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Starbucks enters loyalty partnership with Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines and Starbucks
Delta Air Lines and Starbucks launch loyalty partnership (Photo: Delta Air Lines and Starbucks)

Starbucks Coffee Company and Delta Air Lines are linking their loyalty programs to increase rewards opportunities for members.

Starting Wed., Oct. 12, U.S. customers who are enrolled in both the Delta SkyMiles and Starbucks Rewards loyalty programs can link their accounts. Once the accounts are linked, members will earn one mile per $1 spent on eligible purchases at Starbucks, and on days when enrolled members have a scheduled flight with Delta, they will earn double Starbucks loyalty points on eligible purchases at participating Starbucks stores.

This joint benefit is open to currently enrolled and new members of the companies’ loyalty programs. Customers who link their accounts through Dec. 31, 2022 will earn 500 miles, and, once they make or have made a qualifying purchase, 150 Starbucks Stars loyalty points.

Delta SkyMiles is also adding Starbucks Stars as a new Choice Benefit for its Diamond and Platinum SkyMiles members, who will be able to select 4,000 Stars as one of their annual Choice Benefits in 2024. Delta passengers on flights departing Seattle on Oct. 12 will receive a “Star Card” valid for 150 Stars that can be redeemed at their next Starbucks visit.

Earlier this year, Starbucks announced Reward Together, a program that allows Starbucks Rewards members to link their accounts with other brands’ loyalty programs. Through these loyalty partnerships, the company says it aims to increase awareness and drive growth of Starbucks Rewards, as well as attract new members by offering benefits and making it easier for customers to join. Delta is Starbucks’ first U.S. partner in this program.

Introduced in 2009, the Starbucks Rewards program offers members free rewards, personalized offers, games, exclusive deals and the ability to order ahead and pay on the Starbucks app. In September 2022, Starbucks unveiled Starbucks Odyssey. This new offering will provide Starbucks Rewards members and employees in the U.S. the opportunity to earn and purchase digital collectible NFT assets that will enable access to new benefits and immersive coffee experiences.

[Read more: Starbucks extending loyalty program into the metaverse with NFTs]

Over the last five years, Starbucks says U.S. membership has more than doubled, with more than 27 million U.S. 90-day active Starbucks Rewards members as of July 2022. Additionally, Starbucks Rewards transactions account for more than half of tender at all U.S. company-operated stores in the same timeframe.

“Starbucks Rewards and Delta SkyMiles are centered on creating moments of meaningful connection, and by bringing together two of the country’s most celebrated loyalty programs we are able to reward our members with more of what they love,” said Ryan Butz, VP, loyalty strategy and marketing at Starbucks. “We are excited to partner with Delta to offer our members even more valuable benefits, as well as invite more customers to join Starbucks Rewards.”

“We’re continuing to evolve Delta’s SkyMiles program to give our customers valuable, premium experiences not just on the days they travel but in their everyday lives as well,” said Prashant Sharma, VP of loyalty at Delta. “Through this new partnership with Starbucks, we can deliver more moments and interactions that matter, both in the air and on the ground.”

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