Starbucks is making changes to its rewards program and people are not happy
It seems there’s no corner of modern life that isn’t affected by inflation these days, including the rewards program offered by the world’s most popular coffee chain.
Starbucks recently announced that starting next month, some major changes will be coming to its Starbucks Rewards program and, so far, people are not thrilled about it.
As of February 13, it will now cost rewards holders 100 Stars to redeem free items in the first tier (which includes hot coffee or tea, a bakery item, or a packaged snack).
Definitely not a huge fan of @Starbucks' upcoming changes to rewards 😭 that's half as many free brewed coffees 😭😭— Troy Glidden (@troyglidden) December 28, 2022
On the plus side at least bagged coffee is less stars 🤷 #starbucks #starbucksrewards pic.twitter.com/TU0TvYifMO
To get a “handcrafted beverage” or hot breakfast item, you’ll now have to spend 200 Stars, and the program’s top-tier offer of a packaged salad, sandwich, or coffee beans will now cost 300 Stars.
Up until the February 13 change, these items only cost 50, 150, and 200 Stars, respectively.
The only part of the new program that offers a better deal than the previous version is the number of Stars needed for a bag of coffee beans – these previously used 400 Stars.
Rewards holders will still be able to use 25 Stars in order to add a beverage modifier for free, which includes an added espresso shot, added syrup, or alternative milk options.
Customers have already begun expressing their disappointment at the impending change and the huge increase in Stars needed to redeem free items, with some turning to social media to air grievances.
#StarbucksRewards My coffee prize is doubling from 50 to 100. Basically their points are now becoming almost worthless. To earn one free cup of coffee using a prepaid card you have to buy 17 cups. Using cash or linked credit card you have to buy 34 cups. Are you kidding me?— stevenhkatz (@stevenhkatz) December 29, 2022
While most seem frustrated that it will now cost significantly more to earn their favourites for free, others have noted that Starbucks’ lack of transparency about the change has left them feeling resentful of the brand.
If you know me, you know I love @Starbucks but fuck them. Fuck them for going up on their # requirements for rewards AGAIN when they’ve already increased drink prices drastically in the last year & for putting the alert at the BOTTOM of the app. #Starbucks #StarbucksRewards pic.twitter.com/nL88CJC35p— A Real Housewives Connoisseur (@Soup_ofthe_DEJA) December 29, 2022
Recently, Tim Hortons announced it would also be changing its rewards program, but that chain’s updated policy will actually allow customers to earn more points while spending less money.
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