuable if you like either the salads or the paninis! The salads are often $6.95!

IMAG1582 Salads at Starbucks 9 Aug 2014 - UV3 StarbucksIMAG1590 Turkey Pesto Panaini 9 August 2014


At any Evolution Fresh store, you can use your Lucky Dozen reward for any bottled Evolution Fresh juice. By the way, you can do the same at Starbucks – use your reward for an Evolution Fresh cold-pressed bottled juice or any other bottled beverage:

IMAG1594 Evolution Fresh Cafe 9 August 2014IMAG1597 Bottled evolution fresh juicesIMAG1601 Sweet Greens Evolution Fresh Juice - 9 August 2014

As should be obvious, I was totally stuffed by the time I was done doing the “research” for this article. I ate and drank my way through most of my rewards! I hope you can see that in the long run, you’ve got a lot more flexibility and value in a MyStarbucksRewards Lucky Dozen reward than in just a tall brewed cup of coffee. So enter your star codes, and earn stars!



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Starbucks employs one-to-one marketing when it comes to promotions via MyStarbucksRewards. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but this is an excellent time to mention it again. This means that those who have a registered Starbucks card receive individualized promotions. There is a downside to one-to-one marketing: It’s confusing. At no point can a barista say, “our promo this weekend is a bonus star for each panani sandwich that you buy.”  Rather, the best that the barista can say is, “You might be earning bonus stars for bakery goods, if you got that email for bonus stars on bakery items. Or, you might be earning bonus stars for buying sandwiches. It just all depends on which promotion email you received.” Even the amount of bonus stars for each item purchased can vary. Your own promotion might vary a lot from these examples.

I got the promotion for two bonus stars when purchasing any Starbucks panini, salad, or sandwich from August 7, 2014 through August 13, 2014. I really like this one! I’m glad I got it. I like a couple of the paninis (the Sante Fe Chicken is underrated!) and will definitely take advantage of this promotion. It’s an easy way to earn bonus stars:

2 Bonus Stars for LunchA regular reader of this site forwarded to me her personalized promotion: one bonus star when purchasing bakery items August 7th through the 13th:

1 bonus star for bakery items

One reader got a promotion of three bonus stars for every shaken iced tea, August 7th through the 13th:

Screenshot_2014-08-08 - 3 stars for iced tea


Some people may have received a promotion that involves bonus stars for buying bistro boxes at Starbucks, August 7th – August 13th.

There are a lot of bonus stars happening from August 7th – August 13th!

And yet another reader of this site emailed me that she received a promotion to earn bonus stars for buying shaken Teavana iced teas at Starbucks. During the month of August, if she buys four shaken teas, she’ll earn three bonus stars. If she buys seven shaken iced teas, she’ll earn ten bonus stars.

Shake up you tea bonus stars challengeI find it sort of interesting to see the variety of promotions that people receive. It’s possible that some people didn’t get any at all. :-( But now is the time to check and see. If you use an email address for your Starbucks profile that you rarely check, you might want to check now. Also, I’m pretty sure that these promotions show up somehow in the iPhone Starbucks app.

Enjoy your August promotions! Which one did you receive?

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New Frappuccino cards 2Be on the look out for an adorable new Starbucks card at your neighborhood store! I think this will be another good one for card collectors. There really haven’t been all that many mini cards in the U.S.  Like other mini cards, this one has a hole in it for your keyring.

While I don’t normally use mini cards, I do think this is too cute. Register any Starbucks card (loaded with money on it) and you can start earning rewards. You can register your card, and an image of it will show on your Starbucks mobile phone app. You can use ANY card to earn stars and redeem rewards. One of the ways that MyStarbucksRewards is flexible is that you’re not locked into using one card. All of the rewards go by your profile at At just the Welcome Level of MyStarbucksRewards, you will get a free beverage on your birthday. (This doesn’t mean you necessarily have to be at a Starbucks on your exact birthday. Register a card at least 30 days before your birthday. Use a registered card (with money on it) at least once at least 30 days before your birthday. Your birthday reward will appear on your profile sometime during the week before your actual birthday. And like any other reward, you keep track of it yourself, and redeem it any time you like, before the reward expires. The rewards are digital and will expire about five weeks from when earned. (The website says 30 days from when earned but I have noticed that for months now, it’s been closer to five weeks.)

Starting May 23rd, you’ll find a special 16-ounce re-usable cold tumbler in the stores. Buy this specially-marked tumbler, and get your first Frappuccino Blended Beverage in it on the house! The new Frappuccino tumbler will be available until supplies last:

Frappuccino Cold Cup 2

Look for the cute new card by the registers at your neighborhood participating Starbucks.

IMAG0495 Frappuccino mini card 2

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NEWS: MyStarbucksRewards Now Gives You Stars for At-Home Coffee

March 28, 2014

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 […]

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Cute new seasonal Starbucks cards coming April 1st: Easter Card and Admin Day Card

March 25, 2014

Beginning 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 […]

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The First Starbucks Star Dash of 2014 – Which Star Dash did you receive?

January 28, 2014

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 […]

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Register Your Starbucks Card: Earn Rewards

January 1, 2014
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Welcome 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 […]

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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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