Wow, I’m more influential than I thought. Less than a month after I wrote my article, Sorry Starbucks, I Love You But I’m Not Going To Sign Up For Your Credit Card, the sign up bonus for the card has been substantially increased :-).
The sign up bonus for the card is now 4,500 stars after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from your account opening, up from the initial offer of 2,500 stars.
How much does that increase mean in dollars? Here’s what I originally wrote about this offer:
Starbucks junkies know that you can redeem 125 stars for a free item. That means the sign up bonus is worth 20 free food or drink rewards. Wow, that’s a whole lot of free coffee. But what’s 2,500 stars worth in dollars? I like to save my rewards until I need to buy lunch at Starbucks, as the sandwiches or protein boxes can run $7 – $10 each. Say you max this out and get $10 in value for each reward. That’s only $200 of value for the sign up bonus (sad trombone).
Here’s the new math: 4,500 stars is equal to 36 free rewards. Still using the max value of $10 per reward, that gives the sign up bonus a value of $360. Better than the original value of $200 but still not that great.
I just wrote about how the JetBlue Plus’ sign up bonus of 40,000 points is worth $560 in airfare. If you can meet the $4000 spending requirement, the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s sign up bonus of 50,000 points is worth $625 or more. The Starbucks’ Visa initial sign up bonus value of $200 was really disappointing since to receive it you had to pay the $49 annual fee, making a net profit of $150. An 80% increase to the bonus so shortly after the product launch means more people did the math than Chase anticipated and realized that 2,500 stars isn’t worth all that much.
However, there’s still some good news. Say you didn’t read my post and signed up for the card for the 2,500 star bonus. Feeling a little left out now that the bonus is 4,500 stars? Let Chase know about it.
I just received 20,000 additional IHG points when I was in the same position. The easiest thing to do is to log into your Chase account and send a secure message. Send the message to the Reward Program department and let them know that you noticed the Starbucks Rewards Visa you applied for is now offering a 4,500 star bonus but when you signed up it was only 2,500 stars. Ask if they can give you the 2,000 extra stars. Chase is usually pretty easy when it comes to these type of requests as long as you’re still in the first three months since applying for the card. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.
With a value of $360, or 36 expensive coffees, the Starbucks card is a better value than before. If you’re stuck earning 1% back on a Capital One card then you might do better with this card if you’re a Starbucks junkie. However, even with free coffee for a month or two, it’s still hard for me to suggest getting this card. Read some of our other articles about credit cards and see what you can do when earning points and miles for your spending instead of free coffee.
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