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New Starbucks Rewards Program Has Customers Upset

Many avid Starbucks drinkers recently received an email detailing a new rewards program that the coffee company will be rolling out in April. Before you panic: No, you will not lose you Gold status or your fancy personalized card.

According to Starbucks, this new program will be based on how much money you spend—not just how many trips you make to the coffee chain. Currently, you earn a free coffee or food item for every 12 trips you make to Starbucks. With the new program you’ll earn two stars for every $1 you spend, earning your free item after collecting 125 stars.

While this may be cause to rejoice for those who enjoy breakfast at Starbucks, frugal coffee drinkers many not be so happy, as Business Insider points out. If you normally go to Starbucks for a regular $2 coffee, as a gold member you would only have to spend $24 to get your free coffee or food item. Now, you’ll have to spend a whopping $62.50—about 32 trips to the coffee chain—in order to see that same reward.


Still, this program does benefit those who regularly spent large amounts of money per visit to Starbucks. If you normally spend around $8 for a drink and a snack, you’ll earn you’re free reward in only 8 trips now instead of the previous 12.

However, it seems that the most likely scenario would be spending around $4 each trip for a fancy caffeinated concoction like a latte or macchiato, which would require you to make 16 trips instead of 12. It’s no surprise that people are frustrated with this new program.

Starbucks has pointed out that most people will meet their 125 star requirement in fewer than the maximum required trips because of special offers like double star days. The coffee chain is obviously pushing sales of their food items with this program, which you can’t really blame them for—After all, Starbucks is a business, and if they can get you to spend more money on sandwiches and croissants in pursuit of a free drink, that’s what they’re going to do. Ultimately, this new rewards program may not be too different from the last one. 

Julia is an all around urbanite and current Junior at NYU. She is studying Screenwriting, The Entertainment Business, Italian, and Dance. You'll often find Julia in her favorite coffee shop, working on her latest article or screenplay. She enjoys blogging, cooking delicious vegetarian food, jamming on her guitar, and watching the seasons change. She'll forever be dancing through life. Find her on Instagram and Twitter @jkrom19
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