This summer I fell in love with Starbuck’s Vivanno, their high-protein, high-fiber smoothie beverage. My signature drink: a banana-chocolate Vivanno, one espresso shot, with non-fat milk. Because I was going there so often, and because the new Starbucks and AT&T partnership gave 2 hours free WiFi a day, I started buying things through a free Starbucks Card (essentially a prepaid, reloadable gift card).
Apparently, I went to Starbucks more than I thought. A few weeks ago, Starbucks invited me to be part of their Starbucks Gold program. The program provides a special card, which is quite pretty: the back is standard glossy card fare, but the front is a black matte with gold embossed logo.
Starbucks started this program earlier this summer, and they’ve been tweaking the benefits. The benefits my card comes with (as says the flyer that came with it):
- 10% off most purchases
- Coffeehouse rewards, including special discounts on family and friend days
- Surprise indulgences, like treats on my birthday
- Members-only website and insider promotions
Unfortunately, this comes at a price.
It has a membership fee of $25/yr—only the hardcore Starbucks coffee drinkers (which isn’t me) need apply. Also, supposedly, the card does not provide any of the Starbucks Card Rewards, such as the free WiFi, or free milk and syrup options. So far, I’m going to pass on the program, and continue using my old Starbucks Card. But I will keep the pretty-looking card.
Correction: My beta invite entitles me to the Starbucks Gold membership for free. Funny this not indicated anywhere. Also, even though the fine print says Starbucks Card Rewards do not apply, the Starbucks Gold program portal implies that WiFi is an included reward, and it does appear to work…
Update: Now that the Starbucks Gold membership has officially launched for the general public, you can get a description of the benefits in-store. With the Starbucks Gold card, you do not get all the Starbucks Card Rewards—that is, no free syrups, milk or whipped cream, refills on drip coffee, or free tall drink with purchase of whole bean coffee. However, as I mentioned, you do get WiFi.