The Unexpected Rewards Perk Starbucks Customers Can Now Earn

A new partnership between two major companies is guaranteed to benefit jetsetters and pumpkin spice latte aficionados alike. In a press release, caffeine juggernaut Starbucks announced that it is teaming up with one of the top airlines in the U.S. for a new kind of points partnership. The Seattle-based coffee company is joining forces with Delta Airlines to allow users of the companies' popular rewards programs — Delta Skymiles and Starbucks Rewards – to use their points for much more than bonus beverages. The airline partnership marks the latest in a slate of changes to the longstanding Starbucks rewards program.

According to Insider Intelligence, the company's rewards app – which is used by nearly 30 million people — was the second most used mobile payment app in the U.S. in 2021, surpassed only by Apple Pay. To continue to build on the program's success, Starbucks has recently unveiled some major upgrades aimed at expanding its mobile dominance even further. 

Earlier this fall, amid a public outcry by Starbucks investors regarding the company's alleged union-busting, the coffee conglomerate announced that it would be rolling out a Reward Together program, enabling Starbucks rewards users to link their accounts to outside loyalty programs. The company also unveiled the Odyssey rewards program, a Web3-enabled rewards system through which members could earn, sell, and trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The rewards updates are just some of the company-wide upgrades that Starbucks has unveiled recently, including new ordering systems and automated cafe equipment.

Starbucks customers can earn miles

Now, Starbucks may win over a whole new customer base of airline points-obsessed Delta devotees. According to a press release, beginning on October 12, 2022, Starbucks customers that opt to link the two rewards programs will be eligible to earn one Delta mile per dollar spent at Starbucks. Customers will also be eligible to earn double Stars – Starbucks' term for points – on days the rewards user has a scheduled Delta flight. And, in honor of the launch of the program, customers who link their two program accounts between its launch and December 31, 2022, will earn 500 miles and 150 stars (which equates to a free coffee) after a qualifying purchase.

Caffeine-loving Delta loyalists will also be able to select 4,000 Starbucks Stars as one of the annual Choice Benefits, which are rewarded to airline customers who reach the Diamond and Platinum membership levels. To enroll in the program, wanderlust Starbucks customers can opt-in by visiting the Delta or Starbucks website to link the rewards accounts. Customers must be enrolled in both loyalty programs to participate.