Death Wish Coffee Targets Starbucks Gift Cards With A Trade-In Program

Gift cards might seem like the perfect option when you don't know what to give, but consider all the cards that go unused and unwanted. It could just be they are forgotten in a drawer, but it might be that the gift card is not a match for your recipient's tastes. It's no small business; for example, Starbucks projected that 58 million gift cards worth over $3 billion in value would be sold in 2023 — that's a lot of plastic, and not everyone is a Starbucks coffee fan. Enter Death Wish Coffee with its latest program that trades in those unwanted Starbucks cards for its premium coffee offerings.

According to the Death Wish Coffee website, for every Starbucks card up to $100 in value, the company will issue a credit of equal value to be used online exclusively. In addition, the cash value of the Starbucks card will be donated to St. Jude's Children's Hospital. One card per person will be accepted until January 9, 2024, and important restrictions and other details can be found on the Death Wish website. Tasting Table reached out to Starbucks for comment but it chose not to give any official comments on the story.

Trading in and trading up

Retail gift cards are a form of stored money, and the issuing company can make a lot of profit by investing the value until the card is redeemed. For some recipients, that is an extra incentive to cash in if they have objections with the issuing company. Considering the timing and the disputes between Starbucks and its unionized stores, some customers may be looking to shop elsewhere. One coffee lover made this extra easy by creating Nahbucks, an online map listing close to 50,000 non-Starbucks coffee locations around the country. 

What makes the Death Wish offer notable is that the company is offering an equal dollar exchange, so you get the full value of your card, as well as the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that St. Jude's will also benefit. The New York-based coffee roaster was founded in 2012 and specializes in extra-caffeinated brews with an edgy skull and crossbones branding. The Fair Trade and organic certified coffee is available as beans, ground, brew pods, and instant coffee, all boasting about double the caffeine of a standard cup of joe. A single sleeve of its instant coffee contains a whopping 300 mg of caffeine — be warned! The coffee is available at retailers nationwide, but note that the Starbucks card trade-in promotion is only valid for website orders.