Starting this April, Starbucks is changing their reward system from the current My Starbucks Rewards to just Starbucks Rewards. A lot more things about the program than just the name will be changing.
How the Current My Starbucks Rewards System Works
Currently if you’re a member of My Starbucks Rewards, you earn one star per purchase regardless of how much you spend. This is awesome for someone like me who usually just buys an iced coffee. If you buy multiple things, you can split your purchases to get multiple stars in one visit. You need 30 stars in a year to reach Gold level which is super easy to do if you frequent Starbucks as much as I do.
Once you reach Gold level, after every 12 stars you earn, you get a reward that you can use on any food or drink item in the store. If your reward item isn’t at least $5, you’re doing it all wrong. Without any bonus stars, with the current program, I would have to spend $37.68 to reach enough stars for a reward (coffee addiction is an expensive habit).
Usually Starbucks has bonus star offers, so I rarely have to actually spend that amount to hit my reward – yay for saving money! I also get the most for my money but taking advantage of the free refills on brewed or iced coffee. Thankfully Starbucks is keeping the free refills, so you can still get your four coffees when you’re studying for hours for that bio test.
How the New Starbucks Rewards Program Works
The new program is based on the amount you spend instead of the number of purchases you make. For every $1 you spend, you’ll earn two stars and once you get 125, you get your reward. For those of you not good at math, this almost doubles the amount a regular coffee drinker has to spend to get a reward. Without any special offers, I’ll have to spend $62.50 to get a free coffee. That’s a lot of money for anyone to spend on coffee, but it’s especially high for a college budget. You’ll also need 300 stars to reach Gold level.
They’re going to have double star days, where you earn 4 stars per $1, once a month, and other bonus opportunities sent to your email. If you’re already a member of My Starbucks Rewards, you’ll still get to keep your current stars. Once the new program launches, the stars in your account will be converted into the new point system.
Starbucks Rewards will benefit people who buy a lot of food or only drink milkshakes – sorry, I mean Frappucinos – the most. The Starbucks in Storrs Center is my favorite study spot, and I’ll probably still go there as much as I do now. I’m also seriously addicted to coffee, which any of my friends or family will confirm, so I need my daily fix.
However I’m disappointed that Starbucks would say they are changing their rewards program based on customer requests, since it has received so much backlash from loyal customers. While the change isn’t enough to make me stop going to Starbucks, I’m not looking forward to spending even more money for fewer rewards.