The program will be going revenue-based.
- The ‘Welcome’ level goes away. Everyone starts at Green, so no waiting for 5 stars before earning free in-store refills for coffee and tea.
- There will be ‘double Star days’ for Gold members each month.
- Existing star balances in your account will be multiplied so you don’t lose out with the new inflated currency.
Here’s the comparison of earning and redemption between the current and new systems:
Break-even for status-earning in the new program is an average of $5 per Starbucks transaction. If you spend more than $5 per Star you earn now, you’ll earn status faster. If you spend less than $5 you’ll take more transactions to earn status.
- Now 30 transactions earns Gold, and 2.5 free drinks.
- Under the new system, 30 transactions of $5 each would earn 300 Stars (at 2 Stars per dollar) for Gold, and 2.4 free drinks.
The Starbucks Rewards program, like so many others, has developed a history of devaluation. Now they’re inflating their currency, going revenue based, and even shaving free drinks ever so slightly. And they claim in their brochure this is the number one requested change by members. That’s like saying it’s an enhancement.