Category Archives: Starbucks Card

Coming Soon: Beautiful Fall Starbucks Cards (And the Seahawks 12th Man Fan Starbucks Card)

Fall Starbucks cards including the Seahawks Fan CardStarting on September 2, 2014, you’ll find some beautiful new Starbucks cards at your neighborhood store. The new autumn seasonal cards include four cards (in the shape of leaves) that can be used as key chain cards, and one traditional card. The one traditional (rectangular) card has a coffee cup with leaves like steam above it. I really like the card with the coffee cup and leaves as steam! Actually, I think all the new cards are very pretty. I personally wouldn’t use a key chain card but I do think they’re pretty.

As always, you can use any Starbucks card to earn and redeem all your MyStarbucksRewards perks – so register your card! Here’s the new seasonal cards:

IMAG1886 Leaves - 4 designs - keychain cardsIMAG1888 - Fall 2014 card - cup with leavesIf you want to learn a little more about registering a Starbucks card, click here. Earlier this year I wrote a quick article summarizing the benefits of registering a Starbucks card (and it still almost entirely contains good information – one thing has changed since I wrote that article here, there are now bonus stars for buying at-home coffee at Starbucks.)

You may soon see a Seahawks fan card available in Seattle Starbucks stores, and some greater-Seattle locations. It’s a “12th Man” type card. When you remove the sticker that says “It’s more than a card…” you’ll find the Seahawks logo underneath it. I have a feeling these cards will go quickly:

IMAG1889 - Seahawks fan card

So if you’re a Starbucks card collector, be on the lookout for these great cards!

Now is a good time to mention that if you’re a Starbucks collector, there will be a Starbucks “Coffee Con” on October 10th and 11th. I assume there will be lots of people with booths who are selling and trading collectibles. I’ll have a booth too and you’ll find me there with a stack of Tales of the Siren books (I’ll take payment in the form of Starbucks cards. One $10 Starbucks card equals buying a book.)

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Cute little mini Frappuccino Starbucks card is here!

New Frappuccino cards 2Be on the look out for an adorable new Starbucks card at your neighborhood store! I think this will be another good one for card collectors. There really haven’t been all that many mini cards in the U.S.  Like other mini cards, this one has a hole in it for your keyring.

While I don’t normally use mini cards, I do think this is too cute. Register any Starbucks card (loaded with money on it) and you can start earning rewards. You can register your card, and an image of it will show on your Starbucks mobile phone app. You can use ANY card to earn stars and redeem rewards. One of the ways that MyStarbucksRewards is flexible is that you’re not locked into using one card. All of the rewards go by your profile at At just the Welcome Level of MyStarbucksRewards, you will get a free beverage on your birthday. (This doesn’t mean you necessarily have to be at a Starbucks on your exact birthday. Register a card at least 30 days before your birthday. Use a registered card (with money on it) at least once at least 30 days before your birthday. Your birthday reward will appear on your profile sometime during the week before your actual birthday. And like any other reward, you keep track of it yourself, and redeem it any time you like, before the reward expires. The rewards are digital and will expire about five weeks from when earned. (The website says 30 days from when earned but I have noticed that for months now, it’s been closer to five weeks.)

Starting May 23rd, you’ll find a special 16-ounce re-usable cold tumbler in the stores. Buy this specially-marked tumbler, and get your first Frappuccino Blended Beverage in it on the house! The new Frappuccino tumbler will be available until supplies last:

Frappuccino Cold Cup 2

Look for the cute new card by the registers at your neighborhood participating Starbucks.

IMAG0495 Frappuccino mini card 2

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Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Cards at Starbucks.

Mother’s Day is May 11th this year! If you want to give your mom a Starbucks Mother’s Day card, they’re available now at participating Starbucks stores everywhere. You’ll also find a teacher appreciation card, a 2014 card for graduates, and the Mother’s Day special card.

IMAG0338 Teacher Mother Cards

Father’s Day is June 15th this year. Starting on May 13, 2014, you’ll be able to find this year’s Father’s Day Starbucks card at your local participating store. I thought I’d give you a sneak peek now at the new card, but don’t expect to see this card in stores before May 13th. It has display dates from May 13th through June 16th, 2014.Father's Day Card 2014As always, don’t forget that you can register a Starbucks card (loaded with money on it), and unlock the door to MyStarbucksRewards. Each time you use a Starbucks card to make a purchase at Starbucks, you’ll earn one star. Your stars accumulate, and when you reach 30 stars in one year, you’re at the Gold Level. But there are rewards before Gold Level. The free refill perk starts at the Green Level, which is only five stars. Also keep in mind, you unlock the door to rewards and can earn and redeem all your rewards with ANY Starbucks card. There is never a requirement to switch to a shiny gold card. Just find the card with your favorite design on it, and use it. It doesn’t matter if that’s an Evolution Fresh Card, a Seattle Sounders Card, the City Nights Card (First and Pike Starbucks), a Teavana Card,  a limited edition Stainless Steel Card, a Starbucks card made from wood, a white sparkle card, or any other card you can get your hands on. At this point, there are thousands of card designs that all swipe and work as a Starbucks card.


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IMAG0234 Teavana Mothers Day Card

Teavana News: New Concept Store in Chicago, Mother’s Day Card, Oprah Chai.

Teavana (fully owned and operated by Starbucks) has lots of fun things going on right now. I thought I’d mention three things that stand out:

IMAG0234 Teavana Mothers Day CardTeavana Mother’s Day Card

A Teavana Mother’s Day Card is here! As you know, you can register your Teavana Card (which IS a Starbucks card but with Teavana branding) and use it to earn stars and redeem rewards. Load money on the card. Register it at Use it to pay for your purchases. You earn one star each time your card is swiped as a form of payment. I always suggest that you track your rewards with the Starbucks phone app.

I think the Teavana Mother’s Day Card is pretty! I also imagine that there are some Starbucks card collectors who will want to grab one for their collection.

Teavana Concept Store in Chicago

Next, there is a new Teavana concept store coming soon. Starbucks operates two Teavana stores that are full cafes with handcrafted beverages and an extensive food menu. I’ve been frequently the one in Seattle often. The stores are spacious with good food, great beverages, and of course Starbucks free WiFi.

The new Teavana concept store will be on Southport in Chicago, and I’ve heard that it’s slated to open on Tuesday, April 29th. Don’t hold me to the very day! Starbucks has been known to adjust their projected store opening dates. Take a look at the beautiful Seattle concept store here and here. During the recent quarterly investor conference on April 24th, Howard Schultz has mentioned Los Angeles as the possible site of future Teavana concept store also.

Oprah Tea display 19 March 2014Oprah Chai Arrives on April 29th!

You’ll be able to find Oprah Chai in Starbucks and Teavanas stores everywhere starting on Tuesday, April 29th! Every purchase of Oprah Chai supports the Oprah Leadership Academy and other youth education good-cause organizations.

Hope you like the new tea.

That’s it for the short round up on current Teavana news. I think over time, we’re going to see more and more exciting Teavana news!

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Cute new seasonal Starbucks cards coming April 1st: Easter Card and Admin Day Card

2Admin Day and Easter Starbucks cards March 2014Beginning April 1, 2014, Starbucks will introduce two new limited cards into their Starbucks card lineup. One card is an Easter Starbucks card. It’s so cute! The classic Starbucks cups are decorated like painted eggs and hidden in grass. Look closely, and you’ll even find a ladybug made it onto the Easter card.

The other card is an Administrative Professional’s Day card. Admin Day this year is April 23rd.

I think both of these cards are very clever. Thank you very much to the Starbucks card collector who sent me this image. I believe this is the first Easter Starbucks card that Starbucks has ever produced. There was an Admin Day card in 2013.

Just as a reminder, you can register any Starbucks card and beginning earning loyalty perks. There are three levels of rewards: Welcome, Green, and Gold. When you reach Gold level, there is no requirement to switch and use the actual physical gold card – I’ve seen that cause confusion. Use whatever card you like, so long as it is registered to your profile at, loaded with money on it, and used to pay for your transaction. At the Gold level of benefits, you’ll earn free rewards which can be used for food or beverages.

Visit for all the official details on My Starbucks Rewards.

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Scarves up! A Starbucks Sounders Card is Available March 4th.

Scarves up! Starbucks will soon be offering a limited Sounders FC card just in time for the start of major league soccer. The Sounders card will be available at company-operated Starbucks locations in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties of Western Washington beginning March 4, 2014. As always, you can load money onto the card and use it for your MyStarbucksRewards perks.

DSC00604 Sounders CardAs I have mentioned before on this site, you are not tied to using your gold card (or any other Starbucks card) for your rewards benefits. You can register many cards to your profile, and all your rewards are associated with your profile at not the physical card itself.

This Sounders card is great! If you’re a card collector or a soccer fan, I think you’ll like this card.

Starbucks has offered so many interesting cards over the years. About one year ago, there was a birch wood card. I’ve always thought it fun when Starbucks bases cards on real stores, as was the case with the City Nights Starbucks card, based on First and Pike Starbucks. I still use my Evolution Fresh Starbucks card often too (the only Starbucks card that does not actually say Starbucks anywhere on it.) There is also a Teavana Starbucks card too. And years ago, there was a Starbucks card based upon the First and Battery Starbucks store. In September 2013, Starbucks offered its first Seahawks card:

DSC00607 Seahawks CardWhat’s your favorite Starbucks card in your wallet? ;)


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NEW: A Collectible Starbucks Card – the White MyStarbucksRewards Card

2 - 1- Front of new White Starbucks Card 12 Feb 2014 copyOn February 15, 2014, Starbucks will offer a new Starbucks card, designed to be exclusive and collectible, and show off the fun of MyStarbucksRewards with a fun MSR star pattern on it. It’s white with a gold pattern design on it. Each Starbucks store will only receive 25 cards and will not be able to re-order more of them.

The language on the card invites the person to register it and start earning rewards. “Just register it online to unlock its earning power.” There is something about this card that is confusing. It sort of looks like if you register it, you’ll immediately about at Gold Level card status. It does mention that you’ll get a birthday reward, and indicates you’ll be earning stars towards rewards.

About a week ago, I was visiting with an “official Starbucks spokesperson” at the SSC (Starbucks calls their headquarters the “SSC” or the “Starbucks Support Center”) and this card came up in discussion. The Starbucks spokesperson clarified that the card doesn’t unlock rewards at the Gold Level, rather a person has to start at the Welcome Level. I think that could cause a little confusion. When I first heard about this card, I too thought it unlocked rewards at the Gold Level. And I’ve heard many store partners mention that this is a “White Gold Card.” This is not an “Instant Gold” card.

Of course, once your profile is gold, you can use this card as your gold card. Any card registered to your card profile is automatically the level that your profile is at. I might start using this as my Gold Card because it is very pretty! All of this is a good reminder that you can never look at a person’s Starbucks card and have any idea what level of rewards the customer is at. You can earn Gold rewards with any card. You could have a Gold card and failed to go 30 times in a year to maintain gold – in that case you’d have a Gold Card only earning Welcome or Green Level rewards. You cannot look at a card and tell a person’s rewards level. You can register any card (including an Evolution Fresh card or Teavana card), and start earning perks.

I think the intent of the new white MyStarbucksRewards card is this: Store partners are supposed to offer the cards to frequent customers who pay with cash (or a non-Starbucks Card form of payment) to encourage customers to switch to MyStarbucksRewards, as the barista explains the many perks and offers a card that is bound to become quite collectible. That’s my guess at the thinking behind this card. If it were possible, I think it would have been a better promo if the card came pre-loaded with 10 stars, and the promo was something like, “We’re going to give you a running start on Gold with a collectible card since you’ve been a great customer …

Conceptually, it seems like a nice idea to entice people to join MyStarbucksRewards with a card that looks very special and limited. My main concern simply is that this is the kind of thing that creates a frenzy with Starbucks card collectors and many of these cards will end up (and already are) on eBay.

If you register the card, and then pay by the Starbucks mobile phone app, this cards image will appear in your card library on your phone.

What do you think? It’s pretty and I think I’ll try to get one to start using as my Gold Card!

Edit: I ran into a store partner today who gave me a different perspective on this card. I suggested (as I mentioned above) that the card is designed to entice the top cash-paying customers to switch to MyStarbucksRewards, and this is one reason each store got so few. A store partner suggested that the purpose of the card is to “make it look like a club card” so that people who don’t understand that any Starbucks gift card works for rewards will feel as if they have a “Starbucks Club Card.” I like that theory too! Probably it’s a little bit of both idea. Under either theory, I think each store should have gotten more than just 25 cards.


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Register Your Starbucks Card: Earn Rewards

DSC00299 Register a card handoutWelcome to 2014.  Happy New Year’s Day!!

Millions of Starbucks cards were activated in December.  Lots and lots of people got Starbucks cards as gifts during the holiday season.  Now is the time to register that card and start earning rewards.  It’s been a while since I’ve reminded people to register their cards to earn rewards under My Starbucks Rewards, but now is the perfect timing to do so.  By the way, on Thursday December 19, 2013, a record 2.4 million Starbucks card were activated on that day alone.

Maybe you got a card that looks like one of these below: there are tons and tons of card designs, all of which will work to earn you your rewards.

DSC00283 Register a Starbucks cardMy Starbucks Rewards has three levels to it.  The starting point is here – register a card loaded with money on it.  If you don’t have a profile already, start here.

The entry level to MyStarbucksRewards is the Welcome level – Register your card.  I believe that your profile has to be considered “activated” meaning a card on that profile was used at least one time since being registered.  Keep in mind, your profile will allow you to register a variety of cards.  The “Welcome” level gets you the following:

  • Free birthday drink (you must have registered your card at least 30 days before your birthday).
  • A coupon for 15% off any purchase at

After five uses of your Starbucks card (within the calendar year), you’re at the Green level.

  • All the Welcome level benefits.
  • Free refills inside of Starbucks.  (You may want to read the refill policy to understand the Starbucks definition of a refill).

After 30 uses of the card (within the calendar year), you’re elevated to the Gold level.

  • At the Gold level, you get valuable rewards that can be used on free food or beverages.  (Note: the Starbucks “Evenings Food” items are excluded – Sorry, their amazing mac and cheese isn’t available as a “reward” item).
  • Coupons for discounted food and beverage.
  • A shiny gold card with your name on it.  (You are not required to use that card – you’ve got a registered card – keep using it if you want.
  • And, of course, all the Green, and Welcome level benefits.

There are some important things you should know about MyStarbucksRewards:

  • A “use” of your card is when it is swiped through the register as a form of payment – that is one “star.”
  • At no point will a barista ever say, “Surprise! You have a reward!”  You MUST keep track of your own rewards.  I personally find this easiest to do by tracking my rewards on the Starbucks Android Phone app  (obviously there is an iPhone app too).  I hear stories over and over again of people who earn rewards, and never use them before they expire because they simply didn’t know they had them.  You must affirmatively track your own rewards.
  • You may find the licensed store locations earn you stars, but cannot redeem rewards there.
  • The rewards are subject to change.  The first generation of My Starbucks Rewards launched in April 2008, and that version didn’t look anything like the current version.  The rewards program has changed several times in the past (almost) six years, so it is possible that it could change again.  Keep up on Starbucks news by following StarbucksNews on Twitter, reading official blogs, and/or reading unofficial blogs like this one.
  • You will earn “stars” on your profile each time you use your card to pay at any Starbucks store, Evolution Fresh store, or Teavana store.

I thought I’d highlight two cards that I really like a lot:

DSC00297 Starbucks as a community gathering place card^ That card is a core Starbucks card, easily found in Starbucks stores all over.  In the past, Starbucks has a history of designing cards that are based upon real stores.  The First and Pike Starbucks Card, as well as the card featuring the First and Battery Starbucks (the store is between Bell and Battery in Belltown) are both examples of that.  I reached out to someone I knew in the Starbucks card department at the SSC and asked him what this above card was about.  He said that it is not based upon a real store, rather it “represents any place where Starbucks is a community gathering place.”  I thought that was pretty cool – I always look at this card and think of it as the “community gathering place card.”

DSC00295 copy^ The Evolution Fresh card is indeed a Starbucks card.  I just think it’s pretty and cool, so I thought I’d highlight it here.  That card is the only Starbucks card (to its detriment – it’s been known to confuse people) that actually does not have the word “Starbucks” on it anywhere.

One thing I’d like to see for 2014 is another Starbucks “donation” card.  This would be a card where generally five cents from each transaction when the card is used is given to a good-cause organization.  Actually, five cents might not sound like much, but given the millions and millions of customers each week who cycle through Starbucks, it has the potential to be huge.  If you don’t know what I mean, this 2010 Starbucks Conservation International Card is a perfect example of the kind of donation card that I’m referring to.  (By the way, if you see that card in use today, by all means, you can still use it just as you can use a bazillion cards with a variety of designs on them, but it no longer donates to Conservation International).  We are global citizens, and coffee is a particularly global product!

I even have a listed of possible good-cause organizations for Starbucks to partner with! ;-)  All of the organizations below are ones where Starbucks has at least some history of partnering with them in the past, in one way or another.

  • CARE – Fights poverty in developing countries.  In the 1993, Starbucks was the single largest donor to CARE.  Starbucks seems to have forgotten about them, or if they currently donate to them, there’s zero news and media about it.  It’s still a very worthwhile cause.
  • Mercy Corps – Mercy Corps does a wide variety of things from helping the environment in developing countries, feeding starving children, and focusing on women’s education in countries where it’s not the norm for women to get an education.  Both Teavana and Tazo have a history of donations to Mercy Corp.  I’ve mentioned Mercy Corps a few times on this blog, and I think I’ve mentioned the idea of a donation card for Mercy Corp before.
  • Conservation International – Starbucks has a long history of partnering with Conservation International, and through that partnership helped to develop their coffee sourcing standards known as CAFE practices.  I’m always in favor of reinvigorating this partnership.
  • Ethos Water Fund - This already is a Starbucks-run organization, but I think Starbucks could magnify what they’re doing here.

This blog post is much longer than I intended!  Register your card and earn rewards!


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The Starbucks Card: 2001 – 2013 – Then and Now

On December 19, 2013, Starbucks customers activated a record 2.4 million Starbucks cards – just in that one single day.  Official Starbucks spokesperson Linda Mills confirmed for me that 2.4 million cards were activated.

I bet in 2001, when the Starbucks card was just in its baby beginnings, nobody thought about people activating 2.4 million cards in one single day.  In February 2001, the very first card was given to partners – shown to them as a prototype, original concept, and distributed to partners attending a leadership conference.  That 2001 card looked like this:

DSC00134 Prototype Gift Cards 2001 StarbucksIn November 2001, the Starbucks card was officially launched to the general public.  Between November 2001, and July 2002, Starbucks customers activated four million Starbucks cards.  The first card available to the general public was the “Snowflake” card that featured white snowflakes on a silver background.   This card came with a red holiday sleeve although when first loaded, if the customer put $100 or more on the card, they were given a special tin case.

Flashback for a moment to the original concept, prototype Starbucks cards: Deep inside the headquarters, six prototype cards (probably seen by very few outside of the headquarters) are framed on a wall.  Here are the 2001 original concept Starbucks cards:

DSC00137 Original Concept Starbucks Card - 2001DSC00136 Prototype Starbucks CardDSC00135 Prototype Starbucks Card 2001DSC00134 Prototype Gift Cards 2001 StarbucksDSC00132 Original Concept Cards Starbucks 20 Dec 2013DSC00128 - 6 original concept cards - Starbucks 2001Now you’ve seen the original 2001 concept Starbucks cards!  If somehow you have one of those six cards, hold on to it.  It is precious.

(For Starbucks history, I used the website as a reference – if you want to browse cards, it’s the most complete catalog of cards that I know of.)

Flash forward twelve years, one of the more collectible current Starbucks cards is this rose metal card:

DSC00073 Rose Metal Starbucks Card 18Dec2013If you want one, your best bet is eBay.  I sort of think it’s amazing to see the then and now of the Starbucks card.  If you like browsing through articles about Starbucks cards, I recommend reading the articles in the Starbucks card category of this site.

What do you think of the original concept cards? Should Starbucks resurrect one of those original six designs?

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Starbucks Steel Card 2013: A Limited Card through

Stainless Steel Card 2013Starbucks will soon be offering a new stainless steel card.  It’s available beginning this Friday, and will be sold exclusively by  There is only 1,000 of these cards, so they’ll be gone super fast.  I can’t even imagine that I’ll be lucky enough to get one!

Some readers may recall that last year Starbucks had a similar offering, producing 5,000 steel cards available via  Just like last year, the stainless steel card retails for $450.00, and comes with a $400 balance pre-loaded on the card.  Also, once the card is registered, a Gold-level MyStarbucksRewards membership is unlocked.  Obviously, it’s a pretty incredible item for the serious Starbucks card collector or enthusiast!

The official newsroom article on this steel card is here.

If you want to browse through previous articles about Starbucks Card, click through here.

So who’s going to try and get one?  I think I will try but the truth is, since there is only 1,000 of them the odds are against me that I’ll be successful.

(Open thread – talk about anything Starbucks related).

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