Starbucks debuts rewards credit card

Starbucks debuts rewards credit card

Co-branded Visa card allows holders to earn more rewards points

Starbucks Corp. is making good on its announcement last week that it would team up with Chase and Visa to launch a credit card.

The Seattle-based coffeehouse chain said Thursday that the Starbucks Rewards Visa Card is now available and integrated with its popular Starbucks Rewards loyalty program.

Those who use the new card are automatically enrolled in the Starbucks Rewards program, potentially augmenting the 14.2 million members already enrolled, and can earn rewards points, or “Stars,” whenever they use the card.

Applicants will receive a “digital card” as soon as they’re approved that will be loaded into the Starbucks mobile app for use right away. They will also immediately be upgraded to Gold Status within the rewards program, which helps them earn rewards faster.

A physical card, to be used wherever Visa cards are accepted, will arrive seven to 10 days later, Starbucks said.

The card has an annual fee of $49. New card holders get 2,500 Stars if they spend $500 on the card in the first three months, allowing them 20 free food or beverage items. They also get 250 Stars the first time they use the Starbucks Rewards Visa Card to load points onto their mobile app for the first time.

Additionally, they earn one Star for every $4 spent outside Starbucks and one Star for every dollar they load onto their mobile app using the card. That’s in addition to the two Stars they get for every dollar they spend using their loyalty program card.

Starbucks said the move is an expansion of its relationship with Chase and Visa. Chase Merchant Services is the payment processing partner for Starbucks locations in the U.S. and Canada, and Chase Pay is accepted at participating Starbucks in the U.S.

Starbucks will launch prepaid Starbucks Rewards Visa card later this year, the company said.

The release of the new card comes after Starbucks reported sluggish growth in its most recent quarter, with same-store sales growth of 2 percent. Starbucks attributed the results to less-than-enthusiastic reception of holiday specials. However, it saw an 11-percent increase in Starbucks Rewards members and continued loyalty from habitual users.

The company reported that 42 percent of all transactions in the U.S. and Canada were made using the Starbucks Card. President and CEO Kevin Johnson said the introduction of the credit cards should help boost that number.

As of the end of 2017, Starbucks operated 28,039 locations worldwide.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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