Based on information found in a tweet, people everywhere are starting to talk about the major overhaul of the Starbucks MyStarbucksRewards program. Previously, I hinted about new rewards here. Under the new system, slated to begin "early April," customers will earn 2 stars per every dollar spent in a Starbucks store, or Starbucks-owned and operated businesses, such as Teavana, Evolution Fresh stores, Roy Street Coffee and Tea, and the Seattle Roastery. (That's the case now - you earn stars at all of those businesses too.) To get a reward, you'll need to be at Gold Reward level, and earn 125 stars. Most of the time, this will mean spending $62.50. However, given that Starbucks does promotions like "star dashes" or other promos, it might be less money than $62.50 at times. The new flyer in the image talks about monthly double star days happening. The new program is simplified so that there are now just two reward levels: Green Level and Gold Level.
By the way, about one year ago, I predicted this change: In April 2015, I said that stars would eventually be based upon dollars spent and that it should take around $60 to earn a reward (actually I predicted $60 to $80). I guessed it would happen within 12 months.
This new program will be so much better: Rewards are more fair across all the Starbucks businesses. Teavana teas add up quickly and their average ticket is definitely higher than Starbucks. There will be no incentive to create multiple transactions. It makes sense that the person who buys an expensive Reserve coffee, or a Sowden Softbrew, should earn more stars than the person buying one single cookie or cake pop. This is better for large families that come to Starbucks together and an adult is paying for everyone's treats. This incentivizes buying larger purchases like mugs and more!
I'm happy for the change. If the past is a predictor for the future, people will still come to Starbucks. The current rewards program has been through many changes. I outlined the history of MyStarbucksRewards in this old article here (scroll to the bottom). For many people, they were Starbucks customers long before there were any rewards at all, and they'll roll with the changes.
Granted, what I'm writing has not been verified by the Starbucks headquarters in Seattle yet. I'll update this article when I get confirmation.
Let me know what you think! :)
(By the way, I really do wonder if the image above was 'leaked' early to get the word out and soften the blow? Also, based upon comments on social media comments I'm seeing, I do genuinely believe that this flyer in the picture is correct and real. I recognize this is an unofficial statement of new rewards but I think it's right!)
Edit on February 20, 1016: As far as I'm concerned, this is real and confirmed. I've started getting private messages and more all indicating this is 100% right. One of my regular readers found the flyer available in a store in Missouri. Here's one more look at the new My Starbucks Rewards flyer:
Edit February 20, 2016 again: Partners (meaning Starbucks employees) will earn stars at the rate of 3 per stars per dollar spent. (It's been the case for many years now that Starbucks offered a unique rewards program for partners, offering exclusive promotions now and then). Customers earn 2 stars per dollar spent. When the program goes live, what ever stars you have will be multiplied by 11 to give you a new star total. So if I (Melody) have 5 stars when the new rewards program takes effect, I'll have 55 stars under the new program.
Edit February 21, 2016: It looks official. Starbucks has announced a conference call to discuss loyalty program updates.