The cafe giant hopes the move will boost sales and shorten wait times.
  1. The loyalty program will reward customers based on how much they spend rather than how frequently they make purchases.
  2. Customers will now earn two stars for every dollar spent, rather than one star for each transaction.
  3. The change is designed in part to end gaming of the current system in which some customers buying multiple items ask baristas to ring them up separately, so they can earn a star for each item—a tactic that has been slowing down lines.
  4. The new Starbucks Rewards system takes effect in April.
  5. It will also change how stars can be redeemed, requiring 300 stars to get to gold-level membership.
  6. You’ll need an additional 125 stars for a free coffee or other reward.
    Previously, customers needed 30 stars for gold level and 12 for a free reward.
  7. For the average customer who spends $5 per transaction, that would mean the same number of transactions to reach gold (30) and then 12.5 more for a reward (versus 12).
  8. The new system also will drop the introductory “welcome” level to have just two: green and gold.
  9. Starbucks currently has more than 11 million active members in its loyalty program.