How to Get Free Drinks with Starbucks Rewards

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What you need to know about the Starbucks Rewards program to earn Stars and redeem them for free drinks and food!

Starbucks rewards graphic with a giant star and iphone.

Starbucks Rewards is a loyalty program where members can earn Stars, which are like points, towards free items from Starbucks.

To earn and redeem Stars and to get a free drink on your birthday, you must join Starbucks Rewards online or through their app and become a member.

Scanning a Starbucks rewards account on an iphone.
Credit: Starbucks

Birthday Rewards is a free food or beverage on your actual birthday only for Starbucks Rewards members.

Make sure to use it on your birthday. In the past you had your entire birthday month to redeem it but now it’s just the day of.

The free Birthday Reward will be automatically loaded on to your account on your birthday.

To get the Birthday Reward, you must have made at least 1 Star-earning transaction prior to your birthday each year and have been a Rewards member for at least 7 days before your birthday.

TIP: Tell the barista you’re using your “Birthday Reward” otherwise they’ll automatically use any Stars you’ve collected for the free item.

RELATED: How to Get a Free Starbucks Birthday Drink

Starbucks birthday treat graphic.

Each dollar spent earns you at least 1 Star. There are different ways to earn Bonus Stars and Double or Triple Stars.

Make sure you always scan your member barcode to earn Stars.

Purchases that don’t count towards Stars are: alcohol, Starbucks Gift Cards, or Starbucks Gift Card reloads.

Scanning a Starbucks account.
Credit: Starbucks

Ways you can earn Stars and Bonus Stars include paying by app, bring in your Reusable Starbucks cup, Bonus Star Challenges, and Starbucks games.

Pay with the app, earn 1 Star every dollar spent.
Use the payment method (credit, debit) you’ve saved in the app or cash/credit card plus your Starbucks Rewards scan code every time you order to earn 1 Star per dollar.

Preload your Starbucks Card, earn 2 Stars for every dollar spent.
In the app, if you set your Card to reload using PayPal you’ll earn 2 Stars for every dollar spent.

RELATED: Use Your Own Cup at Starbucks to Earn Stars

As a Starbucks Rewards member, you can get free refills during same in-store visits.

Sit in the cafe and get free refills on brewed coffee or tea (hot or iced) during the same visit when you sit in the cafe.

You can get a refill of coffee or tea even if your original drink was something else.

RELATED: Starbucks Rewards Benefits and Perks

Credit: Starbucks

Sign up for Bonus Star Challenges and Double Star Days to earn more Stars.

Click Offers at the bottom of the App screen to see what Bonus Challenges available to you and click Join or Activate to participate.

Also, offers can be emailed from Starbucks Rewards and you can join by clicking on the link in the email.

Challenges are usually tailored to your buying history, so you may get different challenges throughout the year.

Make sure you activate or join each promotion, and follow the details of the offer, or you will not qualify for the extra Stars.

RELATED: How Starbucks Double Star Day Works

Get a discount on your drink when you use a reusable Starbucks cup.

Each time you bring in your Starbucks cup for a drink, you’ll earn 25 Stars AND get 10 cents off the cost of your drink.

Reminder: You must use a hot cup for hot beverages and a cold cup for cold beverages.

RELATED: How Starbucks Free Refills Work

Starbucks cups.
Credit: Starbucks

Redeem Stars to get free food, drinks, and merchandise.

25 Stars
Customize a drink with an added espresso shot, added syrup or sauce (ex: caramel syrup), or a dairy alternative option.

100 Stars
Redeem for one a hot brewed coffee or tea, iced brewed coffee or tea, or a bakery item (ex: cake pop or cookie), or a packaged snack (ex: popcorn or potato chips), or a Cold Siren Logo Plastic To-Go Cup (24 oz only), or a Siren Logo Plastic Hot Cup (16 oz only).

200 Stars 
Redeem for any handcrafted beverage (ex: latte or Frappuccino) or any hot breakfast item (ex: breakfast sandwich or oatmeal).

300 Stars
Redeem for a packaged salad, lunch sandwich, or protein box, or a packaged coffee item (ex: whole bean coffee).

400 Stars
Redeem for select merchandise item with a value up to $20 (pre-tax). Merchandise availability may vary by store location.

Questions You May Have

Do Stars Expire?

Yes, after 6 months from the date they were earned, your Stars will expire. You may not get a notification from Starbucks telling you that they are about to expire, so make sure to check the app for how many you have and use them periodically. Check your Starbucks Rewards account online and choose My Rewards from the drop down menu to see a list of the Stars earned and their expiration dates.

Can I use my Reusable Cup Benefit at a drive thru or order ahead?

No. It’s only possible to get your 25 Stars plus 10 cents off a drink if you order in person at a cafe. Also, it’s only 25 Stars per order up to 3 times per day. So, if you order two handcrafted beverages and bring in two reusable cups in a single order, you will earn 25 Stars and get 10 cents off, not 50 Stars and 20 cents off.

What are Bonus Star Challenges?

Bonus Star Challenges are periodic offers to earn more Stars, and sometimes are personalized for you. For example, if you buy a lot of lattes, you may get a Buy 3 lattes before 11am within 4 days and earn 40 Stars. Challenges will be emailed (if you opted-in to receive marketing emails from Starbucks) or on the app.
Expert tip: Make sure you activate or join each promotion, and follow the details of the offer, or you will not qualify for the extra Stars.


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