Starbucks' Star Days Are Back For 1 Week

Starbucks is trying to 'reinvent' itself this year, including by revamping its famous Starbucks Rewards program with the new Web3 platform Starbucks Odyssey (via Starbucks). The digital gathering space, as Starbucks hopes it will become, offers interactive games, activities, and challenges as well as tradable NFTs and a built-in marketplace to exchange them. In addition to getting techie, the company is adding employee benefits in an effort to seem more worker-friendly after taking some bad press over its union-busting efforts earlier this year (per CNBC). The brand also intends to streamline the digital ordering process to meet consumers' post-pandemic needs, as more and more orders are made through the Starbucks app.

In addition to those big changes, Starbucks has also reinvented its popular Star Days promotion week. In prior years, this weeklong promotion ran on a simple format that virtually guaranteed star earnings — all you had to do was purchase this or that item or load money onto your Starbucks card to earn a specific number of points per day (via Starbucks). This year, Starbucks dialed back the week, eliciting strong reactions from fans on social media.

Star Days have returned but not everyone is thrilled

This year, Starbucks has expanded the ways members can earn their rewards but lowered the chances of actually earning them. Instead of formats seen in past years, there are two ways you can potentially earn stars this week (via Starbucks Star Days). The first is to play games at the Star Days Arcade and the second is to enter the Million Stars Giveaway. Don't be misled by the title, no one is winning a million stars. Instead, 1,000 people will win 1,000 per day. Everyone can enter up to twice per day after completing the pre-emptive registration. This user-unfriendly format and slim odds are contributing to fans calling this year's Star Days "the worst one yet" (per Reddit). However, the no-purchase-necessary entry option marks a change from prior purchase-based promos (via Starbucks).

But where Starbucks really skimps is the Star Days Arcade. While you can play as many times as you want, you can only participate twice daily. Fans say the three games are glitchy, often unable to load, and very rarely yield the promised prizes (via Reddit). Players note additional steps are required to claim prizes on the rare occasion they're won, and even those steps are glitchy. One Redditor mentioned spending three hours on the phone with customer service to redeem their stars, while another was told they were ineligible when attempting the retrieval process, and some never received the email to access their winnings in the first place.