The Perfect Swipe
Photo by Divya Annamalai
Interested in owning a card that literally catches the light in facets of metallic gold and gives you free drinks? Starbucks is currently the only company that personalizes a Gold Card to incentivize customers in its rewards program. Teachers and students at CHS said they enjoy the gold status that provides special perks applicable outside of the general program.
Allison Hargrove, Starbucks Gold Card holder and U.S. history teacher, said, “(Starbucks) gave (the Gold Card) to me when it was brand new; it was the first day they were offering it. I think they gave it to me because I was already buying so much there that they said that it would benefit me.”
According to Starbucks’ website, the program is based on accumulating “stars,” which are translated to free drinks every 125 stars for gold level members specifically.
Although the Gold Card is unlike any membership card in the consumer market aesthetically, there is a general consensus by teachers and students that it is not the reason they were interested in the program or have continued to use it.
John Burlace, avid Starbucks customer and choir director, said, “(I got a Gold Card) mostly for the rewards program they have, where you buy a certain amount and get something back for free and get discounts on certain things. It’s not like anybody knows I carry a Gold Card around; it’s primarily for the free refills and the rewards. Sometimes the company lets you know about things in advance, but mostly it’s just to save money.”
In addition to giving free drinks, the points system is associated with the Starbucks card and many other gold rewards, cards also provides an incentive for many customers to come into the store.
Hargrove said, “It also makes me want to go there more because I know I’m accumulating points, (and) in my mind it makes me feel like it’s ok to go. I justify it more for myself. We go to Scotty’s (Brewhouse) a lot, they have a really cool kids section and they gave us a card, not a Gold Card, it’s a little different, and we will use that as a reason we go there more often too.”
However, others like Lenna Gottschild, Gold Level member and sophomore, found that while they enjoy the special card, it is not very useful for them on a daily basis.
Gottschild said, “If you drink Starbucks all the time it’d be worth it; however I don’t during the school year, so it’s basically trying to see if I can even get halfway to the maximum amount of stars I can get.”
Graphic by Sabrina Mi