If you have a daily Starbucks habit, you’re in the perfect position to get something in return for your loyalty. The Starbucks Rewards Visa card, offered through Chase, can do just that. Launched in 2018, the credit card allows cardholders to use the card outside of Starbucks to earn stars redeemable for designer beverages, food and merchandise.
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Like other branded cards, the Starbucks Rewards Visa credit card is designed for people who are fans of the brand. In this case, the credit card works in conjunction with the Starbucks Rewards program, in which members earn stars for products and merchandise they purchase in Starbucks stores. In addition, cardmembers receive exclusive benefits that make it easier to earn their rewards and enjoy the freebies.
You may be wondering how the Starbucks Rewards Visa card compares to other credit cards before you apply. Here is the fine print:
- Annual Fee: $49
- APR: 15.99% to 22.99% (determined by creditworthiness)
- Late Fees/Penalties: Up to $39 for late or returned payments
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the charged amount (calculated in U.S. dollars)
- Sign-Up Bonus: 6,500 bonus stars — if you spend $500 on the card in the first three months
When you use the Starbucks Rewards Visa card, you earn stars for each dollar you spend. The reward structure is identical to the one already in place for the standard rewards program:
- 1 star for every $2 spent at grocery stores or for local transit, internet, cable and phone services
- 3 stars for every $1 spent in Starbucks stores
- 1 star for every $4 spent in all other stores
Redeem stars in stores for perks like plus-ups in your drink and free food items or beverages. You also receive eight Barista Picks each year, a carefully curated selection of favorite foods and drinks.
- 25 stars: Added espresso shot or syrup
- 50 stars: Brewed hot coffee, tea or bakery item
- 150 stars: Handcrafted drink, breakfast sandwich, oatmeal or parfait
- 200 stars: Lunch sandwich, protein box or salad
- 400 stars: Select Starbucks merchandise
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As a thank you gift for signing up, new cardmembers receive 6,500 bonus stars. This is enough to exchange for more than 30 free lunches, more than 40 breakfast sandwiches or more than 100 free cups of coffee. Use the Visa card to add money to your Starbucks account, and you can earn 300 more stars as a one-time bonus. That’s enough for two Frappuccinos.
The Starbucks Rewards Visa credit card offers limited protection on some of your purchases so you can shop with confidence. Not only do you get an extended warranty (one year past the manufacturer’s warranty), but you also have coverage against damage or theft. Your purchases are protected for 120 days, and claims are limited to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
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With a Starbucks Rewards Visa credit card, you’ll also enjoy select travel protections to save you money and ease your mind. You get theft and collision coverage for rental cars as long as you pay for the rental with the credit card. You are eligible for reimbursements of up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip if your travel plans are canceled because of sickness, weather or other covered situations. There is also roadside emergency service available to help you take care of a flat tire, lockout or empty gas tank.
Neither Starbucks nor Chase list a specific credit score range needed for the card. However, the bank does use each applicant’s creditworthiness to determine the APR and credit limit for accounts. It will check your credit report, so having good or excellent credit increases your odds of approval and favorable terms.
If you’re already a member of Starbucks’ rewards program, you know that stars expire after a while. But Visa cardmembers won’t have to scramble to use up points before they run out because stars won’t expire as long as the account is open. You also have the option to request complimentary cards for friends and family members so you can maximize the number of stars you earn with their assistance.
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For people who enjoy Starbucks products and already spend time and money there, the Starbucks Rewards Visa card might be worthwhile because they can earn stars outside of the Starbucks store. This makes it easier to rack up stars and exchange them for in-store products and merchandise at a faster rate.
The downside is that the stars are only redeemable at Starbucks stores, and not every store honors rewards. People who don’t stop at a Starbucks store regularly might not find that the card is worth the $49 annual fee. Plenty of other rewards credit cards are available, and if the Starbucks Rewards Visa isn’t the right choice, it’s easy to find a rewards card with a program that better suits your lifestyle and interests.
To apply for the Starbucks Rewards Visa credit card, you first need a Starbucks Rewards account. You can sign up through the program’s website. If you’re already a member of the rewards program, your account will be linked to the new credit card when you’re approved. You have to provide your name, email address and birthday to join the program. After signing up for the Starbucks rewards program, you will be directed to the application for the Visa credit card issued through Chase.
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This article has been updated with additional reporting since its original publication.
Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of April 23, 2020.
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