Starbucks Rewards Loyalty Program Changes Coming in April for Canada, USA

Starbucks rewards

Starbucks Canada has announced changes to its Rewards loyalty program, allowing customers “more flexibility and choice” when it comes to redeeming their Stars, beginning in April.

Currently, the Starbucks Rewards program earns customers 2 Stars for every $1 spent.

Starting April 16, 2019, Starbucks says customers can now redeem rewards faster, as a new tiered structure for redemptions will debut:

  • 25 Stars: Extra Espresso Shot, Dairy Substitute or Additional Flavour
  • 50 Stars: Brewed Hot Coffee, Hot Tea or select Bakery Items
  • 150 Stars: Handcrafted Drink, Hot Breakfast or Yogurt Parfaits
  • 250 Stars: Lunch Sandwich, Protein Box or Salad
  • 400 Stars: Select Merchandise or Packaged Coffee

Starbucks rewards april 2019 IIC

Starbucks says previously, new customers joining the Rewards program at the entry Green “Welcome” Level would require 300 Stars to earn a reward, but can now do so immediately after joining the program, so they can “redeem small indulgences sooner,” in just 2-3 visits.

Currently, Gold Level Starbucks members can redeem a reward at 125 Stars, for any free beverage or food item. But this new tiered structure will now cost you 25 additional Stars (150 total) to get your Venti Caramel Macchiato (no word on how many Stars are required for an Orange-Mocha-Frappuccino).

Starbucks says their Rewards program membership has risen 25% in Canada over the past two years, with Rewards transactions taking 35% of tender in company-owned locations in 2018 in Canada.

“We’re giving our customers more of what they’ve been asking for,” says Peter Furnish, vice-president, Marketing, Starbucks Canada, in an issued statement. “By providing more options and more flexibility, we’re putting our members in the driver’s seat to choose what is most valuable for them at Starbucks.”

For brewed coffee drinkers, the new Rewards structure allows for a free beverage with 50 Stars, instead of the previous 125. The move likely aims to lure coffee drinkers away from the popular McDonald’s McCafe Rewards program, which allows digital collectors to double-dip rewards for free coffee.

When asked why there is now a higher redemption level for customers seeking a handcrafted drink, a Starbucks Canada spokesperson responded to iPhone in Canada with the following statement:

When considering enhancements to our program our ultimate goal was to give our customers choice and the ability to make their Rewards meaningful and personal. For example, we specifically created the 50 Star option for our members who love our hot brewed coffee and will now be able to reach that Reward faster than before. Items now available for redemption at 125 Stars are now available for 50 Star, 150 Star and 250 Stars, respectively. While Starbucks Rewards members will continue to earn 2 Stars for every $1 spent on eligible purchases at Starbucks, these updates will give members new choices and flexibility in choosing how to redeem their Stars for Rewards.

The last time Starbucks revamped their Rewards program was back in February of 2016. At the time, the company revised how Stars were rewarded, moving from a 1 Star per visit to 2 Stars per $1 spent structure, as it currently stands. The company launched mobile order and pay in Canada back in March of the same year.