Starbucks is changing its rewards program, requiring you to accrue more points before you qualify for free items, and Southwest Florida customers aren’t pleased.
Under the Starbucks rewards program, every dollar you spend at a location gives you points (“stars,” as the program refers to them) that count toward a free drink. Soon, however, it will take you twice as many stars to earn one. It currently costs 50 stars to get hot coffee, tea or a bakery item, but the cost will increase to 100 stars under the new system.
Customers weren’t thrilled about it, especially since Starbucks’ drink prices have already increased. But no one told WINK News the change would stop them from coming.
“I think it’s a little too much to go double on what’s necessary to get a free drink,” said rewards member Tim Bradich in Fort Myers. “I know costs are increasing and all that, but still, a big, big hit.”
Other changes: It will now cost you 200 stars for a handcrafted drink or hot breakfast item (previously 150 stars), and it will now be 300 stars instead of 200 for a sandwich or protein box. Everything went up from 50 or 100 stars.
Julia Gray says she goes to an Estero Starbucks pretty much every day, so this was an unfortunate change for her.
“This is unacceptable,” Gray said. “Guys, you have so many fans; what’re you doing? I’m sure that people are probably not really thrilled about it. But I mean, you still get rewards. And if you’re a frequent customer like me, you will get it, just longer now. But why? You have fans all over the world… I mean, I’m still gonna come back. But why? Like, if I’m your frequent customer, I feel like I should be rewarded.”
“I’m disappointed, but it won’t stop me from coming back,” Bradich said.
There are still ways to save, though. Using gift cards gives you two stars for every dollar instead of one. Bringing a reusable cup saves you 10 cents and gives you 25 stars per use.
The changes go into effect on Feb 13.