Ben Kelly got hooked at Blockbuster. It was July 2007, a time when leaving your home to pick up a movie was still conceivable, and his rental with accompanying soda allotted him 25 free Coca-Cola points. A fan of Sprite and Powerade, Kelly decided to give the beverage behemoth's loyalty program a shot. Over the past decade, the 29-year-old estimates he amassed about 100,000 points, enough to redeem roughly $1,500 worth of Amazon.com gift cards based on today's exchange rate.
But on July 1, Kelly's remaining balance, and that of hundreds of thousands of other My Coke Rewards members, will become worthless. The program is getting an overhaul, Coca-Cola Co. says, but users are worried about what will become of one of the world's largest, and most beloved, loyalty programs.