In the unpredictable, constantly changing world of travel, there's one thing of which you can be certain: Your points and miles will get less valuable over time. Sadly, the same is true for your Starbucks Rewards points.
Late last year, Starbucks announced a major shakeup of how you can redeem Starbucks Rewards Stars for free coffees, snacks, and add-ons. Those changes are set to take effect next Monday, Feb. 13, which means you've got a week before a free coffee will cost you more Starbucks Rewards Stars.
Here's a look at how the Starbucks Rewards program will look next week:
- Beverage add-ons like an extra espresso shot, dairy substitute, flavored syrup, and others will cost 25 Stars – no change
- A hot coffee, iced coffee (but not cold brew), hot or iced tea, or bakery item will cost 100 Stars – double the current 50-Star redemption rate
- Handcrafted beverages like lattes, cold brews, or frappuccinos; hot breakfast items; and parfaits will cost 200 Stars – up from the current 150 Star cost
- Lunch sandwiches, packaged salads, protein boxes, and bags of coffee beans will cost 300 Stars – up from the current 200 stars, except for whole bean coffee (which is decreasing from 400 Stars)
- Any Starbucks merchandise like cups or mugs worth up to $20 will cost 400 Stars – no change
These are the most substantial changes we've seen with Starbucks Rewards since the coffee giant completely overhauled the program back in 2019 … and that's mostly bad news. From a simple hot coffee to a cold brew or iced latte to a breakfast sandwich, many items will cost you far more Rewards Stars starting next week.
Do you typically go for an iced coffee rather than a cold brew? Or save up your Starbucks Rewards Stars to buy a bag of beans? Those items are actually going down in price. But otherwise, you're better off cashing in your Starbucks Rewards sooner rather than later before some nasty increases take effect.
Fortunately, nothing is changing in regard to how you earn Starbucks Rewards on your coffee orders. So long as you scan your Starbucks Rewards account before paying, you'll earn at least 1 Star per dollar spent or 2 Stars per dollar if you've loaded a digital Starbucks Card with funds. The process is simple using the Starbucks smartphone app.
In fact, it's gotten even easier for travelers to earn points with Starbucks – and some Delta SkyMiles, too. Delta and Starbucks nearly broke the internet when they teamed up late last year, allowing travelers to link their accounts and earn SkyMiles on every coffee order and double Starbucks Rewards Stars on select purchases.
- Travelers earn 1x SkyMile per $1 spent on eligible Starbucks purchases – everything except gift cards, alcohol, tax, and tips count towards earning bonus SkyMiles at participating Starbucks stores.
- On days when you're catching a Delta flight, you'll also earn double stars in your Starbucks Rewards account.
In the last year, Starbucks has made it drastically easier to pick up a coffee before a flight by rolling out the ability to place mobile orders at Starbucks airport locations nationwide.
It may not be strictly travel news, but caffeine and travel go hand in hand. If you've got Starbucks Rewards Stars banked from months (or even years) of coffee orders, you may want to cash them in before your favorite items cost more starting next Monday, Feb. 13.