Does the Perpetual Star Earning Machine still work in the new Starbucks Rewards Program?

Starbucks recently announced and implemented sweeping changes in their Rewards program going from earning stars for every purchase to earning stars per dollars spent instead.

In the previous program, it was possible to buy a gift card and earn a star. You could then reload that gift card back into the app and repeat as often as you wanted – in essence spending and re-spending the same money over and over. Personally, I waited until there was a double or triple star promotion or a “earn XX stars but making 8 purchases” promotion as going in every single day for just a single star was a bit much.

I even hinted at this loophole in my previous Starbucks posts and offered to share it via direct message on social media: link, link, link.

I was intrigued, then, when the new program was announced if this loophole would still remain. With a spend based reward program, it could actually become quite lucrative by earning a great amount of stars simply by purchasing gift cards.

Sadly, it appears that it doesn’t work anymore. I went into a Starbucks and purchased a $15 gift card with my leftover balance from my previous gift card purchases.


I waited five days but never saw any stars post.

I decided to try a different purchase to see how that would post and so I went in and bought a cookie.


In this instance, the stars showed up immediately thereby confirming that the existing loophole of unlimited Starbucks stars has come to an end.

While my cookie purchase did extend my Gold expiration by a year, I don’t anticipate participating in this program anymore as this loophole has been closed and another fun trick comes to an end.


  1. Yeah this was the first thing I tried when they released the new program. The only other possible option I wanted to try was if I could purchase a gift card AND and a food/drink in the same transaction what would it post as…food/drink or gift card? I wasn’t sure if they would force you to do separate transactions.

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