A new prepaid debit card on the market…

Prepaid debit cards are a great way for the “unbanked” to have easy access to funds without having to walk around with wads of cash in their pockets, but it’s been very rare that a debit card actually provides rewards.

Starbucks Rewards

Starbucks Rewards

Delta and Suntrust Bank had a lucrative partnership for a while, but recently they limited their rewards to be capped at a few thousand Skymiles a month and tacked on a huge $95 annual fee.

Skymiles Debit Card

Skymiles Debit Card – Not the best option

Bluebird from American Express and Walmart is also an option, but American Express is not as widely accepted as Visa and Mastercard.  Also, American Express has been known to shut down accounts without any notice.

Bluebird

Bluebird

Well, now we have another option to add to the potential pile…

As of today’s shareholder meeting and per the article on GeekWire, Starbucks will partner with JPMorgan Chase to launch a prepaid rewards debit card.  The card will be available by year’s end and should be accepted at almost all Visa locations.

The card will be able to be accessed via the Starbucks App and can be loaded via the same app.  Each time you use the card, you earn stars in Starbucks rewards program, earning your way to free drinks.  While not necessarily better than earning airline miles or cash back on your credit card, if you’re one of the millions of American that can’t have access to a credit card, this is a fantastic alternative.

The Starbucks Rewards program currently has over 12 million members, so this could potentially be a huge money maker for Chase and Starbucks as well.  It wouldn’t be the first partnership for Starbucks, but potentially could be the largest.

In 2015 Starbucks partnered with LYFT, The New York Times, and Spotify in an attempt to branch out past the transactional customer.  While these relationships probably did more for the other companies than for Starbucks, it’s good to see Starbucks reaching out in a way to increase loyalty and reward their customers.

Will this make me change my spending habits in order to get free Starbucks Coffee?  No.  Will this potentially be a good way to be able to manufacture some spend and get some rewards out of it?  Possibly… we will be following this closely and as soon as more details are made available we’ll keep you up to date!

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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