News & Features Discussion

There's a New Starbucks Rewards Program Coming in April -- Here Are The Changes!

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 13th, 2016 11:27 am
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40 replies
Deal Addict
Mar 16, 2008
3303 posts
3122 upvotes
it's a major downgrade for those that just buy a brewed coffee everyday.
Newbie
Nov 22, 2012
53 posts
31 upvotes
Toronto
Yeah, I just get brewed coffee - about 4 times the stars as now but it'll be 10 times to redeem. What, they were actually hurting from this or something? Not enough profit margin on coffee?
I like how the email I got tried to spin it as a positive instead of a big cutback.
Newbie
Feb 26, 2015
33 posts
10 upvotes
Kingston
This isn't the first time they've changed the rewards program. I think whoever wrote this article is incorrect about their reasons. If they wanted to avoid order splitting, they could have simply said you get 1 star for every item on your receipt.

I think this program is cutting into their profit margin too much. Too many people were taking what might be considered unfair advantage of the system, myself included. For example, I would buy twelve tall drip coffees (about $2) then order an $8-$10 drink for the free drink (e.g. five shot venti soy caramel machiatto). I doubt there's much profit in that for them, so I don't really blame them for adjusting things. Now I'll need to buy 10-12 grande specialty beverages before I can do that - it sucks but I get it.

The up side is when I buy a pound of coffee, which I do at least once a month, I'll get 30-40 stars, and if I wait until double star days I can get 60-80 stars.
Deal Addict
Nov 16, 2005
2439 posts
324 upvotes
ncr
That's a major blow to their rewards program. That means you need to spend > 60$ to get a free drink which maximum costs 8$.
Jr. Member
Jun 29, 2014
191 posts
49 upvotes
BC
@nawtprof: author is Kate Musgrove, here: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/katemusgrove

I also highly doubt that she analyzed the new changes before writing; her logic certainly can use some improvement.

Back to the topic, I agree that this will hurt current members. Time to redeem the free drinks/food!
Member
User avatar
Jul 30, 2007
218 posts
72 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
This better be an April Fool's prank or they'll lose a regular customer. Even with my Virgin Mobile $10 for $15 reward, Starbucks is a much more expensive option for me vs. McDonalds since I cannot drink Starbucks drip coffee at all anymore. I usually order a tall Americano which equates to $2.78 here in Vancouver. I can get a medium McD's drip coffee and a muffin or cookie for $2.10 and the coffee is absolutely fine for me. I'm also fine taking my free medium Cappuccino or Latte after every 7 purchases too.
Member
User avatar
Jul 30, 2007
218 posts
72 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
This better be an April Fool's prank or they'll lose a regular customer. Even with my Virgin Mobile $10 for $15 reward, Starbucks is a much more expensive option for me vs. McDonalds since I cannot drink Starbucks drip coffee at all anymore. I usually order a tall Americano which equates to $2.78 here in Vancouver. I can get a medium McD's drip coffee and a muffin or cookie for $2.10 and the coffee is absolutely fine for me. I'm also fine taking my free medium Cappuccino or Latte after every 7 purchases too.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Oct 12, 2004
703 posts
55 upvotes
Toronto
yeah this sounds terrible for me. i only get coffee and actually treat my rewards drink as a treat. this was what kept me going back to starbucks. so now im expected to spend around $60 for a free drink? i suddenly dont see any reason to keep buying my coffee from there and just get my starbucks treat as my once in a blue moon treat.
HeatWare
HoFo
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Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jul 18, 2003
6497 posts
357 upvotes
Etobicoke
Starbucks' management must have loaded up on McDonald's stocks before announcing this new program as this program will simply drive current Starbucks customers to McDonalds.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Dec 13, 2009
154 posts
49 upvotes
London
Also an Americano drinker here. I have had most of my free rewards expire as I don't often order more than a coffee and the occasional slice of banana loaf. The change is definitely a cutback for pure Java drinkers as well as others. 125 stars, $125.00 spent.
Jr. Member
Dec 17, 2015
121 posts
227 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
A coffee costs close to nothing for them. The old system was a great way of getting people to frequently come back. This new reward system has no appeal, they may as well remove it completely.

Last year Starbucks laid-off managers nation wide to hire less experienced (cheaper) staff. As a Starbucks regular, the effects have been noticed. I've been going less and less.
Jr. Member
Apr 2, 2004
199 posts
94 upvotes
Burnaby
Not surprising, many countries' Starbucks reward program are already based on spending. The spending requirement to achieve gold is even higher than with the new change under the North America program.
Newbie
Jan 23, 2015
64 posts
9 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
I don't understand why Starbucks wanted to change their existing system. Honestly, I really like to take their challenges (from emails) and that's the reason I go Starbucks. Yes, I'm also one of those people who takes advantage of this program by ordering 12 tall drip coffees and ordered the most expensive drinks on free. However, most of the time when I get coffee, my sons or wife wanted a sandwich or other things. If they really release this new system, i will say bye-bye to starbucks.
Sr. Member
Jul 29, 2009
572 posts
419 upvotes
Another super awesome bad news is good news piece written for the Orwell Town Shopper!!!! Top of the Muffin TO YOU!
Sr. Member
User avatar
Sep 12, 2006
929 posts
55 upvotes
Just the incentive I needed to switch back to Mc'ds for my daily Java needs or look into a nespresso.

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