Free $10 Starbucks credit for minimum of $25 auto-reload

Through 11:59 PST tonight, August 24, Starbucks is offering $10 of bonus credit for anyone that sets up at least a $25 auto-reload on their Starbucks card via their iPhone app using a Visa credit card.

This is for both new and existing users, so if you don’t have the iPhone app yet you can download it and log into your Starbucks account. From there you have the option of setting up auto-reload. Just use a Visa card and make the auto-reload for at least $25, and you should receive the $10 credit within 10 business days of the reload.

Also, as I blogged about a while back, Starbucks actually has a pretty awesome rewards program which I’ve really gotten into. I’ll share just a few basics/tips:

  • After earning 30 “stars” (each star is a transaction) you reach Gold status, which gets you free syrup, soy milk, and coffee refills.
  • Once you’re Gold you get a free drink after every 15 “stars.” It doesn’t matter how cheap the transaction is, it qualifies as a “star,” and the free drink can be the most expensive thing on the “menu.”
  • Each transaction counts as a “star” so if you’re buying a drink and a pastry, for example, purchase them separately so you get two “stars”
  • You can get several gift cards connected to a single account, so sign up all your friends and family under your account and you can earn the “stars” for them, and they can get Gold benefits too.
  • Don’t forget to reload your gift card with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, since technically Starbucks qualifies as “dining.”

While Starbucks is overpriced, I find the above tricks take the sting out of it a bit… and free Starbucks “money” helps too!

(Tip of the hat to Deals We Like)


  1. You left out the uber-annoying practice of sending you postcards that you have to bring in to redeem for the free drinks, instead of just automating it.

    The postcards also expire (albeit with a pretty long fuse).

    The previous incarnation of the loyalty program was better (10% off everything). Though of course I understand why erecting obstacles to redemption is better on their side of things… 😉

  2. My text read:

    Get $5 when you reload your Starbucks Card on your phone with a Visa card.

    That’s right: Reload your Starbucks Card, on your Visa®(R) card and Starbucks app, for at least $20, and we’ll give you an extra $5.

    This deal ends August 24, 2012.

  3. Refills are also unlimited all day as long as ut us rhe same visit.

    When I redeam the free drink card I usually get a venti expensive and have them put it in two tall cups and then share with a friend.

  4. “Don’t forget to reload your gift card with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, since technically Starbucks qualifies as “dining.””

    Only in-store. Online is an internet purchase not dining.

    Better tip is to buy Starbucks gift cards online at an office supply store through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall with an Ink Bold or Ink Plus card and add the gift card value to your Starbucks card.

  5. I don’t see anything indicating that this is iPhone only, so I assume the android app would work as well.

  6. @ Paul — Is it 12 days from when you signed up for the promo or from when the reload actually occured? Keep in mind it’s 10 days after the first auto-reload, so that’s potentially quite a bit later than when you signed up for the promo.

  7. Same for me. I signed up and auto-reloaded on the 21st for $25 and no $10 credit yet. Maybe I should tweet them?

  8. Same for me. I called them to inquire and they said it was a promotion that you only qualified for if you received an email offering it to you. I thought I had either received an email or saw it on the app and told them so and they gave the $10 credit anyway.

  9. Update: Ashley is correct. This was apparently a targeted email only for certain customers. The website did not say this anywhere.

    I contacted Starbucks and they first tried to say it was not a Starbucks website that hosted the promo ( I said no, that’s not correct, if it ends with “” it’s a Starbucks-hosted site, regardless what’s in front of it.

    They first tried to offer me only a $5 credit (rather than the $10 offered in the promo), but I pushed back and they manually loaded $10.

    If you participated (but did not get your $), make sure to call:
    (800)782-7282 Monday-Friday 5am-8pm and Saturday 7am-4pm (PST).
    I emailed first and was told I needed to call.

    It’s a pain, but worth it to make them honor their promo.

  10. @ Andrew — Thanks for the update, and sorry this was such a pain. They really should have clarified this was targeted on the page.

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