I spent a good deal of the last ten years being addicted to S’bucks. In the corporate cafe I found an appreciation for good beans, consistent taste, earth tones, and countless compilation CDs. What I didn’t understand though is that I was never compensated for being a loyal addict consumer.

Well enter the STARBUCKS CARD!

If you choose to get a free card, register it, and then make purchases with it (pre-paid, of course)  you can get some small Starbucks Rewards:

  • You get a free drink on your birthday
  • General savings on soy and syrup, and free refills
  • If you live in the U.S. you can earn Starbucks Stars which will then unlock secret levels of deliciousness

How It Works:

The STARS system means 1 Star = 1 Visit

Registering for a card immediately gets you a FREE birthday beverage. That’s right. The man giveth back! All registered Starbucks Card holders get a handcrafted birthday beverage of their choice.

Once you have visited and used your card five times (this is about $20 for me as a Grande no-fat Mocha, no whip is about $3.72 US Dollars) you also earn 5 stars which automatically moves you into the Green level, where you will receive the following benefits:

  • All Welcome level benefits
  • Free select syrups and milk options such as soy
  • Free refills on brewed coffee or tea
  • Free tall (12 fl oz) beverage with one pound of whole bean coffee purchase
  • Special exclusive offers and coupons

After 30 Stars besides being an official addict you are also guaranteed:

  • All Welcome and Green level benefits
  • An exclusive, personalized card (unavailable in stores) and Welcome Packet
  • The ability to earn a free drink after every 15 Stars which means I spend $60 to get a $4 drink (6.67% return)

So how do you actually earn a star? Easy. Buy a beverage and you get a star!

And because it is the holiday season I feel it only proper to offer a few other cost reductions and grande savings. The original article was posted here on Mainstreet:

  • “If you and a friend are out and want a Frappuccino, ask for a Venti split into two tall cups. Iced venti cups are 24 oz. Tall are 12. Voila. Two talls would cost you about six bucks, a venti, four.”
  • “If you want espresso, avoid the options already on the menu board. Americanos cost just a little more than a cup of brewed coffee, but packs more of a caffeine punch because it’s espresso and hot water. It tastes like coffee and you can sweeten it just like you would your normal cup of coffee … If you want an extra shot, don’t ask for one. Ask for a “grande Americano in a tall cup.” That way, they charge you an extra 30 cents, instead of an extra 70 cents, for the shot of espresso. This works because Grande Americanos get three shots. Same would work for a Venti. My manager tells all his partners to do this by default, whether the customer asks for it that way or not, but other stores may not be so nice.”


I was inspired to write this post and found most of the information on my good friend FB’s blog Fabulously Broke…in the city…