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Starbucks' new rewards program

November 08, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Starbucks Corp. plans to combine its gift and loyalty card programs to spur consumers to visit more often with the incentive of free beverages.

The new My Starbucks Rewards program will allow some registered card holders to redeem a complimentary drink after every 15 purchases, the company said.

The program was borne from complaints from some of the 850,000 members that their paid subscription didn't offer more perks, said Terry Davenport, senior vice president of marketing.

The Seattle-based coffee seller began the Gold Card program last year, with a $25 annual membership fee and a 10% discount on beverages, and found that holders spent 15% more with the card than they had before, the company said. The new cards can be registered in stores starting Dec. 26 and will start earnings points Jan. 5.

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