A Starbucks Bingo Strategy Guide

A few months ago, I shared how my love of Teavana helped me score several free drinks at Starbucks. Well, since then, the Seattle company has announced that they will be shuttering each and every one of their Teavana stores in the coming months. Through my tears, I’ve continued to search for a new free latte plan and recently came across one that’s back for a limited time: Starbucks Bonus Star Bingo.

If you’re not familiar, Starbucks Bingo is a loyalty promotion that tasks coffee drinkers to complete a number of challenges in order to complete their bingo board. For doing so, Gold Card members are rewarded with 10 stars for every spot they mark off, another 10 for every bingo, and a blackout bonus that brings to total to 350 stars (or 325 in some cases, but we’ll get to that). That means, if you are able to complete your board, you’ll have earned enough stars for nearly three free drinks or food items.

While there are nine challenges on the Bingo board, you may notice that some overlap. Because of this, you can check off multiple spots — or at least make progress toward completing them — at the same time. With that in mind, here’s a strategy guide that can earn you those 300+ stars while spending as little as possible.

But, before I get too far into the weeds, I need to warn you about a couple of things. For one, unfortunately Bonus Star Bingo is only offered to current Starbucks Gold Card Members. Second, it appears that not all Bingo game boards are created equal. For example, my offer says I can earn up to 350 stars while my wife’s says 325. Even stranger, her challenges seem to require more purchases, such as needing to visit four locations to finish her Coffee Ranger space while I only had to visit three. I have no idea what’s behind these discrepancies, but the tips I have will still help you get closer to completion regardless.

Starbucks Bonus Star Bingo Strategy: Where to Start

Above is my current Starbucks Bingo card. For this strategy guide, I highly suggest you visit yours by going to StarbucksBingo.com and logging in. I say this because, without reference to the different challenges, it’s easy to get confused by all this talk of when and where to make your Starbucks purchases. With that said, let’s get to it.

One piece of good news is that there are only two spots on the Bonus Star Bingo gameboard that require you to spend a certain amount. These are the Coffee with Friends space, which requires you to spend $12 (again, this may vary — my wife’s was $15) and the Sip & Savor that tasks you with spending at least $6 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Naturally, it makes sense to do these at the same time by spending at least $12 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

But wait — there’s more! If you make this purchase via your mobile phone, you’ll also be on your way to completing your Jump the Line space. Furthermore, you’ll check off your first Starbucks location toward Coffee Ranger.

From there, you’ll need to choose the day of the week you want to go. For the game, there’s value in visiting Monday after 11 a.m. (Monday Funday), Friday at 12 p.m. (Fri-Yay), or anytime on the weekends (Weekender and Mid-Weekender).

So, lets say you place a mobile order with a total of $12 at 11:30 a.m. on a Monday — in this case, you would complete your Coffee with FriendsSip & Savor, and Monday Funday spaces while making progress toward earning your Jump the LineMid-WeekenderCoffee Ranger, and All Day (heads up: this one means you need to make another purchase after 12 p.m. on the same day) badges. Not bad for just a single purchase!

Always on the move (and don’t forget Teavana)

Now that you’ve kicked off our Bingo game in style, it’s time to start thinking about challenges with multiple parts. Topping that list is the Coffee Ranger spot, which will require you to visit multiple Starbucks locations. For this reason, it’s probably a good idea to not only make as many Bonus Star Bingo purchases as you can at a different location but to also use mobile ordering each time.

Speaking of locations, while Teavana stores are being phased out, the ones that are still open qualify for Starbucks Bingo challenges. In fact, I’d recommend visiting your local Teavana on a weekend afternoon after visiting a Starbucks in the morning so that you can complete your All Day challenge, mark off another Coffee Ranger notch, and also inch closer to Weekender and Mid-Weekender. Alternatively, you can make Teavana your $12+ purchase from the scenario we discussed in the first section.

Extra tips and a grand total

As you can see, there are several different ways you can complete your Starbucks Bonus Star Bingo board. As a result, you’ll want to plan ahead so you don’t miss any opportunities. For example, the Mid-Weekender consists of you making a purchase on the weekend and during the week, so don’t let it slip through your fingers.

Another major tip is that, aside from the Coffee with Friends and Sip & Savor challenges, there’s not a requirement of how much you need to spend for each transaction. With that in mind, feel free to just purchase $3 tall coffees and wait until you have some freebies to try those tempting lattes.

By doing that, you could conceivably spend just $25 to complete your board and earn nearly three free drinks. That’s far better than the normal $60+ you’d need to spend to earn just one free item. So, if you haven’t already, now is the time to set your Starbucks Bonus Star Bingo strategy and put it into action before the current game ends on November 1st.


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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