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    Starbucks Launching New, Consolidated Loyalty Card Program

    My Starbucks Rewards, debuting Dec. 26, features three different benefit levels.

    SEATTLE -- Starbucks will launch a new customer loyalty card program called My Starbucks Rewards Dec. 26, in all of the chain's U.S. stores. The new program consolidates the coffee retailer's two current popular programs, Starbucks Card Rewards and Starbucks Gold Card.

    The new streamlined program delivers value with no annual fee, allows members to use one registered card (any Starbucks Card), and provides customized rewards that increase with frequency of use. Benefits are offered in levels that accumulate including:

    -- Welcome level: A free birthday beverage when card is initially registered.
    -- Green level: After using the registered card five times, customers qualify for free brewed refills; free flavor syrups and soy; a free tall drink of choice with purchase of one pound of whole bean coffee; up to two continuous hours of free Wi-Fi daily; and special offers.
    -- Gold level: In addition to all of the benefits in the Welcome and Green levels, Gold level members will earn a free drink after every 15 purchases and receive an exclusive, personalized card. To qualify for the Gold level, a customer simply needs to visit 30 times in a year, which averages less than three visits per month.

    "Our Starbucks Card Rewards and Gold Card programs have been successful, but the more than three million members have asked us to create a simpler, easier to access program that rewards them based on their frequency," said Terry Davenport, senior vice president, marketing, for Starbucks Coffee Co. "We believe the new My Starbucks Rewards program, which is free at all levels, will help deepen our relationship with our most loyal customers while also encouraging more customers to join the program."

    Current registered members of Starbucks Gold and Starbucks Card Rewards will be automatically enrolled in January 2010 at the appropriate level in My Starbucks Rewards.

    Starbucks Gold card members whose memberships are due to expire this year will have their memberships -- and 10 percent discounts -- extended through Dec. 31, 2009. All other registered Starbucks Gold card members who signed up after Jan. 1, will continue to enjoy their discount for their full membership term of 12 months, and will automatically transition into the Gold level of the new program upon expiration.

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