Starbucks revamps its rewards program

The loyalty app, which has 16 million active users, will feature more ways to redeem points.
Photograph courtesy of Starbucks

The 16 million active users of Starbucks’ loyalty app will be able to earn rewards more quickly under a revamped program debuting next month, the company announced this week.

The updates are designed to “give members more flexibility and choice for redeeming” rewards points, known as stars.

Under the updated rewards system, members can earn and redeem stars immediately after joining the program. Also, a new tiered rewards structure allows users to exchange their points for free items in more ways, including, for the first time, on select merchandise.

For 25 points, users can customize a drink with an extra espresso shot, dairy substitute or flavored syrup. Redeeming 50 points nets a free hot coffee, bakery item or hot tea; 150 points earns a signature drink, hot breakfast or parfait; 200 points buys a lunch sandwich, protein box or salad; and a 400-point redemption can be used on select Starbucks merchandise or at-home coffee.

New benefits for Chase card holders include increased earn rates on some purchases made with Starbucks Rewards Visa Card, and no star expiration for Starbucks Rewards Visa Credit or Prepaid Card holders.

Starbucks Rewards debuted a decade ago and has grown 14% over the past year and 25% over the past two years, according to the Seattle-based coffee giant. Starbucks Rewards transactions account for 40% of all money spent at U.S. company-operated stores.

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