There’s nothing I like more than a shiny gold card. A few days ago I posted about Aer Lingus status matching British Midland elite members, and while I don’t think I’ll get any use out of the status match, I took advantage of it, figuring it’ll get me a shiny elite card if nothing else.
I’ll do absolutely everything I can to make sure each flight I take accrues miles in a program, no matter how obscure it may be.
But sometimes I come to the realization of just how unbalanced my life is, and how useful loyalty programs go beyond the travel industry.
I go to Starbucks just about every day. It’s not because I think it’s the greatest establishment on earth, but rather just that options are limited in my area. Within a five mile radius of my house I don’t think there’s a single dining/drinking establishment that isn’t a national chain, and it drives me nuts.
While I’ve known they have a loyalty program, I’ve never actually gone through the hassle of signing up. I’m not sure why, exactly, given that it only takes a few minutes, but for whatever reason I never did.
Today my “usual” Barista said “you’re here all the time, why don’t you sign up for our rewards program?” So I did, and I feel like a total idiot, since I didn’t realize that the benefits are actually pretty good. You get one “star” per purchase with a Starbucks card, and 30 “stars” gets you Gold status, which gets you free syrup or soy milk, free coffee refills, a free drink every 15 “stars,” and a shiny Gold card (the coolest part, of course).
Seriously, how dumb am I for not signing up for this earlier? If they had an invitation only level I’d probably qualify based on how much I spend there.
So while the free iced coffee I get after every 15 “stars” might not be more “aspirational” than the ones I pay for, I’m kicking myself when thinking of how many free drinks I’ve missed out on.
Now the real question is whether the Gold card leads to more Barista phone numbers than the Chase Sapphire Preferred… thoughts?