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Ok, so this isn’t exactly travel related….but it’s probably still going to be relevant to a lot of readers so I thought I’d cover the news in brief.
Starbucks announced that it would be making changes to its Rewards loyalty program when it posted its latest quarterly update and, although the details of the actual changes haven’t yet been officially released, we have had multiple Starbucks employees corroborate the information you’ll find below. [HT: Doctor of Credit]
As Things Stand
Right now Starbucks rewards members earn 2 stars/dollar spent and, once they’ve reached 300 stars (Gold Level), they can redeem every subsequent 125 stars for most food or drink items in store.
On the face of it that sounds like a very mean rewards system but, considering how many bonus stars Starbucks throws around, it’s not quite as bad as it sounds.
As far as we know nothing is changing with regards how stars are earned or what status tiers are available so all the changes are happening on the ‘burn’ side of the rewards program – how Starbucks Rewards members can redeem their stars is what’s changing.
When the changes kick in (no official date has been announced) here’s what Starbucks Rewards members will be able to spend their stars on:
- 25 stars – drink modifications like an extra shot or a syrup up to a value of $1.00
- 50 stars – any size cup of drip/filter hot coffee, hot tea or a bakery item
- 150 stars – any handcrafted beverage (latte, cappuccino, macchiato, iced drinks etc..) or a breakfast sandwich
- 200 stars – any lunch sandwich, salad, or protein box
- 400 stars – any packaged coffee or merchandise item up to a value of $20
Amazingly, there are positives in here as well as a few obvious negatives.
- A ‘handcrafted beverage’ will now cost 150 stars rather than 125 stars
- A breakfast sandwich will now cost 150 stars rather than 125 stars
- Lunch sandwiches, salads and protein boxes will now cost 200 stars rather than 125 stars
- Drip/filter coffee will now cost 50 stars instead of 125 stars
- Bakery items will now cost 50 stars instead of 125 stars
If you’re a fan of the more ‘fancy’ drinks that Starbucks serves these changes will probably be a net negative for you but if you just like to use Starbucks as somewhere to do a bit of work while you have a drip/filter coffee, these changes will actually be quite good for you.