Starbucks Changes its Loyalty Rewards Program, Responds to Gamers of System


So, you know how folks tie up the line at Starbucks having their Barrista ring up like three different purchases separately so they can accumulate reward points and get a free item quicker?

Yeah, Starbucks has caught on and its ixnaying all of that.

The company announced Monday that beginning this April, it will shift from awarding stars on a per-item purchase to a per dollars spent basis, meaning it will be harder to earn a free item if you spend less than $5.00 per visit.

Currently, irrespective of how much people spend, reward members earn a star for each transaction and after 12 stars, they get a free food or item of their choice

Now, loyalty members will have to earn 125 stars for a free item, with each dollar spent being worth two stars — meaning they have to spend $62.50 to get their free item.

Those latte and scone buyers will keep winning but those who just go in for a small cup of coffee are out of luck.

The shift comes as Starbucks amps up its loyalty program which boasts 11.1 million members, up 23 percent from the previous year, AP reports.

According to Starbucks Chief Strategy Officer Matthew Ryan, the change will impact  a “small minority” of customers. The people who ask to ring up small priced items individually make up just 1 percent of all transactions.

AP Reports that loyalty members spend three times as much as non-members, and help push up profit.