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Finance, Hacks

Coffee Cards Gone Wild, and Re-Loadable

Let’s start off by saying that Coffee Cards are a great gift item! I received one for a special occasion the other day, and it provided me many hours of pleasurable sipping and lounging around at my local Peet’s. Brilliant.

But the mystery to me is that these cards are marketed as “re-loadable debit cards”; a convenience item. Why in the name of French Roast would you re-load the thing instead of just using a debit card? I don’t mean to pick on Peet’s (who make and sell my favorite coffee), they just happen to be a recent example of good ideas gone wild.

Peet's "re-loadable debit card"

Peet's "re-loadable debit card"

The card, which takes of valuable wallet/purse space, offers to my mind no discernible benefit over a normal debit card.  Click on the card image and take a look at the FAQ’s for the card, and you decide. Please post a comment and give us your thoughts.

On the other hand, Starbuck’s market a Gold Card, that includes a discount on coffee and freebies on those special occasions like birthdays.

Starbuck's Card Offers More Than Debit

Starbuck's Card Offers More Than Debit

You have to pay $25/year  up-front for this card, but it seems like a better deal to me.  I won’t hold it against Starbuck’s that the ‘Gold‘ card is actually black. Whatever.

Take your pick, or try cash.



7 thoughts on “Coffee Cards Gone Wild, and Re-Loadable

  1. Clearly the value of the card is two fold: first, once the card is purchased it prevents one from spending “that” money on some spur of the moment useless and shiny bobble. Therefore one is more likely to spend the money on things that have lasting value like coffee. Second: This may not be the main corporate reason but if one pays cash it prevents the government/banking complex from knowing what you spend your money on (as apposed to a debit card). But wait you say, I can just use cash and that would accomplish the same result. Go back to the first reason — you might just spend the cash on that bobble and not have coffee money.
    A rare win-win situation.

    Posted by Sand Pounders Union | May 16, 2009, 1:10 pm
    • Two excellent points. What’s your take on the Starbuck’s card vs. Peets?

      Posted by Bob Gelber | May 16, 2009, 1:50 pm
      • The Starbucks Gold card should be seen a big red flag. The people that are buying this are either: (1) really bad at math; (2) coffee addicts; (3) extreme conformist nut jobs that have bought into the urban corporate/government lifestyle of doing as they are told. Maybe I could get my Gold Card just embedded as a chip in my hand: that would be so much more convenient. How long can it be before the machines take over?

        Posted by Sand Pounders Union | May 16, 2009, 4:06 pm
  2. I’m a little slow…..getting caught up on the blog….I’ve been too busy using my Gold Card….sipping coffee!

    Posted by horselady | August 17, 2009, 5:36 pm
  3. First, you get a dollar off your order when you put $20 or more on a card anytime.
    Secondly, you Peet’s has started to offer special promotions during the year where you get a free medium beverage when you put $25 or more on the card (or you can have the dollar off instead if you only get beans or don’t like saving money).

    Posted by Drew | October 20, 2009, 11:24 am

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