Consumer Behaviour: Luxury Buying with Starbucks’ Stainless Steel Card

‘Tis the season for giving. But, as you’ve probably noticed, ’tis also the season for buying for oneself.

Undoubtedly cognizant of this, Starbucks has announced the sale of its $450 stainless steel gift card. The card comes loaded with $400 worth of redeemable Starbucks…bucks. The other $50 covers the manufacturing fee. Cardholders become Gold members (expected to make 30 transactions per year), receive free drinks on birthdays, and can acquire free drinks or food every 12 purchases.

Let’s crunch some numbers.

The card will get you: 106 grande Frappuccinos, 119 grande lattes or 205 16-ounce cups of brewed coffee.
Side note: That’s 42,840 calories if you stick with the lattes (Caramel Brule)

Assuming two birthdays over the course of the card’s usage = 2 free drinks
Assuming a combination of fraps and lattes (112 total and 1 free drink per 12 purchased) = 9 free drinks

Earning potential with card and Gold membership = 11 free drinks = $52.25 in savings
That’s just enough to recoup that $50 manufacturing fee in two years’ time if you use the card once a week and don’t have the misfortune of losing it.

So, with a net gain of $1.12 over the course of one year, are you going to be one of the people trying to get your hands on one of the 5,000 limited edition cards available?

I know my answer. What’s yours?