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Starbucks joins forces with Lyft

Starbucks said on Wednesday that it would team up with Lyft, the ride-hailing start-up, in an arrangement that would give Lyft customers incentives to earn perks through Starbucks’ loyalty program.

The deal, which the companies described as a multiyear agreement, is centered on the My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program. Under the arrangement, customers can earn points toward coffee and food every time they use Lyft. Lyft drivers, too, can enroll in the reward program and earn loyalty points through the partnership. Passengers can also tip their drivers Starbucks points, or “stars,” from inside the Lyft app.

“Our digital loyalty ecosystem will strengthen Lyft’s ability to attract and retain customers in a highly profitable way, while at the same time accelerating the incrementality of redemption of rewards,” Adam Brotman, chief digital officer of Starbucks, said in a statement.

The pairing is the latest corporate match-up from Starbucks. In recent years, Starbucks has worked with tech companies like Square to accept payments, as well as Spotify, the streaming music company, to create playlists for any number of the more than 7,000 coffee shops it operates in the United States.

On Tuesday, Starbucks announced a deal with The New York Times in which some articles would appear free within the Starbucks mobile app.

The arrangement may be a much bigger deal for Lyft, the three-year-old company based in San Francisco that to date has had fewer corporate tie-ups than Uber, its largest competitor. Uber, which operates in more than 300 cities around the world, has worked to create loyalty programs with companies like Capital One and Starwood Hotels.

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