Starbucks' new rewards program starts today, and it's rewarding members based on how much they spend, not how often they visit.
With the old program, members earned one star per visit. But starting Tuesday, April 12, the coffee chain is hoping to boost its following of loyal customers by giving members more stars based on how much they spend. Members will now earn two stars for every dollar instead of 1 star per visit like with the old program. They will now have to earn 125 stars (or about $63) to get a free reward. Under the old plan, it took 12 stars.
Free refills, birthday drinks, the ability to pay ahead with your phone, and other perks of the current program are staying the same.
Starbucks execs say the change is the number one requested update to the company's rewards program.
"We believe that customers, because they earn more they’ll spend more," Scott Maw, chief financial officer for Starbucks, said. “It’s really that simple. And that will help with comps. We’ve increased our investment in 1-to-1 marketing and personalization to understand our customers better. That is associated with this program and is an important part of what these changes mean for us.”
But not everyone feels that Starbucks has worked to "understand customers better" with the new changes, and many disgruntled members have set off a Twitter storm expressing their frustrations.
How will the changes impact your coffee buying plans going forward? Tell us in the comments.