Sweet Redemption

Unlocking the Gifts That Come With This Cupcake Perks Program

As if we couldn't get more excited about Sprinkles's treats.

By Joanna O'Leary September 17, 2019

Three words: Cupcake Vending Machine.

For me, that was sufficient justification for the Highland Village outpost of Sprinkles Cupcakes to be a regular stop on my  itinerary of “necessary” errands. Recently, however, I discovered another compelling reason to stick with Sprinkles when I hear the siren’s call to indulge in a cupcake (or two) on a regular basis.

By participating in Sprinkles' “Perks Program” (membership is free), no sweet purchase goes unrewarded. And once you sign up, the “perks” arrive early and often.

Initially, I was skeptical, having been burned by other food fidelity ventures that failed to make good on their promises of free comestibles in exchange for my regular patronage. Yeah, sure, I got (insert piddling number) points every time I visited the establishment—too bad approximately 10 zillion points were required for one gratis item. Further, my taste for cake is strong but specific. Dessert Gallery is my go-to for the monster slice, and El Bollilo covers my craving for tres leches treats. I love Sprinkles for its consistent quality and creativity in icing flavors and fillings, but was I willing to commit? Yes, and here’s why. 

The Sprinkles Perks Program utilizes a points exchange model whereby for every $1 you spend, you receive five points, and once you accumulate 300 points, you are entitled to a free treat. If you do the reverse math, that’s one complimentary item for every $60 spent, which in rough cupcake equivalency is one free cupcake for every 17 bought. If you’re the type who finds herself regularly purchasing a dozen cupcakes to distribute at office functions or dinner parties, those freebies will stack up fairly quickly. 

Although I appreciate this fine and dandy exchange rate, I am more of a selfish cupcake consumer. What ultimately sold me on the Sprinkles’ program are the very frequent, minor perks that garner me more baked goods for my bucks. Within a month of joining, I twice received notice of a BOGO deal if I whispered a secret phrase (e.g.: “endless summer”) at the register. Other low-investment promotional offers (buy three cupcakes, get one free) also arrive regularly in my inbox in addition to fun alerts of specialty flash confections like banana split and fluffernutter, which were always, by the way, eligible choices when redeeming free cupcake rewards, even though they cost more than Sprinkles’s regular options. Finally, like other loyalty programs, Sprinkles Perks gifts you with a free item on your birthday.

All of the aforementioned benefits are features of the base “vanilla” level of the program. If you are crazy for Sprinkles’s cupcakes (or cookies or ice cream), they significantly up the ante the more you spend and visit. Eight or more visits or 1,750 points ($350 spent) in a calendar year elevates you to "dark chocolate" status, which entitles you to additional promotions, monthly double points day, and two free birthday cupcakes. Pop by Sprinkles 40 times or accrue 4,000 points ($800 spent) in a single year, and as a "red velvet" member you get the aforementioned plus a special quarterly VIP treat box and 12 free cupcakes on your birthday. 

Two months into the program, I’m close to dark chocolate status (through visit frequency), and while a voice in my head thinks the idea of spending $800 every 365 days on cupcakes is INSANE, another voice is quick to point out that I spend more each year on my car payment. And while sitting in my Mazda in Houston traffic may be mandatory to adulting, it's certainly less appetizing.

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