Maximize Starbucks Rewards: Tip-of-the-Day #313

If you're subscribed to the Starbucks Rewards program, you know that you can earn "Stars" by paying for your purchase with a registered Starbucks Card, using the Starbucks mobile app or by entering Star codes from specially marked Starbucks products in the grocery store.

Collect 30 Stars within 12 months and you’re automatically placed into the Gold level. At Gold level you have access to the "Free Drink or Food Reward Every 12 Stars" which translates to: Earn 12 Stars and Starbucks will treat you to your favorite drink or food. Not bad if you find yourself at Starbucks most mornings.

When I first became Gold (so easy to do when your only coffee option is Starbucks) I assumed that my reward would entitle me to the free cheapest item I was purchasing. Nope. In fact, it's the opposite. My typical order includes a grande latte and a protein bistro box and the item that's removed from my bill is always the bistro box.

This morning I had a reward to redeem and after ordering my "usual" I noticed that my balance, after redeeming my reward, was the cost of the bistro box, not the latte. I asked the barista why the less expensive item was removed from the bill, not the more expensive item. She replied "whoops, didn't see that" and promptly handed me a free food/drink coupon for my next visit.

The reason why this post is important is:
1. Know that at Starbucks your reward is good for the most expensive item you're ordering.
2. Don't be afraid to ask about your balance because baristas are all too human and mistakes do happen. You may just get an extra reward for speaking up!

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