Say Hello to Digital Rewards and More

Hi everyone.  One of the biggest ideas ever shared on My Starbucks Idea has been Electronic Rewards. Thank you for your passion about this issue, it’s made a difference.  This is something we deployed in Pittsburgh in April and now we are ready to launch it nationwide in the United States and Canada (PS: AlohaSue, we didn’t forget Canada!).

The process is a little bit different than the current paper postcard one, so take a look at these steps below.  Beginning October 16, members in the U.S. and Canada will now receive an email to announce that a Free Reward has been loaded directly onto their registered Starbucks Card account.

After that, it's a simple process:
1. Visit any participating Starbucks store. 
2. Tell the barista you have a Free Reward (that way you get to choose when you redeem your reward).
3. Present your registered Starbucks Card (or scan your registered Card on the Starbucks mobile app).

No more waiting by the mailbox, no more forgetting to tuck that postcard in your purse or stuff it in your pocket.    The Free Reward will be loaded instantly onto your registered Starbucks Card account.  You can view your account online or through the Starbucks App to view your earned Free Rewards. 

… And of course all existing paper postcards will be honored through their expiration date,  so if you have them, use ‘em up!  Just make sure you bring your Starbucks Card or mobile app when you do.

You might ask, "What’s that, Free Reward?"  Yes, that’s another enhancement to the program.  You can choose any handcrafted beverage or food item with your free beverage or food reward.  (another idea launched!)

Not only will rewards be a bit tastier, they will now be quicker too once you reach Gold level.    Instead of 15 visits, you’ll receive a free beverage or food reward every 12 visits.

With these changes unfortunately, we are saying goodbye to some other rewards.  Soy milk and syrups will no longer be free and the free tall drink with whole bean purchase has been removed from the program.  We thank you for your loyalty and look to you to share ideas to help continue to evolve the My Starbucks Rewards program. To learn more please click to for all the details. 


Inspired by your ideas:

Electronic Rewards
posted by hjohnson14

Free treat after 10 purchased
posted by teachrunning

9/18/2012 8:49 AM

Bring back the free syrups!

9/18/2012 8:55 AM

I am dissapointed in the company. For a long time I have raved to others about how ethical Starbucks is as a corporation and how they honor those will food allergies by allowing us to aquire the product that meets our health needs at the same price as others, as long as we maintain a relationship with the company by having a registered Starbucks card. I am and have been a customer of the company for many years, have had a Starbucks card, and have appreciated the equality the company has provided to me. With this change, I can say myself and others will no longer maintain a relationship or the same relationship with the company any longer. I am severly dissapointed that the company no longer finds it a necessity to provide equal product/service to their customers.

9/18/2012 9:22 AM

As of Oct. 16, amandanor will be a FORMER customer. Starbucks is sticking it to the people who buy more expensive drinks daily. I, for one, won't stand for it. I've been as loyal as can be and have stuck up for Starbucks a lot, but expecting me to pay an additional $1.10 per drink is ridiculous. Starbucks is showing that it does NOT care about the customers paying more for their drinks and waiting longer to get them. The $25 to $50 I spend at Starbucks per week is ceasing. I know I'm just one person, but I also know that I'm not the only person who feels like Starbucks has gone above and beyond to show me that my patronage isn't appreciated.

9/18/2012 9:27 AM

Can you expand on what a free food item will be? Is it just any pastry, or will it include things like breakfast sandwiches, bistro boxes, etc?

9/18/2012 9:28 AM

This is AWESOME! Thank you Starbucks for rewarding your customers and making it easier to redeem those rewards.

9/18/2012 9:48 AM

@jrroche - it's pretty much any food: muffins, scones, oatmeal, pastries, breakfast sandwiches, snacks of all sorts, bistro boxes, wraps, and paninis.

9/18/2012 10:25 AM

Well, I can say that implementing the idea for digital rewards is very welcomed.  No waiting for postcards.


When did the sooner rewards idea come into play?  I was perfectly okay with free drink after 15 purchases and free syrups & soy add-ons.  The idea that was submitted was a free treat after 10 treats were purchased.  Seems like the idea was misinterpreted.  Very disappointing :(

9/18/2012 10:41 AM

Sometimes I wonder about PR/marketing types. Sure, it's great that (1) we can use our rewards on more than just drinks and (2) we get them after 12 instead of 15 purchases. But dropping soy as a free item for loyal customers? It's a great way to turn LOYAL customers into FORMER customers.

9/18/2012 10:47 AM

So disappointed in some of the changes like: no more free drink with a lb of coffee and no more free soy or syrups. So disappointing.

9/18/2012 11:05 AM


Don Maxwell
9/18/2012 11:16 AM

No free tall coffee with purchase of a pound in the store gives me a new reason to explore the local competition. I'm sure that went into the marketing calculus.

9/18/2012 11:17 AM

Boy, no more free syrup or soy kind of eliminates a lot of the benefit of being a gold member. At this point it just becomes a glorified punch card.

I would hope there is enough outcry to reconsider.

9/18/2012 11:19 AM

There, quite simply, wasn't any thought put into this. With the charge for syrups and soy, I'd be forced to pay an additional $1.10 per drink more, which means I would be PAYING for my "free" drink TWICE.

Heck no. I'm going to go -- anywhere BUT Starbucks.

Stupid move, Starbucks.

9/18/2012 11:20 AM

I think it is a big mistake taking away the free syrups and soy.  I personally very rarely use syrups but I always use soy.  At 60 cents a pop that gets very expensive.  I would rather have the rewards at 15 instead of 12 and keep the free soy.  I do like the electronic awards and that you can use it on any thing, but I will still be spending more with the soy charge than I will get in free drinks or food.

Matthew G
9/18/2012 11:21 AM

Thanks for your comments, we're excited about the new enhancements to the program, like free drinks (and now food) faster and the digital rewards.   We strive to provide the best benefits to the greatest number of loyal customers, and realize the trade-offs are disappointing to some.  Thanks for your engagement with us on My Starbucks Idea.  We look to your ideas to help shape the future My Starbucks Rewards program.

9/18/2012 11:27 AM

i have to agree with what most users have said.

while I do not use soy, I do use syrups quite frequently, and having to pay the extra $.50 for them adds up quite quickly.

while I am a huge fan of the digital reward, I hope Starbucks rethinks these changes to the rewards program.

9/18/2012 11:39 AM

Being a tea drinker(hot or cold), these changes will be great. Don't use soy and very rarely get a frap.  I do agree with nwhistler, you don't get much extra with the Gold card anymore.  Do have one question...the electronic rewads, do they have an expiration date?

9/18/2012 11:39 AM

Not for all but for me this is a great announcement. I never used syrup or soy and had a hard time keeping up with free drink cards.      

9/18/2012 11:40 AM

It doesn't make since to be a loyal card holder really...Starbuck's is really getting the bigger benefit here. I pay $4 a day for my drink so every 11th day I get one free. Yay me! (insert sarcasm here!) It's the daily benefits like the soy and syrup that keep people as loyal card holders and now that's gone. I too am no longer an everday customer, the costs now outweigh the benefits...sadface

9/18/2012 11:41 AM

Is this a joke? The whole point of being a gold member is for the free modifiers. I rarely ever paid attention to my rewards, because I thought the whole postcard idea was ridiculous. It would have been so much more efficient if it was on the card to begin with, so I like that it is now digital. But no syrups? no soy? no tall drink with coffee purchase? Those are why I value my gold card. And to  compensate you give us a reward after 12 drinks instead of 15? How about you keep it at 15 and let us keep the rewards that we worked to get. There is no point in getting a gold card if you  dont get anything out of it.

9/18/2012 11:48 AM

From a huge Starbucks lover and long-time Goldcard holder... I have to say I'm super upset to hear you've decided to now charge for Soymilk in drinks. It's not fair to those of us who have milk allergies and have no choice but to pay extra now to have a drink. And to us goldcard holders who have been loyal for years, spending so much money a Starbucks, we get nothing back for it? Soymilk does not c

ost much more (if more at all) than regular milk. I think this is a bit ridiculous and would hope you rethink this change because a lot of us will be going to other places who don't charge extra. That goes for the syrups too. Those benefits were a huge reason why we come to Starbucks over other coffee shops. Thanks!

9/18/2012 11:48 AM

The new rewards aren't fair. Of course Starbucks would like to say that they are making it digital so that it's easier for the customer and better for the environment, but really it saves them money on printing and postage.

The other modifications of the gold/reward card are giving them a higher profit than before, not benefitting the customer.

It's also not fair for those who need to buy soy milk for the fact that they are ALLERGIC to regular milk. It's not like I would actually choose to pay extra for a different type of "milk," I HAVE to.

If Starbucks doesn't want to reward their loyal customers, they will lose them. It's simple.

9/18/2012 11:54 AM

Very bad move taking away free syrup and soy.

9/18/2012 11:58 AM

Love the electronic rewards idea. But, you have just lost me as a daily customer. My Gold Card means nothing anymore. I specifically worked to get a Gold Card for the free syrups an soy.

Very dissapointing. Hopefully you guys listento all the loyal customers who care enough to post in these threads. This makes me sad.

9/18/2012 12:00 PM

The primary reason I'm a gold card member is for the free syrup with my drink. Like other have said, it adds up. Thank you, Starbucks, for making the decision to support locally owned coffee shops instead of you for me.

9/18/2012 12:00 PM

The whole entire reason that I continued to reload my starbucks card to become a gold member was for the $0.60 off for soy. If starbucks impliments these new rules, then that card will be just as good as any other gift card that can be tossed away when it is done.

There are lots of other cafe's that are coming up on the rise (ie. Spot Coffee) that provide soy milk and almond milk to cater to their customers who have allergy issues. There are also a lot of other companies that send out free items here and there in the mail for customers who visit frequently.

This is honestly a let down for me and a lot of other Starbucks customers that spend a good $50 a week on their beverages. This equates to me spending an extra $144 a year because I have an allergy. Money that could be used to buy other products from the baked goods case, or go towards the new food items that Starbucks offers. But now, that $144 and my $50/week ($2,400/year) will go towards another cafe that looks out for the interest of their consumers first, then the company.

Cynthia Faith
9/18/2012 12:05 PM

You act like the electronic freebie is SUCH an amazing thing.  Ugh...I simply could care less about the free drink!  When I live in the city or travel, I purchased 2 latte's per day....a $30 savings per month.  Now its GONE and SO AM I!!! Along with several friends and by the looks of things, other loyal customers as well! My main reason for getting the gold card was to get the discount on the syrup.  I guess all good things come to an end.  See ya....NOT :(  

9/18/2012 12:14 PM

Tradeoffs? There are NO tradeoffs. Not one single TRADEOFF for me. It's an additional $1.10 PER DRINK, which means that even though I'd get a free drink after 12 drinks instead of 15, I will have paid $13.20 more than now to get the same drink I always buy. So, I'm PAYING FOR THAT FREE DRINK TWICE. TWICE!!!!!!

If Starbucks thinks that its customers aren't smart enough to figure this out, Starbucks is sadly mistaken.

Starbucks can try to spin this, but the math doesn't lie. Starbucks is royally screwing the customers who buy the more expensive drinks. That $2 drip drinker probably loves this, but this $5 latte drinker has been shown that her loyalty and patronage are not appreciated -- Starbucks just wants more, more, more and wants to take, take, take. Starbucks can have that cake pop and eat it, too -- I sure won't be buying it, or anything else!

I had intended to end my patronage beginning Oct. 16, but since Starbucks has shown that it has ZERO respect for the customers that create its profits, I'm making my FINAL Starbucks purchase TODAY -- and I'm only doing that to get to a zero balance on my card.

I have never been so disgusted with a company I supported for years. Starbucks is no longer a company I can respect nor "reward" with my money.

9/18/2012 12:22 PM

Thanks for implementing digital rewards. That's awesome.  

I'm an avid tea drinker so removing free soy and syrup doesn't effect me.  However, I have plenty of friends who are also Gold Card members who drink coffee and have dairy allergies.  I'm very sorry to hear that they will be losing the benefit of free soy. For some people, soy isn't a choice; it's their only option if they want to enjoy your products. (Syrup *is* a choice, so if you absolutely feel the need to eliminate something, I hope it would be free syrup.)  I would hope that you would reconsider removing free soy from the rewards card program.  Thanks.

9/18/2012 12:25 PM

My family of three visits Starbucks every night - 7 days a week - 52 weeks a year and we all order an expensive latte.  My husband and son both order an Iced 2 pump white mocha.  We are already paying for 10 pumps of white mocha and only using four of them. I order an Iced Quad Venti soy latte with one pump of vanilla.  ONE PUMP - that is all.  I will now be paying for all 5 pumps of vanilla not to mention the additional cost for the soy.

How is this change benefiting my family?  IT IS NOT!

So Starbucks how about this.....going forward my husband can order an iced venti white mocha with all five pumps - you can put two pumps in his cup - two in my sons cup and one in my cup.  that would only be fair - I'm paying for all 5 pumps so I should get to say which cup they go in..........

9/18/2012 12:28 PM

I agree with basically everyone who has posted so far, i love the electronic rewards and the fact that food is now available for free. But honestly, i always get syrup and sometimes get soy added to my beverages and now i wont because its not free. Taking away these perks does indeed make my gold card a glorified punch card. I spend SO MUCH TIME at starbucks doing homework, or just hanging out using the wifi and i spend a stupid amount of money there per week. I even drive like twenty minutes to get to a starbucks. One thing that kept me coming back was the free drink modifiers. Please guys bring that back. Passion tea with coconut is my favorite and its actually affordable please dont make me pay extra im a colle ge student on a budget :( and milk makes my tummy hurt sometimes so i really like getting free soy. PLEASE GIVE THE MODIFIERS BACK TO US LOYAL CUSTOMERS.

9/18/2012 12:29 PM

LAME! Your customers aren't stupid! Taking away free soy & syrups and replacing it with a free drink after 12 instead of 15 is NOT a savings to anyone, but you! Good-bye Starbucks. Hello, Peets! Better coffee, anyways.

9/18/2012 12:36 PM

I like that we get the rewards faster but I hate the fact that soy and syrup goes away from being free. Not everyone can consume whole, 2%, or fat free milk!!! 60¢ for soy and 50¢ per pump of syrup that's dumb! We have been loyal for so long now you betray us? Why? We sacrifices that for 12 visits instead of 15 and a free drink/ food? It doesn't even say what foods? Pastries, boxes, or what? This is ridiculous Starbucks. Are you going bankrupt again that you want to charge us more? Anyone else who agrees with me join me to boycott Starbucks.

9/18/2012 12:47 PM

Serious???  Not happy losing the free syrup as well as the free tall coffee with the purchase of a pound! From a loyal customer!

9/18/2012 12:48 PM

While I appreciate the additions, I am distressed regarding the soy milk. Since we all drink it, it will cost my family upwards of an extra $1.80 a week, which doesn't seem like much, but once a week visits are all we can afford, and that money will add up. Unless you are going to stop charging for it all together?

I can live without the syrup shot, but not without the soymilk.

9/18/2012 12:54 PM

As a loyal Starbucks customer, I'm very disappointed in the changes. Free syrup is absolutely what had me going out of my way to find a Starbucks for my daily Cafe Americano. You guys took a step forward with electronic rewards, then promptly took 3 steps back taking away soy, syrup, and free tall with bean purchase.

9/18/2012 12:55 PM

Matthew: don't lie, you don't look forward to our ideas. You knew this from the start about the post cards taking too long. You guys just want to make more money by replacing free soy (which is some people's only choice) and free syrup with 12 visits instead of 15. Ooh, just 3 visits less! Who cares!! Most of us go everyday more than once so that doesn't affect us. Here in San Antonio, TX a tall ice coffee w/ soy w/ 2 pumps of whatever is $2.11 for gold members but as of Oct. 16th, it will be $3.71. That's a $1.60 or over 50% increase on drinks. McDonald's has cheaper drinks but Starbucks has customizable drinks which is why I go there instead but not anymore. Anyone wants my Gold card, because it will go to the recycle. I deleted the iOS app already and won't be reloading my card ever again. Does anyone knows another coffee shop or a nice place to enjoy a drink? (Non alcoholic) I guess I can also recycle my Venti cup since I don't want to own any Starbucks stuff specially now that it will be useless. Goodbye Starbucks, I won't miss you!!!! BOYCOTT STARBUCKS!!

9/18/2012 12:57 PM

The additions to the rewards program sound great!  I am overjoyed that you're doing away with the not so earth-friendly free drink cards, and I think allowing the reward to be redeemable for food is awesome.

Personally, I for one could care less that the artificial, sugar-laden syrups are no longer on the house; but, I do not think it's far to treat your loyal (or formerly loyal) customers, who may have an allergy or aversion to dairy milk, in such a way by not giving them on the house soy milk.  It just doesn't seem right.

If you're going to charge for it, bring back the Silk and make it the Organic kind.

9/18/2012 12:59 PM

fair* ^^

9/18/2012 1:02 PM

This is the worst idea ever. This gold card member will be going elsewhere.

9/18/2012 1:06 PM

Wow.  I am shocked by this turn of events.  I am a Gold card member so that I could get the free soy milk because I am allergic to dairy...which means I use soy milk every time I order AND I cannot eat any of the food products offered by Starbucks because they include dairy.  This new Free Rewards program is no reward for me at all.  I cannot believe this is true.  I would walk further to get to a Starbucks and bypass Caribou Coffee every single day.  Very sad day.

9/18/2012 1:14 PM

Someone is going to get fired for this in a few weeks when sales are down.

9/18/2012 1:19 PM

I am also lactose intolerant and I go out of my way to go to Starbucks in the morning to get a soy latte. If I'm going to have to pay for the soy milk, then I might as well go to my local coffee shop since it will work out cheaper and actually cost me less. I do like the idea of the digital rewards. However, I'd rather have free soy milk than the choice to use the rewards for food or for getting free drinks "20% faster". The math just doesn't work out for me.

9/18/2012 1:22 PM

BAD BAD idea to remove the soy and syrups from Gold card holders...........LOST A CUSTOMER WITH THIS MOVE. There are many coffee companies out there, you just gave them more business!

9/18/2012 1:24 PM

I really find it awful that the choice to remove soy milk as  a benefit is being withdrawn.  This not only destroys Starbucks relationship to their loyal dairy intolerant demographic, but also shows that they have no regard for their own values.  For a company that states it has a global responsibility and ethically sources its products, I do not see how this action correlates.  By taking away this benefit, Starbucks is stating they do not care for 60% of adults that cannot process milk.... I guess global responsibility only applies to the other 40%.  

After spending the remaining amount on my Gold Card, I will not be coming back unless the free soy comes back first.  

9/18/2012 1:25 PM

To be quite honest, Soy should have never been a charge in the first place, its the same price as milk. So basically you were ripping us off in the beginning!

9/18/2012 1:36 PM

Outraged! No more soy & no more syrup. Why? Seriously why?

9/18/2012 1:51 PM

SERIOUSLY!!!!!???  You want to charge extra for syrup and soy?  I've been a loyal customer for many, many years.  I even stayed loyal when you put your drink prices up.  But I'm done - simply can't afford to go to Starbucks anymore.  Bad, bad move Starbucks.  It was nice knowing ya!

9/18/2012 1:51 PM

Not thrilled about the changes - no soy and no syrup? That was the whole point of me being a cardholder. The free drink was just a bonus. Goodbye Starbucks.

9/18/2012 1:56 PM

Epic fail on taking away soy. I drive out of my way to get the soy and was the reason I signed up for sbux rewards. I dont want to support factory farming, which is why I love the free soy. Now, it does not matter where i buy my coffee.

9/18/2012 2:03 PM

This is such a poor choice, discontinuing free syrups and soy. You did not need to even change the number of purchases made before earning a reward. So unnecessary. Part of the reason I use my card (and have earned a gold card) is because of those free syrups and free soy. I don't like your baked goods. I am so frequent a customer at my local Starbucks that the baristas start making my drink as they see me walk in.

Adding the reward to the app is not enough of a benefit to justify the removal of the features that draw so much of us to being card holders, because adding it to the app benefits Starbucks as much as it benefits it's customers.

9/18/2012 2:05 PM

I'm happy to pay for syrups and I'm happy to wait 15 stars for my free drink, but I'm not happy to pay for soy. I too am much inclined to leave my gold card alone for a while...we'll see if the threats to leave the program come true. I hope everyone sticks to their guns.

9/18/2012 2:07 PM


9/18/2012 2:17 PM

Your picture of the the gold card and the wand is definitely appropriate for what has happened to our reward benefits.....POOF....THEY ARE GONE....AND SOON TO BE FORMER STARBUCK CUSTOMERS!!!

9/18/2012 2:29 PM

Why does soy cost more? I genuinely want to know, because it does not cost that much more in the grocery store (certainly not $.60 more per 8 oz.). I really don't get it. Without the free soy, I won't be going to Starbucks anymore. If I'm going to be charged for being lactose intolerant, I'd rather give the extra charge to a local coffee shop.

9/18/2012 2:30 PM

Where in the the following "inspired by your ideas" does it say in their posts that they wanted soy and syrups removed??? Actually, has there EVER been a post that request that the Starbucks remove soy and syrups from our benefits??? (Answer: None)

Inspired by your ideas:

Electronic Rewards

posted by hjohnson14

Free treat after 10 purchased

posted by teachrunning

9/18/2012 2:40 PM

Thank you guys for finally pushing this nation wide I was praying the trial in Pittsburgh was going to be successful.

9/18/2012 2:50 PM

I am not happy with the new rewards program. I was fine with the free drink after 15! I don't like the idea of removing the soy and the syrup!

9/18/2012 2:51 PM

I for one am extremely disappointed in the new changes. Though there are some interesting new features such as the free drink on the card, you have lost many customers and potential customers in this act including myself.

Many lactose-intolerant people use your program to enjoy their drinks, but unfortunately, you have just closed the door to that market.

In addition, isn't Starbucks ' mission to make drinks more unique? With free syrups, people can achieve that. Again, you are closing the opportunity for many people.

This will definitely be talked about for at least months after the change. This will also take away potential customers and consumers world wide.

Please consider this again.

9/18/2012 2:52 PM

I never really eat Starbucks food because it's a tad overpriced, and the only reason I EVER get latte's are because I got syrups for free, and sure I may not be lactose intolerant, but I enjoy soy milk. I could care less about the rewards cards, but it's cool that we can use them for food - so you best believe that I'm getting the most expensive thing in the display case when I get it. I guess I'll stick to my coffee and tea since the only GOOD thing about my gold card now is the free refills.

9/18/2012 2:55 PM

You've lost me as a customer with this latest decision. I'm going to tell all of my friends with Gold Cards to destroy them and stop going to Starbucks.

9/18/2012 3:02 PM

I'm THRILLED with the new rewards!  Yay for getting to earn a free drink sooner...I love the change from 15 to 12 AND I'm really grateful not to have to wait for a postcard that could get lost/stolen.  Will you also be adding the birthday drink electronically too?  While I'll miss free syrup additions, I think the new program will serve me better, since I rarely get drip coffee in store.  (When I do, it's free anyway, since I redeem my grocery-bought empty bag for the free tall coffee.)  Kudos to you Starbucks!  You are still my happy place.  (I also love that you support equality.)  Brew on!

9/18/2012 4:01 PM

I'm all for going green. However, there's nothing like receiving a postcard in the mail. Plus, it has the date as a reminder to use before it expires. I'm really going to miss these cards. Don't like the new idea.

9/18/2012 4:04 PM

What's the benefit of having a registered card or a gold card! your birthday comes only once a year!

9/18/2012 4:08 PM

As a frequent visitor to Starbucks who has a registered card and Gold card. I enjoy an occasional splash of Soy Milk in my iced Americano. Not enough to pay .60 cents for. This benefit as a loyal customer was awesome and I will miss it very much.

9/18/2012 4:19 PM

I don't like this at all. As almost everyone before has mentioned, it's not fair to take away soy benefits. Many people have no choice when it comes to dairy vs soy. I kind of feel like this is discrimination. Way to go Starbucks.

I've been a longtime (15+years) Starbucks customer, and I never thought the day would come when I'd consider switching coffee shops. The day has come, and I'm gonna think long and hard before buying from Starbucks again.

9/18/2012 4:22 PM

I think it is a great idea! I feel bad for the soy fans, but for not the soy fans, this totally benefits us! Thanks!!!! Yay, to 12 stars...!!!  

9/18/2012 4:22 PM

I think it is a great idea! I feel bad for the soy fans, but for not the soy fans, this totally benefits us! Thanks!!!! Yay, to 12 stars...!!!  

9/18/2012 4:22 PM

I think it is a great idea! I feel bad for the soy fans, but for not the soy fans, this totally benefits us! Thanks!!!! Yay, to 12 stars...!!!  

9/18/2012 4:22 PM

I think it is a great idea! I feel bad for the soy fans, but for not the soy fans, this totally benefits us! Thanks!!!! Yay, to 12 stars...!!!  

9/18/2012 4:22 PM

I think it is a great idea! I feel bad for the soy fans, but for not the soy fans, this totally benefits us! Thanks!!!! Yay, to 12 stars...!!!  

9/18/2012 4:23 PM

I think it is a great idea! I feel bad for the soy fans, but for not the soy fans, this totally benefits us! Thanks!!!! Yay, to 12 stars...!!!  

9/18/2012 4:23 PM

Electronic is so much more convenient!

9/18/2012 4:57 PM

I agree with most of the comments regarding the free soy/syrup. It is definitely a major perk. I would rather have the free soy/syrup and keep the rewards at 15. The other changes are acceptable. Please reconsider keeping soy/syrup.

9/18/2012 5:07 PM

The only the only thing more irritating than the changes themselves are the robotic responses from Starbucks staff online.  Anyone with basic math skills can calculate that the new arrangement is drastically more expensive for those frequent customers who use the extras in their drinks, so I'm not sure how this provides "the best benefits to the greatest number of loyal customers".  Really what the company has chosen to do is alienate "loyal" customers  specifically, and remove the main competitive advantage that they have over other coffee shops.  

Stop offering the condescending replies btw, it's embarrassing.  "We look to your ideas to help shape the future My Starbucks Rewards program."  - really????  I'm pretty sure no customer EVER had this stupid idea.

9/18/2012 5:09 PM

New Starbucks rewards are worthless! Starbucks coffee is already expensive and now we will have to pay for syrups and soy. The amount of money we would save buying coffee elsewhere will compensate for the free drink. Please keep the old rewards!

9/18/2012 5:33 PM

Thank you for making the Rewards digital.

Taking away soy is a no no. This just can't be coming from Starbucks.

I am ok with no tall drink with pound coffeee purchased and even no free syrup is fine.

Taking away soy is just not something I believe Starbucks would do when there are so many folks that are lactose intolerant

9/18/2012 5:42 PM

WOW, i agree with EVERYONE else on here, bring back the syrups and the soy. Very dissapointing, without that I will buying coffee anywhere that is convinient and not searching out starbucks anymore.

I also find it interesting that the mods have been back since this morn. with all of the negative complaints on here.

Yeah the digital access to your free drink is great, and lets be honest kinda the duh factor, shoulda been done forever ago, but common the rest is ridiculous.

And buy the way, the fact that you dont get a free drink after your 1st 15 when you reach gold is just dumb too.

9/18/2012 5:42 PM

WOW, i agree with EVERYONE else on here, bring back the syrups and the soy. Very dissapointing, without that I will buying coffee anywhere that is convinient and not searching out starbucks anymore.

I also find it interesting that the mods have been back since this morn. with all of the negative complaints on here.

Yeah the digital access to your free drink is great, and lets be honest kinda the duh factor, shoulda been done forever ago, but common the rest is ridiculous.

And buy the way, the fact that you dont get a free drink after your 1st 15 when you reach gold is just dumb too.

9/18/2012 5:45 PM

I guess I'm alone here but I don't really care about the removal of free syrup and soy. In fact I've been a gold member for several years and I can't remember when I actually had a SB apply the free syrup/soy discount, not to mention that I'm not going to hold up a line of 30 to save a dollar after the fact. I travel a lot so I'm thrilled about the end of the post cards. I won't have to come home to a mailbox of expired free coffee. Good move overall.

9/18/2012 5:45 PM

mods havent been back, not have.... typo

9/18/2012 5:48 PM

Eirco1, its not that you are alone, most of us like the additions and changes, but dont feel getting a free coffee after 12 instead of 15 is worth the trade off of our syrups and soy.

9/18/2012 6:01 PM

Free syrup and soy milk were automatically taken off your total, many people may not realize that they were receiving the discount. I feel bad for all the baristas who are going to have to explain to customers why their drinks are more expensive.

If a customer buys drinks with syrups (I think syrups are $.60 here), after 12 drinks they will be paying for their "free drink" twice!

I am very disappointed in Starbucks. I now want an option to cash out my giftcards since their only function is as a plastic punch card.

9/18/2012 6:12 PM

Hi Matthew - It looks like this comment will get buried in the middle of 92 comments, but I want to say that I appreciate the added flexibility of the new program.  There are quite a food Starbucks food items that I very much enjoy (the Chicken Santa Fe panani is quite good!) and I'm excited to be able to get free food - usually more expensive than most beverages I order.

Thank you.

~Melody O.

9/18/2012 7:11 PM

Wow, people are so greedy. Starbucks doesn't have to give anything away for free if they don't want to. It sucks that some things that were free aren't anymore but that doesn't mean everyone should start acting like lunatics. Rich world problems...

9/18/2012 7:22 PM

Starbucks can't be serious about this, can they? How can you take away some of the best, most used perks and then call the program "improved?" Starbucks has the loyalty of so many millions of people, and the Rewards program was already pretty pathetic. Now it's completely worthless. As a former Starbucks employee, I am ashamed at these changes and what it means for customers and business. Expect some major losses on this one, Starbucks. Couldn't you have made a higher tier (Platinum as someone suggested) or made it so that customers can pick their perks? You can either get free food and drinks, or free soy/syrups. I NEVER get food at Starbucks because it is so unhealthy...take a look at the nutritional facts, guys. I sincerely hope Starbucks hears their customers' voices and recants this horrible excuse for an improvement. Gimme a break

9/18/2012 7:31 PM

I really hope you guys are payaing attention to this feedback, because it is overwhelmingly negative. It seems as though the vast majority of us agree that we got the cards for the free syrups and soy milk (I'm including myself in that), and without those benefits there's no point.  I'm another that would be ok with having a freebie less often/not having one at all even if I could keep the free soy and syrups because those add up SO much.  Or give two options, one track lets you have the freebies, the other track lets you have free soy and syrups. One or the other, and everyone picks what matters most to them. Makes more sense for a lot of us.

-Also, without the free soy I do have a lot less reason to go to starbucks. I hate to be THAT threatening customer, but I'm not really, it's just as someone who is lactose intolerant that was the biggest draw for me really.

9/18/2012 7:59 PM

Wow, what? There goes my relationship with Starbucks. I only go there so often because of my free syrups and soy. I'm so sad about this change :( Who cares about the free drink, with this change I'll be spending close to $7 on my coffee, which is just ridiculous.

9/18/2012 8:00 PM

From both a customer and stock owner's view point, I think you are making a very big mistake by taking away the free soy option.  I for one don't care if I get a free drink (or whatever) at 15 drinks or at 12 or 10 drinks;  If I am paying for the soy then I'll be buying way less drinks. From the comments I see here, so will many others.  This is a very bad business decision. Please consider changing it.

9/18/2012 8:06 PM

Please talk about what you will do about soy soon. It was to high in the first place. Make it cheaper for all or keep it free for rewards members. Its not like soy cost you that much more or anymore at all.

Someone with a dairy allergy can't just go out and have ice cream. They can go to Starbucks and have a frappuccino with soy. Please dont make it cost more.

9/18/2012 8:20 PM

extremely disappointed to learn that one of the best perks for being a gold card member is being removed. Free soy and syrup was a perk that I am not willing to lose. Seems like there are MANY  people that feel the same way. Also disappointed ( but not surprised) by the response posted by Sbux that sounds like a typical corporately prepared statement instead of a genuine reply. I will use my card until it runs out and then will no longer maintain an account .

9/18/2012 9:33 PM

I feel like now I can just take my business to my home espresso maker.  I'd been leery to use it since I love Starbucks so much after moving from the east coast (with dunkin donuts that has WAY better normal coffee) and adjusting to it...but milk makes me terribly sick.  In these times, my money is tight and my hot latte with soy is the only treat I get a week.  Without the free soy option, I feel discriminated on because my allergy is apparently not an option.  To the person who remarked that we were all "lunatics" for getting mad about something that was free and now it's not, how would you feel if suddenly you had to pay an extra 60 cents for your milk option?  Would you go without and drink just the espresso and syrup?  The people who want to be healthy and drink skim milk get their personal choice without a cost.  So I guess that Starbucks won't be catering to me (and a thousand of other people out there like me) so I won't be catering to them.  Shame I have this gold card I got in the mail yesterday that's so useless.

9/18/2012 10:10 PM

I get soy Everytime because I can't stand the taste of milk and want a more healthier option. And I love to get syrups. The only reason I even go to Starbucks is to sit around and drink my soy beverage. Why would I even want the rewards card of I don't get these benefits? I would obviously enjoy the current benefits then these so called "improvements". Will I be charged for my soy and syrups of I get a free beverage? Will I only be able to get a coffee in a certain size? Frankly, I'm upset about these turn of events and will have to consider whether or not I will continue to visit Starbucks. I'll probably start drinking local since the only reason I go to Starbucks is for the benefits.  

I've been a card member since 2010.

9/18/2012 10:16 PM

I've been a card member since 2010 and the only reason I go to Starbucks is for the soy and syrups I get for free. Truly, I think you should continue these benefits and get rid of these so called " improvements" cuz frankly, why would I want a free pastry? Everyone goes for the coffee not the food. Why do I want to be a member if I have to pay for my milk option? That leads my drink to cost $6 without syrups. So, basically, every $72 I spend, I get a free $6 coffee. This is ridicuoulous. Would I have to pay for the soy option on my free drink? Or for syrups? I might as well support my local coffee shop now since the reason I go to Starbucks will be gone.

9/18/2012 10:26 PM

Seems to me that the people at Starbucks are afraid to reply to all of us outraged customers. I saw on their twitter page that they are only replying to positive or questionable tweets about this or irrelevant to this chaotic news. Starbucks seems to be against EQUALITY for it chargers more for soy milk which is the only choice for lactose intolerant people. Why else did we get to gold level, for the free soy. I don't care about the syrup, too much sugar isn't good anyways but to be against EQUALITY is wrong. I thought lactose intolerant people were also PEOPLE not an extra source for money. Matthew, this was never the customers idea so don't say you have heard us because you only heard what your company had to say.


9/18/2012 10:34 PM

The marketing "genius" behind this new rewards program should be fired. I completely understand why you went digital for the free drink rewards, but removing the free soy + syrup options is a bad move (if not a complete mistake).

Congrats Starbucks at angering your customers!

9/18/2012 10:40 PM

I can't believe that an e reward is of higher value to you customers than the free soy and syrups. I was not very impressed with how the message was sent either. "Wow here's a super mediocre change and oh yeah, almost forgot to mention we are taking away the only perk you really care about. No big deal." I will now be going to Wicked AZ coffee for my soy chai. It's better and now it's cheaper. Take away the free drink if you profits are suffering.

9/18/2012 11:26 PM

Who is this new program benefiting? As it is the person who buys 15 tall blk coffees versus the loyal daily veinte latte drinker who spends 3x the amount already..both get the same "reward". So now i get punished by paying more , why?? .50x12=$6 =(my not so free drink). Guess i can spend my $200/month with a company that values its customers and truly rewards them. Saddened Starbucks. Not a good business decision. It honestly makes no sense.

9/19/2012 12:35 AM

I had just found out that there was a Starbucks on the military post I live on. Got all excited for nothing. Yaaaaay! Because I'm lactose intolerant, I now have to pay $0.60 extra for every drink...heck no! It's already crazy expensive as it is. Can I get my money back from my last reload? This is a little ridiculous. I don't even care about the free drinks, honestly. It's all about free soy milk and extra syrups. LAME. I'm completely unsatisfied, and am no longer a happy camper. No more Starbucks for me! Cannot afford it.

9/19/2012 2:49 AM

I am really sad about the removal of free Soy--that is the only type of milk I drink with Starbucks.  Even though the stars have been lowered to 12, that still will end up costing me more in the end because I drink soy.  This move does not benefit me at all; why should I stay loyal when I already pay quite a bit for a LUXURY, not necessity, beverage, and now it is going to cost me even more....

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