Starbucks Rewards hasn’t been on a roll as of late. In April 2019 they changed the redemption levels for awards from a flat 125 stars for any food or coffee item to a tiered system with rewards ranging from 25 stars for an extra shot in your coffee to a whole package of ground coffee for 400 stars. While it’s possible to hack the system for maximum value, that’s still working the program we have instead of being able to get rewards we want for a decent value.
I’ve noticed that while the number of points needed to get a coffee or bakery item have increased, the number of points Starbucks is offering for their Star Dash and other promotions have stayed the same or even decreased (or maybe just the offers I’ve been receiving have gone down).
I’m still loyal to my Starbs. It might be due to the staff at the location closest to one of my work sites gave me a gift bag and a note on my coffee when it was the last day I’d be visiting them on a regular basis.
I was interested to see what Starbucks’ newest large scale promotion would be, post-devaluation. As it turns out, this promo is worse than the last few they’ve offered.
Last year, Starbucks had the Summer Boardwalk game. It was essentially like “The Game Of Life” for those of us old enough to remember.
I’m talking about the 70s version of the Game of Life where every path wasn’t happy and it was possible to reach the end of a game and end up a huge loser.
The Boardwalk game had you work for weeks, earning extra dice rolls, trying to move down the board, and hopefully earning some bonus stars or prizes along the way, when you could eventually reach the end of the board and get…… nothing.
Apparently, that promotion didn’t go too well so they’ve revamped the summer promo and launched the Match Two promo.
That doesn’t sound too bad.
Each challenge gets 5 stars. FIVE STARS?? It takes 25 stars to get almond milk. An iced coffee costs 150 stars. And you’re giving a challenge award of 5 stars?
Oh, so when I match two of a kind challenges, I’ll get a surprise bonus. Great. What will it be? An extra 5 stars? A trip to Hawaii? I’m supposed to work for these bonuses for what?
I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt. How hard are the challenges?
Here are my offers:
While Starbucks says I can earn up to 380 stars with this promotion, there’s only one of the challenges where I have any chance of completing both of the tasks.
I get my coffee on my way to work at 7:30 AM and I generally work 12 hour shifts. No matter how much they want me to stop by in the afternoon for a refresher, I can’t close up work just to run to get a drink from the Starbucks around the corner.
I will probably hit one of the tasks, buying four iced beverages and six mobile orders, but that won’t require me to change my Starbucks habit at all. Right now, I only know that I’ll earn 10 stars for completing two challenges. I have no idea what the bonus for matching two of the tasks is.
That’s the big flaw of this promotion. The entry bonus is low and the kicker bonus is an unknown. If I knew that I’d get 250 stars for each set of tasks, I might try to get one or two of the easier to complete challenges. But with an unknown reward, I’m not going to go out of my way to try and earn it.
I signed up for the promotion because five stars are five stars.
I’m sure whoever is running Starbucks Rewards has a grand plan that involves getting me to stop by twice a day and try their new Dragonfruit Refresher in the afternoon while buying drinks for the rest of the office. However, I’m the guest who likes to stop by every morning on the way to work and get a Venti Iced Coffee with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup and whole milk, no classic syrup and a Bacon, Egg and Gouda breakfast sandwich. I’m starting to feel like I’m not the customer that Starbucks values anymore and that’s not a good place for a business to position themselves if they want to retain their loyal customers.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary