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The Benefits of Having a Starbucks Steel Card

Updated on June 19, 2013
The Starbucks Steel Card arrives in its own little pouch!
The Starbucks Steel Card arrives in its own little pouch! | Source

The Starbucks Steel card is a limited edition of 5,000 gift cards that are reloadable and have a number of benefits. Admittedly, they come with a hefty price tag. New, the cards cost $450 plus shipping. Of course, $400 of that comes pre-loaded on the card, so the cost of the actual card itself is “just” $50. The limited edition nature of the card meant that it was sold out before it went public; the initial offering was just to those who already held a “gold” card, and those people jumped at the chance to blow almost $500 on coffee. But why buy the Starbucks Steel Card?

Gold Status

Having a Steel Card automatically gives you gold status. Gold status allows you to get perks, like free food or drink every twelve “stars” that you earn by making a purchase at the store. In addition, you get free birthday drinks, emails with special offers, and more goodies to try to keep you coming back in to drink the coffee.

Resale Value

The card itself, as a metal product (yes, it really is made of steel!), is practically worthless. Steel is currently selling for anywhere from $.09 to $.50 per pound, and since the card probably weighs about an ounce or two, selling it for scrap probably isn’t going to be quite worthwhile. However, especially when they were first released in December of 2012, individuals were selling them on eBay for anywhere from $600 to $900, sometimes with the balance already transferred off so that all the buyer got for their money was the actual card. Whether the price stays that high or comes down will really depend on whether or not new cards get issues. It’s going to be a wait-and-see game.

The Starbucks Steel Card ready to be used!
The Starbucks Steel Card ready to be used! | Source

Being “Cool”

Isn’t it worth $50 (plus a prepaid $400) to be cool? As one of the foolish 5,000 who bought one during the initial offering, I can tell you that there really is something cool about paying for your coffee with a slab of metal from your wallet. Because there are only 5,000 cards total, and there were approximately 15,000 stores globally in December of 2012, that means that some stores may never see some or they may only see one or two ever. I’ve used it at stores where all the cashiers have passed it around to get a look at it because they’d never seen one before, and I’ve been asked multiple times where I got it because the employees don’t even know about them!

Feeling and Looking Good

Let’s be honest – the card is pretty! The steel has a lovely matt look to it, but it’s still shiny. The pattern is simple but nice. What’s extra cool is that it even keeps its appearance if you use it in the iPhone app. The image of the card matches the Steel Card if you register it online. Okay, so in the app, it doesn’t quite look metal, but it has the same pattern, and for those of us who like the look, it’s right up our alley.

Ninja Star Goodness from Starbucks!
Ninja Star Goodness from Starbucks! | Source

Hard to Confuse It With Other Cards

When you’re digging in your wallet, pocket, or purse for your Starbucks Steel Card, you know you’ve found it. The weight and feel of the metal makes it clear that this is the card that you’re looking for. For those of us who have accidentally pulled out our debit card instead of our Starbucks card in the past – well, this makes it sure you won’t! It’s obvious when you have steel in your hand.

Ninja Throwing Star Goodness

Finally, the awesome metal of the Steel Card makes it the perfect offensive weapon for a ninja! Just see how easily it penetrates the wood! (Okay, this one is a joke, and I staged the photo…but it really does feel like you could use it as a weapon if you ever got stuck in prison and the corrections officer let you keep it in the cell with you.)

Would you be willing to spend $450 for a Starbucks Steel card if they were still available?

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