New York CNN Business  — 

Dunkin’ is replacing its old rewards program, DD Perks, with a new program called Dunkin’ rewards. Some customers aren’t happy because several specialty drinks cost a lot more points.

The new system comes with a number of changes. Members will receive 10 points for every $1 spent, up from 5 points for every $1 in the old program. And they can start redeeming rewards after 150 points instead of 200 and use those points toward food for the first time. Plus members who visit a Dunkin’ at least 12 times within a calendar month can unlock more points and have access to new benefits for three months.

But another big change is causing a backlash: Under the new system, members need 700 points to get a free cold brew, cold brew with cold foam, Dunkin’ refresher or hot or iced espresso drink, and 900 points for a frozen drink or hot or iced signature latte. With DD Perks, members were able to get a free drink, without those limitations, for just 200 points.

“We consistently heard members ask for three things: flexibility, variety, and recognition,” said Scott Murphy, Dunkin’ president. “We’re excited to deliver this to them through the new program.”

Murphy added that Dunkin’ hopes to attract loyal customers who weren’t part of DD Perks with the new program, “while introducing new and expansive ways to continue to thank our longstanding loyalty members.” The new program should help improve customer experience overall, he said.

Dunkin' is making changes to its rewards program.

Dunkin’ ran a limited pilot of the program this summer. Now, Dunkin’ Rewards is replacing DD Perks entirely — those with DD Perks memberships will become Rewards members automatically. It will start rolling out the new program Thursday. Dunkin’ unveiled changes on its website, and Insider shared details of the program earlier this week.

Already, some are expressing dismay about the new program, especially because of the amount of points required to earn free drinks.

“Please keep DD Perks — it’s a million times better,” one person wrote on Twitter, adding “why do you have to try and fix things that aren’t broken???” Another said “I hate the new dunkin rewards,” adding a cry face emoji.

In response to the criticism, Murphy noted that “change is always going to be an adjustment.” But, he said “in the long run, Dunkin’ loyalists will benefit even more,” because of the added flexibility. He also said that with special perks for the most loyal members and other targeted offers, “members will get many of our coffee beverages at a better value than with DD Perks.”

Rewards programs are an important way for companies to learn more about their customers’ preferences and promote loyalty in a competitive sector. Recently, many chains have been making tweaks to their programs or launching new ones.

Starbucks (SBUX) said during its September investor day that it is planning improvements to its loyalty program, including showing real-time order updates in the app. The coffee chain also teased a joint rewards program with other companies such as retailers and airlines. Starbucks (SBUX) last overhauled its program in 2020.

IHOP announced a rewards program in March, and McDonald’s (MCD) launched its first national rewards program last year.