Starbucks Rewards Program

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by vertical smile, May 22, 2019.

  1. vertical smile, May 22, 2019
    Last edited: May 22, 2019

    vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    I have been a long-time Starbucks customer. I have seen many changes with the rewards program, some good, some bad but the overall changes that happened a few months ago are probably to worse I have seen yet.

    They increased the amount of stars needed for the drinks to 150, and the lunch sandwiches to 200. An upside is that they reduced the amount of stars needed for the bakery items to only 50 stars.

    Another change that I have noticed over the past few months is the star collecting events, (such as the star-dash, where you make a purchase every day for a few days, or menu challenge, where you purchase particular items over the span of a week), it seems like the amount of stars rewarded for these events has decreased significantly, and the objectives to complete are getting longer.

    Has anyone else notice this?

    I sometimes wonder if the events are personalized, like unique to the customer, or if they are the same for everyone.

    Another upside is that I have been going to Starbucks less and spending less money there. I have about 5K stars saved up, and I have only been using them for the bakery items @ 50 stars each, and I usually just get the bakery items and skip the drinks.
  2. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    I used to collect many stars and try to keep my status up. Now I frequent my local shops much more often and have gotten to know those folks better. They even have old punch cards.

    They’re generally nicer and the coffee is better. Plus it puts more money in locals’ pockets.
  3. Banglazed macrumors demi-god


    Apr 17, 2017
    Cupertino, CA
    I’ve also been a long-time Starbucks customer as well but I’ve been slowly weaning off Starbucks. Whenever I have a reward, I would either do more add-on or redeem a higher price item. I only partake in the challenges if there are two concurrent challenges where I can hit 2 birds at the same time. I do take advantage of their happy hours. I started to go for 7-11 chillers for $0.99 near me because it is more convenient for me.

    It seems they caught up to my tricks. :p
  4. JayMysterio macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    Rock Ridge, California
    I've notice the increase in '5 days' or '7 days' in a row challenges, which is out of the question for me. On the other hand since the stars seem to last longer now, I have been stacking more. I'm already well past 200, hoping to get the 400 to buy a mug, then not care after that.
  5. vertical smile thread starter macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    Last October, I signed up for the Chase Starbucks Rewards Visa card, and they had a special at the time that if you charged a certain amount to your credit card within the first 3 months, you get enough stars for a free drink a week for a year, so about 52 drinks under the old program.

    I still have most if my stars from that deal.

    It is a pretty sweet deal now that the stars do not expire after 6 months. Of course the drinks cause a lot more stars, so it wouldn't be 52 drinks, but still a really good deal, imo.

    I won't do the 5 or 7 day in a row challenges anymore, it is just too expensive for me.

    As for getting a mug, I thought about what to spend my stars on, and brownies and the banana-nut loafs seem to be the best thing to get if you equate stars to real money.

    For example at my location:

    Banana-nut loaf slice is about $3 or 50 stars, $3/50 = $0.06 a star
    Brownie is about $3 or 50 stars, $3/50 = $0.06 a star
    Most expensive protein bowl is $9 or 200 stars, $9/200 = $0.04 a star
    Most expensive sandwich is $7 or 200 stars, $7/200 = $0.03 a star
    Cafe Latte is about $4.50 or 150 stars, $4.50/150 = $0.03 a star

    It looks like the stars for many bakery items are worth twice as much as a typical drink.

    I'm not sure how much the mugs are, does anyone know?
  6. JayMysterio macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    Rock Ridge, California
    I'm not as concerned about value for my stars. I'm just focused on principal, and I want a Starbuck's mug as a 'lovely parting gift' for my stars. :p
  7. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I was out with the 2016 Rewards change as I'd had enough.

    Way back when, Starbucks offered a black card. You paid yearly and got benefits. Six months in they folded everyone into the Rewards program which reduced my benefits.

    There were minor changes until 2016 when they revamped everything. I'm not one of those drip coffee drinkers at Starbucks. I was dropping $25 every time I came in on weekends with my kids. But in 2016 they made it very difficult to earn stars the way I had been.

    Starbucks claims everyone asked for that change. Bull. Everyone had been asking for 1 star per item, not stars per dollar spent and Starbucks knows it. Doing it one star per item versus one per visit (as it was pre-March 2016) would have eliminated people like me who made each item a separate purchase.

    Shortly after the 2016 change Starbucks closed their idea blog. I'm betting that was because they knew what we'd all been asking and they didn't want to hear the complaints.

    Lots of people left over this, including me.

    I go to my local coffee shop now. It serves better coffee.

    PS. The 2016 change also screwed you on your birthday. Before, you had an entire month to use your birthday drink. Now, you have to use it on your birthday or it's gone.
  8. vertical smile thread starter macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    I got this in 2009, although, I think it was called the "gold" card. They sent me a gold card in the mail, with my name on it and when I became a member.

    I still use the card.

    Me either, I typically get espresso drinks, and the occasional Frappuccino.

    Yup, I was one of the people asking for a star per item. I wished they would just bring back the old stars rewards program. I liked it better than the current one.

    This was me too. I wouldn't do it with every purchase that had multiple items, due to the inconvenience or being in a hurry, but most times I would.

    I make my own drinks at home, but between 2008-2015 I would more often than not, just go to Starbucks.

    My really nice espresso machine was slowly breaking a few years back, and I decided to trash it, and I tried a Bialetti Moka Express, which isn't quite espresso, but isn't really drip-brewed coffee.

    I was pleasantly surprised with the taste and ease of use, and the clean up. After getting an electronic milk frother, I started making my Lattes at home, and prefer them over Starbucks'. So, I have been going to Starbucks a lot less than I use to.

    Here is the Bailetti:

    For work, I have Espressotoria machine, which I think is no longer sold in the US, but I purchased enough pods for the next year, and that should hold me over for a while.
  9. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I can never remember the date, but the gold card you mention with the name came later. I have mine as well, but I never used it simply because I objected to Starbucks rolling me into the Rewards program when I had paid for an entire year of the other program.

    Below is the card I am speaking of. Of course I don't use it now, but I still have it.

  10. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Free coffee for a year would probably be around 8-10 cups for me. I tend to only drink if I’m out for work or something. But that’s not that often.
  11. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    I tend to hoard my stars. Currently at 590. I understand why they made the change. I could use my points and load up the extra shots for free. They are trying to have shots count towards stars.
  12. vertical smile thread starter macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    Here is the latest offer from the Starbucks rewards program:

    Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 4.07.30 PM.png
    It is a shame that the rewards program turned into this. I only go about once a week now to make actual purchases, and this is mostly due to the rewards program.

    I wonder if I am the only one, or if there are others not liking the rewards program changes.

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11 May 22, 2019