Starbucks just made its rewards program less valuable to some customers

Starbucks Rewards Program Changes

Starbucks on Monday announced changes to its loyalty program. The new changes make it harder for some customers to earn free food and drinks based on their purchases.

The current program allows customers to earn redeemable points for every purchase. The new program will award points for every dollar spent.

The change is sure to anger some customers who have become accustomed to accumulating points with frequent purchases of drip coffee and other low-cost items.

The change to the Starbucks Rewards program will take place in the United States, Canada, and  Puerto Rico.

Customers curently earn one “star” per purchase and they can redeem 12 stars for a free food and drink item.

Starting in mid-April, customers will get two stars for every $1 spent but need 125 stars to get a free item.

The coffee giant says a vast majority of Starbucks customers will earns rewards at the same pace they do today and the total percentage of revenue that Starbucks will provide as rewards will remain unchanged.

There are currently more than 11 million active Starbucks Rewards customers.

The company acknowledges that around 1% of customers are “check-splitters,” or customers who request two or more transactions in order to game the current system.

Starbucks promises that the “more a customer spends, the more they will get back” under the new rewards program.