Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card review
Starbucks regulars will like this card’s perks — others should look elsewhere.
- Get this card if you’re a regular Starbucks customer.
- Pick something else if you’re looking for a no-annual-fee card.
- Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Points as welcome offer
Up to 3x
15.99% to 22.99%
Purchase APR (variable)
|Welcome Offer||4,500 Stars after spending $500 in the first 3 months|
|Rewards||Up to 3x Stars in Starbucks, 1x Stars for every $2 on groceries, transit, internet, cable and phone and 1x Stars for every $4 on all other purchases|
|Purchase APR||15.99% to 22.99% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||15.99% to 22.99% variable|
|Recommended minimum credit score||670|
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Business.com, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order by expertly navigating cutting-edge financial tools — including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
In a perfect world, the Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card would have no annual fee. Unfortunately, it has a moderate yearly cost, which leads to a natural question: Is the card worth it?
- Signup bonus: 4,500 stars when you spend $500 in the first 3 months of card membership.
You have a shot at a strong signup bonus. According to the Starbucks website as of December 2018, it’s worth around $190 if your average redemption costs $5.
- Automatic upgrade to Gold Status.
This tier comes with all the perks of Green Level, including refills on eligible beverages, an annual Birthday Reward and special offers by email. It lets you redeem 125 Stars for a drink or food item, and it gives you access to Monthly Double-Star Days and a personalized Gold Card.
- 8 Barista Picks each card year.
Each card year, you’ll receive eight offers for complimentary food and drink items through Starbucks’ Barista Picks program. Assuming each item is worth around $4, this is a value of about $32.
Be careful with the rewards listed on the card’s website. The credit card actually adds value when you use it to load your Starbucks Card through your app or on the Starbucks website. Assuming you redeem all of your Barista Picks, you still need to get $17 of value out of the card to break even on your $49 annual fee. You can do this by loading $425 onto your Starbucks Card with your Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card. This gives you around a 4% rewards rate.
What’s the verdict?
The card has an excellent signup bonus. But consider whether you’ll spend enough at Starbucks to make the annual fee worth paying.
Ask yourself these questions: Will you use all of your Barista Picks offers, and will you load at least $425 onto your Starbucks Card each card year? If the answer is no, you might get more out of a dining or general rewards credit card. If the answer is yes, this product might be right for you.
You’ll also like …
- Visa benefits.
Enjoy purchase protection, extended warranties and price protection on eligible items you buy with your card. When you purchase eligible trips with your card, you’re covered by trip cancellation and interruption insurance. When you pay for your car rental with your card and decline the agency’s insurance, you’re covered by an auto rental collision damage waiver.
What to watch out for
- Annual fee: $49.
- Potentially high APR.
The upper purchase and balance transfer APR is a high 22.99% variable.
- You already earn 2x Stars at Starbucks stores when you use a Starbucks Card.
Starbucks advertises the Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card as offering 3x Stars for Starbucks purchases. But most of these rewards come from using a Starbucks Card through the company’s app to pay for in-store purchases. When you do so, you’ll earn 2x Stars — even if you don’t have the credit card.
- To earn the top rewards rate, you must load funds to your Starbucks Card through the Starbucks website or mobile app.
If you load your Starbucks Card at a store, you’ll get the lower rewards rate: 1 Star per $4 spent.
- Stars expire.
Stars you earn through your Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card expire six months after the calendar month in which you earned them.
Compare rewards credit cards
The Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card isn’t for casual Starbucks-goers. But the regular who loves using the Starbucks app and redeeming Stars for the most valuable food or drink items will likely pull in enough rewards to offset the annual fee.
If you’re still not sure the card is for you, you might prefer a cashback card instead.