A couple years ago, I finally broke down and registered a Starbucks gift card I had purchased. Since I was averaging three Starbucks purchases a year, usually when I was with my scrapbook friends, I had no reason to buy a gift card and leave my money languishing on it. I finally bought a gift card because I liked the design on it (I guess that means their marketing magic worked).
Over the years, I slowly added a few dollars to it, usually when there was some sort of deal from Living Social or Groupon. I figured I would never reach the coveted Gold status, which required 30 stars in one year. Usually, it is one star per purchase so at three purchases a year, I wasn't making Starbucks rich. I guess Starbucks finally figured out that I don't make too many purchases (I don't even get my birthday freebie some years) and sent me an incentive: reload my card with $25 and get a $10 bonus. Now that I could get on board with.
Then this weekend, I hit the star jackpot. Mr. Fix-it and I went out for coffee before running errands and we had the barista ring up each of our purchases separately (yes, we're troublemakers that way, but there was only one person in line behind us and three cashiers). So for three items, I got three stars. But there was a bonus star for every purchase through March 5 (I don't know if it applies to everyone or only to those who received the email) so I received three more stars for six total. But wait, there's more! There was also a three star bonus for purchasing a flat white, which we both had, so six more stars. Woo hoo, 12 stars! Then I got an email asking me to rate that location, which garnered me another star. So, 13 stars, almost halfway to Gold, and the visit was practically free if you count my previous $10 bonus.
The lessson is, sign up for the email alerts and pay attention to the bonuses. I think I'm starting to figure out the system, lol.