Start stockpiling those stars! 

By Caitlin Petreycik
March 05, 2019
Zhang Peng LightRocket via Getty Images

Back in 2016, Starbucks totally overhauled its rewards program when it ditched its one-star-per-transaction model and switched to a revenue-based approach (meaning, the more you spend the more stars you earn). The change may have had something to do with the fact that customers were having items rung up separately to squeeze the most value out of the system. And now, multiple Starbucks employees have confirmed that they're shaking things up with another round of updates (although it's unclear when they'll take effect). Per credit-card-point-and-loyalty-reward-tracking sites Doctor of Credit and The Points Guy, the new rules are as follows: 

  • 25 stars will get you extra modifications to your drink, like an espresso shot, up to $1. 
  • 50 stars will get you any size cup of hot coffee, hot tea, or a bakery item. 
  • 150 stars will get you any handcrafted beverage or breakfast sandwich. (Previously, you only needed 125 stars.) 
  • 200 stars will get you a lunch sandwich, salad, or protein box. 
  • 400 stars will get you packaged coffee or a single merchandise item, up to $20. 

If you're not familiar with the coffee giant's rewards program, it's free to join, and you sign up by either downloading the Starbucks app or by registering any physical or online Starbucks gift card at Starbucks.com/Rewards. Once you're signed up, you earn two stars for every dollar spent. Some other perks: a free drink or food item on your birthday, free in-store refills of basic coffee or tea (it doesn't matter what you ordered originally), and access to Starbucks' mobile order and pay service. Once you earn 300 stars (so, once you spend $150), you obtain "Gold" status, which means you get a personalized membership card and receive double the stars on certain days each month. If you want to start racking up those stars now, we suggest trying Starbucks' Cloud Macchiato, which was just released today. It's basically a Caramel Macchiato but fluffier, thanks to a generous top layer of cold (cloud?) foam. 

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