The last major change to the Starbucks Rewards program may seem like no biggie, but in an age where fewer people are carrying cash it’s a pretty big deal. Starbucks Rewards Stars earned by Starbucks Rewards Visa Credit and Prepaid members no longer expire. So, you’ll be able to sit on those points until you have enough to buy that trendy tumbler you’ve been eyeing, or stock up on Starbucks coffee to use at home.
The loyalty program’s old perks are sticking around, too. As a member, you’ll still get free hot coffee and tea refills, free birthday treats, Bonus Stars through Double Star Days, and other offers tailored to your very specific coffee habits.
The improvements are likely a ploy to entice new members to join Starbucks Rewards, but the coffee purveyor hardly needs the help. Since its introduction in 2009, Starbucks Rewards has racked up millions of members. In the last two years alone, the program has grown 25% with about 40% of all checkouts last year coming from Rewards members, according to the company.
“Since introducing Starbucks Rewards ten years ago, we’ve experienced tremendous growth and continued to evolve the program to meet the changing needs to purchase patterns of our customers,” Matthew Ryan, Starbucks’ chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “These new updates put choice in the hands of our customers and a personal touch they can only get from Starbucks.”
Whatever the reason for the changes to Starbucks’ Rewards program, free stuff down the line is worth shelling out a little extra cash here and there to rack up Stars. At least, that’s what you can tell yourself to justify it.