Every Sunday morning I get a special treat. Not sure what you’re thinking but it’s a Starbucks latte. Usually a venti cinnamon dolce (skinny style) but sometimes I change the syrup flavor to mix it up. (For those five people who don’t speak Starbucks, venti means large and skinny means sugar-free syrup and fat-free milk.)
My self-imposed limitation to once a week makes it something to look forward to as well as saves a lot of change over a year’s time. I bought Starbucks gift cards last year at Costco when you could buy a pack of five $20 cards for $80. Right there I saved $20.
Then I found out you could register the cards at Starbucks.com and get free shots of syrup. That saves me 85 cents each week and I was happy with that.
Starbucks recently upped the ante with something called My Starbucks Rewards. I wouldn’t recommend you start frequenting their stores just to take advantage of the benefits. However, if you are going to patronize the business anyway there are benefits to participating.
When you register your Starbucks gift card you are immediately at the welcome level. The only benefit at this point is a free drink for your birthday. For each use of the card a star is earned.
This is where you start to see some benefit and is reached after earning five stars. Additionally anyone who had a registered card as of 12/31/09 started out at the green level which includes the welcome level awards plus free flavored syrups (the benefit I was already getting), free soy milk, free refills on brewed coffee, free tall beverage with each pound of coffee and two hours of free wi-fi.
Use your card 30 times and become gold. Yes you get some fancy, shmacy gold card but more importantly you get a free drink every 15 stars. It’s not overly generous, but it’s more than I was getting before (hmm, even the birthday drink is more than I was getting before). Plus of course everything from the previous levels are included.
Usually companies make their rewards programs weaker. Starbucks bucked the trend this time. In six months I’ll get a free drink at my current pace all while enjoying that free syrup along the way. Isn’t it nice when loyalty pays off?
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