Want a Starbucks Gold Card and Airline Miles? Yes.

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Groupon’s discounted Starbucks gift card and CardCash’s additional 5% discount got me thinking, can a person game the Starbucks rewards program similar to how we game the airline frequent flier programs?  Not quite, but we can get close.

Starbucks Gold card requirements

  • You need 30 stars.
  • You get one star for each purchase made with a registered Starbucks gift card.
  • You get additional stars for making purchases on the Starbucks website or by buying certain Starbucks merchandise.  If you buy stuff on the website, don’t forget to use a shopping portal first.
  • You can only earn two stars per day.

Get a Starbucks Gold card for under $50.

  1. You need to make 30 purchases in a year to get the Starbucks Gold card (make sure each item is charged separately!).  For me that means 30 small black coffees.  I can buy each black coffee for about $2, so I’ll need to spend about $60 over the next year.  Starbucks will sometimes offer double stars on purchases, so realistically I’ll need to spend under $60.
  2. Here’s where the magic starts to happen.  Buy a $15 Starbucks gift card from Groupon for $10.  [this deal ends soon, very early in the morning on the 30th]  Make sure you make your purchase through a shopping portal to score an additional 3 miles (American) per dollar spent.  That’s 30 miles for very little work.
  3. You then need to buy $45 dollars worth of Starbucks gift cards from Card Cash.  Card Cash is awesome because it sells used gift cards at a pretty good discount.  With the promotional code ECODE5OFF you can buy electronic Starbucks gift cards for 11% off.  Your $45 dollar gift card now costs roughly $40.
  4. Register one gift card with Starbucks and transfer the other gift card balances to it.  When you register, sign up for the text updates.  Sometimes Starbucks sends out cool offers.
  5. Make your purchases within one calendar year.  If you buy multiple items in one trip, ask to pay for each item separately.
  6. This plan will cost roughly $50 and will net you at least 30 airline miles.

How to strategically use the Starbucks Gold card.

  1. Maximize your free drinks: for every 12 additional drinks that you buy, you’ll receive one FREE drink of ANY SIZE.
  2. It’s your birthday: you receive a free drink on your birthday (see above)
  3. Show off your personalized Starbucks Gold card: that’s right, it’s actually gold.
  4. Free refills: enjoy free coffee and tea refills
  5. 15% off online: I think the online store is expensive but it’s reasonable if you combine this discount with cheap gift cards (www.cardcash.com)

**make sure your local Starbucks is a “participating Starbucks”**

1 Comment on "Want a Starbucks Gold Card and Airline Miles? Yes."

  1. Just one more great way to earn stars: Buying specially marked bags of Starbucks in the grocery store gets you an extra star per bag. And, of course, you’ll be paying for those bags with a points-bearing card, so… win-win!

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