Starbucks… It’s You, Not Me

Pretty accurate don’t ya think?

You’ve likely heard of the recent change Starbucks made to their rewards program. If you haven’t, in a nutshell the rewards program is now based on the amount spent versus the previous system that was based amount of visits. The change has some up in arms, and others jumping for joy. Personally, I reside the former end of the spectrum and am more importantly, by no means a thrifty patron.

Before I dive into my personal opinion on the matter — including where I stand — there is a (maybe more) benefit from the change. For someone like myself who purchases say 1 grade latte a day, you’re spending $4.69. In order for me to obtain a free drink I’d need to purchase roughly 12 drinks. However, if you add on a banana loaf or second drink and within a couple of days I could have a reward. Furthermore, if you’re someone who purchases drinks for friends or, if you purchase their ground coffee / Verismo pods you’d likely get a free drink in a visit or two.

If you spend a lot you’re probably digging the new Starbucks reward program set up.

Following my move back into the city I’ve been going to independent cafes instead of the always bloated Starbucks. Initially the only reason I stopped going to Starbucks was due to the local cafe being closer. However, once I had noticed the price hike in coffee — $4.15 to $4.69 — that was it, I decided Starbucks had become my last resort behind Mc Donalds.

Goat Coffee Co — Pape & Mortimer, Torono ON

The cafe I go to (Goat Coffee Co.) offers a double shot latte for $4.00 tax included. They too offer a rewards program. Unlike Starbucks, they require the purchase of 9 drinks to get 1 free. So, all things considered the local coffee shop has A) better coffee B) cheaper coffee C) a better rewards program.

What boggles my mind most about the rewards program change their rewards program is the lack of — what seems to be — any logic. Starbucks customers are loyal, they seek out the shops or, will avoid a coffee until they can hit a Starbucks. Loyal customers know that when you reach your free reward drink that you are able to add as many extras as you like.

However, this ability to load up your drink is what has some people arguing amongst one another. There is a ton of people going around trying to shame customers who purchase a regular brew daily and use their free reward to indulge in something special that may cost a bit more. I can’t seem to understand why? The rewards program was set up in a way that what these customers are doing IS NOT TAKING ADVANTAGE of the system rather using it as it’s been designed. Remember, the rewards system was driven of visits and not amount spent, thus if you and a frugal customer both load up your free drink in the eyes of the public you’re both being thrifty.

At the end of the day I’m dumbfounded by the greediness of Starbucks. There’s no way the company is suffering so much that they need to increase their already higher than normal prices AND to create a rewards program focused solely on $$ than the ❤ aka store visits.