Paying with Starbucks iPhone app

OK so paying with Starbucks iPhone app isn’t exactly ground breaking or new, in fact it started in 2011 in the USA and came to the UK in 2012. So I’m obviously WAY behind.

I’ve only just ordered a contactless card from my bank and even those have been around a while.


I’ve always liked the idea of paying with my card and not carrying too much money around, mainly because getting cash from the ATM is a pain and sometimes not even possible.

With Apple Pay rolling out in the US and its release in the UK planned for next year I wanted to explore how many shops have embraced contactless payment before getting too excited about paying with my phone. If they haven’t taken on contactless cards, they aren’t going to facilitate Apple Pay.

I first came across the Starbucks app a few days ago while digging around in Passbook and realised you could ‘shake to pay’ by scanning a unique bard code assigned to your digital loyalty card. Thats when I got the idea of going as cash free as possible before next year to see how paying in binary feels.

So with my Starbucks drinks sorted, my contactless card in the post I’m also keeping in mind the Paypal app for paying in shops that support it. Ill be curious to see how many of my transactions can be replaced with contactless payment considering its £20 or less. Thats where I’m hoping Apple Pay will take over and allow for transactions of any amount.

Once you download the app you can add your existing loyalty card number or sign up for a new one. Then you have to top it up with cash by linking it to your bank account. Then you can start Paying with Starbucks iPhone app.

Passbook for iPhone has been useless to me up till now because I’ve never had an app that was compatible. Now when you download the Starbucks app you’re prompted to add it to passbook to give you access to it from the lock screen.

For that to work you need to set your regular Starbucks as favourites and when your phone tags you in or close to that location, it’ll pop up as a notification in your lock screen. Once inside just order as normal, unlock your phone and literally shake the app to take you straight to the payment screen, they scan it and your done. No more counting change.


By Paying with Starbucks iPhone app you also earn rewards or ‘stars’. Currently I’m at zero because my rewards haven’t been added yet but apparently I’m 15 stars away from my first reward, whatever that is. Im also at Green level but once I get to 50 stars i’ll be rewarded by being upgraded to Gold level. At which point I’ll get a free drink or food item for every 15 stars I earn. You are however only a gold member for 12 months, but earning a total of 50 stars within that period will keep you a gold member for another year.

From what I can tell you earn 1 star for each transaction, presumably no matter the amount. So thats a lot of visits before I get to gold….


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