How Do Starbucks Rewards Work? (All You Need To Know)

Like many other major companies, Starbucks has a loyalty program to thank customers and keep them engaged with free food, drinks, and merchandise. The Starbucks Rewards Program has been used as a model for many other companies.

If you have questions about how Starbucks Rewards work, how to earn and redeem them, and more, read on. We did the research and found all the answers you need.

How Do Starbucks Rewards Work?

Starbucks Rewards is a loyalty program where customers earn Stars with every purchase. Stars can be redeemed for free food, drinks, and merchandise. Customers can sign up for the Rewards program online or in the Starbucks mobile app. Other benefits of Rewards membership include a free birthday drink and free refills of hot tea and coffee in-store.

If you have more questions about how Starbucks Rewards works, where and how to redeem your Stars, and more, read on. You’ll find all the answers you need here.

How Do I Join the Starbucks Rewards Program?

You can join the millions of other Starbucks fans in the Rewards program by creating an account online or downloading the Starbucks mobile app.

You will be prompted to enter your name in the appropriate boxes and to create a password.

Once you’ve signed up, you can use the Starbucks mobile app to manage your Starbucks Rewards. The Starbucks mobile app gives you access to the full range of member benefits.

You can start earning Stars right away with your next purchase and start redeeming them for Rewards when you reach 25 Stars.

How Can I Earn Starbucks Stars?

How Can I Earn Starbucks Stars?

You can earn Stars each time you make a purchase at Starbucks. When you use your Starbucks Card in the mobile app or the Starbucks Visa Rewards Card to pay for your purchase, your Stars are automatically added to your account.

When you use another payment method, such as a debit or credit card or cash, you’ll have to tell the barista that you are a Rewards member and ask them to scan your member barcode from your phone.

You can add your credit or debit card or PayPal account to your Rewards account in the app, so you can scan and pay in one step.

There are some clear advantages to using your Starbucks Card in the Starbucks mobile app to make payments. This gets you double the number of stars than if you use a separate payment method like a credit or debit card or PayPal.

Additionally, you can get still more Stars on each purchase when you pay with your Starbucks Visa Rewards Card.

Here’s how many stars you earn for each dollar with the different payment methods:

  • Credit or debit card, PayPal: 1 Star
  • Starbucks Card in the mobile app: 2 Stars
  • Starbucks Visa Rewards Card: 3 Stars

You can also earn Stars when you use your Starbucks Visa Rewards Card to load cash in your Starbucks Card in the app and to make purchases in stores other than Starbucks.

Another way to earn Stars is through the purchase of qualifying Starbucks products at other stores. You can upload your receipt or text or email it to have it added to your account.

How Do I Redeem Starbucks Rewards?

You can start redeeming Rewards at participating stores as soon as you have 25 Stars. Some stores require a minimum of 150 Stars to redeem.

However, not all Starbucks locations are owned by the company. Some Starbucks-licensed stalls and kiosks located in schools, hospitals, and airports, may not participate in the Rewards program.

Rewards can include all eligible food, drinks, and merchandise in Starbucks stores. Unfortunately, Rewards cannot be redeemed for alcoholic beverages.

What Rewards Do I Get For 25 Stars?

You can start redeeming your Rewards as soon as you have 25 Stars in your account. With 25 Stars, you can customize your drink with extra espresso, syrup, or a non-dairy milk substitute.

  • With 50 Stars, you can get brewed hot coffee, hot tea, or a bakery item like a coffee cake or an almond croissant.
  • With 150 Stars, you get a handcrafted drink, a parfait, or a hot breakfast with a sandwich or oatmeal.
  • With 200 Stars, you can get a healthy salad, protein box, or sandwich.
  • With 400 Stars, you get a bag of coffee, a signature coffee mug, or other merchandise.

Do Starbucks Stars Expire?

Yes, Starbucks Stars expire if they are not used within six months. You can keep track of which Stars are due to expire soon in your Rewards account.

Can You Use Starbucks Rewards In the Drive-Thru?

You can redeem Rewards at the drive-through. Just order and pay as you would in-store. If you’re using a non-Starbucks card payment method, remember to ask the barista to scan your member barcode.

What Are the Other Benefits Of Starbucks Rewards?

Rewards members have many more benefits, like free drinks, ordering ahead for pick up, and more ways to earn Stars.


  • Rewards members can get a free drink on their birthdays.
  • Members get free refills of hot tea and coffee in stores.

Easy Ordering In The App

  • A few taps on your phone are all you need to set up your order for pick-up.
  • You can fully customize your drink in the app while ordering ahead.

More Ways To Earn Stars

  • Bonus challenges
  • Double Star Days
  • Member-only games

To learn more about Starbucks services and rewards, you can also see our posts if you can text a Starbucks gift card, Starbucks happy hour, and get a free Starbucks drink on your birthday.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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