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Coffee Devaluation Brewing: Final Day to Redeem Fixed 125 Starbucks Stars for Items

April 15, 2019
3 min read
Grande Starbucks to go cup on table
Coffee Devaluation Brewing: Final Day to Redeem Fixed 125 Starbucks Stars for Items
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It's April 15 -- tax day, a Monday, and also the end of an era at Starbucks (aka, a triple whammy). Today is the last day you can redeem Starbucks Stars for truly outsized value with all rewards costing a flat 125 Stars. Today, you can use 125 Stars for anything from a $2 Grande Dark Roast, to a $5 Fresh Super Greens Juice, a $8 Chicken Wrap Protein Box or a $9 Chicken and Quinoa Bowl all at the same rate.

But as of tomorrow, a tiered Starbucks award structure kicks in with the following prices:

  • 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
(Image courtesy of Starbucks)

On the positive side, beginning tomorrow, everyone can now earn and redeem Starbucks rewards, whereas, previously, only Gold members of Starbucks the rewards program could redeem Stars. As a refresher, you can earn two 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.

Also as of Tuesday, Stars earned by Starbucks Rewards Visa Credit and Prepaid members will also no longer expire for as long as the credit/prepaid card accounts stay open.

The April 16 Starbucks changes are a devaluation, but it is one that isn't terrible across the board. If you like basic coffee and a simple pastry (raises hand), those things actually get significantly less expensive using Stars at just 50 per item, down from 125. Handcrafted drinks, breakfast sandwiches, etc. do get pricier, but not by a terrible margin at 150 Stars instead of 125. Those who like to redeem Stars for lunch items are the ones who are hit hardest by this change, so go ahead and use 125 Stars for a protein-filled lunch box today while you still can.

Also note that if you use Uber Eats to bring your Starbucks fix to you that no Stars can be earned or redeemed on those orders.

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

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