Starbucks will start giving stars for linked card, cash transactions

Starbucks Rewards is expanding to let customers use a broader array payment options and earn points — though not quite at the same rate.

Starting Fall of 2020, Starbucks will let customers link any credit or debit card or digital wallet to their Starbucks Card.

Starbucks Cards are distinct from the Starbucks Rewards branded Visa prepaid and credit cards in that they are not only used to track earnings for the loyalty program but also require customers to preload balances to them. In other words, Starbucks Cards are how current rewards program members pay.

Once the new program rolls out, customers will gain the ability to earn one star for every $1 spent and paid for via a linked credit, debit or digital wallet. Cash transactions will also be eligible to earn stars.

Transactions completed using the Starbucks Card balance to pay will continued to earn two stars for every $1 spent and employees (what Starbucks calls “partners”) will continue to be able to earn an additional star on top of the normal rates.

Starbucks Rewards Visa cards will continue to earn the same number of stars as well, including for purchases made at any retailer that accepts Visa.

Rewards members who are solely looking to earn stars likely won’t find the new approach as appealing.

However, customers who feel they can earn better rewards through a third party credit or debit card (such as a travel or cashback card), may decide the new option is better.