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    Starbucks Launches Visa Credit Card, Aims to Bolster Rewards

  • Industry News February 1, 2018
    Starbucks
    Starbucks' Rewards program has 14.2 million active members.

    Starbucks’ Rewards Visa Card is here. On Thursday, the coffee brand, along with Chase, officially launched the co-brand credit card, which is integrated directly into the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program. Starbucks teased the release in its recent first-quarter earnings report, saying it would arrive in February. It took just one day.

    “It’s important to us to make earning Rewards as easy for our customers as possible, and the Starbucks Rewards Visa Card is a powerful tool for us to do that because of how easily it fits into their daily lives,” said Matt Ryan, executive vice president and chief strategy officer for Starbucks, in a statement.

    Customers who use the card will earn “Stars” with every purchase in and out of Starbucks stores, anywhere where Visa is accepted worldwide. Those Stars can be redeemed for food and beverage items at more than 8,000 participating Starbucks locations, the company said. Cardmembers will also become members of the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program, and be instantly eligible for the perks. The card carries an annual fee of $49 and be signed up for here.

    “This credit card also makes every day more rewarding for Starbucks and Chase customers through the ability to quickly earn Stars and benefits—including more food and beverage rewards for any occasion,” Ryan said.

    It makes plenty of sense for Starbucks to court additional loyalty members. Its Rewards program has 14.2 million active members, an increase of 1.4 million over the previous quarter, or 11 percent, year-over-year. Mobile payment in the U.S. has grown to more than 30 percent of total tender for Starbucks. The brand is also planning to launch a Starbucks Rewards Visa Prepaid Card later in the year, perhaps in April, which Starbucks said will target customers who don’t want or qualify for credit cards, allowing customers to earn stars wherever Visa is accepted.

    “We want to give cardmembers who can’t live without their Starbucks beverage an easy way to earn more Rewards,” said Jennifer Roberts, head of Digital Products for Chase, in a statement. “The Starbucks Rewards Visa Card lets them earn Stars on every purchase they make so their next cup is that much more rewarding.”

    Starbucks said cardmembers will receive their physical card within 7–10 days of their application being approved. A digital card will immediately be loaded into the Starbucks mobile app for customers to start earning Stars right away.

    There are launching perks as well.

    • Starbucks is offering a new cardmember offer of 2,500 Stars after spending $500 on purchases in the first three mounts from account opening (equal to 20 food or beverage items).
    • Users can receive 250 bonus Stars when using their Rewards Visa Card to load their registered Starbucks Card within the mobile app for the first time.

    Here are some additional offers:

    More Stars:

    • One Star for every $4 spent outside of Starbucks stores
    • One Star for every $1 digitally loaded to their registered Starbucks Card in the Starbucks mobile app, using their Starbucks Rewards Visa Card, in addition to the 2 stars per $1 earned when paying with their registered Starbucks Card as a member of the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program
    • Instant Gold Status: Cardmembers will automatically receive Gold Status within the Starbucks Rewards program
    • 8 Barista Picks: Curated food or beverage Rewards selected by baristas and automatically loaded to the cardmembers Starbucks Rewards account

    Chase Merchant Services is the payment processing partners for Starbucks in the U.S. and Canada, and Chase Pay is accepted at participating restaurants in the U.S., as well as through the brand’s mobile app.

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