Starbucks Card

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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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Scarves up! Starbucks will soon be offering a limited Sounders FC card just in time for the start of major league soccer. The Sounders card will be available at company-operated Starbucks locations in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties of Western Washington beginning March 4, 2014. As always, you can load money onto the card and use it for your MyStarbucksRewards perks.

DSC00604 Sounders CardAs I have mentioned before on this site, you are not tied to using your gold card (or any other Starbucks card) for your rewards benefits. You can register many cards to your profile, and all your rewards are associated with your profile at not the physical card itself.

This Sounders card is great! If you’re a card collector or a soccer fan, I think you’ll like this card.

Starbucks has offered so many interesting cards over the years. About one year ago, there was a birch wood card. I’ve always thought it fun when Starbucks bases cards on real stores, as was the case with the City Nights Starbucks card, based on First and Pike Starbucks. I still use my Evolution Fresh Starbucks card often too (the only Starbucks card that does not actually say Starbucks anywhere on it.) There is also a Teavana Starbucks card too. And years ago, there was a Starbucks card based upon the First and Battery Starbucks store. In September 2013, Starbucks offered its first Seahawks card:

DSC00607 Seahawks CardWhat’s your favorite Starbucks card in your wallet? ;)


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2 - 1- Front of new White Starbucks Card 12 Feb 2014 copyOn February 15, 2014, Starbucks will offer a new Starbucks card, designed to be exclusive and collectible, and show off the fun of MyStarbucksRewards with a fun MSR star pattern on it. It’s white with a gold pattern design on it. Each Starbucks store will only receive 25 cards and will not be able to re-order more of them.

The language on the card invites the person to register it and start earning rewards. “Just register it online to unlock its earning power.” There is something about this card that is confusing. It sort of looks like if you register it, you’ll immediately about at Gold Level card status. It does mention that you’ll get a birthday reward, and indicates you’ll be earning stars towards rewards.

About a week ago, I was visiting with an “official Starbucks spokesperson” at the SSC (Starbucks calls their headquarters the “SSC” or the “Starbucks Support Center”) and this card came up in discussion. The Starbucks spokesperson clarified that the card doesn’t unlock rewards at the Gold Level, rather a person has to start at the Welcome Level. I think that could cause a little confusion. When I first heard about this card, I too thought it unlocked rewards at the Gold Level. And I’ve heard many store partners mention that this is a “White Gold Card.” This is not an “Instant Gold” card.

Of course, once your profile is gold, you can use this card as your gold card. Any card registered to your card profile is automatically the level that your profile is at. I might start using this as my Gold Card because it is very pretty! All of this is a good reminder that you can never look at a person’s Starbucks card and have any idea what level of rewards the customer is at. You can earn Gold rewards with any card. You could have a Gold card and failed to go 30 times in a year to maintain gold – in that case you’d have a Gold Card only earning Welcome or Green Level rewards. You cannot look at a card and tell a person’s rewards level. You can register any card (including an Evolution Fresh card or Teavana card), and start earning perks.

I think the intent of the new white MyStarbucksRewards card is this: Store partners are supposed to offer the cards to frequent customers who pay with cash (or a non-Starbucks Card form of payment) to encourage customers to switch to MyStarbucksRewards, as the barista explains the many perks and offers a card that is bound to become quite collectible. That’s my guess at the thinking behind this card. If it were possible, I think it would have been a better promo if the card came pre-loaded with 10 stars, and the promo was something like, “We’re going to give you a running start on Gold with a collectible card since you’ve been a great customer …

Conceptually, it seems like a nice idea to entice people to join MyStarbucksRewards with a card that looks very special and limited. My main concern simply is that this is the kind of thing that creates a frenzy with Starbucks card collectors and many of these cards will end up (and already are) on eBay.

If you register the card, and then pay by the Starbucks mobile phone app, this cards image will appear in your card library on your phone.

What do you think? It’s pretty and I think I’ll try to get one to start using as my Gold Card!

Edit: I ran into a store partner today who gave me a different perspective on this card. I suggested (as I mentioned above) that the card is designed to entice the top cash-paying customers to switch to MyStarbucksRewards, and this is one reason each store got so few. A store partner suggested that the purpose of the card is to “make it look like a club card” so that people who don’t understand that any Starbucks gift card works for rewards will feel as if they have a “Starbucks Club Card.” I like that theory too! Probably it’s a little bit of both idea. Under either theory, I think each store should have gotten more than just 25 cards.


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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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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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The Exclusive 1912 Pike Place Starbucks Card & Made in the USA Mug. (Giveaway)

July 18, 2013

If you ever decide to visit the Starbucks at 1912 Pike Place, you’ll find that there is a lot of merchandise exclusive to that store.  One of my favorite things is that they have a Starbucks card which is exclusive to their store!  And, the 1912 Pike Place Starbucks offers a made-in-the-USA mug, which is […]

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