Why that “free” Starbucks drink is about to cost you more

Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN

(CNN) — Starbucks is making changes to its rewards program, requiring members to pay more to win popular giveaways.

Beginning February 13th, members will need 100 Stars (a Starbucks term for points) to earn 1 cup of hot or iced coffee or tea, baked goods, packaged snacks, or takeout cups. A member needs 200 Stars to get a latte or frappuccino or a hot breakfast item, while a salad, lunch he needs 300 stars to get a sandwich, protein box or packaged coffee (such as a bag of beans). Is required.

Currently, members only need 50 Stars to get hot tea, coffee, or bakery items, and 150 Stars to get a latte, hot breakfast item, or parfait, salad, lunch sandwich, or protein. It only takes 200 stars to get the box.

Program members earn stars on purchases. If they use a Starbucks card, a $1 payment he converts to 2 stars. For credit card or other payment methods, a member earns 1 star for every dollar he spends.

Starbucks said it notified Rewards members in the United States and Canada of the change Wednesday via email and the Starbucks app. The new tiers are outlined on the Starbucks Rewards Terms and Conditions site. Insiders first reported the changes to the system on Tuesday after seeing an internal memo.

Rewards programs are a key way for businesses to create loyal customers, learn more about their preferences, and encourage repeat purchases.

During a conference call with analysts in November, interim CEO Howard Schultz said: In his three months to Oct. 2, his number of active Starbucks rewards members surged to his 28.7 million, a 16% year-over-year increase.

Starbucks has been experimenting with its rewards program in recent months.

In October, the coffee chain launched a partnership with Delta Air Lines to allow rewards members to earn airline miles. And earlier this month, Starbucks launched his Odyssey beta. This is an extension of the rewards program where users can earn her NFTs.

Rewards members may be enthusiastic about perks, but they can also be quick to criticize companies that make changes.

Dunkin’ fans were quick to bemoan the rebranding announced in October, and Starbucks customers are already complaining online about the new tier.

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