Starbucks Relaunches Star Rewards: 12 Other Loyalty Programs With Instant Gratification

You don't need to work your way to Gold status anymore.

Starbucks relaunched its rewards program on April 16, and the new system has drawn ire from espresso-fueled Starbucks loyalists who had to earn 300 stars to reach the coveted Gold status. Now, the chain has done away with Gold status, and you can start racking up and redeeming points as soon as you join the program. While dedicated Starbucks fans may feel like they’ve wasted time and money, the revamped program lets new members access perks without having to earn 300 stars.

The rewards program also takes perks to a granular level: You can use 25 points to substitute coconut milk, to add an espresso shot or to add a flavor shot. Since customers no longer have to collect stars to get to Gold status, high-spending Starbucks patrons can expect to benefit the most.

For opportunities to earn even more perks, look beyond Starbucks. Check out these loyalty programs that give you an instant reward just for signing up.

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Also See: Starbucks and 59 Other Places That Give Away Birthday Freebies

Loyalty Programs That Reward You With Free Coffee

Starbucks relaunches it's Star Rewards Program

Starbucks may have relaunched its rewards program, but you can start your morning off right at one of these coffeehouses. These rewards programs offer bonus points you can use to earn free food and beverages, including coffee.

  • 7-Eleven: Get 800 bonus points for signing up for the 7Rewards program. That’s enough for a coffee drink, a Big Gulp, a donut, a slice of pizza or even a bag of chips.
  • Dunkin’: Get a free beverage from Dunkin’ for every 200 points you earn after you join DD Perks.
  • Panera Bread: Get a free reward, such as a pastry or coffee drink, when you sign up for the MyPanera rewards program.

Find Out: How to Cut Your Starbucks Bill Without Giving Up Your Coffee

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth With These Loyalty Programs

Who says you have to save the best for last? Eat dessert before dinner when you join these loyalty programs.

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  • Baskin-Robbins: Even ice cream tastes better when it’s free. Download the Baskin-Robbins app and create an account to receive a free scoop of ice cream.
  • Bruster’s: Get a $3 reward just for downloading the Bruster’s app and joining Bruster’s Sweet Rewards.
  • Cinnabon: Sign up for Club Cinnabon rewards and receive a free Minibon.
  • Krispy Kreme: Receive a free doughnut just for signing up for Krispy Kreme Rewards. But be careful: It’s hard to eat just one.

More Dessert: Get Your Apple Fix With 7 Cheap Pie Recipe Twists

Restaurant Loyalty Programs With Instant Rewards

If you like eating out more than cooking in, you’re not alone. Become a loyal patron of one of these chain restaurants to reap the rewards. Feeling hungry? Sign up for these loyalty programs to get a free reward just for creating an account.

  • Chipotle: You don’t have to pay extra for guac when you sign up for the Chipotle Rewards program. You’ll get free chips and guac after making your first purchase as a member.
  • IHOP: Get free pancakes for signing up for the MyHop rewards program — and mark your calendars: You’ll enjoy free pancakes on every anniversary of signing up for the program, plus on your birthday.
  • Olive Garden: Pass the breadsticks. Get a $5 reward when you join the Olive Garden Rewards family.
  • Sonic: Cash in on a free medium slush or drink when you download the Sonic app.
  • TGI Fridays: Wings are on you tonight, if you register for Fridays Rewards to receive a free appetizer or dessert.

Make Your Money Work for You

Hack the Menu: How to Get the Best Deals for Any Dinner Out

Whether you decide to hand in your Starbucks Rewards card or remain a loyal customer, you can reap the benefits of loyalty programs offered by a variety of chain restaurants. All you have to do is hand over your email address or free up some space on your smartphone for a new app.

Keep reading to find out 62 companies like Starbucks that deliver freebies to your inbox.

More on Food and Rewards

About the Author

Erika Giovanetti

Erika Giovanetti is a Charlotte, NC-based writer and editor who enjoys spending time in nature, reading modern fiction and non-fiction, unearthing and recreating family recipes, playing with her kittens and spending time with friends and family.

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