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Starbucks Rewards Program Changes Coming April 16th

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Heads Up, Starbucks Rewards Members!

On April 16th, 2019, Starbucks will be rolling out their new rewards system!

With this new rewards system, Starbucks Rewards Members will still earn 2 stars for every $1 spent using a registered gift card or the Starbucks app; however, you will now be able to redeem your points at different levels for various items!

  • Redeem 25 Stars – Add an extra shot, flavor, or soy milk to your drink for free (up to $1 off beverage price)
  • Redeem 50 Stars – Get any size hot brewed coffee, hot tea, or bakery item for free
  • Redeem 150 Stars – Get any handcrafted beverage or breakfast item for free
  • Redeem 200 Stars – Get a lunch sandwich, salad or protein box for free
  • Redeem 400 Stars – Get packaged coffee or a single merchandise item for free (up to $20 value)

Although these changes do lower the amount of stars you need to redeem for a free plain coffee, you will now need MORE stars for free handcrafted beverages as mentioned above.

All other Starbucks Rewards items like free in-store brewed coffee or tea refills, and birthday freebies will still be available as well!

Are you excited or disappointed? Here’s what Hip2Save readers had to say:

I’m excited! That 400 star level is really cool and 50 stars for a free coffee or bakery item is great. I usually use my stars for $7 lattes or protein boxes so I’ll just be more cognizant now. It’s easy to earn additional stars with the app offers, email offers, surveys, and games. I feel like every time I go to Starbucks, I get an email the next day to take a super quick survey for 10 stars; it adds up!


Not excited about the change. I always redeem 125 stars for a coffee so just takes longer to get one now. Not really a good news for people like me.


As someone who can’t really drink a lot of the sugary fancy drinks, I’m excited about the new changes because I’ll now be able to redeem my stars for things I do use (sugar-free flavored shots, almond milk, regular coffee). I’ve typically been paying for my own coffees and redeeming stars for friends or family to have the fun drinks.


Love this! Their bakery items are a sweet treat for me and will only be 50 points – Score!


I love this. I only drink brewed coffee and it has always seemed wasteful to redeem 125 stars on a brewed coffee. That means I’ll get 2 and a half coffees for my 125 stars now. Awesome.


This is not good for me. I always use my rewards on salads or paninis. With their new rewards program, it’s going to take 200 stars instead of the current 125. I currently have 16 rewards on my app, I am going to try to use all my rewards before the new program kicks in, but that would a lot of salads.


Join The Discussion

Comments 34

  1. Wifeandmomof3

    Victoria’s secret changing May 1 too for card holders.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing! We’ll have to look into that too!

    • Jasmyn

      The Victoria Secret changes are disappointing 😒👎

      • Wifeandmomof3

        I agree!

  2. L

    Have 15 rewards I was planning to use over summer for Fraps but now that lowers it ☹️

    • Mira

      They have great customer service! Reach out to them and see what they can do to equalize that for you!

    • Jamie

      Wow. That is an impressive number of stars!

  3. Rob

    I was looking forward to this change because I always get iced coffees. I thought the iced coffees would be 50 stars like the hot coffee, however I reached out to customer service and they told me iced coffees are considered “handcrafted” and therefore would be 150 stars!! That’s crazy.

    • Kacy

      That IS crazy! That doesnt seem to make much sense at all. I’m sure there’s a way around it… maybe order the coffee and a side cup of ice??

    • Rebecca

      That’s insane. They’re so simple!!

    • jen

      Oh that stinks. I was excited about iced coffees too. How can they be 150 stars – they literally pour it out of a premade pitcher. ??

      Not cool Starbucks.

      • Sonny

        Get a free refill iced coffee if you’re gold😀

    • Hill

      Just ask for hot and a large cup of ice 🙂

    • Pixie508

      Get a hot coffee and a venti cup of ice 🙂 The cup of ice is free!

  4. Melissa

    I’m disappointed 🙁 as it’s going to take 25 more stars for my favorite White Chocolate Mocha & 75 more to get a salad or sandwich.
    What about the happy hour specials?
    Does anyone know if Starbucks will at least keep doing happy hour sometimes?

  5. Laura

    I’m happy! 50 stars for black coffee or lemon pound cake slice!!! Yes!

  6. Diana

    Im happy- free tumblers! Sweet!

  7. SuperDawn

    I think I’m happy with this change as I always opted to go crazy and order something I wouldn’t normally or grab an outrageously priced sandwich whereas I am perfectly content with a regular coffee & bakery item for 50 stars! Plus I don’t rack up stars as much as some people – I have 40 stars expiring next month – now I don’t have to stress as much about it.

  8. LaTrice

    I always get the protein boxes. I guess I will use my 5 rewards before April 16th. I think I’m also 10 stars away from another reward so I need to get that one also.

  9. V

    This sucks! You’ll need an extra 25 points to get an hand crafted beverage.

  10. shammerle

    Disappointing. Rewards programs always seem to tighten up over time and get worse over time. To move sandwiches and salads from 125 stars to 200. Wow. Huge increase. Probably the rewards program is factored into their product pricing too.

  11. Mary W

    Currently Starbucks awards one point per one dollar spent.
    With the new program, you will earn 2 points per dollar. That means twice as many points in half the time. So, even though it looks like you are using more stars for a product you’re not.

    • Patty

      No, it’s been 2 stars per $1 spent for as long as I remember. (I’ve been gold for 7 years so….)

    • Mommyof4

      Sadly, that’s not true. You already get 2 stars per dollar. 🙁

  12. Nana

    I’m not happy. My family uses the rewards in downtown Disney for free lunch. My kid and I take the monorail from Disneyland to Downtown Disney where they have a Starbucks that takes the rewards, they don’t inside Disneyland or California Adventures.

  13. Rachml

    I don’t see any changes to the grocery receipt stars, I hope those stay the same. My husband goes through 2 boxes of K-cups a week which is like an extra 20-30 stars a week just for texting the receipt.

  14. Laura

    Will it change existing rewards we’ve already earned into just stars? I have 3 and I’m wondering if I need to use them all before the 16th.

    • Gail

      Hey, I spoke with a Starbucks customer service rep today. He told me that as long as you are gold level you can carry over any star reward points to use with the new program.

  15. riss

    It’ll take longer to save up stars for handcrafted drinks, which is what I always get, plus occasional sandwich for my hubby and kids. I have 6 rewards that I have to use before the new changes in April , and then that’s it for me and Starbucks. We have local cafés that are better than Starbucks, but kinda out of the way. But I only get macchiato once or twice a month, so it’s not much of a trouble to go to the café.

  16. S. Chalmers

    It will be interesting to see how soon/if they change it back because this will probably lose them a lot of business. Mine for one. It is cheaper to get coffee other places but because of the rewards I always kind of justified spending the extra to go to Starbucks. 🤷🏼‍♀️

  17. Mags

    What about Iced Coffees?? It’s not a handcrafted espresso drink??

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hi there! It would not work for regular ice coffees, however it would apply to any iced drinks with espresso. For example the macchiato would work. Hope that helps!

  18. Marti

    Not happy. I always used my rewards on a big item. It was like getting a real deal!! And now 125 stars has been given a much lesser value… boo… just not going to be worth it anymore…

    • Marti

      Also, Happy hour was always buy one get one…today, I was told it was just 3 dollars drinks….mehhhhh

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