Starbucks app changes, loyalty program to kick in

FILE - This Dec. 20, 2010 file photo shows signage at a Starbucks store in New York's Times Square. Starbucks will start offering delivery within New York City's Empire State Building Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, giving office workers in the skyscraper the option of paying a $2 fee to avoid making a trip to the lobby. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Starbucks app and website are undergoing changes Monday to get ready for the new loyalty program set to start Tuesday.

Starbucks website and the app may appear not to work properly Monday and your Star count may seem wrong. Starbucks representatives said your correct information will be available on Tuesday when the new loyalty program goes into effect.

Under the program’s new rules, customers will earn two Stars for every dollar spent, and they’ll need to earn 125 Stars in order to receive a free item of their choice. For its part, Starbucks says the change reflects the company’s willingness to listen to its customers. The coffee giant said they wanted to create a loyalty program “based on the #1 customer request of more Stars awarded based on what they buy at Starbucks, no matter how often they visit.”

In short, the changes to the program are likely to be seen as a penalty for those who spend only a small amount of money at the coffee store, and are apt to be lauded by those who routinely spend $4-5 on a latte and pastry.

For example, customers who typically spent $2 on a tall fresh brewed coffee would earn a free drink after spending roughly $24 after 12 visits. Under the new program, that same customer would need to visit 31 times before receiving the 125 necessary stars for a free item of their choice.

On the flipside, someone who typically gets a $5 grande latte would earn a free item after 12 visits having spent roughly $60. That customer would now only have to visit one extra time or two before receiving the free item.

The big winners in the change are the big spenders. The customers who get venti lattes and pastry items with each visit will get more free items faster. Assuming an average of a $5 latte and a $3 pastry, the customers who spend $8 per visit would normally get a free item after $96 spent. The new program will reward them with a free item after approximately seven to eight visits.

Starbucks also plans to introduce monthly Double-Star days for gold members.

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