Starbucks Shifts Rewards From Visits To Spend


Starbucks is making big changes to its beloved and longstanding rewards program, starting this April.

The company announced Monday (Feb. 22) that it is finally enabling customers to earn more stars through Starbucks Rewards, based on every dollar spent on coffee, food, drinks, merchandise and more, rather than the number of visits.

Starbucks said this change has been the number one request on its My Starbucks Idea page, where customers can vote and discuss product ideas, experience ideas and involvement ideas for Starbucks.

Here is an excerpt from the page laying out what’s changing:

Starting this April, members will earn two Stars for every $1 spent. When Gold members earn 125 Stars, they’ll earn a reward, which they can redeem for anything on the menu. We’re also upgrading all Welcome-level members to Green level so they can start enjoying more benefits of membership right away. And, in addition to the benefits you enjoy today, we’re also introducing a new benefit for Gold members: monthly Double-Star Days.

While the change may result in some customers receiving less stars than they would under the current program, the changes will surely benefit those that spend more, Patrick Surry, chief data scientist at Hopper, told Reuters.

“It aligns the incentives, so the more you spend, the more you get back,” Surry added.

On a conference call to discuss loyalty program updates, led by Starbucks CFO Scott Maw and Chief Strategy Officer Matthew Ryan yesterday (Feb. 22), Ryan explained that the change was not intended to weaken the Starbucks Rewards offering.

According to Ryan, many customers will continue to earn rewards at the same pace they currently do with the total percentage of revenue the company provides as rewards remaining constant as well.