Starbucks Will Reward Spending, Not Visits, in Revamped Loyalty Program
Spending, not store visits, will drive rewards for consumers at Starbucks coffee shops, the company said this week. The change follows popular demand, said Aimee Johnson, the chain’s senior vice president for loyalty. She said the change is the top proposal suggested by consumers in the Starbucks digital suggestion box.
The change starts in April.
Now, consumers earn one loyalty star per visit, with 12 stars required for a reward of a free product once the customer achieves gold status, which requires 30 stars, according to a Starbucks chart. The new program will award two stars for every dollar spent, with 300 stars required to achieve gold status, and 125 stars for a free product for those gold-level members. Gold-level customers also can benefit from “double-star days,” Starbucks said. The new program also will put rookie loyalty members into a green membership level, which offers customers the chance to pay at registers with their phones and other benefits, helping consumers to further earn rewards.
Starbucks loyalty members still receive birthday drinks and free refills. “We will be sharing updates and ideas on how we plan to make our rewards program even more rewarding for all members in the near future,” Johnson said.
On a Starbucks customer feedback blog today, some self-identified customers of the chain who said they tend to buy cheaper coffee products were unhappy with the change, as they more quickly received rewards from visits instead of big spending. The program “penalizes those who don’t buy fancy drinks,” read one typical comment.