Starbucks Rewards changes: When it’s effective, what’s changing and how to earn cashback

By MixDex Article may include affiliate links

Starbucks has officially announced the latest rounds of changes to its rewards program.

  • The program changes will be effective April 16, 2019.
  • The new program will discontinue the “any single item” reward for 125 stars approach the current system uses.
  • Instead, customers will be able to redeem stars for upgrades, full menu items and merchandise on a scaled basis.
  • Customers will still earn two stars for every dollar spent.
  • 25 stars will be worth modifications to a drink. This could include shots, flavors or dairy substitutes. Original reports indicated this could be worth up to $1, but Starbucks’ announcement does not mention a dollar limit, though most items it lists as eligible are less than $1.
  • 50 stars will get you a free hot coffee, tea or bakery item.
  • 150 stars, meanwhile, can be cashed in for a “handcrafted beverage” or breakfast sandwich (it’s worth noting this reward previously only “cost” 125 stars).
  • Next up is a 200 tier that will get a free lunch sandwich, salad or protein box.
  • Finally, 400 starts can be exchanged for packaged coffee or a single merchandise item with a value up to $20.
  • True Starbucks fans, meanwhile, can also earn cashback on purchases from the coffee chain — find out how here.
  • Finally, Starbucks notes that “select” locations will only allow 150 star redemptions for a single food or beverage item.

You can also boost your rewards by earning cashback on Starbucks purchases through some third party apps.

  • With Drop, selecting Starbucks as one of your “power offers” gives you 15 points per dollar spent at Starbucks. You can then cash in your points for a variety of gift cards (including Starbucks ones) starting at 5,000 points for a $5 gift card.
  • Signing up here will also give you 1,000 free points. Plus, Drop also gives points for other popular businesses, including Target, Walgreen’s, Chipotle and Trader Joe’s.
  • Then, sign up for another app called Spent. This app offers 1 percent cash back at Starbucks. Spent’s rewards are given as true cash back that can be sent to your PayPal account.
  • Spent also offers cashback at Whole Foods, iTunes, Costco (which can be combined with the warehouse club’s own cashback offers), Walgreens (Balance Rewards members can get additional rewards points), McDonald’s, Netflix, 7-Eleven, Kroger, Uber and more.
  • You can also stack the cashback by charging all of your Starbucks purchases to a credit card with a cashback feature, meaning you’ll be getting cash back from Starbucks, the Drop app (in the form of points redeeming for gift cards), Spent and your credit card (which, depending on the bank, may include direct cash back, statement credits or gift cards or other rewards).
  • Sign up for Drop and get 1,000 free points
  • Sign up for Spent and get 1 percent cashback at Starbucks