Updated on April 23, 2016
FREE Stars at Starbucks isn’t dead yet!
As many of you know, Starbucks changed their loyalty program a couple weeks ago to go from a system where you got a star for each transaction to a system that gives you 2 stars per dollar spent. Most people saw this as a devaluation as did I. An example of the new program is below:
I touched more on what this will cost you in a post I did a few week ago on how I think Dunkin Donuts DD Rewards might actually be a better program!
One nice additional thing for the next week is that if you make a purchase with a registered card between now and May 5th you get automatic Gold Status or get it extended for a year if you already have it (although that hasn’t happened to me so not sure what the deal is).
What you may also know is that I wrote a post over a year ago about the Starbucks Perpetual Star Machine to continually get free stars at Starbucks! I have been doing this off and on for over 2 years and the long and short of if was that each gift card purchase counted as a star just like anything else and they could simply be reloaded back to the same original gift card or gold card.
So, with the coming changes I figured 1 of 2 things would happen. Either they would fix this glitch and it wouldn’t work anymore or they wouldn’t and then it would be even easier because I could just use the same $63 or so over and over again on 1 gift card to get free drinks.
Well, after a try at a local stand alone Starbucks I was pretty sure the Star Machine was DEAD…turns out it is only MOSTLY dead and as Miracle Max tells us in The Princess Bride, mostly dead is slightly alive!! (Great movie actually)
I refused to give up after my first try of $20 gift card purchase so I tried again with a $5 gift card purchase combined with a bakery item, and still no stars for the gift card, only the bakery item.
BUT, then something strange happened, I went to a local Starbucks in a hotel down the street (actually the closest to my apartment) and bought a $5 gift card and I got 10 stars. I thought maybe it was a glitch so I tried it again, and again 10 stars. Finally, still not believing it worked I bought another $5 gift card this morning and AGAIN 10 stars.
With each of these cards I added them back to my Starbucks app and then back onto the Gold Card from which they originally came (you should buy that first gift card to start for the app at Staples if you can with your Ink card to get 5X points 😉 ). Therefore I really used the same original $5 on each of these cards so I got 30 stars and still have the same $5 on my card.
So, there you have it! The Perpetual Free Star Machine is NOT dead…only MOSTLY dead! It does not seem to work at stand alone Starbucks stores but does seem to work at Starbucks in hotels and perhaps other places like in Target. It really can’t hurt to test it out if you are at one any way since you don’t lose any money and can just add it right back to your original card. From now on I will actually get much higher denomination gift cards to get to my free drink much much faster!
Has anyone else tried this out?! Are there other non-stand alone Starbucks that people have had this work at??