How Do You Earn Starbucks Stars With The New Program? Racking Up Rewards Is Easier Than Ever

If you know your favorite Frappuccino order better than you know your own phone number, you're undoubtedly already aware that Starbucks recently rolled out significant changes to its rewards program on April 12. Since that fateful day, there's just one question on everyone's minds: How do you earn Starbucks stars under the newfangled system? The current Starbucks Rewards program left many of the best features alone — you can still pick up a free birthday drink, and Gold members receive free stuff after a certain number of purchases — but the ability to earn stars underwent a major overhaul. Fortunately, the changes actually make stars easier to earn. Praise be to the coffee gods!

Up until now, Starbucks doled out one star per visit, no matter how expensive that visit happened to be; someone who ordered a tall coffee every morning received the same number of stars as someone who always ordered a $5 Frappuccino. As a result, many customers would spread out transactions for multiple orders: If they ordered three drinks, for instance, they would use three separate payment methods to rack up more stars. It was a sneaky way to get around the system, but the new rewards program renders the whole song-and-dance unnecessary. With the advent of the new system, members earn two stars for every $1 spent using a registered Starbucks card. To extend the aforementioned coffee-versus-Frappuccino example, someone who orders a tall coffee now receives roughly two stars, while the $5 Frappuccino is now worth 10 stars.

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Of course, there's a catch. Although it previously required just 30 stars to achieve Gold status, it now takes 300 stars. Similarly, the requirements for free rewards jumped from 12 stars to 125, and you still need Gold status to be eligible for free stuff. However, the new rewards program has an added benefit for Gold members: Double Star Days, which are exactly what they sound like. According to the website, Starbucks will email Gold members announcing a certain day each month when they can earn twice as many stars as normal.

Before you start cursing your lack of Gold status, there's good news. In honor of the new program, Starbucks announced that any purchase made between now and May 2 will automatically elevate you to Gold status, and if you're already a Gold member, it extends your status for another year. By the way, it's possible to earn stars outside of a physical Starbucks location — as long as you're paying with your app, participating Teavana and Evolution Fresh stores count as well.

So, to recap: Earning stars with the new program is kind of insanely easy. Every dollar is worth two stars for regular rewards members, and on Double Star Days, Gold members can earn four stars for every dollar spent. As if that wasn't awesome enough, Gold status is crazily accessible between now and May 2. If you allow yourself only a few Starbucks trips a year, now is the time.

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