Summary of Starbucks Rewards Changes Coming April 16th

Credit: Starbucks

Credit: Starbucks

Last week, I had written about how it was rumored about how there would be changes coming to the Starbucks Rewards program.  Starting April 16th, those changes have now come to fruition.  Read on for more details.

“Since introducing Starbucks Rewards ten years ago, we’ve experienced tremendous growth and continued to evolve the program to meet the changing needs and purchase patterns of our customers,” said Matthew Ryan, Starbucks chief marketing officer. “These new updates put choice in the hands of our customers and a personal touch they can only get from Starbucks.”

Credit: Starbucks

Credit: Starbucks

Updates give members more flexibility and choice for redeeming Stars, including:

The ability for members to earn and redeem Stars for Rewards immediately after joining the program for instant value.

new, tiered Rewards structure that offers members more ways to use their Stars for free items (including select merchandise for the first time).

Additional benefits for Chase card holders including:Increased earn rates on select purchases for Starbucks Rewards Visa Card members.

No Star expiration for Starbucks Rewards Visa Credit or Prepaid Card card holders.

Members will continue to earn 2 Stars for every $1 spent when using a registered Starbucks Card for eligible purchases at Starbucks stores.

The enhancements are designed to drive continued growth for the enormously popular program:

Since its debut ten years ago, Starbucks Rewards has attracted 16 million active members. The program has grown 14% in the past year and more than 25% in the past two years. Starbucks Rewards transactions account for 40% of tender in U.S. company-operated stores.

"Starbucks Rewards continues to be a powerful enabler of loyalty," CEO Kevin Johnson said while discussing that quarter's earnings in a call with analysts. He teased the changes that will be adopted in April. Roz Brewer, the company's chief operating officer, noted at the time that the amount of money each rewards member spends has been increasing.

Meanwhile, other companies have been joining the loyalty train.

According to CNN Business, Chipotle just announced its first national rewards program last week, and to celebrate, gave out various amounts of money on Venmo to celebrate. And Burger King announced a $5 per month subscription service that gives members a free cup of small hot brewed coffee a day.

What do you think readers? Will Starbucks’ changes affect how you visit the change? Will you go less? More? What are some of your favorite loyalty programs? Be sure to leave a comment below!