Food & Drink

People Are Pissed About Starbucks' New Rewards Program

Published On 04/12/2016 Published On 04/12/2016
Starbucks drinks
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

The only thing people love more than Starbucks coffee is free Starbucks coffee. And there are typically two ways to get free coffee: steal it (which is frowned upon), or earn it via Starbucks Rewards, an app/card which, umm, rewards loyal customers with free drinks and food. But the Starbucks Rewards program changed in a huge way today, and angry loyalists are taking to Twitter to voice their dissatisfaction.

Drew Swantak/Thrillist

How the rewards program has changed

Our pal/'Bucks expert StarbucksMelody reported back in February on the overhaul the rewards program was going through. It used to work like this: you'd be rewarded with a star every time you visited your local shop. It didn't matter how much money you spent per visit, they only gave you credit for visiting -- so in that way, Starbucks was like your mom. She just wanted to see you. Why don't you visit her as much anymore?

Each visit was worth one star. After 12 visits/stars, you'd get a free reward (coffee! Food!), and after 30 visits/stars, you'd get Gold status. That meant you could get free refills in the store. That was the only real perk. But Americans seemingly spend more time at Starbucks than they do in their own homes (or visiting their mothers), so that's a valuable reward!

As of today, things have changed. You're awarded two stars for every $1 spent. It takes 300 stars to hit that fancy Gold level, though if you use the app/card to make a purchase between now and May 2nd, you'll be Gold for a year. And it takes 125 stars -- as in, you must spend $62.50 -- to get a free coffee or food item. Instead of rewarding you for visiting frequently, Starbucks' new program incentivizes customers based on how much money you spend. And people on Twitter are not happy. Here's what folks had to say.

One guy wants a scapegoat


Your phone is useless now


Like breaking up with your girlfriend and dating her enemy


So much pain in so few words


TWO drinks?! Now they've gone too far.


@PrincessKabash came up with a better headline to this story


Good news: it's only $62.50!


Finally, someone puts this in an appropriate historical context


Ignorance (with regards to how much you spend at Starbucks) is bliss


I don't want to be the one who tells her it's $62.50


Finally, a Starbucks fan who can do math!

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