As I mentioned in January when Starbucks had their ‘Go Straight to Gold’ promotion, I am not the biggest fan of Starbucks and their loyalty program.
For various reasons (and probably NOT because of my post!), Starbucks USA is trying to make their My Starbucks Rewards card more appealing to their customers by introducing huge changes in April. Unfortunately, not everyone will be a winner.
Currently you receive one star per transaction and a free coffee every 12 stars (15 stars here in the UK).
This is not as great as the old school stamp card from my local independent coffee store but still OK when you look at the other advantages that the card offers (use your phone to pay, receive special deals and – if a gold member – add extras to your coffee free of charge).
However, it seems that many customers have complained about the points being rewarded per transaction, meaning if you buy more than one product you basically miss out on potential stars. This also lead to people splitting their orders into multiple transactions at the till, creating a longer waiting time for other customers.
Starbucks US has therefore decided to change the My Starbucks Rewards program to be revenue based.
As of mid April My Starbucks Rewards customers in the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico will receive 2 points for every $1 spent and will have to collect 125 points to receive a free drink. This is good news for everyone who loves those expensive coffees with extremely long names and lots of added everything, but for the black filter coffee drinkers it seems a bit silly spending more than $60 in order to get a free coffee. (This would cover the cost of a coffee machine and a to go cup, just saying …..)
Why am I writing about this on a UK website? Well, if you have got a Starbucks card in the UK you can use it in America and vice versa. Rob has covered this over on Head For Points. You can make purchases and collect stars with your card in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Mexico, and the Republic of Ireland.
Once Starbucks USA has changed their program, customers will receive 2 points for every $1 spent. I wonder if UK customers can use their card in the US, spent $8 to receive 16 points and go back to the UK to claim a free drink which would be fantastic ….. but unlikely.
The serious point is that, when they change the loyalty program in the US, it is probably just a matter of time until the UK market follows. It makes no sense, given that you can use the same card in different countries, to have a totally different earning system in North America. Your free coffee may soon be harder (or easier, if you’re a big spender) to earn.Want to earn more Clubcard or Nectar points? Click here to visit the Shopper Points home page for the latest news and offers. Come back every day for new deals or join our email list.
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