A Coffee Addict’s Lament: New Starbucks Rewards Program

As an avid user of the Starbucks app, I take immense pride in being a gold card member. For those who aren’t as passionate about Starbucks as I am, to achieve the gold level membership a customer must earn 30 stars in a year. You simply purchase an item at Starbucks using your app to earn a star. Once you have reached gold member status, you get perks like a free beverage of any size (aka trenta, which is the largest size for those who do not speak Starbucks-ese), exclusive coupons, and your very own gold member card with your name on it. 

I am a big fan of this rewards program considering how much coffee I consume, but recently Starbucks announced that they are going to change it. Starting in April, stars will be awarded based on how much spent per visit rather than on the amount of items purchased. For every dollar that you spend now, you will earn 2 stars. This may sound like a good deal at first because you can earn more stars per purchase, but this actually raises the cost of achieving the 300 stars needed to get to the gold level. The 12 visit requirement to get a free beverage has now also been changed to 125 stars.

So, let’s do the math here:

New Program

  • 2 stars for every $1 spent
  • 125 stars needed for a free drink
  • 125/2 = $62.50 needs to be spent to get a free coffee

Old Program

  • 12 stars to get a free coffee
  • 1 venti iced coffee = $2.95
  • $2.95 * 12 = $35.40 dollars needs to be spent to get a free coffee

As you can see, the new rewards system that Starbucks is implementing means less free coffee for you. I know, I’m sad about it too– but if you are as addicted as I am, it won’t stop you from still getting your daily java. 

 

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