Starbucks is launching a credit card. Set to release later this year, the Starbucks Rewards Visa card adds another dimension to the digital-focused loyalty program that earned the coffee chain the top ranking in L2’s first Digital IQ Index: Restaurants.
A partnership with JPMorgan Chase, the card builds on Starbucks’ already solid loyalty offering. Cardholders will earn “Stars” for purchases made both at Starbucks and elsewhere, which can eventually be redeemed for free drinks at Starbucks stores.
As its top ranking in L2’s study makes clear, Starbucks surpasses other major restaurant chains when it comes to digital sophistication. The company wins high engagement across social media channels, and its mobile app facilitates both product discovery and on-the-go transactions. Loyalty has been a particular focus: the mobile app also includes best-in-class rewards tracking, and frequent email campaigns keep the program top-of-mind for consumers.
Building on that strength, the new card is both a physical piece of plastic and a digital version that lives within the company’s pre-existing rewards app. Cardholders will pay a $49 annual fee, although it could be worth it for people whose daily routine revolves around their Starbucks fix.
The strategy could also pay off for the brand. With Starbucks sales failing to meet expectations, the credit card may give coffee lovers a new incentive to keep coming back.