New Starbucks reward program benefits big spenders

Ellie Breed

The new Starbucks rewards program takes effect today and will benefit customers that spend big on each visit, rather than those who frequent the chain for a $2 cup of plain coffee.

Previously, customers earned one star per transaction, regardless of how much they spent. Under the old program, 30 stars were required to become a gold member and an additional 12 for each free reward.

With the redesigned program, customers will earn two stars for every dollar spent, with a required 300 stars to be a gold member and an additional 125 for the free reward.

The changes will benefit customers that spend at least $5.21 per visit, as they will still reach gold status after 30 visits to the chain. However, those regulars that typically spend $2 per visit will have to spend an additional $90 to achieve gold status. Gold members now have to spend $62.50 to get each additional free drink.

“I think it’s sort of a rip off and not even really worth it considering the old rewards program valued their loyal customers, and now I will have to spend over $60 to get a free drink,” said Jane Johnson, human development and family sciences senior.

Undergraduate studies freshman Abby Hogue, who works at Starbucks, said the new program will prevent customers from cheating the system.

“A lot of people learned loopholes with the ‘per transaction’ way of doing the rewards by ordering like six drinks on separate transactions to get stars,” Hogue said. “This wasted everyone’s time and made the line buildup so much worse. The new way … makes everything smoother and fairer to the people who ordered things on one transaction.”

Starbucks said the redesign was in response to the demands of the majority of customers. However, many have taken to Twitter to express concerns, with one user calling the changes “inflation, not incentive.”