Starbucks & Dunkin’ Donuts Joust Over Loyalty Programs
Starbucks & Dunkin’ Donuts Joust Over Loyalty Programs

As Starbucks’ new loyalty program is met with disapproval, Dunkin’ Donuts offers extra perks for customers who join their rewards program this month.

A lot of people aren’t happy with Starbucks’ new loyalty program—and Dunkin’ Donuts is swooping in on the opportunity to steal their rage-filled, under-caffeinated customers.

Since announcing the changes to its Starbucks Rewards back in February, the company faced criticism and complaints over the fact that the new program will make it harder for many customers to earn free beverages. Officially launched on April 12, Starbucks’ new program works like this: instead of earning a “star” for every purchase at a Starbucks store regardless of purchase amount (earning a free drink for every 12 stars), customers now earn two stars per dollar spent. It will now take 125 stars to get that free drink—a significant change for those who are used to getting a free drink after ordering a dozen tall coffees.

Meanwhile, coffee competitor Dunkin’ Donuts smelled an opportunity. That same day, the brand announced a new promotion involving its own loyalty program. Starting April 14, the company said that it would offer users of its mobile app the opportunity to earn 125 extra points on each of their next three visits by using the code “star.” Dunkin’ loyalty members usually earn five points per dollar spent, and get a free drink for every 200 points earned.

Of course, this seems like a not-so-thinly-veiled jab at Starbucks. But for frequent coffee shop visitors who want to ensure they’re maximizing their monthly beverage budget, the right rewards program can make all the difference.

“Our guests are the cornerstone of our brand, and we are committed to continuing to exceed expectations. Our DD Perks Rewards proram, recognized as one of the most robust and fastest-growing programs of its kind in our industry, honors our extremely loyal fan base by making it seamless and affordable to earn free beverages quickly,” said Sherill Kaplan, vice president of digital marketing and innovation at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Well played, Dunkin’ Donuts.

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