Well it finally happened. After all these years, I’m writing about Starbucks. I say it like that because I’ve always been somewhat against shelling out $5+ for coffee especially since I’m not a “coffee drinker”. But, just like most of you out there, I enjoy a sugar-filled cup of joy from time to time and given that it’s been proven that the farthest you can get away from a Starbucks is about 140 miles, there’s never a place where you can’t find one. That data and this map image was compiled by James Davenport, who runs a blog on IfWeAssume.com.
Anyway, I come to you today to spread the word about the latest gift card idea from the coffee giant. Little did most of us know, but there is apparently a small-time hobby out there of collecting these little cards. Usually they are plastic and carry some sort of graphic design that matches a specific theme such as a holiday or time of year. But not this time! Starbucks has announced the release of a new limited edition gift card made of actual steel and pre-loaded with $400 of coffee-flavored Starbucks money.
It’s limited to only 5,000 and has a retail price of $450. If you do your math correctly, that means you’re paying $50 (plus shipping) simply for the card itself. Excuse my lack of Starbucks gift card history, but I’m pretty sure this marks the first time anyone has ever had to pay for a gift card! But don’t fret. With the $450 price tag, you’re also upgrading your Starbucks account status to Gold, which gives you a few more perks than the average Starbucker.
Apparently Gold members get free refills on iced coffee and teas on the same visit, a free drink or food item after every 12th purchase and random perks throughout the year. This may be worth it for someone who enjoys Starbucks year-round. And if you think about it, getting Gold normally takes 30 purchases. This gift card lets you bypass that requirement right out of the gate!
How to get one
The card is not available at any Starbucks location and will only be sold on Gilt.com starting tomorrow at 8am PST for the general public. Current Starbucks members can take advantage of the pre-sale today. I was on the site earlier and was presented with a “Coming Soon” message and a little clock that said 23 hours left. However, I closed that page, went and logged in at Starbucks.com, went back to Gilt.com and the page allowed me to place an order. Yes, I bought one! But I’m thinking of the collector’s value. My goal (if I decide to sell) would be to at least get the face value back on this and who knows what else. I’ll leave that up to the eBayers.
I’m not sure if it’s even still for sale, but check out the link above to see if you can still purchase one. If you’re not a Gilt.com member, you can quickly sign up and it should allow your to process an order.
My Two Cents
I think this one is going to come down to a couple of things. There will be those people that just have to be “that guy” (or girl) to pull out the mysterious metal gift card every time they go into the store and watch as the other Starbuckers ooo and ahhh at the sight of a pretty card and then there will be people like me. I have a feeling that once this item sells out, people are going to want it for collecting purposes. Now I’m not saying that this card will sell for thousands of dollars, but if the one listed on eBay right now is any inclination of what may come of this, then here’s hoping!
On the flipside, even if this card proves to be a major flop, there’s always the $400 value still on the card which makes the worst case scenario one that involves the seller losing about $50. Still another outcome could be that you just simply use the card’s value and keep (and continue to refill) a really nice, quality gift card. If I used mine, it would probably take close to 3 years to use it all up!