Starbucks loyalty card holders will be able to order a vegan milk substitution free of charge starting April 16. The coffee chain has restructured its loyalty reward card program to make it easier for customers to redeem their points (or “Stars”). Starbucks eliminated the “Gold” status awarded to customers who spend $150 to earn 300 points and instead, implemented a one-level system where customers can redeem points quickly. For every two dollars spent, Starbucks rewards one Star and under the new program, 25 Stars can be redeemed for an extra shot of espresso, a free vegan milk substitute, or extra flavoring. “We know that with loyalty programs, people like to have different options for redeeming,” Matt Ryan, chief marketing officer at Starbucks, said. “Depending on what you want, in as little as two or three visits, you can have it.” Despite the positive change with the updated rewards program, Starbucks’ dairy-free surcharge policy is antiquated as many coffee chains have stopped charging customers for choosing cruelty-free options. In January, competing chain Stumptown dropped all surcharges for dairy-free substitutes and vowed to offer at least one vegan food option at nearly every location.
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