Starbucks has recently decided to combine two of its rewards programs into one: the My Starbucks card. Starbucks offers this card with the phrase: "Free drinks. Free syrups. Free soymilk. Free Wi-Fi. And best of all, free to join." It's not a new concept. Plenty of companies have these, even small businesses in the form of a punch card. Starbucks even had cards that were similar. The idea is that you register your card and put money on it to use at Starbucks. Then, after a certain amount of drinks purchased, you start to get free stuff. They have different levels. It's all explained in this article from The Coffee Guy (who incidentally gives a little more information about Starbucks in general). He seems to think it's a good idea. He says Starbucks is adapting and trying to help out its customers who come there often. As we know, many people buy coffee every day and Starbucks isn't cheap.
Is this a good PR tactic? I think it is. Some think this program will not create loyalty among patrons, but heck, Starbucks has plenty of people who are loyal. This is about rewarding those who are loyal. I think this says a lot about Starbucks. It is realizing its coffees can get expensive and it is offering benefits to those who still buy it. Is it enough to keep increase its customers? Only time will tell, but I think, overall, this program is a good thing and good PR.