6 Ways to Earn Starbucks Rewards; Even in the Shopping Aisle
My family and I recently took a vacation to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. A word of advice, though. There’s basically two parts of the city—the newer area to the north where all the super fancy resorts are and the older part of the city where the resorts are still very nice but you’re just so much closer to the quaint little downtown area. My family and I stayed near the old downtown. Where—surprise, surprise—they have a nice big Starbucks just like home!
And good thing, too. I swear, I don’t know about you but these days I need my coffee, flat whites, and lattes or I literally just cannot think about my day—even when I’m on vacation! I just love Starbucks so much. You know what else I also love? Saving money! That’s why today I’d like to share with you six great ways I’ve found to earn Starbucks rewards. A flat white here and a cup of coffee there might seem small to some, but when you go to Starbucks as much as I do, those savings might just add up to enough to take another great getaway to sunny Puerto Vallarta!
So, get ready, because we’re going to cover a lot of ground here with these tips. They range from making sure you get the most out of your Starbucks membership to watching out for promotions at stores that offer free Starbucks gift cards to—my personal favorite—using third-party shopping apps that reward you for your everyday shopping activities. That’s a lot, I know, but don’t get tired yet. Grab your latte of choice, and let’s dive into some ways to earn Starbucks rewards!
1. Ways to Earn Starbucks Rewards: Sign Up
The first step to getting the most out of any rewards program is to actually start participating in it. This sounds obvious, I know, but I’m consistently surprised when I talk to friends who love Starbucks and just haven’t bothered to sign up for Starbucks Rewards!
Crazy, I know.
So, for the uninitiated, here’s how to get started on your quest to learn how to earn Starbucks Rewards:
Add a Gift Card
After you are signed up and you officially have your account, you have to get a Starbucks gift card to connect your profile, too. Don’t worry though, it’s not like you have to sit around and wait for someone to buy one for you, no. You can just go to Starbucks and get one of the gift cards at the counter, even if you don’t have any money on it to start.
Sign Up for the Program
It should go without saying that the first step in how to earn Starbucks Rewards is to sign up for the Starbucks Rewards program. You can do this by creating an account online after downloading the app.
Again, this is obvious but it’s also incredibly important. It is going to be very hard to earn Starbucks Rewards if you just download the app, link it to a gift card, and then forget all about it. No, you have to earn rewards, and you do that by making Starbucks purchases, which for me is no problem at all.
2. Ways to Earn Starbucks Rewards: Do Your Homework
The next step on our quest toward the best ways to earn Starbucks Rewards is to make sure that you’ve done your homework and learned all you can about how the program actually works. It’s like I tell my kids, doing your homework is the start of your success. This certainly applies to the best ways to earn Starbucks Rewards. I mean, how can you use something as effectively as possible if you don’t have a thorough and nuanced grasp of how it works? I’d argue that you can’t.
Anyway, let’s talk now about how the program works, some of its ins and outs, and the basics of how you should be using it. Basically, you get two stars for every dollar that you spend on Starbucks, regardless of what you’re buying. You can then trade those stars in for free food and drinks, which, let’s be honest, is what this whole thing is all about! One of the most useful things to know about are the rewards program levels. There are two of them, and below you’ll find more info about each.
Green Level Membership
To be a Green Level member, all you have to do is earn a single star through the Starbucks Rewards program. That’s it. One star. Just go spend a dollar at Starbucks and you’re in. What this then enables you to do is take advantage of things like birthday rewards, paying through your Starbucks app, ordering ahead, getting free in-store refills, and being eligible for member events and offers. It basically creates a whole new Starbucks experience!
Once you’ve earned 300 stars, you can then become a Gold Level member, which includes all of the green-level membership perks and then some. That extra and then some includes being able to participate in monthly double-star days (which are exactly what they sound like, days that you earn double stars), a personalized gold card, and a reward (think free food and drinks) for every 125 stars. Woo!
3. Ways to Earn Starbucks Rewards: Do Even More Homework
Now that we’ve done some homework and become experts on the gold and green level perks, you know what it’s time for? That’s right…even more homework! Basically, to really learn the best ways to earn Starbucks Rewards, you have to be an outright expert on the program! Don’t worry, it’s actually pretty exciting when you start to think about all the perks and rewards that are soon coming your way, I know that’s how most of my friends who I convince to sign up for the program feel.
So, with that in mind let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions that those same friends have when I first introduce them to the Starbucks Rewards program.
Q. Is this program free?
A: You bet it is.
Q: I like the sound of that Double-Star Day…how do I know when those are?
A: Double-Star Days happen once a month without fail, but the exact days are always a surprise! But they do a good job of alerting their members. All you really have to do is make sure that you opt-in to receive Starbucks Rewards emails.
Q: How do I make sure I’m using the program every time I go to a Starbucks?
A: This one is super easy. Remember that gift card you tied to your account way back when you were first signing up? Well, you just make sure that you use that each and every time you go to Starbucks by loading money onto it and then using it to pay when you check out.
Q: What if someone gives me a gift card, can I still use that and get my rewards?
A: First of all, you have some great friends and family if they’re getting you Starbucks gift cards! Second, you definitely can. The program allows you to connect more than one Starbucks gift card to your account.
Q: Do my stars expire if I don’t use them?
A: Yes, I’m told that they expire one year after you earn them if you’re a green member who doesn’t reach gold status, and I’m also told that the stars you earn toward your free food and beverages as a gold member will expire six months after you earn them. I say I’m told because I’ve personally never held onto stars long enough to find out if this is true. I do, of course, go to Starbucks a ton (have I mentioned that?), but it’s also easy to keep stars from expiring because the program uses your older stars first.
4. Ways to Earn Starbucks Rewards: Get a Credit Card with Rewards Points
Phew, that was a lot of homework! I think you’ve earned a chance to move onto some advice that doesn’t require such intense study. Our next tip for ways to earn Starbucks Rewards doesn’t require knowing as many details as the first few have. In fact, this one simply involves signing up for a Starbucks Rewards Visa Card.
What’s a Starbucks Rewards Visa Card? That’s a natural question. It’s basically a normal credit card that rewards its holders for making purchases with it by giving them more stars for the Starbucks Rewards program. What that means is that every time you go to the movies, shop for groceries (more on this later), and buy gas, you’re getting more stars that you can apply toward getting free Starbucks. It’s a beautiful thing.
5. Ways to Earn Starbucks Rewards: Shop for Starbucks Outside of Starbucks
Speaking of grocery shopping, you can also earn Starbucks Rewards stars by purchasing Starbucks products when you’re not actually shopping at Starbucks. To do this, you just have to buy Starbucks branded products when you’re out shopping for groceries. This list of products includes things like K-Cups, roast and ground Starbucks coffee, and the Starbucks Via Instant line, as well as any Starbucks chilled coffee drinks and other beverages, including my personal favorite, the Starbucks Frappuccino.
The logistics of actually logging these points work a bit differently though since you obviously can’t pay for your bill at your local grocery store with a Starbuck gift card. So, what you need to do to receive points is enter the Star Code that comes on the products’ packaging or visit Starbucks-Stars.com to upload your receipt with proof of purchases. Easy!
6. Ways to Earn Starbucks Rewards: Use Shopkick
Staying on the subject of grocery shopping for the last of our best ways to earn Starbucks gift cards, I want to talk now about this app called Shopkick. If I had to pick a favorite way to earn Starbucks Rewards, this one would definitely be it. How it works is that Shopkick gives you points for the things you do whenever you go out shopping, things like walking into stores, going down aisles browsing products, and making purchases. You can then trade those points in for free money that goes onto your Starbucks gift card, which you can, of course, then use at Starbucks, earning more stars in the process and essentially doubling your rewards!
See? This is why it’s the best of all our ways to earn Starbucks Rewards, after you’ve familiarized yourself with how the program works, of course. And, yes, I know the topic today is Starbucks, but I feel obligated to also point out that Shopkick is one of the best smartphone apps that pays you money you can also use at other stores. It’s versatile that way, which is part of what makes it my favorite, too. The last part is that using Shopkick is fun! All my friends I’ve introduced it to agree, using Shopkick turns every trip to the store into a fun scavenger hunt for points, which makes it easy to consistently use the app and maximize your values.
So, there you have it. You now have everything you need when it comes to figuring out the best ways to earn Starbucks Rewards, whether you’re making your daily Starbucks run or taking a trip to somewhere as tropical and glamorous as Puerto Vallarta.
That’s part of why I think it’s so important to take advantage of this program. Coffee makes life work (for me, anyway), and Starbucks is the coffee shop with the most locations scattered all throughout the world. Isn’t it time for you to jump in and start saving?
Get one of the best free smartphone apps that you can start using now to earn Starbucks rewards. Download Shopkick’s free app today and join a community of loyal Shopkickers who’ve already discovered the rewards of shopping with a free, smartphone app sidekick.
And, if you love social media as much as you love your coffee, join Shopkick on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for a little daily shopping inspiration.