Mon | Feb 19, 2018

Starbucks launches credit card, hoping to jolt sales

Published:Friday | February 2, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Starbucks has a new product that it hopes will hook coffee lovers: a credit card.

The card, launched on Thursday with JPMorgan Chase and Visa, comes as Starbucks struggles with slowing growth in the United States.

With the new card, Starbucks wants to lure those who aren't yet signed up for its rewards programme. The Seattle-based company has more than 14 million Starbucks members in its rewards programme in the US, but it is working to grow that number because members tend to stop by its shops more often for coffee or snacks.

The Starbucks Rewards credit card has a US$49 annual fee and lets cardholders earn free Starbucks drinks and food with purchases they make at the coffee chain and elsewhere. Cardholders will be enrolled into the Starbucks rewards programme.

Branded credit cards, like the Starbucks one, have been popular for decades since they help strengthen customer loyalty. Ride-hailing company Uber, for example, launched a credit card last year.

Starbucks Corp said it also plans to launch a prepaid card in April with Chase for those who don't want a credit card or can't qualify for one.

- AP