[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners here — American Express Serve Cash Back. Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
Starbucks lovers will soon be able to earn rewards for the chain’s food and drinks even when they’re not actually buying them.
The coffee giant announced this week it is partnering with Chase Bank to launch a prepaid rewards card that allows cardholders to earn “stars” (Starbucks’ version of points) on virtually all their purchases.
Full terms and conditions related to the card are not yet available, as it is set to be released by the end of this year. A spokesperson for Chase did confirm, however, that the card will not have monthly service, loading or overdraft fees — common pain points for prepaid card users. There will be a $5 fee for a expedited card replacement, a 3% foreign transaction fee and a $75 legal processing fee if the bank had to hold or pay out account funds as a result of a legal action.
There’s no news yet on how many stars you would earn when using the card for in- or out-of-store purchases, though earlier reports on comments from Starbucks Chief Operating Officer Kevin Johnson indicate there will likely be a difference between the two.
Earlier this year, Starbucks overhauled its popular rewards program so that, as of April 12, customers will get two stars per dollar spent in lieu of one star per visit. It said in a recent press release that there are currently about 12 million active members using its loyalty program.
Customers will be able to apply for the forthcoming card through the Starbucks mobile app or website.
Weighing Your Payment Options
Prepaid cards, also known as prepaid debit cards, let you load money onto a card and use it just as you would a debit card. They are typically a good fit for someone who has no credit or bad credit, wants to keep a tight rein on their (or their child’s) spending, or is looking to save money for a special occasion. But many prepaid cards tend to have tight limits. (You may not be able use one to hold a car rental or hotel reservation, for instance.) And some have a number of fees that can make them more costly than a checking account.
Starbucks’ new offering is notable in that most prepaid cards don’t feature a rewards program, though there are a few others out there on the market that do. (The American Express Serve Cash Back prepaid account, for instance, offers cardholders 1% cash back on purchases.)
Still, it’s important to carefully read the terms and conditions of any payment method you are considering when trying to decide if it is right for you. It’s also important to note that prepaid debit cards don’t generally help you build credit since they’re not linked to any financing. Chase confirmed, for example, that it will not be reporting cardholder use to the credit reporting agencies. If you’re looking to build credit, you may want to consider a secured credit card, which requires a cash collateral deposit that serves as a credit line for the account. (You can see where your credit currently stands by viewing your two free credit score each month on Credit.com.)
At publishing time, Chase products and the American Express Serve Cash Back card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for their cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
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