Starbucks Gold Card

Starbucks “Black” Gold Card

This summer I fell in love with Starbuck’s Vivanno, their high-protein, high-fiber smoothie beverage. My signature drink: a banana-chocolate Vivanno, one espresso shot, with non-fat milk. Because I was going there so often, and because the new Starbucks and AT&T partnership gave 2 hours free WiFi a day, I started buying things through a free Starbucks Card (essentially a prepaid, reloadable gift card).

Apparently, I went to Starbucks more than I thought. A few weeks ago, Starbucks invited me to be part of their Starbucks Gold program. The program provides a special card, which is quite pretty: the back is standard glossy card fare, but the front is a black matte with gold embossed logo.

Starbucks started this program earlier this summer, and they’ve been tweaking the benefits. The benefits my card comes with (as says the flyer that came with it):

  • 10% off most purchases
  • Coffeehouse rewards, including special discounts on family and friend days
  • Surprise indulgences, like treats on my birthday
  • Members-only website and insider promotions

Unfortunately, this comes at a price. It has a membership fee of $25/yr–only the hardcore Starbucks coffee drinkers (which isn’t me) need apply. Also, supposedly, the card does not provide any of the Starbucks Card Rewards, such as the free WiFi, or free milk and syrup options. So far, I’m going to pass on the program, and continue using my old Starbucks Card. But I will keep the pretty-looking card.

Correction: My beta invite entitles me to the Starbucks Gold membership for free. Funny this not indicated anywhere. Also, even though the fine print says Starbucks Card Rewards do not apply, the Starbucks Gold program portal implies that WiFi is an included reward, and it does appear to work…

Update: Now that the Starbucks Gold membership has officially launched for the general public, you can get a description of the benefits in-store. With the Starbucks Gold card, you do not get all the Starbucks Card Rewards–that is, no free syrups, milk or whipped cream, refills on drip coffee, or free tall drink with purchase of whole bean coffee. However, as I mentioned, you do get WiFi.

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Casey Billups's picture

I got mine yesterday as well. I think it’s great marketing and I know it made me feel atleast a little special to get an invite for a free one (which sounds like the same one you got). They don’t actually go on sale until next month, so for now it’s still a free Beta.

Back to the reason I was going to comment, as far as I can tell after activating it and transfering my balance and autoreload to it. The card itself gives all of the benefits of your current starbucks card, plus all of the listed ones above. I will come retract my post if it turns out to be different, however my soy milk was free as normal this morning with the new card.

Just wanted to tip you off that it would probably give you all the benefits of your current card and 10% off daily to switch to the new one. Won’t cost you anything with your Beta invite, atleast this year.

Samat's picture

I noticed that the Starbucks Gold membership is free for us beta invitees, and WiFi does appear to be included… with those two negatives out of the way, I went ahead and activated my card.

It was really sort of interesting walking into my New York City Starbucks with it, all the baristas were totally enamored with it, as it was the first they’d seen.

Kenneth's picture

I read about this program on Starbucks Gossip while ago. Early this month, I received an email invitation about Starbucks Gold. As a loyal customer, I opted-in right away. Two weeks later, I received the Gold Card in the mail. The T.O.C. is kind of confusing at first (still). I thought I have to pay $25 annual fee to join the ‘elite’ club. I went ahead and registered my card. As mentioned from you and another reader, the annual fee doesn’t apply to invitation card holders.

This morning, the barista helped me to transfer the remaining balance from my other Starbucks card to the Gold card. So far, 10% discount is about saving me the local sales tax (9.5% in the Seattle area.. yikes).