(Update 6/13/21: Card no longer available for new signups as of June 10, 2021. Hat tip to EosHuffer)
Chase and Starbucks have finally launched a prepaid Visa product which was discussed two years ago. This comes on the heels of the launch of the Chase Starbucks Visa card back in February.
Direct Signup Link | Press Release | Terms (pdf)
The Starbucks Rewards Visa prepaid card is issued by Chase and can be reloaded online with a Chase bank account, Liquid account, or with a debit card (not clear if it has to be a Chase debit card). The terms state clearly that cash reload is not available on the prepaid card, thus negating any manufactures spend angle here.
The Starbucks prepaid card does not have a bill pay function and does not have access to Zelle, nor does it have ATM access. It does come with a PIN.
Similar to the Chase Starbucks Visa credit card, the prepaid product also earns Stars wherever it’s used. ‘Stars’ are Starbucks rewards currency which give you any free Starbucks item after accumulating 125 stars. That will usually be a value of $3 – $10.
- Prepaid cardholders get instant Gold status on the Starbucks loyalty program which typically would take 300 stars ($150 in Starbucks spend) to reach.
- Earn 1 star per $10 spent everywhere with the prepaid card (free item after $1,250 in spend)
- No special earn on Starbucks purchases: you’ll get the regular 2 stars per $1 that all Starbucks members get when paying with their Starbucks card or app, and you’ll get the regular bonus 1 star per $10 as does all spend.
- Get 125 Stars (one free item) after you reload $10 or more with your Starbucks Rewards Visa Prepaid Card to your Registered Starbucks Card.
And, yup, it comes with the 24 month limitation : This offer is not available to current cardholders or previous cardholder of this prepaid card who received the new cardholder bonus for this prepaid card within the last 24 months.
- $0 signup fee
- $0 annual/monthly fee
- $0 reload fee
- $0 fee per swipe
- $0 inactivity fee
- $0 customer service fee
- $5 fee for a rush card replacement
- 3% foreign transaction fee
- $75 legal processing fee, which would be triggered if the bank was required to hold or pay out funds from the account as a result of a legal action.
For someone who can not get a credit card for whatever reason, this prepaid card can be mildly rewarding. It’s not much of alternative to the no-fee Bluebird/Serve/Redcard line from American Express which are fantastic products for the underbanked since this Starbucks prepaid requires having a bank or debit card to load. Plus, it does not offer bill pay and ATM access. The Starbucks prepaid card is better than Chase Liquid prepaid card which comes with $4.95 monthly fee.
$1,250 in spend to get 1 free item isn’t much. Most items cost around $4 which would amount around 1/3 of 1%. It would be almost impossible to get a 1% value. For our readers who have credit cards, I can’t find any use for this prepaid card. Maybe it could help rack up debit card purchase requirements, but realize there is a $25 debit card load minimum, and remember that you’ll have to spend down the balance somehow. If anyone finds a usefullness for this, please let us know.
Readers note it could be interesting for racking up ‘debit card’ spend. And also for racking up free drinks by using the card at places who only accept debit card.
The Chase Starbucks credit card which released in February is better than the prepaid product, as expected. It earns 1 star per $4, two and a half times the earn rate of the prepaid card, though overall it isn’t too interesting either. Read our review of the Starbucks credit card here.
Related: Starbucks vs. Dunkin’ Donuts: Which Has a Better Rewards Program?