The news: Starbucks Rewards members can now earn Delta miles on eligible Starbucks purchases, per a joint announcement.
What’s in it for Starbucks: For Starbucks, the move adds stickiness to what’s already a hugely successful loyalty program with 27.4 million US members.
What’s in it for Delta: The benefit is less obvious for Delta SkyMiles members, given the sheer number of purchases required to get enough miles for a free ticket. But it’s still an opportunity for the airline to build loyalty even when members aren’t directly interfacing with the brand, and increases the likelihood that Starbucks customers will consider Delta their airline of choice.
Looking ahead: While the partnership represents a significant opportunity for both players, success hinges on execution. “Making the connection and pulling the two rewards programs together needs to be easy to find and navigate,” said Patty Soltis, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence. “Both Delta and Starbucks have sophisticated reward programs and should be able to do this.”