Starbucks Reward Program is Changing!

The sweet smell of Starbucks in the morning!

Have you heard? Starting April 16, 2019, the Starbucks rewards program is changing! Cue the dramatic movie music please…

Starbucks Rewards basically rewards you with 2 stars (or points) for every $1 you spend at Starbucks locations. Right now, when you achieve 125 stars you get a free item of your choosing – basically anything on the menu! This has up to this point included pricey lunch options such as salads and sandwiches. (My favourite Starbucks hack was to occasionally save up my stars and get one of their delicious salads for a free lunch.)

But, starting April 16th, you’ll have more ways to spend your accumulated points, or stars. Some people will love these changes, and others might sneer. (Most of us hate change anyway. Slowly easing my own hand up in admission…)

Spending Starbucks Stars

Whereas before, you needed 125 stars to get a freebie, soon you’ll need as few as only 25 stars! Now, we will have a greater choice as to what we want to spend our beloved stars on. BUT, we will also need to save for longer for more expensive options such as those delicious Starbucks salads I mentioned earlier.

Here is what you’ll soon be able to use your stars to get:

  • 25 stars – customize your drink with extra pumps of syrup, substituting alternative milks, or adding an extra shot of espresso
  • 50 stars – (and this one seems like the BEST deal to me) – a free bakery item, or a hot coffee or tea. The Starbucks graphic showed a croissant, but I’m sure there will be more options on the free bakery item at this star level.
  • 150 stars – handcrafted beverage (like lattes, mochas, or cappuccinos) OR a hot breakfast (breakfast sandwich or oatmeal). Since I’m a latte lover, this means my favourite freebie will now cost me 25 more stars. Cue the tears into my coffee cup! (Okay…I’m nearly over it already.)
  • 250 stars – Lunch! These items include a protein box, salad or sandwich. This is twice the amount it used to be!! Meaning, it will be a very infrequent treat for moi, now.
  • 400 stars – This is something new. At this level, you can get a bag of coffee OR choose from a selection of Starbucks cold or hot drink containers, such as travel mugs. This might be something to save up for! Or, this could be a good choice if you want to save up for a gift for a friend.

Bonus Starbucks Stars

I’m assuming that the beautiful Starbucks bonus star offers we receive as registered Gold Card members will not change. I love receiving special bonus star offers in my email! I’ve received up to 200 bonus stars for purchasing certain items. So, hopefully we will still be receiving these awesome bonuses, which really do help the old star balance build up quickly.

Remember – it’s only a good deal if you were going to buy the items anyway! Like many, I have been caught up so much in collecting my beloved STARS that I purchased extra items (like lattes or breakfast sandwiches) that I hadn’t planned on buying in the first place. It’s all a matter of balance, people!

My conclusion on the new Starbucks Rewards

Right, so my take on the changes to the Starbucks program is this: I’m okay with it. (Not really an earth shattering opinion, now was it?) Sure, it’ll take me a little longer to save up enough stars for a luscious handcrafted latte, BUT it’ll take far less time to get a free regular coffee or tea! My husband loves Starbucks tea, so we might just switch our freebies to those from now on. And, since he can get a refill on a tea when we sit and work in a Starbucks cafe – well, he can get a freebie times two!

Please let me know in the comments below what YOU think of the changes to the Starbucks program. Do you like them? Or are you downright disappointed to this change in your daily caffeinated drink?