Starbucks® Rewards Devaluation Coming

by Anthony Losanno
Starbucks Cup

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Anyone who knows me also knows about my Starbucks® addiction. No matter where I am in the world, I need my morning caffeine fix. Starbucks® Rewards offers two stars per dollar spent with Starbucks® gift cards or money preloaded into the app. These stars can be redeemed for free food and beverages.

Essentially, I was able to get a free iced latte for every $75 I spent with the coffee chain (at my rate of consumption, I earned one free drink each week). This changes soon as Starbucks® announced today that it will be devaluing its redemptions on February 13, 2023.

Starbucks Rewards

Current rewards are as follows:

  1. 25 Stars: Customize your drink with an extra espresso shot, dairy substitute, or a dash of syrup.
  2. 50 Stars: Free brewed hot coffee, bakery item, or hot tea.
  3. 150 Stars: Free handcrafted drink, hot breakfast, or parfait. This is the one I use all the time for my Venti nonfat, four pump vanilla latte.
  4. 200 Stars: Free salad, sandwich, or protein box.
  5. 400 Stars: Free select merchandise or at-home coffee.

Starbucks Taiwan

New reward rates:

  1. 25 Stars: This remains unchanged: an extra espresso shot, dairy substitute, or a dash of syrup.
  2. 100 Stars: This now gets you free brewed hot coffee, iced coffee, or a bakery item. Iced coffee is a new choice, but the redemption cost will double.
  3. 200 Stars: That free handcrafted drink, hot breakfast, or parfait now costs 33% more stars.
  4. 300 Stars: This is the new rate for a free salad, sandwich, or protein box. An increase of 50%.
  5. 400 Stars: This remains unchanged: free select merchandise or at-home coffee.

I had a feeling that rates would increase at some point. A $6 beverage for 150 stars or a $4 scone for 50 stars seemed like too great a value (especially since Starbucks® runs bonus star promotions weekly). I’m happy with the recent bonus of being able to earn one Delta SkyMile for each $1 spent at Starbucks® (if you haven’t linked your accounts, do so here).

Anthony’s Take: Devaluation of any rewards program is never a good thing. Airlines and hotels do it all the time and now Starbucks® is as well. Will it change my consumption or loyalty? Nope. I’ll still be placing my mobile order each morning.

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