Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Whoah! Starbucks Alert

Ok, maybe I'm a moron here and you all already know about this. Me? I'll admit to being a bit out of the loop. Karen mentioned the other day that she used her Gold Starbucks card to get 10% off her drink. Hmm....

Me, always being on the lookout for cool things like, ohhh I don't know, 10% off at Starbucks -- where I only drink the frou frou $4.60 or whatever yummy things. I asked her what she did to get a Gold card, and she said she just bought one for $25.

Interesting. That of course prompted a visit to the Starbucks website for me to further investigate. I don't have a Starbucks habit -- I'm not big on caffeine, it's expensive and oh yeah it has a lot of calories when I drink it -- but I certainly go there periodically, as does my husband.

Yep, she's right. You can buy a $25 Gold card. So what do you get for your Gold card?

1) Buy it in the store and you get a free drink (any size, any drink) immediately ($25 - $4.60 = $20.40 cost so far)

2) On your birthday, you get a free drink, again any size of any drink. ($20.40 - $4.60 = $15.80 cost now)

3) 10% off almost anything you buy in the store. I thought initially it was only for drinks, but exclusions are just for gift cards, the membership, books and magazines, and digital downloads. That means I could get the Starbucks mug or a CD or coffee and get 10% off those, too. I know me though, and I'll just be buying my usual. With the cost effectively at $15.80, I only have to buy four drinks over the course of a year to make money. Errr save money, I mean.

4) You get up to two free hours of wireless access via AT&T each day. You have to register with AT&T and all, but what a great way to encourage people to hang out and get some more of perk number three! The only downside is that it's one shot of access per day, so you can't go in for an hour in the morning and then for another hour later in the day. I'm ok with that though.

5) Apparently I'll get other "exclusive offers and discounts" throughout the year. These aren't specified, and they may be worthless to me (which is why I didn't include it in the above calculation), but if it's 20% off the first Tuesday of the month or upgrade a grande to a venti for free during spring break or something along those lines, I'm good with it. Hmm, maybe I should go work for Starbucks in their marketing department.

And this isn't the only kind of thing Starbucks has. You can also register your gift cards with Starbucks and get free stuff. It sounds as thought you can only do the Gold card or their Starbucks Card Rewards for a single purchase, but I still need to go into a Starbucks to verify that (hey, if anyone knows all this already, pipe up!).

So why would you want the Starbucks Card Rewards instead? Here, you get some different benefits that may be more beneficial based on how and what you buy. You do have to use the registered gift card (and you can register up to three at a time) for at least part of the purchase. Details include:

1) When you buy a drink, you can get an add-in for free. I can't tell if it's only one add-in, or if you can do as many as you want to really customize your coffee. Again, I'll have to verify. If it's anything, I'd get my venti brewed coffee and pop in some caramel syrup, hazelnut, and soy and be good to go. That would be cheaper than the 10% off my venti caramel macciatto.

2) When you're hanging out at Starbucks (and when the wee ones are in school and I have time to myself, I will become one of these moms!), you get free refills of brewed coffee (hot or iced) for as long as you're there. I can't tell if you also get the free add-ins, but hmmm....

3) When you buy coffee beans there, you get a free tall cup of whatever you want with your one pound purchase. Of course if I were to buy Starbucks beans (for my husband), I'd buy them at Costco where (shhhh) they're far cheaper, but still not a bad perk for those who buy their beans at Starbucks!

4) The same free wireless offer as the Gold Card.

Maybe I'm totally out of the loop, and yes, that's not out of the realm of possibility, but if this is news to you, how cool is this? And if everyone in the world knew about this already but me, can you at least not rub it in too badly?

Any guesses as to what I'm doing once Little Miss wakes up from her nap today? Actually, scratch that. I can't have caffeine past about noon. Let's try this again. Anyone know what I'm doing tomorrow morning once I drop Mister Man off at daycare?


AutoSysGene December 17, 2008 at 5:05 PM  

Wow, I'm at Starbucks almost every day and I didn't know about this. That's what happens when you hit the drive thru.

Thanks for the headsup. I think I'll be stopping for one of these tomorrow.

And I'm a frou frou $4.50 coffee drinker, too.

J Cosmo Newbery December 17, 2008 at 5:28 PM  

I think I need a coffee...

Michelle December 17, 2008 at 7:31 PM  

Melissa - I feel like I did my good deed of the day now :) Tell me if you learn any more on this, will ya?

J Cosmo Newbery - Join the club. Of course my "dinner" tonight is some (decaf) Thai iced tea I just made. I probably should eat some real food, too, huh?

Mary December 17, 2008 at 7:45 PM  

I went to starbucks this morning. Got two gift cards and a Christmas (oatmeal) cookie for the toddler.

Soooo... that $25 gold card would have saved me 15 cents. Whoo hoo!

angela | the painted house December 17, 2008 at 10:53 PM  

This is valuable info--new to me! Thanks for helping me save on my soy add-on!

Michelle December 18, 2008 at 7:56 PM  

Mary - Gift cards are excluded from this, but if you keep buying those $1.50 oatmeal cookies, you only have to buy 167 more cookies this year to make it pay for itself ;)

Angela - Hey, glad I could help! And umm I didn't make it there today. In fact, I ended up working from 9am to 7:30pm today. Oops.

Brenda December 20, 2008 at 12:47 PM  

Thanks for that analysis. Starbucks had to do something to keep from going out of business!! ;)

Gombojav Tribe December 20, 2008 at 4:54 PM  

I didn't know this, but am glad that I do now!! THANKS!! :-)

Cookie December 20, 2008 at 7:42 PM  

I'm not a Starbucks person. I prefer Tully's. But I do go to Starbucks sometimes... Who knew they had so many promotions!

♥ Braja December 20, 2008 at 8:19 PM  

This is bordering on internet abuse, speaking to me about Starbucks when I'm in this village in India. You're a cruel cruel woman. I love Starbucks. And now that you've mentioned the word, I will keep visiting you....:)

Unknown December 21, 2008 at 6:54 AM  

I'm not a Starbucks person, but I know a lot of businesses have different types of reward cards. I ask at places I go frequently.

Michelle December 21, 2008 at 8:44 PM  

Brenda - No kidding! I think this actually may be my husband's final stocking stuffer Christmas present... maybe.

Gombojav Tribe - Hey, glad I could help! Kind of a neat little loyalty thing (that I can see increasing visits from casual drinkers by a ton!).

Cookie - It's funny, but I don't think I know *any*one from Seattle who's a fan of Starbucks. Way to keep up with the trend ;)

Braja - Oops, sorry! Just pretend like you never saw this. Ohm ohm ohm it's gone! Yeah, yoga and meditation never work for me either.

Elizabeth - Actually, that's not a bad idea to ask to see what rewards are out there. It surprises me sometmies how little marketing is done around them when it could really benefit them!

Alicia @ Oh2122 December 24, 2008 at 10:28 AM  


Now I want a Peppermint Mocha Twist. Before they disappear!

Michelle December 25, 2008 at 11:29 AM  

Oh2122 - Ummm... sorry? Actually I'm not :) It's a good thing, right? I got my husband one for Christmas and he'd never heard of it either, so fingers crossed it turns out well. Oh, and I've also since discovered that no, you cannot cross use the Gold Card and a Starbucks Rewards Card. I sorta figured, but it was worth an ask!

Unknown January 29, 2009 at 6:22 AM  

Sigh - we don't have the Gold Card over here in Singapore. I love Starbucks though! Haha!

But good analysis! ;)

Michelle January 30, 2009 at 11:44 PM  

San - Patience. Starbucks is slowly taking over the world. I'm sure they'll import this bit soon enough, too!

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