Changes Coming for Starbucks' Loyalty Program

Starbucks may be one of the "World’s Most Admired Companies," but new changes to its rewards program may have some customers up in arms.

The coffee behemoth announced that in April its My Starbucks Rewards program will become Starbucks Rewards. What does this mean? In short, that customers will have to spend more money to earn free rewards.
Currently Starbucks customers earn one star per visit, no matter what they spend. The new loyalty program will give customers two stars per every $1 dollar spent, so gold members will earn a reward after they accumulate 125 stars.

Simply put, currently Starbucks customers earn a reward after 12 visits, but in April they will earn a reward after $62.50 spent. Not great news for the customers only spending $2 per visit on a cup of coffee; they will now need to buy 32 cups of coffee for the reward they used to be able to get after 12 cups.

Starbucks claims "this has been the top suggestion on My Starbucks Idea," however some customers have taken to social media to reject the new loyalty plan, such as this post from Twitter:

Can't find one positive tweet about @Starbucks and @starbucksgold new rewards program. I guess it starts with NOT blaming customer for greed.

Additional changes to the loyalty plan include Starbucks upgrading all Welcome level members to Green level and the introduction of monthly Double-Star Days for Gold members. Currently it takes 30 stars to achieve Gold level, in April it will  take 300 stars.

Whether customers are happy about the new loyalty initiative or not, Starbucks says this is just the beginning.

"We will be sharing updates and ideas on how we plan to make our rewards program even more rewarding for all members in the near future," wrote Aimee Johnson on the Starbucks blog.
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