I’m a Starbucks “Gold” customer. Evidently, I still don’t go frequently enough for them.
In a move I can only assume was inspired by Netflix, they sent me a nice email. The whole letter’s below, but here’s the bullet points:
Free drink on our birthday! Sent as a postcard that you have to bring in (inconvenient, but what they’ve always done). The new part: You have a week to redeem it. Like I even check my snail mail that frequently.
Free drink every 15 “stars” (visits) if you’re a Gold Card holder (see below for the complex rules that make that happen). Again, sent as an inconvenient postcard instead of just being automatic like every other loyalty program. Now you have 30 days to use that card, or it becomes trash. Hopefully you don’t go into a Starbucks with it and get the “Sorry, this expired, look at the date. Feel stupid? No drink for you!” treatment.
Coffee Bean has better drinks anyway. Think it’s time to start going there more.
I’m waiting for the next email, in which they’ll say they’re splitting their drinks and food into two separate stores, and renaming themselves “drinkster”.
Here’s their email (including the paragraph on how to keep your status, which rivals some airlines):
My Starbucks Rewards fans,
We’re fine-tuning a few program benefits and wanted to make sure you knew what was coming. There’s a bit more information here than usual, but when it comes to understanding your rewards, we figure more is more.
Starting November 1, 2011:
FREE DRINK ON YOUR BIRTHDAY
Birthdays are special. And we’re still celebrating yours with a free drink on your birthday. Hooray! As long as you’re an active member (meaning you’ve used your Starbucks Card within the last 12 months), you’ll get a postcard for a free birthday drink. And about a week to use it, in case you need it to be a day-after-your-birthday drink. (Wink.) Check the “valid through” date and come on in for a treat.
FREE DRINK EVERY 15 STARS IN GOLD
The “Sweet 15” free drink is alive and well. The only change here is that you’ll now have 30 days to bring in that postcard and enjoy a drink on the house.
KEEP YOUR STARS, KEEP YOUR STATUS
If you’re a Green or Gold member, the date you achieved that level is your anniversary date. To keep your Stars and your status, you just need to earn 5 Stars for Green or 30 Stars for Gold over the next 12 months (by your anniversary date next year). If you don’t make it, your Stars will expire and you’ll drop down a level. But we’ll help-we’ll send you email reminders of your anniversary date and encouragement to earn those additional Stars to keep the benefits you love. (Be sure to opt in to email.)
Now might be a good time to visit your Account Profile, note your anniversary date, track your Stars, reload a card and opt in to receive emails for special offers and announcements.
Thanks for reading. See the full details here.
Wishing you a year full of Stars,
My Starbucks Rewards