If you like reward perks from coffee shops and restaurants, you may have started to notice: Just like grocery items, they are shrinking what they give you.

Food rewards can be so rewarding…. until they are not, at which point they become frustrating.

A new Report in the New York Times says “Restaurant chains are making it cost more to be loyal.”

It says that in just the past few months, Starbucks, Duncan Donuts, and Chipotle have changed their reward programs, forcing you to spend more to get a freebie.

For instance, it says you could get a free Chipotle burrito with 1,250 points, Now, it takes 1,625 points, or about $37 more in additional spending for that free meal.

It says Starbucks now requires 200 reward stars for a free latte, up from 150 last year.

And it says Dunkin now requires almost $90 in spending for a free latte, up from $40 a year ago.

And from the “doesn’t that stink” file, the reason behind these changes: The New York Times says the restaurants blame inflation for the reward program changes, saying it is costing them more to give out freebies.

But customers say they have already raised prices due to inflation, so this “shrinkflation” comes as a double hit, at a time when almost everything is costing a lot more.

In the end, reward points are still a nice perk when its a place you go frequently, such as Starbucks or Duncan.

But don’t expect as much anymore, so you don’t waste your money.


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