This is the day your life will surely change. And if you’ve already made your morning coffee run, then you might already know why. Starbucks’ new rewards system kicked in today which means that for the 16 million Americans currently signed up, morning coffee orders and mid-afternoon caffeine runs will be rewarded a little differently. See below for a full breakdown of the changes.
This story was originally published on March 19th at 12:00 a.m.
Starbucks is overhauling its rewards program so that customers will start earning rewards faster. Quicker access to freebies means the coffee chain is also essentially eliminating its Gold Level status by default.
Previously, you had to reach Gold Level — 300 stars — to be able to redeem a free drink or food item for an additional 125 stars. Starting April 16, customers can cash in their Starbucks stars as soon as they get them. Like before, 2 stars will be earned for every dollar spent.
Starbucks' updated star system will more closely resemble other loyalty programs, like Sephora's Beauty Insider, where customers accumulate points to redeem a range of different perks to be chosen at their discretion.
For 25 stars you can ask for an extra shot of espresso, pump of flavor, or opt for any dairy substitute at no extra cost; 50 stars lets you walk out of your local Sbux with a brewed hot coffee, tea, or baked good, on the house; 150 means a free handcrafted drink, hot breakfast, or yogurt parfait; 200 stars, and lunch is on Starbucks. And if you ever make it to 400 stars without cashing in first, there's an option for "select merchandise" or packaged coffee. If you’re a Chase credit or debit card holder, expiration dates are hereby cancelled and you can hoard your stars without ever worrying about them disappearing.
It's worth noting that while the tiers make it easier to get a reward, like a regular coffee or flavor pump, it will take more points to redeem an espresso beverage or lunch item than the previous 125 points — but only if you had already hit that Gold Level.
What hasn't changed: You can still count on your complimentary birthday treat and the opportunity to earn Bonus Stars on monthly Double Stars days.