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Starbucks Is Making Big Changes to Its Rewards Program Starting With 'Free' Drinks What once cost Starbucks Rewards members 50 points or "stars" will now double.

By Sam Silverman

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Natee Meepian/Shutterstock

Your Starbucks freebies are about to feel a lot less complimentary.

The coffee giant is making big changes to its Starbucks Rewards program that will cost members more "stars" or points to garner free treats, according to a leaked internal memo obtained by Insider Business.

The program allows members to acquire one point for every dollar spent at any Starbucks location, or two points per dollar spent for pre-loaded Starbucks cardholders. Customers can use these points toward beverages and other menu items. While the system itself won't change, Starbucks is hiking the number of stars needed to redeem these rewards.

Starting February 13, complimentary hot coffee, tea, and baked goods that once cost customers 50 stars will now go for 100 stars, according to the memo. Additionally, "handcrafted drinks" and hot breakfast foods will rise from 150 stars to 200, and salads and sandwiches that were once 200 stars and will now cost 300. Customers will now also have the option to redeem 300 stars for packaged coffee.

On the upside, iced beverages that once cost 150 stars will be reduced to 100 stars. Other snack options like croissants will also see a reduction.

Starbucks is implementing these changes to "ensure the health of the program and meet the evolving needs of our customers," the memo read according to the outlet.

However, the Starbucks Rewards program has proven to be very lucrative for the brand with its 28.7 million members contributing to over half of Starbucks' sales last quarter.

"The rewards program … is generating significant revenue for Starbucks," said CEO Howard Schultz during a November analyst call, according to CNN.

Starbucks said it informed rewards members in the U.S. and Canada of the changes via email and through the app, per CNN.
Sam Silverman

Content Strategy Editor

Sam Silverman is a content strategy editor at Entrepreneur Media. She specializes in search engine optimization (SEO), and her work can be found in The US Sun, Nicki Swift, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style and Health. She writes for our news team with a focus on investigating scandals. Her coverage and expertise span from business news, entrepreneurship, technology, and true crime, to the latest in entertainment and TV news. Sam is a graduate of Lehigh University and currently resides in NYC. 

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