The Starbucks rewards program should be your best bud if you're a savvy spender and a caffeine lover.

Once you've earned enough stars, it's time to harvest the fruits of your labor (or purchase!).

So, how do you do that? Well, that's why I'm here.

Today, I'll show you how to redeem Starbucks stars on the app, in-store, and drive-thru. I'll also discuss important information Starbucks rewards members should know about.

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways:
  • Starbucks stars can be redeemed on the app or in person.  
  • Stars can be used for handcrafted drinks, brewed coffee, bakery items, packaged food, or even merchandise. 
  • Starbucks stars can be earned with many types of purchases. 

How Do You Redeem Stars On The Starbucks App?

The easiest way to redeem stars is through the Starbucks app.

Not only is it possible to redeem Starbucks stars on the app, but I avoid waiting in line by using my stars and paying in advance so I just pick up when I’m there.

  • Download the app on an iPhone or Android device.
  • Open the app and sign in to a Starbucks Rewards account.
  • Tap the Order button. This will open the Starbucks menu.
  • From the Order page, choose a handcrafted beverage. There is a customization menu for adding an extra espresso shot, flavored syrup, etc.
  • After entering the order, selection the option to redeem stars. This option only pops up if you have enough stars and selected eligible products. 
  • Proceed to checkout and input payment details. Alternatively, pay your order in the app, and pick it up at the nearest Starbucks store location.
  • Once reward is redeemed, the stars will be deducted from the total star balance. 
Note: The steps above only apply to redeeming free food and beverages like brewed coffee, bakery items, and handcrafted beverages. 
Starbucks Collecting Stars in App

This can be used for ground/whole-bean coffee bags, but only for pick up in-store.

However, here’s a little hack I use to get free, packaged coffee delivered to my doorstep:

  • Open the Starbucks app and log in to Starbucks account.
  • Go to the My Starbucks Reward tab.
  • Next to "Coffee Bag Points”, there’s a Redeem button. Tap it.
  • Enter the desired number of bags to redeem. One packaged coffee requires 300 stars. Tap the Redeem button again.
  • Next, choose how to receive the reward. Select between pickup at a nearby Starbucks store or have it delivered. For the pick-up option, make sure to have a Starbucks card or phone number ready to show to the barista.
  • Enjoy your coffee at home!

How To Redeem Starbucks Stars In-Store & Drive-Thru

It’s also easy to redeem points when ordering in-store or at the drive-through.

Let’s take a look at a step-by-step of both methods:

Redeeming Starbucks Rewards Points In-Store

Whether you want a free drink, a hot breakfast item, or free Starbucks merchandise, here’s how to redeem rewards using Starbucks card linked to the app: 

  • Open the app and sign in to a Starbucks rewards program account. Make sure that there are enough stars when redeeming rewards. A handcrafted drink requires 200 stars (formerly 150 stars) and a packaged salad or snack is 300 points (formerly 200 stars).[1]
  • Before you order, let the barista know that you're going to redeem your Starbucks rewards beforehand. 
  • Then, tap the Scan feature on the app, letting the barista scan the QR code to pay.
  • Once you’ve redeemed your stars on your Starbucks card, the points will be deducted from your balance. 

For Starbucks customers who are trying to redeem points using their Starbucks cards, follow the steps below:

  • Before ordering, let the barista know you're redeeming your stars on Starbucks cards.
  • Then, proceed with your order.
  • Once done, scan your Starbucks card and pay for any remaining balance on your order using your Starbucks Visa card or other payment option.
  • Enjoy your drink!

Redeeming Starbucks Rewards Points Drive-Thru

Here's how to redeem Starbucks products from the drive-thru:

  • Ensure either a Starbucks card is linked to the rewards app or have the physical card to present at the drive-thru. 
  • Mention to the barista beforehand that you’ll be using stars on the order. 
  • After mentioning that you’ll use Starbucks rewards, relay your order.
  • Have the app ready and tap Scan. Let them scan the member barcode before paying. The Scan and Pay feature can also be used in the Starbucks Rewards members account.
  • If using a Starbucks rewards Visa card, scan the card. 
  •  Enjoy!

How Many Starbucks Stars Do You Get?

The amount of Starbucks stars earned per purchase depends on the price of the item and the method of payment. 

Below are the 3 ways to earn stars through the Starbucks loyalty program:

In-Store Transactions and In-App

Starbucks rewards members can earn one star per $1 spent on any items in-store and in the app when paying with cash, debit/credit card, or mobile wallets at any participating Starbucks stores.

Just ensure the member barcode is scanned before paying to earn Starbucks rewards.

To earn 2 stars per every dollar spent, pay with a preloaded Starbucks card. The card must be registered.

Earn 25 stars when using a reusable cup at the store. Qualifying purchases include Starbucks handcrafted beverages (hot or iced), brewed coffee, and tea.

Do note that this reward is granted per order. So even if you brought two reusable cups in one order, you’ll still get 25 points.

Important Reminder: You won't earn stars for purchases of Starbucks cards, alcoholic beverages, and card reloads. Purchases paid with Service Recovery Card or a Starbucks Store Credit Card will also not earn you stars.

Starbucks Rewards Visa Card

There are two ways to earn points using your Starbucks Vista card. The first method is through reloading your registered Starbucks card. You get one star for every dollar loaded.

The second method is whenever you use the card in participating Starbucks stores. For this method, you earn double stars for every $1 spent.

On top of those, you can earn one star per $2 spent when you use your Starbucks Visa card at grocery stores, commute, and local transit, and pay for the phone, cable, and internet services.

You can also earn one star per $4 spent on all other purchases outside Starbucks.

Bonus Stars

Apart from your purchases, you can earn bonus stars through different promotions like Double Star Days, games, and other personalized offers.

The number of bonus stars you'll earn varies depending on the offer.

Star Code

When you buy Starbucks products in grocery stores and other retailers, you can find a Starbucks Star Code in each packaging. You can use that code to redeem your stars through the app.

Starbucks Star Rewards flyer next to a frappuccino

Best Ways To Use Starbucks Stars For Free Drinks

There are many ways to maximize free drinks at Starbucks.

Starbucks changed its rewards program on February 23, 2023, by requiring more stars to redeem free items.

Here are the details you need to know so you can take advantage of all the perks that come with it [2]: 

  • From 50 stars, redeeming hot brewed coffee or hot steeped tea, iced brewed tea or iced coffee (not cold brew), a breakfast sandwich, bakery item, or a packaged snack will now cost 100 stars.
  • From 150 stars, redeeming handcrafted drinks like a latte, Frappuccino, or hot breakfast items, will now cost 200 stars.
  • From 200 stars, redeeming a lunch sandwich, packaged salad, or a packaged protein box will now be 300 stars.
  • From 400 stars, redeeming packaged coffee items will now cost 300 stars.
  • Customizing drinks will still cost 25 stars, while redeeming a signature cup will cost you 400 stars.

On top of the redemption tiers, anyone can receive a free Starbucks drink on their birthday as part of the rewards exclusive benefits. This perk is the ‘Birthday Reward'.

Simply show the registered Starbucks card and receive a Starbucks birthday treat for free.

Customizing free drinks can really maximize rewards, too. 

Starbucks doesn’t charge for extra customizations normally, when it’s taken as a free drink.

I’ve tried adding 5 shots of espresso when redeeming my free drink, and it works.

Don't forget to take advantage of the free refills during the same store visit, too!

Common Questions About Starbucks Stars

Can I get Starbucks rewards from K cups?

Yes, you can earn Starbucks rewards from K cups using a Starbucks Star code.

Why can't I redeem my stars on the Starbucks app?

If you can’t redeem your stars, maybe you’re trying to purchase items that are not part of the rewards program. Otherwise, refresh your app and try again.

Can you redeem stars at all Starbucks locations?

No, you can’t. Not all Starbucks stores can redeem stars for rewards.

Can I redeem Starbucks stars after purchase?

Yes, you can. Simply upload your receipt to your Starbucks rewards account to redeem your stars.

How do you know when Starbucks stars expire?

You can go to the Rewards section of the app to check for any stars that will expire soon.

What payment methods earn the most Starbucks stars?

The payment method that earns more stars than the others is the Starbucks Rewards Visa card.

Conclusion - Start Earning & Claiming Rewards!

Now that you know how to redeem your stars, it's time to enjoy your free coffee and food!

I find more value when I redeem a packaged coffee item, but of course, you choose whatever works for you.

It’s also best to link your debit or credit card to your Starbucks rewards program account so you can earn more points.




Kim Fernandez


Kim Fernandez
Kim offers a unique perspective on coffee culture and trends. Kim's writing is personal and experiential, providing readers with firsthand advice on the latest in coffee. Beyond her writing, Kim is an avid explorer of new coffee trends and spots, always seeking to share the most genuine advice and latest trends. True to her love for coffee, you'll often find her in a café, immersed in a book with a freshly brewed cup of joe.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... A freshly brewed cup of joe

See Our Editorial Processes

Meet Our Team

Share Feedback

Leave a Comment