Back in February I detailed Starbucks plans to gut their rewards program for many customers. As is the trend in the airline loyalty game, Starbucks is moving to a revenue-based program. High-spenders will mostly break even. Folks who just buy a cup of coffee will see their rewards slashed drastically.
Starbucks is informing members that the IT work for the changeover starts tomorrow, with new earning going into effect on Tuesday.
On Monday, April 11, we’ll be making updates to the Starbucks® app and website. During the day, you might notice certain parts of the app and site may not appear to work properly.
…Don’t worry if there are some delays, or certain things (like your Star count) seem incorrect. We’re keeping track of everything and all your correct information will be available again on Tuesday.
Here’s what’s changing:
- 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.
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.