Starbucks is getting into a new business: credit cards.
The Seattle-based coffee giant and Chase on Thursday announced the availability of a Starbucks Rewards Visa credit card, which ties directly into the chain’s Starbucks Rewards loyalty program.
Starbucks is believed to be the first major U.S. restaurant chain to come out with its own co-branded card, though such cards are common among retailers and travel-focused companies such as airlines and hotels.
The co-branded card adds another dimension to the chain’s popular loyalty program, Starbucks Rewards, which has 14 million members in the U.S. Those members now account for 37% of the company’s sales.
“It’s important to us to make earning rewards as easy for our customers as possible,” Matt Ryan, Starbucks chief strategy officer, said in a statement.
Customers who use the card earn “Stars” with every purchase, both in and outside of Starbucks locations. Those Stars can be redeemed for drinks and food at Starbucks locations. New cardmembers get 2,500 Stars after spending $500 within three months, and they get 250 Stars when using their card to load registered Starbucks cards in the mobile app for the first time.
Members get one Star for every $4 spent outside of Starbucks, and one Star for every $1 digitally loaded into the Starbucks card on the mobile app using the Visa card.
Visa card users get two Stars for every $1 earned when paying with the Starbucks card as a loyalty member.
The Starbucks Visa card comes with an annual fee of $49.
Starbucks is co-branding the card as it looks to spur traffic inside of its restaurants. The company reported flat transactions in the company’s fiscal first quarter, including a decline during its crucial holiday season.
The company’s stock has fallen more than 9% since that report last week.
Still, Starbucks is hoping that its efforts to make its rewards program more attractive will build membership and sales, giving those customers reason to come into its shops more often.
Starbucks and Chase have an existing relationship—Chase handles payment processing for the coffee chain and Chase Pay is accepted at Starbucks locations.
The two companies are working on a co-branded prepaid card in the U.S., which is expected to launch in April.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to leverage our new digital technologies to initiate and advance additional direct digital relationships,” CEO Kevin Johnson said last week. He said the co-branded credit card would “enhance the value” of the Starbucks Rewards program to its customers.