Confirmed: Big Changes Coming To Starbucks Rewards

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Ok, so this isn’t exactly travel related….but it’s probably still going to be relevant to a lot of readers so I thought I’d cover the news in brief.

Starbucks announced that it would be making changes to its Rewards loyalty program when it posted its latest quarterly update and, although the details of the actual changes haven’t yet been officially released, we have had multiple Starbucks employees corroborate the information you’ll find below. [HT: Doctor of Credit]

As Things Stand

Right now Starbucks rewards members earn 2 stars/dollar spent and, once they’ve reached 300 stars (Gold Level), they can redeem every subsequent 125 stars for most food or drink items in store.

a screenshot of a black and white screen

On the face of it that sounds like a very mean rewards system but, considering how many bonus stars Starbucks throws around, it’s not quite as bad as it sounds.

Link to current terms and conditions

What’s Changing?

As far as we know nothing is changing with regards how stars are earned or what status tiers are available so all the changes are happening on the ‘burn’ side of the rewards program – how Starbucks Rewards members can redeem their stars is what’s changing.

When the changes kick in (no official date has been announced) here’s what Starbucks Rewards members will be able to spend their stars on:

  • 25 stars – drink modifications like an extra shot or a syrup up to a value of $1.00
  • 50 stars – any size cup of drip/filter hot coffee, hot tea or a bakery item
  • 150 stars – any handcrafted beverage (latte, cappuccino, macchiato, iced drinks etc..) or a breakfast sandwich
  • 200 stars – any lunch sandwich, salad, or protein box
  • 400 stars – any packaged coffee or merchandise item up to a value of $20

a building with a sign on it


Amazingly, there are positives in here as well as a few obvious negatives.

The negatives:

  • A ‘handcrafted beverage’ will now cost 150 stars rather than 125 stars
  • A breakfast sandwich will now cost 150 stars rather than 125 stars
  • Lunch sandwiches, salads and protein boxes will now cost 200 stars rather than 125 stars

The positives:

  • Drip/filter coffee will now cost 50 stars instead of 125 stars
  • Bakery items will now cost 50 stars instead of 125 stars

If you’re a fan of the more ‘fancy’ drinks that Starbucks serves these changes will probably be a net negative for you but if you just like to use Starbucks as somewhere to do a bit of work while you have a drip/filter coffee, these changes will actually be quite good for you.


  1. And if you are Gold I would imagine you will get free refills on your 50 star cup of coffee if you’re hanging around the store for a while. Might work out ok for just coffee.

  2. It seems a bit mean that a latte will cost 3 times the points of a black coffee. I mean there is not much “hand crafting” that goes into what is a pretty everyday drink. Around here I rarely see people order a black coffee so while it looks like they are being generous with a new lower point requirement I imagine many people will end up paying more points for their usual ” hand crafted beverage”.

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