Starbucks Bingo Is Back; Is Playing Worth Your Time?

Starbucks has been recycling its promotions for the last several years. Right on schedule, the Bonus Stars Bingo promo returned on October 4 and lasts thru October 31, 2019. I pay attention to these offers but I’m not expecting to earn a bunch of bonus stars. However, someone must be going to Starbucks because of these promotions or they wouldn’t keep bringing them back every year in almost the exact same format.

Starbucks Bingo awards bonus stars for completing tasks, finishing a line and a kicker bonus for filling the whole board.

  • Collect five bonus stars every time you fill a circle
  • Collect an additional 10 bonus stars with you complete three in a row. You’ve already got a head start with your free space
  • Collect 305 bonus stars when you conquer the entire board

In total, you can earn 425 bonus stars if you complete all the tasks, but how hard are the tasks and is it worth it?

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Loyalty Programs Don’t Actually Reward Loyalty Anymore

When you hear the term Loyalty Program, what do you think? I’d imagine that images of a program that rewards you for being a loyal customer, right? I mean that’s the definition of loyal.

Loyal – faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product

But let’s be honest. Do programs really reward us for being loyal anymore?

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Starbucks’ Newest Promotion Is A Huge Yawn On Their Path To Destroy Starbucks Rewards

Starbucks Rewards hasn’t been on a roll as of late. In April 2019 they changed the redemption levels for awards from a flat 125 stars for any food or coffee item to a tiered system with rewards ranging from 25 stars for an extra shot in your coffee to a whole package of ground coffee for 400 stars. While it’s possible to hack the system for maximum value, that’s still working the program we have instead of being able to get rewards we want for a decent value.

I’ve noticed that while the number of points needed to get a coffee or bakery item have increased, the number of points Starbucks is offering for their Star Dash and other promotions have stayed the same or even decreased (or maybe just the offers I’ve been receiving have gone down).

I’m still loyal to my Starbs. It might be due to the staff at the location closest to one of my work sites gave me a gift bag and a note on my coffee when it was the last day I’d be visiting them on a regular basis.

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I was interested to see what Starbucks’ newest large scale promotion would be, post-devaluation. As it turns out, this promo is worse than the last few they’ve offered.

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Redemption Level Sweet Spot Of The New Starbucks Rewards

On April 16, 2019, the changes to the Starbucks Rewards program took effect. While the earning of stars is still the same at two stars per dollar, the ways to redeem your stars changed significantly. Previously, you could redeem 125 stars for most food or drink items for sale at a Starbucks store, regardless of price. I always saved stars for when I wanted to pick up a lunch to take to work and cashed in 125 stars for a Chicken Wrap box, which sells for $7.95.

Starbucks has now divided items into tiers, with a different number of Stars needed to get a free item in each category. Here’s a breakdown of the new rewards structure:

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So if awards are now divided by categories, where’s the sweet spot for redemptions?

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