Starbucks is changing the terms of its rewards program so that people who just get a regular cup of coffee will have to spend significantly more to earn a freebie.
The Seattle-based coffee chain says its loyalty program will award stars based on the dollars spent starting in April. Currently, people earn a star for each transaction, regardless of how much they spend, and get a free food or item of their choice after earning 12 stars.
People will now have to earn 125 stars for a free item, with each dollar spent being worth two stars — meaning they have to spend $62.50 to get their free item. That means that people who now spend around $5 or less per visit are losing out.
You’ll earn 2 Stars for every $1 you spend on coffee, food, drinks, mugs–and more. As a Gold member, once you earn 125 Stars, you’ll be able to redeem them for anything on the menu.*
This means it will cost you $62.50 before getting a reward, or about $5.21 per purchase if you want to equate it back to the old star system ( 125 / 2 / 12). It used to take 12 stars (12 purchases) to earn a reward. e.g. 12 espressos gets you 13th for free (or anything else on the menu, actually).
There goes my “buy 12 tall coffees and then get a free Venti super fancy $9 drink” plan!