One of the many perks of heading to your local Starbucks, aside from the delicious beverages and pastries, is its stellar rewards program that keeps customers coming back for more. While it previously didn't take much to earn yourself a free drink, the chain just updated its guidelines in a way that will require loyal consumers to spend more to reach free drink status — and people are not happy about it.
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Starbucks emailed its rewards members to spread the word that starting on February 13, 2023, it will ask for more "stars" (its version of points) from other purchases in order to redeem a free drink or snack. The chain offers one star per every one dollar spent.
According to the statement, 100 stars can claim a free hot brewed coffee or tea, an iced coffee or tea, a bakery item, or a packaged snack. If you're looking for a blended drink like a Frappuccino, one of its signature lattes, or a hot breakfast item, the chain is now asking for 200 stars after formerly asking for 150 stars. The highest tier, 300 stars, can be redeemed for a protein box, packaged lunch sandwich, or coffee beans, formerly 200 stars.
While Starbucks is now asking for more stars than before, the good news is that the free hot or iced drink has dropped from 150 stars down to 100. Plus, customers can still redeem 25 stars for an extra shot of espresso or flavor pump.
If you were looking for a reason to head over to Starbucks, other than its new Pistachio Latte and Red Velvet Loaf, this is your chance. You may want to redeem those stars while you can.