Users previously earned one star per visit. With the new program, they’ll earn two stars for every $1 spent, a change developed in response to customer requests.
However, new rewards strategy requires 300 stars, rather than 30, to advance to the Gold level. At that point, users will be eligible for monthly Double-Star Days and additional perks.
The Starbucks app, which the company says has 17 million active users, is undergoing some changes too. Customers can now redeem rewards through the app’s Mobile Order & Pay feature. Rewards members can track their stars through the app and can create constellations out of their stars using the touchscreen.
Implementing these changes could “create slower app functionality or stars credited” within the first 48 hours, according to Starbucks, but most users should have a seamless transition.
But the update may cause friction beyond lags in the app. As Time reported, the new system requires members to spend significantly more money at Starbucks to level up in rewards and points.
Starbucks acknowledged this concern, warning customers “if you buy only one beverage or pastry when you visit, it might mean taking a little longer to get a free reward than you do today.”