My Starbucks Rewards
Long holiday shopping trips and cooler temperatures make cocoa and coffee a part of the shopping routine pretty quickly. You may as well get something other than jitters and an impromptu trip to the ladies' or gentlemens' convenience for your trouble.
Starbucks' (SBUX) rewards program is one of the best in the industry based solely on just how little is required to earn rewards. Just buying a card and registering it gets drinkers a free beverage for their birthday. Five purchases unlocks free syrup and milk options, free refills and a free drink when you buy a one-pound bag of beans.
It's a bit tougher to make the 25 extra visits to reach "gold" level by the holiday's end, and a free drink comes only every 15 purchases after that, but it still beats competitors' dollar-based rewards systems that give only a dollar back for every 20 spent and provide none of the other perks. It takes a lot of loyalty to earn that personalized gold card, but the freebies that come before make Starbucks' card worth the wallet space.