I’ve never been intrigued by the Starbucks Rewards credit card. Chase has gradually increased the signup offer for the card from 2,500 Stars to 4,500 Stars and eventually to the current offer of 6,500 Stars if you spend $500 on the card in the first three months.
While I viewed the current offer as being worth up to $400 if you took advantage of the sweet spots of the Starbucks Rewards program, they could be worth much less if you redeem your stars for less valuable rewards.
I guess Chase and Starbucks think that the most loyal Starbucks customers don’t know how to get good value from the Starbucks Rewards program, so they’ve come up with a new offer.
I received a targeted offer via email today for the Starbucks Rewards credit card. Instead of the usual 6,500 Stars for spending $500 in the first 3 months and an extra 300 bonus stars when you load money to your Starbucks account with the card, this offer was for a $250 Starbucks eGift card once you reach the same spending requirement.
Um, that’s not a good deal at all.
If you sign up with the public offer, you’ll get at least 6,500 stars. When looking at the card before, we broke down the numbers. There are multiple tiers of rewards so let’s use an example where you only redeem for 150 point rewards, which are lattes, frappuccino or breakfast sandwiches. Going through 150 stars at a time, you’ll have redeemed around 40 rewards when you’re finished. What’s that worth in cash?
A Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte costs around $6.00.
Redeeming points 40 times for a $6 coffee will have saved you $240.
This makes getting a instant $250 gift card seem to be a much better value. The problem is, redeeming 150 stars for a $6 coffee is an average redemption, at best. You’d do much better redeeming 50 stars for a Venti Blonde Roast or Banana Nut Loaf, which would almost double the value of your redemption.
Starbucks keeps trying to find new ways to make the Starbucks Rewards Visa card more appealing. This targeted offer is a big swing and a miss. Sure, I bet there are some members who will see a $250 gift card as a huge benefit but if you know how to use your stars for maximum value, the standard offer is the better deal and I’m still not signing up for the card even if I’ll seek out a Starbucks for coffee when we’re traveling.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary