Starbucks Rewards Shake Up Coming in April, as Stars Get Devalued


Starbucks has announced today its My Starbucks Rewards program will be changing to just Starbucks Rewards in April, plus also bring with it some major changes.

Instead of earning 1 Star per visit today, you’ll soon be earning 2 Stars per every $1 spent in-store, a move which looks to get customers spend more at retail locations.

However, it will now take 300 Stars to reach Gold level (versus 30 before) and in order to redeem a free reward, it’ll now take 125 Stars (or $62.50 spent), versus just 12 Stars from before (as few as $24 spent at $2 per drip coffee).

Screenshot 2016 02 22 13 24 09

Aimee Johnson, Senior Vice President, Starbucks Rewards, explained to customers via email “You’ll earn 2 Stars for every $1 you spend on coffee, food, drinks, mugs—and more.”

When the transition comes, Johnston says “We’ll take care of everything. All the Stars in your account will multiply to reflect the change once we launch the new program in April. The benefits you currently enjoy will stay the same, and we’ll introduce new benefits when we launch.”

Starbucks says this is the “#1 request” by customers and it will “soon be a reality” on their My Starbucks Idea page. Customers seem upset at this change, as they have vented in the comments there, with some noting they will “no longer be a Starbucks customer when April 2016 arrives.”

If you’re not keen on the program’s change, and no longer want to participate, it means just another place to use Apple Pay versus the Starbucks iOS app for payments, since it’s going to take more visits to earn a free reward, if you’re a light spender. But for heavy spenders, it won’t matter as you’ll earn rewards faster. Just buy more food items at Starbucks, right?!

Let us know what you think of these changes coming to the Starbucks Rewards program.


  • sukisszoze

    Got the email..yeah, it’s going to take a lot more purchases to get my free drinks so I don’t see how’s the program is Just going to visit more locally owned coffee shops instead.

  • Harold Mitchell

    It’s the #1 request from Corporate…..just screwing the consumer. As Gary said, you now need to spend around 3 times as much as you did before to get a “free” reward.

  • mxmgodin

    It’s only better for people who buy a lot. To have the equivalent of 12 transactions per rewards you had before, you’ll now need to spend $5.20 per transaction to get your reward at the same rate.

    People who only get their $2 morning coffee every day are going to get screwed, while people who buy more will get rewards faster. One way or another, you can’t make everybody happy.

  • Travis Pinky Mcdowell

    as someone who only buys 1 particular drink that is more then 5.50 this works out really well for me 🙂

  • Starbucks is probably willing to lose these $2/day customers in favour of rewarding those who spend more per visit. It may make people think twice of making a second visit for food but rather to spend more in store for stars.

  • Just spend more each visit! 😛

  • People use to hold up the line when purchasing 3 coffees to do single transactions for more stars, this essentially removes the need to do that. I generally buy 2 coffees and a CakePop for my son which comes to about $13 = 26 stars. In my situation, this means more free coffees as I’d normally only get 1 start for that purchase.

    26 x 5 = 130 – Free Coffee

    1 x 12 = spent way too much for a free coffee 🙁

  • Rye

    Yes star bucks the number 1 reque
    st of your customers was to have to spend MORE money before you get anything free… ????

  • sukisszoze

    I guess I will stop asking them to ring each item in that I have done that..holding up the line.

  • Mark Holoubek

    What I wonder is would someone get 18 stars for buying an $18 bag of coffee, and wouldn’t that cost Starbucks too? (coffee cheaper at home, fewer sales of pastries, etc…)

  • C Pak

    This change does not seem that bad. On average I was spending between 4.50$ and 6.20$ per drink I was ordering. When I do the math it comes out to about 12.5 drinks to be purchased pre reward to be redeemed.

  • C Pak

    I have never bought a 2$ coffee there. So this will not impact me that much.

  • KS

    36 stars in fact

  • Larry

    I’ve never collected stars. I buy about 1 to 2 ‘short’ coffees per month and nothing else. I don’t eat grains, gluten or sugar so there’s not much else I could buy beyond a coffee.

  • Sumit Sekhri

    I second that – visiting local shops more often now if I want some coffee. Better coffee anyways.

  • As long as I can still order my orange-mocha-frappuccinos and sip them at gas stations, who cares about the Starbucks Reward program.

  • erth

    for people who spend over $5 per visit, this change doesn’t matter. for people like me, who buy a $2 coffee once per week, we need to spend more. this is a corporate program that was too generous and they are fixing it now, so that people who didn’t spend enough need to step up.
    OR, buy mcD’s coffee. it is better.

  • Marc S

    Overpriced Coffee “Everything is Awesome”

  • nbrunner

    Long over due. As usual a few have abused the system by wanting 4-5-6 separate transactions while selfishly keeping the line up waiting behind them. If stars mean that much to them to save money maybe they should taking their coffee from home.

  • Ashley Mann

    Ok some brutal honesty that i wont apologize for or retract. Im glad starbucks has done this. They should also raise their prices. Honest time: i dont park because a rusty chevy pickup for a reason. When i go to starbucks i dont want to be around the owner of the rusty pickup. I want people cut from the same kind of clothe as me. I want to be surrounded with high valued members of society as my friends and i are. I dont go to Tim Hortons for a reason. Starbucks has been atrracting the Tims crowd and thats a mistake. Ok bring on the hate, i dont care. I wont apologize for knowing my place and for who i choose to be surrounded by. Starbucks made a step in the right direction today. I demand and expect the best in life, not second class.

  • Ashley Mann throwing it down!

  • Ashley Mann

    …on the counter of my local Starbucks and lovin’ every minute with my ladies! : )

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    I only ever buy their so-called “Tall” coffees at $2/cup. This means I need to buy just over 31 cups before getting a freebie. Imagine any other coffee shop giving you a punch card where you need to buy 31 coffees before getting one free. I think most customers would laugh and just say no thanks – not worth the trouble. While this is STILL a better deal than most cashback rewards credit cards, I think I’m just going to delete the Starbucks app. Too much trouble for what it’s worth.

  • jay

    David’s tea all the way now

  • ????Dennis

    I’m sure your parents are proud… There’s so much I’d like to write to your ditzy ass, but I think this suits you perfectly…
    “See – You – N – Tee”

  • ????Dennis

    On the counter or at the back of that rusty pick-up 😉

  • ????Dennis

    Shouldn’t encourage this chick Gary.