Starbucks announced a suite of enhancements coming to its rapidly-growing Starbucks Rewards loyalty program, bringing more than 16 million members flexibility and choice when redeeming Stars at Starbucks stores. Beginning April 16, all members will be able to earn and redeem Stars for Rewards immediately after joining the program, bringing instant value to its growing fanbase. Members will continue to earn two Stars for every $1 spent when using a registered Starbucks Card for eligible purchases at Starbucks stores.

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The Starbucks Rewards program—introduced in 2009—continues to surge in popularity. Membership has upped more than 25 percent over the past two years alone, climbing to 16 million active members as of December 2018, a 14 percent increase over the prior year. Starbucks Rewards transactions accounted for 40 percent of tender in U.S. company-operated stores in the same time frame.

“Since introducing Starbucks Rewards ten years ago, we’ve experienced tremendous growth and continued to evolve the program to meet the changing needs and purchase patterns of our customers,” says Matthew Ryan, Starbucks chief marketing officer. “These new updates put choice in the hands of our customers and a personal touch they can only get from Starbucks.”

Program updates, effective April 16 include:

Easier and Faster: All Starbucks Rewards members earn Stars toward free Rewards from the day they join, bringing immediate value to customers. This change means members can earn enough Stars to redeem a Reward in as few as two to three visits.

More Choices: A new, tiered Rewards structure will replace the current single option at participating Starbucks locations, offering customers more ways than ever to use their Stars toward free items:

  • 25 Stars: Extra Espresso Shot, Dairy Substitute or Additional Flavor
  • 50 Stars: Brewed Hot Coffee, Hot Tea or select Bakery Items
  • 150 Stars: Handcrafted Drink, Hot Breakfast or Yogurt Parfaits
  • 200 Stars: Lunch Sandwich, Protein Box or Salad
  • 400 Stars: Select Merchandise or Packaged Coffee
  • No Star Expiration for Chase Credit/Debit Cardholders: Stars earned by Starbucks Rewards Visa Credit and Prepaid members will no longer expire

These enhancements build on existing program benefits that will remain available to all members. In addition to earning two Stars for every $1 spent in Starbucks stores, members enjoy free brewed hot coffee & tea refills, a free birthday treat4 and exclusive personalized offers along with dozens of additional opportunities to earn Bonus Stars through monthly Double Star Days and more.

Starbucks’ global same-store sales rose 4 percent in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, driven by a 3 percent increase in average ticket. The chain’s quarterly net revenue climbed 9.2 percent to $6.63 billion. Starbucks’ U.S. market also saw a 4 percent lift (the same as last quarter) in comps while traffic was flat—an improvement from a fall in visits during the final quarter of fiscal 2018.

Marketing & Promotions, News, Starbucks