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!