Gina Florio
March 24, 2016 4:46 pm

Starbucks is sticking to its guns, even though there are a lot of angry people who aren’t cool with how it recently changed up its rewards program. Back in the old days, a Starbucks customer earned one star per visit, regardless of how much they spent. In February, however, they announced that one dollar would now equal one star — and a lot of people were peeved.

Kevin Johnson, COO of Starbucks, has recently explained why the new system is being put into effect. The Starbucks Reward Card will be a prepaid, reloadable card that’s accepted anywhere Visa credit cards are welcome as a method of payment. This expansion, which includes a partnership with JP Morgan Chase, allows customers to earn “stars,” (aka reward points) every time they purchase, coffee, food, etc.

Starbucks claims that the new rewards program allows customers to accumulate stars faster because there are so many different ways to earn points. Johnson said they want the rewards program to extend to more parts of each person’s life, and the recently developed Starbucks Reward Card will pave the way for that to happen.

Because of the latest partnerships, once the program is up and running (which is supposed to be by the end the year), Starbucks enthusiasts will even be able to use their stars to get non-Starbucks, like a New York Times subscription.

It sounds cool in theory, but not everyone thinks so. In the eight days following the big announcement, Starbucks’ “buzz” score dropped by a whopping 50 percent. Ouch. In any case, there are still over 12 million people signed up for the reward program. We’ll just have to wait and see how they react to the restored rewards system when it’s up and running.