New additions include dairy substitutes and store merchandise.
Last month, news broke that Starbucks was once again revamping its rewards program—a free service that allows gold member customers to earn stars (two for every dollar spent) and redeem them for drinks and food, along with other perks like free items on your birthday and mobile order (truly a game changer, if you’ve never tried it). While you previously needed to earn 125 stars in order to score a free item, the new program, which launched April 16, 2019, provides perks for as little as 25 stars. However, several customers also pointed out that you now need to earn 25 more stars to earn a handcrafted drink or breakfast item: 150, as opposed to 125. Here’s the full breakdown of what you can redeem your stars for:
- 25 stars: you can customize your drink with an extra espresso shot, dairy substitute, or flavored syrup.
- 50 stars: brewed hot coffee, tea, or a bakery item.
- 150 stars: any handcrafted beverage, hot breakfast, or parfait
- 200 stars: a lunch sandwich, salad, or protein box.
- 400 stars: a bag of coffee, a signature cup, or select coffee accessories.
The other major news is that earning free items is no longer exclusive to gold status members (attained by earning 300 stars in one year) as the rewards program moves from two-tier to a single tier. However, for those green members who hadn’t reached gold yet, any stars they racked up were reset on Tuesday, according to Business Insider, meaning they'll have to start from scratch. Gold members, on the other hand, will still find their star count intact. The two stars for every dollar spent policy also still stands; to learn more about the changes to the program, check out Starbucks’ rewards explainer here.
In other Starbucks news (there’s a lot), the brand broke the record for its largest store-ever again, with the addition of the Tokyo Reserve Roastery in February; worth a visit, if you’re traveling in Japan, for a slew of exclusive drinks that includes a Teavana Cream Soda Matcha and a barrel-aged cold brew made with coffee beans that are aged in a whiskey barrel. Select Reserve Roasteries in the U.S. also launched oat milk and a Turin-inspired espresso drink called a Bicerin last month; the latter comes in two flavors, pistachio and chocolate. If you want to try oat milk lattes and the Bicerin yourself, you can find them in the following locations: the New York and Seattle Reserve Roasteries, the Reserve store located in the Starbucks Seattle Headquarters, the Reserve Bar on 1st & University in Seattle, and the Reserve Bar on Chestnut in San Francisco.