After selling out of its absurdly expensive, crystal-encrusted gift cards, Starbucks has brought a new model to the table. The new card, deep blue and adorned with Swarovski crystals, is available at the company's online store, and like the champagne version, it costs $200.
The gift card comes preloaded with $50. Why in the world would a gift card retail for $150 more than its actual value? First of all, it comes with the allure of being limited edition — customers can purchase only one at a time. Starbucks says it's "more than a gift card," since customers can earn free drinks and food via the company's rewards program. Now that the champagne version is sold out, it's popping up on eBay at even more outrageously high prices.
Apparently, Starbucks is able to sell ultra-luxe — or overpriced, depending on your perception — gift cards because of the incredible popularity of its rewards program. In a statement provided to Eater, a spokesperson said a third of all transactions in the United States and Canada are completed with the reloadable cards.
Starbucks is preparing for record purchases of Starbucks Cards on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24). This comes hot on the heels of last year, when nearly 2.5 million Starbucks Cards were purchased in the U.S. and Canada on Christmas Eve — representing nearly 1,700 cards purchased per minute. That means that one in seven American adults received a Starbucks Card last holiday season.
Where in America are shoppers most likely to visit their local Starbucks for a last minute gift?Utah, California and New Mexico rank top, while shoppers in D.C and North Dakota are the most prepared for the holidays, with their gifts already wrapped.
And it's certainly a gift that is well-used — one-third of all transactions in the U.S. and Canada are paid for with a Starbucks Card.
Starbucks has a long history of selling super-swanky gift cards, but these days they aren't a great value for customers. The company sold metal cards that retailed for $450 in 2012 and 2013, but those were preloaded with $400. The coffee giant debuted a $200 gift card keychain in November 2014, and like this year's models, that came with $50 in Starbucks bucks.