Posted by Chuck on February 1, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on February 1st, 2018 | by Chuck

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Chase Starbucks Visa Card Review: Get 2,750 Stars Signup Bonus, 1 Star/$1 at Starbucks, 1 Star/$4 Elsewhere, $49 Annual Fee

The leaked Chase Starbucks Visa card is now live for applications. Here’s our review of the card.

Direct Application Link | Press Release

Rewards and Key Details

  • $49 annual fee, not waived first year
  • 3% foreign transaction fee (even international Starbucks transactions will probably be hit with this fee)

Reward Details

First, a quick overview of the Starbucks rewards program: All Starbucks Gold members get 2 stars per $1 spent at Starbucks. Get a free drink or food item after reaching 125 stars ($62.50 in spend).

Credit card rewards offering:

  • Get instant Gold status on the Starbucks loyalty program which typically takes 300 stars ($150 in spend) to reach
  • Earn 1 star per $4 spent everywhere outside Starbucks (free item after $500 in spend)
  • Earn 1 star per $1 spent on Starbucks purchases only when reloading your Starbucks balance via the app (if you pay directly at Starbucks you’ll earn the regular earn rate of 1/$4). The 1 star per $1 earned on Starbucks app reloads is in addition to the standard 2 stars per dollar earned by Gold members on all purchases. In total, you’ll end up with 3 stars per dollar, but again, the credit card is only adding 1 star extra per dollar.
  • 8 Barista Picks: Curated food or beverage Rewards selected by baristas and automatically loaded to the cardmembers Starbucks Rewards account. These are random picks that get sent to you, not something you can choose. This benefit will load to your account 45 days after becoming a cardmember and will reset each cardmember year. Barista picks expire after 30 days.

Signup Bonus

  • Earn 2,500 stars (20 free drinks) after spending $500 within the first 3 months. Update 7/16/18: Now comes with 4,500 stars bonus after $500 in spend. Update 3/6/19: Now comes with 6,500 bonus stars after $500 in spend.
  • Earn 250 stars (2 free drinks) when using the Starbucks Visa card to load your Starbucks card in the app for the first time.

Other Details

It’s important to note that the Starbucks Stars program comes with a 6-month expiration on stars, and this expiration is the same for credit card holders. This is especially important to keep in mind with regards to the signup bonus since you’ll have to use up all 22 free items within 6 months.

Also remember that Starbucks stars can be used for almost any free item – it’s not limited to a drink. I don’t know what the most expensive item available is, but there could be some good value for those who anyway find themselves buying expensive food items from Starbucks. On the other hand, a typical drink runs $2 – $5, so keep that in mind when determining the value of the rewards program. Chime in below if you have a better analysis on what good values can be had.

The Chase Starbucks Visa card is not available to current cardmembers or previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months. The Chase 5/24 rule does apply to this card.

Upon approval, you’ll be able to use a digital version of the credit card immediately in the Starbucks app (but not elsewhere).

Card comes with standard Chase card benefits like purchase protection, extended warranty, price protection, and car rental insurance.

Our Verdict

The $49 annual fee is quite a surprise – doesn’t seem like the way to target a Starbucks audience. The foreign transaction fee is a surprise to me as well. And they definitely should not have a 6-month expiration on stars for credit card users.

When analyzing the regular earnings rate on the card, it’ll depend entirely on what you buy for your free item. Most drinks are $3 – $5. If we take a $4 average redemption value, that’s less than 1% back on everyday spend, and it’s slightly over 3% back on Starbucks purchases. If there are $10 items to be had at Starbucks, that would give us a valuation of 2% everywhere ($500 spend gets $10) and 8% at Starbucks ($125 spend gets $10).

Overall I consider this a pretty bad card for almost everyone. The sole exception would be someone who spends a lot at Starbucks and likes to buy the most expensive food items, and even then it has to be calculated against the annual fee. Also, remember you’re losing out by loading the Starbucks app directly and not going through MPX or other venue to buy a discounted Starbucks gift card to load to the app.

If not for the annual fee, there would probably be Starbucks aficionado’s who would go for the card, but I think the annual fee will hinder most of them – that annual fee is a huge mistake, as I see it, since it’ll knock off a good percentage of the base they’re after. They should make it fee-free with only 2 or 3 free baristas (if that’s what they are worried about cost-wise).

RelatedStarbucks vs. Dunkin’ Donuts: Which Has a Better Rewards Program?



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Josh
Josh

$49 annual fee?

Fourty-nine US Dollar Annual Fee???!?

Who gets this card ever?

Midukkan
Midukkan

People looking to build credit I would imagine. Approval may be pretty lenient.

Lrdx
Lrdx

Since when is Chase into subprime lending?

jc
jc

hipsters with their parents’ money.

HC
HC

It’s a terrible card. So what? No one is forcing anyone to get it. Let Chase make a bunch of money off this card so they can continue to offer solid perks on the cards we do like.

Mitch
Mitch

The annual fee lost my interest in the card. I might’ve considered it if not for the AF

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

It’s expensive to be dumb.

Quynh

Seriously. I’d rather save that $49 to get a free night at any IHG hotel in the world.

Andrew
Andrew

The US bank cash+ is still my choice for Starbucks if get Starbucks.

Eten
Eten

Altitude™ Reserve Is my choice for Starbucks

Dan
Dan

What garbage is this…

Jason
Jason

I just checked with GiftCardWiki, 10% discount gift card (physical and E-gift card) are available.

Jacob
Jacob

I tried to use star rewards on a Naked juice and was denied. It appears the star rewards only work with Starbucks made food & drinks.

CongestionCharge
CongestionCharge

College girls everywhere get their first Credit Card

MM
MM

Hahahaha, $49 annual fee. Hahahahaha. Madness.

Rich
Rich

Their salads and lunch items can push $10. But still, that’s only $200 in benefits ($150 post annual fee) for the 20 free item promotion. Pretty bad, indeed!

SRT
SRT

$49 annual fee is the reason I won’t get this card even though I visit Starbucks frequently.

MarcoPolo
MarcoPolo

Well the Starbucks card is just like Starbucks – overpriced and over-hyped !

Midukkan
Midukkan

Nice way to summarize this.

Avi
Avi

+1

P
P

This is horrible. Even if you could redeem the stars for other things besides food and drink it would still be horrible. Even if it has no annual fee it would still be terrible.

Peter
Peter

The redemption value is technically unbound – my friend gets something like 15 shots in a venti cup, worth $20++ in retail value, with his stars. Of course, if you do that at any frequency, (22 of them in 6 months, for example), it will sure be a highway to the death bed.

The other thing to consider is that Starbucks items are never worth their face value. First of all discounted SB GCs are everywhere, so if you are paying with a CC you already over spend by 5-10%. Sufficiently frequent (say 3 per week) customers can get a free item every 4-5 purchases, if playing the constant promos right. It’s also easy to earn all the stars by buying small drip coffee and then redeem them for diabetic-sized frappuccino with 6 shots and 10 flavors. On face value that’d be over $1 return on every $1 spent.

Needless to say I agree with the conclusion of this review but would personally use far stronger words to describe this product. Earning stars via CC deprives the frequent SB customer of the best stars earning opportunities, so even if there’s no annual fee I can’t see any rational person benefiting from it.

William Charles

Does your friend actually enjoy the 15 shots in a venti cup? I can’t see that being nice

Vic
Vic

My guess is that they diluted the shots into a big pitcher of Americano..

Peter
Peter

Assuming you have access to milk (preferably the free kind in the office), it’s latte that lasts a whole week. Americano as Vic suggests would work as well if you like that stuff.

Begs the question of how one values Starbucks when having access to (good) free coffee in the office.

Swag
Swag

This card is actual ass. It’s not remotely worth the annual fee even if you bought a drink at starbucks literally every day.

I mean, I’m sure they’ll make a bunch of money off this card though, off all the people who make the mistake of getting it.

Yao
Yao

I doubt they’d make any money off this card. Most ignorant people will default to a no AF card.

I wish they released it on 4/1 so at least they have something to fall back on 🙂

zalmy

True. I think most (not of our world) people generally look at the AF first, even before any possible benefits or signup bonus. An annual fee, especially without a solid cash bonus offsetting it, is sure to deter even those uninformed consumers they’re clearly hoping to lure in.

Ender
Ender

$49 AF? Seriously?

Matt

Lame

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