12 Ways To Hack The Starbucks Rewards Program

You may have a Starbucks obsession if the barista knows your name, your order is ready before you hit the register or you have been to each location within a 10-mile radius. Costs can add up quickly. To save some cash, be sure you’ve signed up for their rewards loyalty program. If you’ve already reached gold status, then you'll definitely want to read on because we've gathered 12 ways to help you hack the Starbucks rewards program. 

How Starbucks Rewards Work

  1. Sign up for an account online, via the app or with a star code.  
  2. Once an account is made, users are required to add a Starbucks gift card to their profile. 
  3. Earn rewards with every purchase.

Granny Tip: Instead of paying full price for a gift card, purchase a Starbucks discount gift card to upload to your account.  

Members earn two stars for every dollar spent which eventually turns into a free drink or food reward. However, in order to receive rewards, you'll need to first collect 300 stars and become a Gold member ($150 dollars in purchases). Once that threshold has been metmembers will receive a free food or drink item every 125 stars ($62.50 in purchases). Essentially, you will be spending $212.50 before getting that free Frappuccino. And while a freebie here or there is always a great perk, $200 is still a lot to spend. Use these 12 easy hacks to earn Starbucks rewards without breaking the bank.   

How To Hack Starbucks Rewards

Once you've joined the Starbucks reward program, take advantage of these ways to save:  

1. BYOC: bring your own cup.
Starbucks mug
Customers can save 10 cents on each drink order when bringing their own, personal cup. Travel mugs, tumblers, teacupsetc will receive the dealWhile small, this discount will add up over time.  

2. Purchase Starbucks gift cards and receive a discount or earn cash back.
Stop paying full price for your coffee! How you ask? Purchase Starbucks gift cards through Gift Card Granny and receive a discount (when you buy a plastic Starbucks gift card) or earn cash back (when you buy a Starbucks eGift). Why not benefit from something you already plan to purchase?! 

Granny Tip: Join the Granny Rewards Program! Sign up and earn free gift cards when you buy discount gift cards.


3. Venti tea, please.
Did you know that grande and venti hot teas come with two tea bags? Ask for the second bag on the side. You'll receive it unopened and can save for a later use.  

4. Ask for a larger cup.
I can't tell you how often I see people dumping the top of their coffee in the garbage to make room for milk. Instead of throwing your money away (literally), ask for a tall coffee in a grande cup.   

5. Lay off the ice.
Have you ever noticed that nearly 3/4 of your drink is filled with ice? Make room for more beverage when you ask your barista to go light on the ice.    

6. Use the Starbucks app.
Additional rewards, deals and savings can be found by using the Starbucks app. Check for double-star days where you can earn 4 stars per dollar spent or bonus star offers which can benefit those who make daily Starbucks visits.   

7. Earn reward points with your credit card.
Some banks and credit card companies offer their own rewards for shopping at Starbucks. Maximize your deals by using your credit card to purchase Starbucks gift cards.    

8. Hot coffee versus iced coffee.
Order a hot coffee and a cup of ice. Pour the coffee in the cup and viola...you've got iced coffee! While this tactic dilutes your drink, it still saves you nearly 55 cents when you purchase a grande (savings vary per state).  

9. Frappuccino for less.
Chile Mocha Frappuccino 
Is your love for blended beverages hurtin' your wallet? Adding a shot of espresso to your caramel Frappuccino has an extra cost. Instead, purchase an espresso Frappuccino and add any flavored syrup.   

10. Treat yourself to the max on your birthday. 
Starbucks gives members a free drink or food item on their birthday. Lucky for us, there's no price limitation on how expensive, or inexpensive, your item can be. That's right...you can go crazy. Add those extra pumps of caramel, mocha drizzle and Frappuccino chips. Need inspiration for how you should cash in on your freebie? Feast your eyes on the most expensive Starbucks drinks 

11. Jump the line.
Did you download the app yet? If so, you'll have the ability to order and pay from your phone. And, most importantly, avoid the long line. Granny tip: this is a major time saver during the morning rush.  

12. Surprise your pup.
You aren't the only one who can enjoy Starbucks...your dog can, too! Bring your pooch on the next Starbucks run and he/she can get the Puppuccino, a whipped cream treat in an espresso cup. While this isn't necessarily a way to benefit from the Starbucks loyalty program, it's still something fun to do with your pup that will bring a smile to your face. 

Granny Tip: While some stores don't charge for a Puppuccino, others may since you are technically ordering 'extra whipped cream.' Check with your local store before ordering.  

The ultimate hack is combining as many money-saving and reward-earning tips as possible. Do you know of any Starbucks hacks? Share your knowledge in the comments below!