With an estimated 16 million members, Starbucks Rewards is one of the most successful loyalty programs in the world.
With so many reward options, perks and discounts, the program has definitely made members happy — with one big exception. Unlike most other loyalty programs, there was only one way to pay, if you wanted to fully take advantage of the benefits. Up to this point, you could only earn stars by paying with a registered gift card.
This meant members had to continually add funds to their account. If you paid in any other form, including by cash or credit card, you would not earn any stars for your patronage.
The cycle of always having to add funds was frustrating for many and, potentially, cost prohibitive because members often had to add $10 or $20 each time. For years, it’s been one of biggest issues for many members.
Well, this fall, Starbucks is making earning stars easier and more convenient for members who choose to not pay with a registered gift card.
Starting Sept. 15, here’s what’s staying the same and what’s changing for the popular loyalty program:
Paying with a registered Starbucks Card — The benefit for this form of payment stays the same. Members will continue to earn two (2) stars for every $1 spent, whether paying via the app or with a physical card.
NEW! Paying for with a Linked Payment Method — Members can now link a credit card, debit card or mobile wallet to their account and use it to pay directly through the Starbucks app. For this payment method, members will earn one (1) star for every $1 spent.
NEW! Paying by all other payment methods, including cash — Members who choose not to link a payment method to their account or prefer to pay by cash just need to scan their member barcode (in the app) first. Then, complete the transaction by paying with cash, credit card, debit card or mobile wallet. For this payment method, members will earn one (1) star for every $1 spent.
Of course, members who want to fully take advantage of the loyalty program should continue to pay with a registered Starbucks Card. That’s the only way to earn the maximum stars possible for each transaction.
Members can redeem stars for everything from extra espresso shots to packaged coffee beans or coffee mugs.
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