Starbucks rolling out new rewards program

Posted at 10:09 PM, Apr 10, 2016

Starbucks is shaking up its rewards program and there are going to be winners and losers.

The winners:  The people who buy more than just one item on most visits.

The losers: You got it. The customers who buy one item on most visits.

The switchover happens Tuesday, but the company warned customers their apps may not work correctly on Monday because of the transition.

How is the program changing?

Currently, Starbucks reward members earn one star for each transaction. Whether that transaction is for your $5 Frappucino or your $50 office run, it doesn’t matter, it’s worth one star. After 12 stars, gold level members get a reward. That means a free drink of any size or food item. To reach gold star status, you have to collect 30 stars.

Starting Tuesday, April 12, customers will earn two stars for each dollar spent and gold members receive a free reward after 125 stars. That means you have to spend $62.50 to get that free drink or food item. To reach gold star status, you have to collect 300 stars.  

What happens to my old stars?

According to an email from the Seattle-based chain, any rewards you have already earned will carry over and any stars you currently have "will be multiplied by 11 to reflect the program change." Members will continue to get free refills, birthday drinks and the order and pay ahead feature will not change.

Starbucks is also launching Double Star Days. The company said it will pick a random day of the month to offer double stars for rewards members.  

Starbucks is touting the new loyalty program as an improvement, claiming you'll now get "more stars than ever." It is a better deal than the old program if you typically spend at least $6.00 a visit.  

But if you usually buy your morning cup o' joe and that's it, you're getting burned by it. See for yourself what it means for you.