Starbucks Improves Loyalty Program to Reward Biggest Spenders

Starbucks announced today that it is changing the terms of its rewards program.

The Seattle-based coffee brand says its loyalty program will award stars based on dollars spent starting in April at all its Canadian locations.

Currently, customers earn a star for each transaction, regardless of how much they spend, and get a free food or item of their choice after earning 12 stars.

As a result, crafty Starbucks customers could often be overheard asking to have multiple items rung up separately to bypass the rule.

According to today’s announcement, My Starbucks Rewards becomes Starbucks Rewards – a loyalty program based on the #1 customer request of more Stars awarded based on what they buy at Starbucks, no matter how often they visit.

This means customers will earn two Stars for every dollar spent on coffee, food, drinks, and merchandise. Customers will now have to earn 125 stars for a free item, meaning they have to spend $62.50 to get a free item.

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According to Starbucks Chief Strategy Officer Matthew Ryan, the vast majority of customers will earn rewards at an equal or better rate with the change.

GfK’s annual FutureBuy study of shopping habits and trends found that Starbucks mobile payment platform is second to only PayPal in Canada with 12% of Canadians reporting they have paid with their smartphone at Starbucks.

Starbucks launched their Mobile Order & Pay option in select markets across Canada last month.