If I liked Starbucks coffee, I'd have more success in using the stack of $5 Thank You gift cards I've received from companies. As it is, I'm just supporting Starbucks' bottom line unconsciously by letting them stack up.
Independent retailers tend to resist the investment of turning branded gift cards into a loyalty program, but we need to do a better job of understanding the long-term financial benefits.
The Motley Fool: These 3 Companies Earned $99 Million From Unused Gift Cards Last Year, 2017-Jul-15 by Jordan Wathen
Because credit card fees typically include a fixed-fee component that does not increase with the size of the transaction, Starbucks prefers its customers buy multi-use gift cards rather than making several smaller purchases with a credit card. For this reason, gift cards are an integral part of Starbucks' loyalty program. What it saves in processing fees can be used to incentivize repeat visits, a win-win for the world's largest coffee chain.