My Starbucks Rewards™ Program Changes FAQs

Program Changes

What will happen to my Star count at the transition date? Will I lose my current Stars?

Active members keep their level and their Stars. Customers in the Green level keep their Star count towards Gold – if you were Green with 7 Stars, you’ll be Green with 7 Stars after the transition date (until your next visit earns you another Star!). Similarly, customers in the Gold level will keep their Stars towards their next free reward. Since you’ll now earn a free drink or food reward every 12 Stars instead of 15, customers with 12, 13, or 14 Stars on the transition date will automatically receive a free reward loaded to your card and 12 Stars will be deducted from your Star count. Remaining Stars will still be in your account.

Why are you charging for syrup and soy?

We are constantly looking for ways to improve the My Starbucks Rewards™ program for our customers, and sometimes that change involves trade-offs. We decided to make it easier and quicker for our members to earn free drinks, and have also added food as an option.

Why is Starbucks making these changes to the My Starbucks Rewards™ program?

We know our customers love free drinks – so we are helping you earn them faster by giving Gold members a reward (drink or food!) every 12 Stars instead of every 15. And by loading your rewards right on your Starbucks Card, you no longer have to wait for your postcards to arrive in the mail. So you’ll be getting more free stuff, faster!

Do I get to keep my Gold Card?

Yes, all Gold customers are still Gold and can continue to use their Gold Card – or any other Starbucks Card registered to their account. Customers in the Green level will receive their personalized Gold Card when they reach 30 Stars. (Be sure to update your address online so we can send you your Gold Card).

Does my requalification date change? How do ensure I stay Gold?

No, requalification dates are not changing and the requirements to requalify are not changing. Earn 30 Stars within 12 months of registering and you will become Gold, and earn another 30 Stars within the following year to stay Gold for another 12 months. Check your account online at or within your mobile app to see your requalification date and your Star balance.

Since free rewards can now be redeemed for food, can I choose which item I get for free? I’d like to use my free reward for my favourite indulgent drink but I’ll also be getting a pastry or breakfast sandwich during the same visit.

Yes, you can tell your barista when you want to redeem the free item (must be before it expires). If you have multiple items in the transaction, the highest priced eligible item will be free. Free food excludes multipacks, trays and whole bakery loaves. Participating stores only.

Which food items are eligible?

All food items in participating stores are eligible for the free reward, with the exception of multipacks, trays and whole bakery loaves.

The Starbucks app on my mobile phone still says I will get a postcard after 15 Stars. Will the app be updated?

We recently made updates to our app, so please be sure to download the most current version from the Apple iTunes Store or the Android Market. If you have an older device and are unable to download the latest version, your phone may display incorrect information about earning free drinks. But don’t worry – you will still continue to earn Stars the same way and we’ll reward you with a free reward (drink or food) after 12 Stars. It just won’t display correctly on your phone if your app is outdated.

What is a Bonus Star?

Periodically, the My Starbucks Rewards™ program will offer Bonus Stars as a promotion to our members. During the promotional period, when you purchase one of the featured products, you will receive a Star for the transaction (as normal) and an extra Star for the specified product. This is another way we are helping you earn Stars and free drinks and food faster!

back to top

Digital Rewards

How will I know that I have my free birthday reward or free Lucky Dozen reward loaded on my Card?

We’ll send you an email letting you know when your reward is loaded and ready to redeem. Make sure you confirm your email address now to be sure you don’t miss a drink. You can also check your available rewards by logging into your account at or checking your mobile app. Be sure to act quickly, as rewards expire 30 days after they are earned.

Do I need to have my registered Starbucks Card with me to redeem my free drink or food reward?

Yes. You must use a registered Starbucks Card or your Starbucks mobile app to redeem your reward. It does not have to be your Gold card – but it must be a Starbucks Card registered to your account.

Can I use my mobile app to redeem my free drink or food reward?

Definitely! The Starbucks mobile app works the same as your plastic Starbucks Card. Just tell the barista you’d like to redeem your free reward and then scan the barcode on your mobile device. If you have a free reward loaded on your account, it will credit the price of your drink or food (just like swiping your Card).

Will I get lots of email from Starbucks if I provide my email address?

We aim to send emails you’ll find useful and relevant, but you can choose to opt out of receiving emails about special offers and member-only promotions from Starbucks at any time. You’ll still get your free reward notifications and other program-related transactional emails regardless of your opt-in status.

I’m not on email much. Can I just keep getting my regular postcards?

We’re switching to email notifications and loading your rewards right on your Starbucks Card to make the process easier and quicker. If you’re not sure whether you have a free reward waiting on your account, just ask the barista at the time of checkout. Or you can check your account online or on your mobile app. If you do have a free reward to redeem, the barista will deduct the price at the register.

Do free drink or food rewards expire?

Yes. Postcards always had expiration dates, and reward coupons that we load directly on your Starbucks Card will also expire. For birthday rewards and earned rewards (Lucky 12), you will have 30 days after issue to redeem. The email notification for each free reward will include the expiration date, or you can check the status of your free rewards on

How will I know when my free rewards expire without seeing the date on my postcard?

Your free birthday reward is good for 30 days after your birthday. For your free earned reward (Lucky 12), you have 30 days after earning your 12th Star to redeem the reward coupon. Don’t worry – we’ll do the counting for you and include the expiration date in your email notifications. You can also check the expiration date of your rewards any time at or on your mobile app.

Can I redeem my free reward at any store?

Not all Starbucks locations redeem free rewards. All company-operated stores will honor the rewards, but licensed store locations (often those inside another facility like an airport, bookstore or grocery store) may not be able to redeem free rewards. We’re working together with licensed stores to bring this innovation to you in more locations as soon as we can.

Can I redeem my rewards in the U.S.?

Yes, rewards earned in the Canada can be redeemed in the U.S. and vice-versa – only at participating stores in each country.

I have a postcard that I received in the mail recently. Can I still use it?

Yes, as long as the expiration date printed on the card hasn’t passed, just bring your registered Starbucks Card or mobile app to a participating store and tell the barista you’d like to redeem your free drink or food reward. You no longer need your postcards – so keep them as souvenirs!

When will the free reward be available to use? Is it instantaneously there in the same transaction where I earn my 12th Star?

Free rewards generally load within 24 hours after you earn your 12th Star and should be ready for your next visit.

Will I still get to choose when I get my free drink or food reward? I like to choose something special and I don’t want my free reward to automatically deduct when I’m not expecting it to.

Yes. You are in control of your rewards! Even though your free reward is loaded onto your Card, you have to tell your barista when you want to use it. It does not deduct automatically on your next visit.

Will my barista tell me if I have a free reward waiting on my Starbucks Card?

No, your barista will not notify you if you have a free drink waiting – so be sure to check your rewards status online, on your Starbucks mobile phone, or ask your barista to check.

Can I earn more than 1 free reward before I redeem? Is there a limit to how many free rewards I can have at any given time?

You continue to earn free rewards for every 12 Stars – and the rewards stay on your account until you use them or they expire. There is no limit to the number of rewards you can have in your account at any one time.

back to top