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Starbucks trumpets mega-gift card, new stores

  • Starbucks announces plans for 3,000 new stores worldwide
  • Coffee chain also rolls out $450 gift card made of steel
Want to know what to get a Starbucks' fan for the holidays? How about a gift card made of steel?!

If you've got a Starbucks fan on your holiday shopping list, the coffee titan has the perfect gift -- as long as that person is really special, and you're flush with cash.

Starbucks is rolling out a $450 gift card. Yes, you read that right: $450. At least, that's what it will cost the giver. The receiver will find the card is loaded with a mere $400. You see, it's made of steel, and Starbucks is passing along the $50 it costs to manufacture each one. There will only be 5,000 made.

Now, this whole concept runs counter to what HLN Money Expert Clark Howard would say -- not once, but twice. He'd tell you not to buy any gift card, much less one that costs $450 for only $400 worth of merchandise. And, the thought of a $7 cup of coffee.. let's just say Clark would advise you to save money by brewing your own coffee at home.

But, if you've just gotta have one of these mega-gift cards, don't go to Starbucks. The cards are being sold exclusively through the website, which you have to join before shopping. Starbucks members will get first crack, and then the cards will go on sale to the public on Friday.

Starbucks also has announced plans for 3,000 new stores over the next five years. At least half of the new stores will be in the United States. Starbucks already has more than 11,000 U.S. locations, and more than 20,000 worldwide.


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