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New Starbucks loyalty program

Why Are People Angry About The New Starbucks Customer Loyalty Program?

Starbucks has intensely loyal customers. Their new spending-based loyalty program, however, has many patrons upset.

Starbucks Is Changing Customer Rewards

Starting in April 2016, Starbucks is changing the way it awards “stars” to participants in the company’s loyalty program. Instead of one “star” per visit, customers will receive two stars per dollar they spend.

While this may seem like a small change at first glance, take into account that Starbucks is also changing the way it awards “gold” status to its customers, and how perks are calculated. Currently, customers achieve gold status after earning 30 stars in one year. Thirty visits equals 30 stars. Once you are a gold member, you get a free food or beverage product after earning 12 stars.

The new points system is changing that. Customers will need to earn 300 stars (the equivalent of spending $150) to achieve gold status, and will have to earn 125 stars to get a free item. If you spend $5 or more each time you visit the coffee chain, the program will work roughly the same way for you. Customers who spend less than $5 per visit will encounter the biggest changes.

The company says a spending-based program has been a popular customer request. The change is one of, if not the, largest alteration of the company’s rewards program since it was launched in 2009. Customer loyalty points will be multiplied by a factor of 11 when the new calculations go into effect next month, according to CNN Money.

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