Star­bucks re­vamps re­wards

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Money - Face­book.com/Doreen­sDeals, Twit­ter.com/Pret­tyGoodIdeas or email dchris­[email protected]­sen­tinel.com.

Star­bucks is up­dat­ing its re­wards pro­gram on Tues­day and mem­bers will get more free­bies with fewer stars.

The cur­rent pro­gram al­lows those in the free club to earn two stars for each $1 spent when pay­ing with a reg­is­tered Star­bucks card or through the mo­bile app. Mem­bers must

earn 300 stars ev­ery 12 months to earn Gold sta­tus and get spe­cial perks. That won't change.

In the old pro­gram, mem­bers needed 125 stars to get a free­bie. That changes. The new pro­gram of­fers more free items that can be re­deemed with fewer stars.

The pro­gram will still of­fer free drinks for join­ing and on birthdays, and free hot cof­fee and tea re­fills for mem­bers.

Here’s a break­down of the new plan:

25 stars: Free ex­tra shot, fla­vor or soy milk

50 stars: Free any sized cof­fee, But­ter Crois­sant or Iced Le­mon Cake

150 stars: Free hand­crafted bev­er­age or break­fast item

200 stars: Free lunch sand­wich, pro­tein box or salad

400 stars: Free pack­aged cof­fee, tum­bler or merchandise item

No word yet on whether the chain will still of­fer drink spe­cials dur­ing Star­bucks Happy Hours. Stay tuned.

Go to Star­bucks.com/ re­wards/com­ing­soon for more in­for­ma­tion or to join.

Best day to buy gas

Gas prices seem to fluc­tu­ate each week with­out warn­ing. Fuel prices are up 50 cents since the be­gin­ning of the year, and spike even higher dur­ing peak travel times, such as Me­mo­rial Day and sum­mer va­ca­tions.

But you can fight back by fill­ing up your tank on the right day, ac­cord­ing to a new sur­vey by Gas­Buddy.

The fuel-sav­ings app tracked prices in 30 cities from Jan­uary through March to find the best and worst days of the week to buy gas. Gas­Buddy lists real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas sta­tions and con­ve­nience stores.

Gas prices in Florida av­er­aged $2.71 per gal­lon last week, ac­cord­ing to AAA. The na­tional av­er­age was $2.74.

Fri­day was the worst day to fill the tank, the study found. The peak time when gas sta­tions are busiest: 5 p.m. Fri­day. Satur­day and Sun­day weren't much bet­ter.

Save the most by fill­ing up from 7 to 10 a.m. on Mon­days and Tues­days, the study said. Wait times are the best then, too.

Wed­nes­days and Thurs­days were good days to top off the tank, but not the best.

"While fill­ing up on a Sun­day can save time, it doesn’t save money," says Pa­trick DeHaan, head of petroleum anal­y­sis at Gas­Buddy. "Our data shows that fill­ing up on a Mon­day morn­ing each week can col­lec­tively save driv­ers $2.1 bil­lion and avoid the pos­si­bil­ity of play­ing bumper cars at the pumps."

Mon­day also was the best day to buy gas the last two years, pre­vi­ous Gas­Buddy stud­ies found.

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