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How about a feisty pro-con SBUX debate? When I first read the short article linked below, my first reaction was "Outrageous!" My next thought was "No, this is one heckuva slick marketing ploy!" The secret? Exclusivity.

SBUX is only making 5000 cards. There's not only the "limited edition" idea, but also you can't buy them at any of their retail stores. They'll only be sold via the luxury goods website, Gilt.com. It comes with gold-level Starbucks card membership benefits, such as gifts and freebie refills on brewed coffee and tea. It isn't made of plastic, but stainless steel. Each specially-etched card, loaded with $400, costs $50 to make, which Starbucks says explains the $450 price tag. "Some stores will never even see this card," boasts Ryan Records, VP of card and payments.

But not everyone is impressed. "This is a card for the 1%," says cultural anthropologist Robbie Blinkoff. "It's all about status, and to tell you the truth, I don't know if I'd want to be seen with one of these."

If you're already a rewards program member, you're eligible for a pre-sale tomorrow at gilt.com. The official start date is Friday at 9A. I predict there won't be any left. A dab of recent anecdotal success seems to foretell sales of the $450 card.

Last month, Starbucks offered two rare, expensive sets of beans. The Costa Rica Tarrazu Geisha sold out online in 24 hours. The Costa Rica Finca Palmilera is the chain’s most expensive cup of coffee ever at $7 for a grande size. It disappeared rapidly, too.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/food/stew/la-fi-mo-st...

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2012/12/04/star...
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The steel card itself isn't that bad an idea, but having a $50 surcharge for a limited edition card that "comes with gold membership" is just silly. If you spend enough on Starbucks that $400 pre-loaded is a good idea, you already have gold status. With the premium beans at least you were getting beans that weren't normally available and at "little luxury" prices. I can come up with better ideas to sell the cards without coming off as "product geared toward wannabes and snobs".

1. Buy the card for $400 and we will load $450 on it. (Not a bad deal for serious road travelers with a caffeine addiction.)
2. Get even more perks then the Gold members with this card (bring back the free soy/syrups, earn free drinks even faster).
3. Buy the card for $400 and we will donate $100 to rain-forest protection initiatives.

Lara Amber
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Hey, if people want it, they're welcome to it.

It's like wine--some people want Domaine de la Romainee, I'm happy with Yellowtail. (Yeah, I looked up Domaine de la Romainee....).

Some people want Starbucks, and the most expensive Starbucks--me, I'm happy with Folgers.

These days I'm MUCH more focused on early retirement than on what I can buy, and I'm also trying really hard (and often failing, I admit) to not be judgmental about people's choices, no matter what they are.

Get the Starbucks, get the giant TV and the Hummer. Just leave me alone and don't make me go to the office any longer than I absolutely must....
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My old boss got a steel (I think) card from her credit card company (Chase?) after something was stolen. She couldn't figure out how to destroy the thing! It wouldn't go through the shredder. Don't know what she ended up doing.

50 dollars extra for a card like that sounds stupid, but maybe the rewards are worth it. At least it's not 400 a year, or whatever the amex gold was!
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At least it's not 400 a year, or whatever the amex gold was!


that is the Amex Platinum - the gold is "only" $90
The advantage of this card (which kind of makes it a wash) is that AMEX platinum annual fee is roughly the same cost of an annual Delta SkyClub Membership - and possession of this card includes membership.

While I do not have either*, several of my coworkers do - and for thosewho have been known spend a few huors, twice a week in airports, this access can be invaluable to getting *real WOrk* done, as well as being prepared to work when one arrives at the final destination.

I have heard, as well, that the representatives at Amex PLatinum are phenomenal at *fixing* and rerouting travel/accomodations when flight cancellations occur.
So, if one was considering THAT card, there is at least something that comes for that fee aside from prestige.


peace & perks
t




* i have enough travel to have international lounge access, and that is where i am more likely to use it anyway
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She couldn't figure out how to destroy the thing! It wouldn't go through the shredder. Don't know what she ended up doing.

Hammer and cement floor.

When we moved from Massachusetts to New York my brother spent a half hour destroying the old charge plates.

Nancy
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I think I'll just stick with my gold member status and cute little snowman gift card I got last year that gets refilled.

LWW
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And you'll have more places to flash your $450 steel card.

NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks Corp. shares rose Thursday after the world's biggest coffee company announced a venti-sized expansion program that will add at least 1,500 new cafes in the U.S. over the next five years.

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-12-06/starbucks-shares-g...
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