Starbucks To Introduce A Credit Card This Winter

Last March Starbucks announced that they planned on introducing a prepaid card later in 2016, which would be issued by Chase. Generally I don’t get too excited about prepaid cards (since the rewards are limited), so I didn’t have very high hopes of it. Well, 2016 is now over (and for that matter 2017 is almost over), and we still haven’t seen the introduction of a Starbucks prepaid card.

It looks like Starbucks now has slightly different goals. In a Seattle Times story about Starbucks’ disappointing financial performance, it’s noted that Starbucks and Chase plan to introduce a co-brand credit card this winter, with a prepaid card to come “later.” It seems that the company has changed their focus, because previously they had plans to introduce a prepaid card, but we hadn’t heard anything about a credit card.

The company has said that the credit card would allow members to earn Starbucks Rewards when they spend. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what that actually looks like in practice. The way I see it, there are a few ways they could go to differentiate this card:

  • Offer a significant return for Starbucks spend (maybe 5%+)
  • Offer Gold status for as long as you have the card (not that it’s otherwise that hard to earn or that it’s that valuable, but it’s better than nothing)
  • Maybe they could award “stars” rather than dollars as rewards; stars can be redeemed for virtually any item at Starbucks, so at least gives the opportunity to get outsized value

It’s always interesting to see more co-brand products beyond the traditional miles & points space. For example, earlier this week we saw the introduction of the Uber Visa Card, which is surprisingly lucrative. However, oddly it’s a useful card in spite of the fact that it has almost nothing to do with Uber in terms of earning and redeeming rewards, as well as benefits.

I suspect a Starbucks co-brand card would be integrated a bit more closely, but I could be wrong.

What would you like to see from a Starbucks credit card?

(Tip of the hat to Evan)


  1. Imagine a world where this card will have an annual fee of 150$, but every day you can get a free drink of your choice (grande size). #dreams

  2. A free, daily “Hint of Feces Mochachino!” Sign me up.

    On a similar note, I currently have the misfortune of being in the Retro Skyclub in terminal C at JFK (“only”a 30 minute trek from de-planing from a FRA inbound). I walk into the restroom and a guy proceeds to walkout of a STALL and bee-lines to the door. I walk out of restroom (after thoroughly washing my hands) and proceed to see the guy grabbing food off the buffet. Jeezus.

    I pulled a Seinfeld and reported Papi to the receptionist. Guys, wash your damn hands.

  3. Starbucks had a co-branded VISA with Chase for years and I had one. No fee; you did get points towards purchases with spend but the reason I liked it was because there was often a coupon included with the monthly statement for a drink or pastry in stores.

  4. $95 annual fee and free Hilton Diamond status—hell, they’re giving Diamond to anybody with a pulse anyway.

  5. I think you’ll be proven right Lucky: Gold status as long as you have the card and your account is in good standing, with all the SBUX perks of their existing program (free drink on your birthday, access to special offers ie. bonus stars for buying certain drinks/items within a period of time, etc) plus rewards in stars for spend with said card, plus maybe bonus stars for SBUX spend using said card.

    This would be the easiest to integrate into their existing membership program structure.

  6. Their sales are way down. Even offering Groupon deals. Nope. Never stepping foot in a Starbucks again. Ever.

  7. Tommy….Let me know the link to the Hilton Am Exp Diamond Offer for a $95 annual fee…I’ll take that anyday!

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