I recently came to the realization that during my adolescent years, I likely spent more time in Starbucks coffee shops than anywhere else. During high school, I did not know much about the coffeehouse chain until a friend introduced me to Starbucks® Vanilla Bean Frappuccino blended beverages. I was immediately sold. Looking for any excuse to order one, I chose Starbucks stores over the library as my go-to study spot.

During university I continued this tradition, often sitting all day in my local Starbucks, cramming for exams and writing essays. The background noise of customers coming in and out of the store, complemented by the culture largely fostered by the baristas kept me alert, engaged, and inspired to learn. The only difference was my drink of choice. After discovering espresso, there was nothing standing in the way between me and my beloved lattes and macchiatos. Nevertheless, once I graduated and jumped right into a full-time job, I was concerned that my cherished Starbucks experience would come to a sudden end. Thankfully, I quickly learned that the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program — which I became an early adopter of in 2008 — would keep me connected in my new capacity as a young professional.

Be endlessly rewarded

With Starbucks Rewards, I am constantly earning free food and drinks  . As a member, almost anything that you buy in store or online earns you two stars for every $1 spent using your Starbucks app or registered card. The membership itself is free and anyone 13 or over can sign up.   I especially enjoy treating myself to a non-fat extra foam caramel macchiato. There is nothing more gratifying than sipping one of those on a cold winter’s day, knowing I was gifted it free of charge. Additional benefits include a free reward on your birthday, free in-store refills on select beverages, as well as exclusive member events and personalized offers. Just the other day I received 100 bonus stars for completing a personalized challenge that appeared on my app!

Why carry a wallet?

Do you wake up at the same time every weekday morning, leave your home before the sun has risen in order to get to work on time? I can certainly relate! Every morning, I wake up at 6:30 AM, leave my house by 7 AM. in order to commute from my home in Thornhill to my office in downtown Toronto where I begin my day around 8 AM. Constantly searching for ways to enhance my morning routine, Starbucks’ Mobile Order & Pay has allowed me to embrace my shared love for efficiency andcoffee! Using the Starbucks app, mobile ordering is one of the fastest and easiest ways for those on the go to order ahead, pay and then pick up your purchase. If you are forgetful and frequently leave your wallet at home, you will never have to worry about foregoing your morning coffee. All the more, on days I am running late to work, I feel confident that I can make my early meetings on time! Overall, the app creates a seamless mobile ordering experience, allowing you to store your favourite Starbucks locations and items under your profile. Because of this, I can easily pick up my mobile order at the King and Sherbourne location during the week, which is near my office, or opt for my go-to Thornhill location on weekends.

Though my drink of choice may change over time and my local Starbucks store may vary, what will always prevail is my passion for coffee coupled with my love of the Starbucks experience. As time goes on, I am confident that my connection to the coffeehouse chain will endure, largely due to the Starbucks Rewards program. In the name ofcoffee, I challenge you to join the loyalty program, experience it for yourself, and see your rewards unfold.

For more information about Starbucks Rewards program restrictions, see starbucks.ca/terms.