Oct 12, 2022 - Economy

Starbucks, Delta launch loyalty partnership with free miles

Arm holding a Starbucks cup with a Delta airplane in background

Starbucks and Delta are offering loyalty members a way to link their accounts. Photo courtesy of Starbucks and Delta Air Lines

Starbucks and Delta Air Lines have joined forces to make their rewards programs more rewarding.

Why it matters: Free coffee and miles. Delta SkyMiles and Starbucks Rewards members can get more value with added benefits by linking their loyalty accounts together, the companies said Wednesday.

  • Dangling more rewards can also help lure new loyalty members and build stronger allegiance for the brands.

The big picture: The PwC Customer Loyalty Survey 2022 found getting good value was the top reason people patronize a business for 53% of the 4,036 consumers surveyed. Thirty percent also said they liked the benefits, rewards and privileges of “a preferred company’s loyalty program.”

Meanwhile, companies have started working together to make their programs more attractive in the last year.

  • Sephora purchases at Kohl’s earn members reward points at both retailers, similar to a Target-Ulta partnership for beauty purchases.
  • Dick's Sporting Goods and Nike also have teamed up with their loyalty programs for Nike purchases.
  • Delta also offers members the ability to earn miles outside of flights with American Express, Lyft, Airbnb and Ticketmaster.

Starbucks Rewards and Delta SkyMiles benefits

What's happening: U.S. customers who are enrolled in both Delta SkyMiles and Starbucks Rewards loyalty programs can link their accounts starting Oct. 12 by visiting deltastarbucks.com or starbucksdelta.com.

  • After the accounts are linked, members earn one mile per $1 spent on eligible purchases at Starbucks.
  • On days enrolled members have a scheduled Delta flight they will earn double Starbucks stars on eligible purchases at participating stores.
  • The benefits are open to new and existing members of both programs.

Between the lines: Members who link their accounts by Dec. 31, 2022 will earn 500 miles and 150 Stars after a qualifying purchase.

Flashback: During its investor day event in September, Starbucks announced Reward Together, a new program allowing its rewards members to link their accounts with other brands’ loyalty programs to earn more points and get new benefits.

What’s next: Delta is the program’s first U.S. partner but more loyalty partnerships are expected.

  • Starbucks is also launching the web3-enabled Starbucks Odyssey later this year but rewards members and employees can join a waitlist for a limited time.

Delta SkyMiles changes

Delta announced other changes to SkyMiles last week and for the first time since 2015 said it is increasing select status-earn qualifications for 2024 Medallion status beginning Jan. 1, 2023.

  • Gold Medallion status increases from $6,000 to $8,000.
  • Platinum from $9,000 to $12,000 and Diamond from $15,000 to $20,000.

What they're saying: "Diamond Medallion and Platinum Medallion Members who qualify for 2024 Medallion Status will be able to select from an expanded slate of premium Choice Benefits beginning February 1, 2023."

  • Diamond and Platinum SkyMiles Members will be able to select 4,000 Starbucks Stars as one of their annual Choice Benefits in 2024, Delta and Starbucks said Wednesday.

Dunkin' Rewards launches nationwide

Separately, Dunkin' launched its new loyalty program Dunkin' Rewards nationwide replacing its longtime program DD Perks.

Details: With the new program, members earn 10 points for every $1 spent compared to 5 points with DD Perks.

  • Through Oct. 31, members can earn freebies with select purchases, the company announced.

Yes, but: Members will need to collect more points to redeem a free drink reward, which will range from 400 points for tea to 900 points for frozen drinks or signature lattes up from 200 points with DD Perks.

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