Food Trends

Starbucks Is Changing Their Rewards Program—Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’re a Starbucks regular, you probably know about (and use) the a free mobile app where you can add funds and pre-order drinks for pickup. It’s nice for when you don’t want to haul out your wallet, but the real benefit is that each time you use the app, you rack up rewards which can be applied towards free drinks.

Well, it turns out that app is pretty popular.

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According to a media release from Starbucks, “membership has [grown] more than 25% over the past two years alone…and Starbucks Rewards transactions accounted for 40% of tender in U.S. company-operated stores in the same time frame.”

Now, to help sweeten the deal and get even more customers on board, the coffee chain is improving the rewards.

In the current rewards system, you get two points (also called stars) for every dollar you spend. If you hit 300 stars (typically meaning you spend $150) within a year, you start getting free food or drinks every time you rack up another 125 stars.

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But you don’t necessarily have to spend $150 to hit that 300. The coffee chain regularly runs promotions like “double point days” where you can multiply the amount of stars you earn.

Now all that is changing. Starting on April 16, gold status will be eliminated. Everyone in the U.S. or Canada with a Starbucks account can start earning rewards immediately, regardless of their status. Members will still get two points for every dollar spent, and there will be no expiration dates on points for those with a rewards credit or debit card (points for non-card-holding members expire about six months after their issue date.)

Additionally, instead of waiting to get to 125 stars, members can now redeem smaller amounts of stars for less pricey buys. Here are some examples:

  • 25 Stars: Extra Espresso Shot, Dairy Substitute or Additional Flavor
  • 50 Stars: Brewed Hot Coffee, Hot Tea or select Bakery Items
  • 150 Stars: Handcrafted Drink, Hot Breakfast or Yogurt Parfaits
  • 200 Stars: Lunch Sandwich, Protein Box or Salad
  • 400 Stars: Select Merchandise or Packaged Coffee

We’re excited about this new points system and can’t wait to rack up some points to get one of these healthier Starbucks drinks for free.

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