This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Starbucks confirmed much-anticipated changes to its rewards program on Tuesday.

The new program starts on April 16, and changes the flat-rate reward system to a new tiered structure in which customers can spend their points, or Starbucks Stars:

    • 25 Stars: Extra Espresso Shot, Dairy Substitute or Additional Flavor
    • 50 Stars: Brewed Hot Coffee, Hot Tea or select Bakery Items
    • 150 Stars: Handcrafted Drink, Hot Breakfast or Yogurt Parfaits
    • 200 Stars: Lunch Sandwich, Protein Box or Salad
    • 400 Stars: Select Merchandise or Packaged Coffee

Previously, members of Starbucks rewards had to reach Gold Level (300+ Stars) to receive rewards, which were given out at a flat rate every 125 Stars. As a refresher, you can earn 2 Starbucks Stars per dollar when you load a credit card or gift card into the Starbucks app, and you use it to pay for Starbucks menu items.

“We are providing options and choice,” Starbucks’ global chief strategy officer Matt Ryan said in an interview with TPG, noting that customers like to spend their points in different ways. The new program offers benefits both “for those people who want to spend right away, or there are lots of people who like to amass lots of points; I personally have thousands of stars in my account,” Ryan said.

The new tiered system means that members can earn enough Stars to redeem a free reward for the first tier within as little as two to three visits. That’s good news for those eager to immediately burn their Stars (or who don’t visit Starbucks as often). And for all the points hoarders out there, under the new program Stars earned by Starbucks Rewards Visa Credit and Prepaid members will no longer expire for as long as the credit/prepaid card accounts stay open.

Stars previously expired six months after they were earned. The change means customers can feel safe to save Stars toward bigger future purchases. For example, “if someone wants to pool their points and purchase a bunch of mugs at Christmastime, we’re happy to have them do that,” Ryan said.

According to Ryan, the program has already seen double digit growth in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, increasing 14 percent year-over-year in the US to 16.3 million members.

While you’re earning those Stars, don’t forget to use the best credit card for Starbucks purchases to rack up even more points, like the Citi Prestige Card (5x points), American Express® Gold Card (4x points) or Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x points).

Featured photo by garett_mosher/Getty Images.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter here: https://thepointsguy.com/mailing-list/

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

The American Express® Business Platinum Card

The Business Platinum Card from American Express offers 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points as well as a slew of other valuable benefits like lounge access, hotel elite status and a digital subscription to The Times and The Sunday Times for Primary and Platinum Supplementary Cardmembers.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £6k in your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Up to 99 free Supplementary Cards - one complimentary Platinum Employee Cards and 98 Complimentary Gold Employee Cards
  • Global Lounge Collection - Access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries, including The Centurion® Lounges and membership of Priority Pass™
  • Hotel Status at Hilton, Marriott Bonvoy™, Meliá Hotels International, Radisson Hotel Group, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts – enjoy benefits such as complimentary upgrades, early check-in and late check-out, enhanced loyalty points, complimentary Wi-Fi and more
  • The Times and The Sunday Times annual digital subscription (£312 value per Card) – available for Primary and all Supplementary Cardmembers
  • Fine Hotels and Resorts – Enjoy a collection of over 1,000 hand-selected iconic 5-star properties worldwide. Receive complimentary benefits worth an average total value of £400 per stay.*
  • £150 statement credit for every booking with onefinestay (unlimited use)
  • Dedicated Account Management Team
Annual Fee
£595
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.