It’s getting easier to walk into a Starbucks and never exchange cash, or a conversation with a barista.
The Seattle-based coffeehouse chain has introduced another cashless payment program through a partnership with Chase. Customers concerned about credit-card debt can now apply for a Starbucks Rewards Visa Prepaid Card. The card also acts as a preloaded debit card, allowing users to make non-Starbucks purchases. Customers using the card will earn “stars,” or reward points, like a standard loyalty card.
Unlike the Starbucks Rewards Visa Card introduced in February, the Chase prepaid card has no annual fee.
Customers get a bonus 125 stars when they sign up and use the prepaid card for the first time. That’s 100 stars fewer than the deal offered for first-time Chase Visa card users. Card users earn one star for every $10 in purchases. Reward perks include random promotions for free food and beverages, as well as exclusive invitations to Starbucks’ recently revamped Happy Hour.
The prepaid card is part of a strategic plan by Starbucks to increase digital relationships with customers. Of the 75 million customers that come into locations each month, about 15 million are active Starbucks Rewards members.
Giving customers a variety of convenient and flexible payment options is one solution, CMO Matt Ryan said.
“As we continue to expand and strengthen our digital relationships with customers, we want to make sure we’re providing choices that are both rewarding and meet their preferences in how they engage with us,” Ryan said in a statement.
In March, Starbucks executives said digital relationships are key to increasing frequency, a stumbling block for countless restaurants in the industry. More than 30 percent of all Starbucks transactions made in the U.S. are paid using a mobile app. CEO Kevin Johnson has stated that Starbucks wants to “reach millions of more customers digitally.”
In other Starbucks news, the Seattle-based chain reportedly increased menu prices last week “between 10 cents and 20 cents on all sizes of brewed coffee in the majority of the more than 8,000 company-operated stores across the country,” according the Wall Street Journal.
Starbucks did not provide a comment to Nation’s Restaurant News on Monday morning regarding menu prices.
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