Starbucks Rewards Program Changing This April

Starbucks have announced changes to their loyalty program that will becoming in this April. An outline of the changes below, followed by our thoughts:

starbucks

As you can see, you need more than 10x the amount of Stars to redeem for a free reward than before. Basically now every $62.5 will earn you a free reward, whereas previously every 12 visits would get you a free reward. This means that if your average spend per visit was less than $5.2 then you were better off with this previous rewards program and if your average spend per visit was above $5.2 you’d be better off with this new program.

I’m sure Starbucks have run the numbers and realized they will save a bunch of money doing this (I somehow doubt they average order value is above $5.2), it’ll be interesting to see if there is any backlash from consumers who switch to other coffee centric loyalty programs. Personally I think that Starbucks tastes like cat urine so this change won’t affect me in the slightest.

For those of you that do participate in Starbucks loyalty program, did you know that your free reward doesn’t even have to be a drink (no need to order a 24 shot espresso to maximize your value). Feel free to share your Starbucks hacks in the comments.

11
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
MaryE
MaryE

Thankfully in China, and there are good coffee shops with loyalty programs everywhere. Buy 10 drinks get a free one, any size. Starbucks though already has the revenue program here in a way. It seems to be a combo of the US and China. One has to purchase 50RMB to register the purchase to Gold award level, but the app always gives different kinds of discounts. Sometimes they have buy a new gift card with tons of buy one, get one.And, after 12 stars, one gets a free drink. Plus I still get my 2 points per dollar.

Joe
Joe

The ultimate starbucks hack: drink water!

Michael B
Michael B

I love Starbucks coffee but this change is sort of a punch in the stomach to those of us that stop to grab a regular coffee and get on our way. Even more concerning is the way they worded the email notice “We have exciting news to share. This April, My Starbucks Rewards becomes Starbucks Rewards, a new program that reflects the #1 request we heard from our members: more Stars awarded based on what you buy, no matter how often you visit.” – yeah that’s what we wanted you brilliant marketing team, to take almost 3 times as long to get a free beverage. At least they don’t think we’re stupid or anything. I for one will be switching to the Dunkin Donuts down the street from my neighborhood Starbucks.

I’m guessing that will be the prevailing net result of this – that their froofy drink sales (frappucinos, lattes, etc.) will be unaffected but a lot of standard coffee drinkers will choose to go elsewhere.

Cowboyguy
Cowboyguy

I’ll still be staying with Starbucks. They often have promotions like load $10 and get $5 free. There was even once a promotion to load $10 and get $10 free. Groupon sometimes have get $10 Starbucks GC for $5. I always take advantage of these promos through 2-3 emails and load all on my Starbucks card. There are often bonus offers such as get bonus gold points on the next order or something like that. I also sometimes get emails from Starbucks to fill out the survey regarding my last order and get bonus star free. That, and also because Starbucks is ridiculously easy to go. There’s a starbucks downstairs in my building. There is one 2 blocks down the road. Dunkin Donuts isn’t even 5 miles from my place. Even McDonalds is 2 miles. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

calwatch
calwatch

The normal solution if you don’t want an amped up frappucino or other mixed drink (I usually get Venti frapps with two or three extra shots and an extra syrup) is to go with salads. The Starbucks salads are not a great value at the $6.95 list price but are at least comparable to the $5 salads premade salads you can get at the supermarket. Or in the markets that they offer it, the BBQ brisket sandwich for $6.45.

Jack
Jack

The Dunkin Donuts rewards program is actually kind of ridiculously generous. You get 5 points per dollar spent and 200 points buys you a drink of any size/cost. So even with a large iced coffee as your free drink you’re getting ~6.8%, but that doubles on the more expensive drinks. There are bonus promotions all the time, but when you couple it with buying dd gift cards at the right time of year when they’re like 20% off you can do pretty well. At the moment the gcs are only 3% off though

LG

Not going there anymore. But you could get a free drink with 12 teas/coffees under $3. Now they moved to revenue based.

I have been going to Dunkin for the lost 6 months. Half the cost of the drinks and better service. None of that liberal hippie entitled barista crap

Jon
Jon

People that do coffee runs for the office will be very pleased with these changes…

Mueller
Mueller

Wrong. Used to do mobile order coffee runs for the team, ordering for 6 people and picking them all up at once. One free reward per day (with the 2x mobile bonus) to one every three days.

Joseph
Joseph

Cat urine. Haha

J T
J T

But every 12th cat urine was free.