Starbucks 100 gift card

This guide will show you how to add a Starbucks gift card to the Starbucks app on iPhone or Android and how to transfer the balance to another card. If you receive a Starbucks Gift card for the holiday season or for your birthday, you can quickly add the gift card to the Starbucks app so that you always have it handy without carrying around another card or worrying about the balance. With Apple Pay, it’s even easier to use the card once it is linked to your account.

After you add the gift card to the Starbucks app, you can continue to use your primary Starbucks card, which now has the balance of the gift card attached to it. This will keep your gift card safe, in case you lose it and it will allow you to always know how much is left. You can even add the gift card to Wallet so that you can quickly show it to buy a drink at Starbucks.

This article may contain affiliate links. for more details.

To add a gift card to the Starbucks app, you will need an account and a gift card. You also need the Starbucks app on iPhone or Android. This assumes you already have a Starbucks card added as your primary card. It may have money on it, or it could be empty like ours is now.

The process to add a Starbucks gift card to the Starbucks app takes about 30 seconds depending on how fast you type and if you already have the app downloaded and are signed in. If you are looking for a deal, you can get a free $10 gift card when you buy one with a Mastercard at Starbucks, and you can check Amazon for Starbucks Gift Card deals or gifts.

How to Add Starbucks Gift Card to App

You need to download the Starbucks app on iPhone or Android and sign in to it. If you already have one card assigned, you should see a screen similar to the one below, which outlines the card, balance and other information. There is a small plus sign under the card that is what we want to use. Your screen may look slightly different thanks to app upgrades.

Tap to add a gift card to the Starbucks app.

Open the Starbucks app. If you are not already on it, tap on the Cards section at the bottom of the screen. From here you need to tap on Add card. This opens up a new card dialogue. On this page enter the gift card number and the eight-digit code. Tap Add card to add a gift card to the Starbucks app.

You can then transfer the balance to your main card.

Once that is done you will be back on your main cards screen. You can then keep your balance on separate cards, or transfer the balance. If you want to transfer the balance you can tap on Details next to the card you want to transfer from. Then tap on Transfer balance. Choose the card you want to transfer to and tap Transfer.

If you transfer the balance to your primary card, you can then tap on details again and on the x on the card to delete the now un-needed empty card. Then tap on Remove card and confirm to remove card.

Remove a card from the Starbucks app.

That’s all there is to add a Starbucks gift card to the app. You can also add a gift card to the Wallet on iPhone or to a wallet on your Android device depending on what version of Android and what phone you have.

You can also buy Starbucks gift cards online from Starbucks, Best Buy, Amazon or send a gift from the Starbucks app to one of your contacts.

17 Best Apps to Waste Time (2019)

Baseball Boy

Baseball Boy is a great time waster game because it only takes a few seconds to play one turn, so you can use it e en when you only have a minute or two to wait in line.

This is a timing game. You tap to swing the bat when it is lined up in the center of the arc to get a perfect hit. Each hit earns you points that you can spend towards strength, speed, bounciness and offline earnings.

I love that I can keep coming back to this game when I have a few minutes to kill and after a few turns I can increase my stats and go a little further the next time. There’s a little strategy to it, but for the most part it’s a great little distracting game.

Free on iPhone & Android

Customer Service

  1. Auto-reload allows you to set the amount that your registered Starbucks Card will be reloaded with when its balance falls below an amount that you choose. You can Set Up Auto-Reload or Change… Date Updated: 01/04/2017
  2. You can transfer balances of $5 or more from one Starbucks Card to another by doing one the following: • In participating Starbucks retail locations. • By signing in to your… Date Updated: 01/05/2018
  3. Date Updated: 11/08/2018
  4. If your Starbucks Card is registered, your Starbucks® Rewards membership and any remaining balance on the Starbucks Card will be protected from the time you notify us of its loss. To report your… Date Updated: 04/16/2019
  5. There are a number of reasons the email could be in use by another account: You have multiple accounts with the same email address. The email on your account might be your junk email address. The… Date Updated: 09/08/2018
  6. If you lose your phone, you can report your Starbucks Card as lost or stolen by signing in to your Starbucks account, selecting the Manage My Cards section, and clicking on the Report Lost or… Date Updated: 01/04/2017
  7. Visit and log into your account to access your game plays. Follow the on-screen instructions on the game page. Each game play will result in one Collect & Win game piece or one Instant Win… Date Updated: 08/01/2018
  8. If your card number begins with 6098 or 6099, you can redeem at your local Starbucks store . You can also check your card balance information here . If your card number begins with 603571 or 80000… Date Updated: 01/26/2019
  9. Yes, but if the recipient is a non-iOS 10 device user, they will receive a URL linking to their eGift as opposed to seeing the gift card within their text messages. Date Updated: 09/15/2017
  10. Your eGift is searchable by “Starbucks gift card”. Date Updated: 09/15/2017
  11. Yes! You can be signed into your Starbucks account on more than one device at the same time. Date Updated: 09/08/2018
  12. If you have more than one device you can be signed into your Starbucks account and use all of the application features on all your devices at the same time. Date Updated: 01/04/2017
  13. Yes – when you log into your account online at or in the Starbucks Mobile app, you will be able to see how many Stars you’ve earned, all Rewards you’re eligible for and your… Date Updated: 04/16/2019
  14. You can perform common functions on your device or go to for the full suite of account management features. Date Updated: 01/03/2017
  15. There are a few ways you can do this: • Visit our card page . • Sign in to your Starbucks account, go to My Cards and select the Card you wish to view the balance on… Date Updated: 09/11/2019
  16. It’s easy and only takes a few minutes to join our Starbucks Rewards® program. A minimum balance of $5 is required to register a physical Card and you’ll need your card’s 16-digit number… Date Updated: 08/22/2017
  17. On average, it takes 4-6 weeks once reaching Gold status to receive your personalized Gold Card, but Gold benefits begin the moment you achieve Gold Level status. You can use any registered Starbucks… Date Updated: 01/10/2018
  18. You can join the program by: Downloading the Starbucks Mobile app to your Android™ or iPhone® device. Follow the prompts to create an account and register a digital or physical Starbucks Card… Date Updated: 04/16/2019
  19. If your Starbucks Mobile app is no longer working, you may be using an outdated version that is no longer supported. Please download the latest version of our Starbucks Mobile app. Download the… Date Updated: 01/10/2018
  20. The Stars you collect towards Rewards will expire after 6 months. Starbucks will always apply the oldest Stars towards your any Reward you redeem regardless of the tier. For example, if you earn 10… Date Updated: 04/16/2019

Starbucks for iPhone adds iMessage app for sending gift cards with Apple Pay & more

Starbucks today updated its iPhone app to add a new “Starbucks Gifts” iMessage app, allowing users send gift cards through Apple’s iMessage and pay for them using Apple Pay.

Starbucks® Gifts in iMessage… Send a digital gift card with the Starbucks® iMessage app and Apple Pay. Surprise someone special with an instant gift, seamlessly integrated into your texting conversation. It’s way more delightful than asking someone you love to check their email.

The company previously announced the feature last month during its annual shareholders meeting when it also unveiled other plans for its digital strategy going forward.

The new iMessage app arrives today alongside other updates to the main iPhone and Apple Watch app. Version 4.3.4 of the Starbucks app includes enhanced push notifications, a revamped mobile order and pay user experience , and a store locator with new filtering options.

For the updates to the Mobile Order & Pay feature, the company’s release notes mention a new look and animations and features such as the ability to “remove or duplicate items with a tap” and “see all customizations in the updated card views.”

The new features, including the iMessage app, are available now in the latest Starbucks app for iPhone and Apple Watch on the App Store. After downloading the new update, you can access the “Starbucks Gifts” from within the iMessage app drawer in a conversation.

What’s New in Version 4.3.4

Starbucks® Gifts in iMessage Send a digital gift card with the Starbucks® iMessage app and Apple Pay. Surprise someone special with an instant gift, seamlessly integrated into your texting conversation. It’s way more delightful than asking someone you love to check their email.

Push notifications If you’re opted-in to receive notifications, you may receive new messages based on how often you use the app.

Mobile Order & Pay Reviewing your order has a brand-new look and animations. Remove or duplicate items with a tap. You can now see all customizations in the updated card views. Visual updates to suggested items.

Store locator Are you as obsessed with Nitro cold brew as we are? Find it at a store near you with a new filter option.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

  1. If your card number begins with 6098 or 6099, you can redeem at your local Starbucks store . You can also check your card balance information here . If your card number begins with 603571 or 80000… Date Updated: 01/26/2019
  2. Yes, but if the recipient is a non-iOS 10 device user, they will receive a URL linking to their eGift as opposed to seeing the gift card within their text messages. Date Updated: 09/15/2017
  3. Your eGift is searchable by “Starbucks gift card”. Date Updated: 09/15/2017
  4. It’s easy and only takes a few minutes to join our Starbucks Rewards® program. A minimum balance of $5 is required to register a physical Card and you’ll need your card’s 16-digit number… Date Updated: 08/22/2017
  5. When you use your registered Starbucks Card or Mobile app to purchase a beverage and then present that same Starbucks Card or Mobile app, you can get free refills of brewed coffee… Date Updated: 06/07/2018
  6. To redeem your Birthday Reward, you must join Starbucks Rewards at least seven (7) days prior to your birthday, provide your birthday in your Starbucks Rewards account information, and have made at… Date Updated: 04/16/2019
  7. Stars are the points you earn as a member of Starbucks® Rewards that can be redeemed for free or discounted items at Starbucks, like a food item or handcrafted beverage. There are a number of ways to… Date Updated: 04/16/2019
  8. Upon joining, you will receive the following benefits: • A Birthday Reward just for you. See more info regarding redeeming your Birthday Reward. • Free refills on hot or iced… Date Updated: 04/16/2019
  9. Gold benefits will remain the same. If you currently have a Gold card, you can continue to use it. You will still get all the following benefits: • A Birthday Reward just for you. See… Date Updated: 03/25/2019
  10. If you have a Starbucks Card that hasn’t been used, you may return it by calling 1-800-STARBUC (782-7282). You’ll be asked to provide the original receipt. Date Updated: 01/03/2017
  11. If you return merchandise or packaged coffee, food and tea that you purchased with your registered Starbucks Card , you will keep… Date Updated: 08/22/2017
  12. The Starbucks app for iPhone® and Android™ lets you send Starbucks eGift Cards to contacts, right from your phone. Tap “Gift” to get started. Date Updated: 09/08/2018
  13. There are a few ways you can do this: • Visit our card page . • Sign in to your Starbucks account, go to My Cards and select the Card you wish to view the balance on… Date Updated: 09/11/2019
  14. If your Starbucks Card is registered, your Starbucks® Rewards membership and any remaining balance on the Starbucks Card will be protected from the time you notify us of its loss. To report your… Date Updated: 04/16/2019
  15. On average, it takes 4-6 weeks once reaching Gold status to receive your personalized Gold Card, but Gold benefits begin the moment you achieve Gold Level status. You can use any registered Starbucks… Date Updated: 01/10/2018
  16. You can register an unlimited number of Starbucks Cards to your account, including seasonal and mini cards, eGifts and your personalized Gold Card. However, you may have only one… Date Updated: 08/11/2017
  17. No, you do not have to reload your registered Starbucks Card through the mobile app or online at , however, if not digitally reloaded you will not be eligible for the one… Date Updated: 04/16/2019
  18. First, ensure that you are signed in the correct Starbucks account in which your Starbucks Cards are registered. If you are having problems with your Username or Password, go… Date Updated: 07/20/2017
  19. Yes, you can register more than one card to your Starbucks Rewards™ account and earn Stars for every purchase you make using one of the registered Starbucks Cards. Since Stars and Rewards are… Date Updated: 11/08/2019
  20. Registering your Starbucks Card signs you up to enjoy Starbucks Rewards™ in the United States and Canada. You also protect the balance of your card if it’s lost or stolen. Finally, with a… Date Updated: 01/04/2017

Scam Message:

Receive $100 Starbucks Gift Card for FREE (Official) – (Event Invitation)

Scam Type: Bogus Offer, Fake Event, Survey Scam

Trending: June 2012

Why it’s a Scam:

The scam is spreading via Facebook Event invitations. If you notice the directions shown above, victims of this scam think they will receive more vouchers based on the number of friends they invite.

Step 3 requires users to click on a URL. This should be a red flag. For one thing, why would Starbucks use Blogspot to run a promotion, and you should also be aware of the fact that a lot of scams are hosted on Blogspot as well. Clicking the scam link takes you to the following page:

Here we see a very polished and nice Starbucks graphic, but don’t let the good looks fool you. Reading the fine print reveals that you have complete several ‘reward offers,’ and these will cost you real money. Also keep in mind that your personal data will be shared with other marketers, sponsors, scammers – whatever you want to to call them! You are usually required to provide your name, address, phone numbers and date of birth. This will enable the shady marketers to not only spam your Facebook account, but also harass you via snail mail, phone calls and text messages.

**Note – Scams like this often use multiple domains, so you may see a variation in the landing pages and scam messages.

How to Deal with the Scam:

If you did make the mistake of sharing the scam link, then you are now spamming your friends with the very same message. Clean-up your newsfeed and profile to remove references to the scam. (click the “x” in the top right hand corner of the post).

Be on the lookout for more marketing offers arriving to your email inbox and physical address if you submitted that information to the scammers. Also be aware and alert for possible identity theft attempts.

If you submitted your cell phone for any of the surveys or offers, then keep an eye on your cell phone bill to make sure no premium charges appear.

If you or your Facebook friends are falling for tricks like this, it’s time to get yourself informed of the latest threats. Be sure to join the Facecrooks page on Facebook to be kept informed of the latest security issues. Also check out:

Your Ultimate Guide to Facebook Scams and How to Deal with Them

How to spot a Facebook Survey Scam

Recommended Resources

Do Not Track + is a FREE browser plugin created by Abine. This easy to install plugin keeps websites from tracking you. If you value your online privacy, then you should definitely take advantage of this free product.

BitDefender Safego is a Facebook application you can install that will scan your News Feed and help keep you safe from scams like this.

PRIVATE WiFi® is a Personal VPN that encrypts everything you send and receive. Don’t access Facebook from a public WiFi hotspot without it.

Action Alert | Free Parental Control offers a 100% free Internet safety solution designed for parents. There is also a Maximum Protection option for parents that need a more advanced set of tools.

Take Surveys & Offers.Earn Points.Get FREE Starbucks Gift Card

Are you one of those who just can’t function until you‘ve had your morning coffee? Do you enjoy catching up with family and friends over pastry and caffeine? Use your $5 Starbucks egift card to add to your coffee budget for the day.
Starbucks is one of the most popular coffee shops not only in the United States but all over the world. Based in Seattle, United States, their first store outside of North America was in Japan in 1996. You want to meet up for coffee? Starbucks is an easy guess as to where you and your friends can grab a cup of joe. They have been a household name and since its founding in 1971. Since then, Starbucks has expanded their menu offerings; they also offer teas, sandwiches, pastries, and other quick bites and juices.
Enjoy a latte, iced coffee, or loose-leaf teas with one of their pastries. Muffins? Croissants? Cookies? Bagels? You name it. Your morning coffee is a lot better with one or two of these pastry treats! Your $5 Starbucks egift card can help get your day started! To get a free starbucks gift card, just signup, complete some surveys, earn points and redeem.

Susan Gray, a teaching assistant in Royal Oak, Mich., was attempting to reload her Starbucks card on her phone’s Starbucks mobile app a few days ago when a message popped up saying, “We’re unable to process payment with the information given.”

Figuring there was something temporarily wrong, Gray tried to reload it again for $25 — unsuccessfully. Despite four attempts, the $25 never showed up on her Starbucks account. But she did get a call from her bank — which had flagged the transactions as possible fraud.

Gray is among an unknown number of Starbucks customers who are steaming over a days-old, still-unresolved tech glitch that’s left them unable to reload their Starbucks card, and in some cases, charged them for amounts that haven’t shown up on their Starbucks accounts.

The issue appears to have started at least a week ago and follows several other recent technical glitches, including the recently launched Starbucks for Life promotion, whose website was temporarily down, and incidents in the United Kingdom where customers were reportedly charged for drinks months after they bought them.

The prepaid Starbucks cards, which customers purchase with an initial loaded value and can later reload as balances get low, are central to the company’s growth plans.

The card is tied to its rewards program, whose 12 million members on average spend three times as much as nonmembers, the company says.

The card is also tied to the company’s hugely successful mobile app, which customers can use to pay, or even to bypass lines by ordering and paying straight from their mobile phones. In the most recent quarter, 25 percent of all transactions were conducted with the mobile app, Starbucks executives said during a conference call with investors. Mobile order-and-pay, deployed about a year ago, now accounts for 5 percent of all U.S. transactions.

Gray had the bank put the Starbucks transactions in dispute.

“I’m not happy that Starbucks is neglecting the issue,” she said in a phone interview, adding that she received no response despite contacting Starbucks via its customer-service email and on Twitter.

“A week later, you still can’t load and you’re still dinging people’s accounts everywhere,” she said. “There’s no real communication — just some nebulous thing that says ‘we’re aware of the problem.’ ”

Comments on social media indicate customers trying to reload their Starbucks card through both the mobile app and online have experienced difficulties.

Quite a few expressed their frustrations on Twitter:

“Reload function still down? My visa has been charged but card balance hasn’t updated.”

“My Starbucks app wouldn’t let me reload so I tapped it a bunch and it charged my card $40 omg.”

“I’ve had the same problem for 2 days now…Each time app won’t reload but shows pending for the amount at bank.”

The Starbucks Social Care account on Twitter pinned a tweet from July 28 saying: “Having an issue reloading your Starbucks card? Don’t worry, we’re working on it. Apologies for the inconvenience!”

Earlier this week, the Starbucks customer-service phone line (800-782-7282) had a prerecorded message saying: “We are aware of the issues impacting customer reloads. Please note our IT department is aware and working on a solution.” As of Friday morning, the recording says the line is getting a higher than anticipated call volume.

A Starbucks spokeswoman commented on both the reload issue and the Starbucks for Life website issue Thursday, saying: “As we continue to evolve our system to accommodate the increase in traffic to our digital platforms, we have been making the necessary adjustments.

“Recently, this has caused a slower experience for some customers who are managing their accounts or attempting to access We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and this issue is currently being resolved.”

The spokeswoman said she is looking into what customers should do if they’ve been charged multiple times while trying to reload their Starbucks card.

In the meantime, Gray, who goes to Starbucks several times a week for mochas, Americanos or Frappuccinos, was finally able to reload her card — in person, with cash at a local Starbucks store.

“No way was I even going to try with my debit card,” she said.

The barista at the counter was unaware of the reloading issue and told Gray the corporate office hadn’t talked to employees about the issue, she said.

She thinks Starbucks should temporarily pull the app offline or not let people even attempt reloads.

“It’s affecting people’s credit,” she said. “My debit card could have been shut off and I couldn’t have used it anywhere.”

Screen shot of Bruno Navarro’s Starbucks app shows a fraudulent reload and subsequent rapid-fire purchases.

Hackers are still stealing money from Starbucks customers using a simple attack on the coffee giants’ app users, has learned. Nearly a year after my initial story exposed widespread attacks on app users’ bank accounts, the security problems plaguing Starbucks’ auto-reload and linked bank account features persist.

Starbucks did not immediately respond to a request for comment in this story. (UPDATE 3/4/16: Starbucks has not yet responded to me, but it did give a statement to Seattle-KOMO reporter Herb Weisbaum, posted in its entirety below. Essentially the firm claims the problem has never been “widespread.”)

While the attacks do not seem as widespread as they were last May, plenty of consumers are still being victimized. In fact, I’ve interviewed several consumers who were hit during the long Presidents Day weekend — at a time when fraud controls at banks and Starbucks might have been dialed back.

Dawn Euer, a lawyer in Rhode Island, said her account was hit Saturday at 4 p.m. Her Starbucks card was drained of value, then reloaded twice with $100 transactions from her linked debit card. That value was also drained off to another card the hackers controlled.

“It was such an odd transaction that I would think they could set up some security checks,” Euer told me. “Thankfully I signed up to receive email alerts from Starbucks when I replenished the card. Other than that alert I didn’t receive any notice about the transaction or fraud scheme. I was surprised when I saw the old article that this has been known about for some time.”

Euer will get her money back, but Starbucks told her it would take 7-10 days. She is now disputing the transactions with her bank.

I’ll get to more examples in a moment, but I’d like to reiterate my warning to the 13 million or so Starbucks app users: It’s *still* not safe to link a credit or debit card to your Starbucks account; if I were you, I’d delete my payment information immediately from the app and manually reload the app.

As I described last year, criminals who manage to obtain Starbucks consumers’ login credentials have a relatively easy time transferring gift card / app balances onto cards they control; worse yet, they can initiate new transactions from a victims’ debit or credit card onto the consumers’ card, and then move the money onto their own cards. That lets them steal from consumers’ bank accounts without even knowing the victims’ bank account information.

(Let me get some nomenclature out of the way: Starbucks has always maintained its systems have not been hacked, and I have no reason to believe that’s untrue. Criminals are instead finding their way into consumers’ online accounts allowing them to take control of their apps and gift cards. I call these hacked accounts; one could quibble with that description, but I think it’s the clearest way to express what’s happening.)

It’s unclear how hackers are getting Starbucks login credentials, but there are many ways: phishing emails, stolens lists from other websites, brute force attacks. Many consumers might use *less* secure passwords on their Starbucks accounts because they log in infrequently; I’d suggest making your Starbucks password as complex as possible.

Last year’s widespread incident suggested that Starbucks’ bank-end account fraud detection tools were less effective than bank tools; transactions that should have been easily recognized as suspicious sailed through. Euer’s story shows that problem still seems to persist.

Bruno Navarro, from New York, contacted me on Friday to say his account was hit Thursday evening.

“I caught it minutes after it happened and between reloads,” Navarro said. Hackers used his app to attack his Discover Card. In his case, someone bought $85 worth of merchandise at a store in York, Pa., after adding value to his gift card / app balance. “Discover told me that three transactions, each for $100, were processed.”

In Navarro’s case, hackers didn’t bother to move money onto a second card before trying to spend it. Someone initiated an $85 purchase in York, Pa., using his fraudulently-reloaded card — showing hackers are using a variety of tactics to move cash onto and off of hacked Starbucks accounts.

Another consumer who requested anonymity told me her Starbucks card was used to load three new gift cards with $100 with money from her Chase account. Her Starbucks account password was changed using the password reset tool, and then the transaction initiated, she said.

“It was Sunday on a three-day weekend,” the victim said. “Fortunately I have text alerts set up.”

When she called Chase, she says the operator told her it was “a common scam.”

She said she then spent hours feeling frustrated and examining all other online transactions. She wishes Starbucks would add additional security measures, she said.

“If they knew about this and they haven’t … that’s really irresponsible,” she said. “This could have been prevented. How can you put your customers in danger like this? … I am furious and am spending today closing accounts and changing all my passwords.”

There’s plenty more recent victims complaining about being hacked on this Facebook page:

Such as: “I had $300 stolen on November 23, 2015. It’s still happening. I am relying on PayPal to resolve the issue. After this, no more Starbucks! Never!”


“Mine was done on the (Jan. 3). They used my Discover card and bought $95 in reloads with 2 transactions. I caught it (because) I was returning a jacket online and wanted to see if I used that card due to Christmas (credit card) confusion. I’m pissed! My whole cc account is shut down and have to wait on new card.”


Navarro and the anonymous victims said they hadn’t used their Starbucks card/app in at least a year; and Euer said her account was protected by an old password. If you reject my advice on disconnecting payment account information from the app, at least do so if you are an infrequent app user.

At a bare minimum, follow Starbucks’ advice to frequently change your password frequently. Since the firm’s back-end controls seem weaker than many bank fraud-fighting tools, you should use even greater care with your Starbucks account than you do with your checking or savings account.

Meanwhile, don’t assume Starbucks or your bank will spot suspicious transactions. Scan your app and your bill for suspicious transaction frequently.

UPDATE 3/4/16: Here is what Starbucks’ is telling other journalists, courtesy Weisbaum and KOMO: Click on that link to listen to Herb’s report.

  • Occasionally, we find unauthorized activity connected to a customer’s online account. This type of activity is not caused by a breach or hack of our website or apps or card, but rather when criminals obtain reused names and passwords from other sites and attempt to apply that information to Starbucks.
  • This is an industry wide challenge, though is not and has never been a widespread or systemic situation for Starbucks.
  • Over the last year, our security and fraud prevention improvements have reduced fraudulent activity in our business to a level significantly below industry average; a number that continues to decline as we implement additional measures.
  • In fact, we see only a tiny fraction of one percent of our account holders impacted. In any case, customers are not responsible for charges or transfers they did not make.

Don’t miss a post! My email list is free

Starbucks is enhancing its Apple Watch app

BI Intelligence

This story was delivered to BI Intelligence “Payments Briefing” subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please .

Starbucks is enhancing its app for the Apple Watch, allowing users to add money to their virtual Starbucks card from the watch using Apple Pay, according to PYMNTS.

This upgrade comes after a series of initiatives by the coffee chain to build out its digital offerings, including a feature that allows consumers to send each other Starbucks gift cards through iMessage.

The new feature will make the user experience more convenient for Watch users.

  • This upgrade eliminates a step for Apple Watch’s Starbucks app users. Before this feature was introduced, Apple Pay users could only reload their balance through the iPhone app — not on the Watch. The ability to reload their app’s balance from the Watch, and then use it to pay, rather than having to switch between the iPhone and the Apple Watch, makes for a better user experience.
  • It will now be easier for users to earn loyalty rewards. Paying outside the Starbucks app doesn’t earn consumers Starbucks Rewards points — customers need to use Apple Pay or a card to refill their balance, and then pay through the app to receive points. The convenience that Watch integration brings could cause people to pay through the app more frequently, which in turn could boost interaction with Starbucks Rewards.

Loyalty programs resonate with consumers and keep them engaged, so this is a win for Starbucks.

  • Starbucks relies on its rewards program to drive loyalty. Starbucks counts over 13.3 million active rewards program members – a group that tends to visit more often and spend three times more than nonmembers, on average. Those members do much of their spending on the mobile channel, which accounts for 30% of the firm’s transactions, making mobile payments invaluable to Starbucks. Extending that capability to wearables, which are becoming more common, and making Starbucks Rewards engagement simpler for those customers could further drive up mobile spend, and in turn increase loyalty and earnings from those customers.
  • And that could drive more consumers to Apple Pay. Mobile wallet adoption is lagging across the board in the US. In order to improve that, customers need incentives to adopt these wallets. Starbucks, which is the second-most-popular wallet for in-store purchasing in the US, could help normalize these payments. The partnership could drive more Starbucks users, who are familiar with mobile payments, to try Apple Pay to reload their balance, and then continue to engage with it in the future. As such, Apple could leverage its partnership with Starbucks to drive usage of Apple Pay up and improve adoption and engagement of its own wallet by growing Starbucks payments on its devices.

Retailers like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are winning over consumers with their mobile wallets — apps developed by stores to make it easier for their customers to pay, and to deliver valuable perks.

And these retailer wallets are leading the overall mobile wallets industry, thanks to their ability to rapidly push out innovative features like rewards programs, coupons, mobile order-ahead, and custom marketing.

This may be surprising considering that retailer mobile wallets can be used only at a specific retailer’s locations; in contrast, popular universal mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay can be used at multiple retailers, as long as users are using the necessary smartphones.

Ayoub Aouad, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on retailer mobile wallets that:

  • Explains what hurdles universal mobile wallets have faced.
  • Details what features retailers have adopted into their mobile wallets that have been successful
  • Analyzes the use cases of retailers that have successfully leveraged their mobile wallet offerings to push growth.
  • Identifies how universal mobile wallets will eventually slow growth for retailer-based mobile wallets.

To get the full report, subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now

You can also purchase and download the full report from our research store.

I’ve just come across a free $50 Starbucks gift card offer on Facebook. Have you seen it? Has a friend shared it? Or maybe you’ve thanked Starbucks for their generosity in the comments and shared it yourself? Although I’m not much a coffee-drinker (I only drink soya hot chocolate extra hot with no chocolate on the top), I can see it’s appealing for anyone with a coffee habit to support, but I reckon it’s a scam and am off to investigate.

I’ve written before about how to spot a Facebook scam – see the full post here – and this has a number of the telltale signs. The Facebook page claims the giveaway is to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the founding of Starbucks, but a quick Wikipedia check tells me that Starbucks was founded in 1971, which makes it 46, indeed almost 47, years old. I smell not coffee, but a rat.

It’s not impossible, but big corps like Starbucks don’t tend to make this kind of mistake – or indeed this kind of offer – and I am definitely sceptical, but at a quick glance the logo seems pretty plausible. However, when I look more closely at the text I see it says, ‘This Gift Card entitles you to spend up to $50 at any Starbucks coffee in United States.’ Do the words ‘Gift Card’ need capital letters? There are no spelling mistakes as such, but is the copy grammatically accurate? For instance, shouldn’t it say ‘coffee shop’ or ‘coffee house’ and ‘in the United States’? These might be small details, but they’re clues nonetheless.

I certainly have misgivings about whether this is a genuine gift card offer now, but when I click through to register for it my suspicions are confirmed as my security software blocks access to it, telling me in no uncertain terms, ‘It might contain viruses, be used for phishing or be a fraudulent site out to scam you.” If had any doubts before, I don’t now.

This particular scam appears to offer a dollar gift card and is aimed at coffee drinkers in the US, but although the currencies and the gift card, coupon or voucher values may differ, there are many versions of it around and people still fall for it, even when they know better.

I can see one Facebooker’s comment on the Starbucks scam is, “It sounds too good to be true, but worth a shot!” Obviously, I appreciate the pun, but this is no joke. It sounds too good to be true, because it is too good to be true. It’s only worth a shot if you’re prepared to compromise your personal information, including your financial details, and willing to set yourself up as a target for scammers, so please don’t interact and please don’t share. Believe me, the after-effects can be far worse than a bitter taste in your mouth.

You can report scams to Facebook by clicking the three dots next to the like, follow and share buttons on a page or in the right-hand corner of a post. You can also report them to Action Fraud via its online fraud reporting tool.

And if you’ve fallen for a Facebook scam – and in all honesty it’s easy to do and there’s no shame in it – we’d like to hear from you. Get in touch via [email protected]

Sarah Burns is Prizeology’s Chief Prizeologist, an IPM Board Director, and a SCAMbassador for National Trading Standards Scams Team.

© Prizeology and The Prizeologist Blog, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Starbucks scam targets coffee chain consumers: How to protect yourself

Starbucks card users beware: A scam has hackers using Starbucks loyalty cards and mobile payments to steal hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars from victims’ credit cards in a scheme one consumer advocate calls “so ingenious they don’t even need to know the account number of the card they are hacking.”

While it’s unclear how much criminals have stolen so far, the problem is widespread and the potential for scammers is significant: Starbucks said it processed $2 billion in mobile payment transactions last year, according to reports.

The key to the Starbucks scam is the auto-reload function, which allows Starbucks gift card or mobile payment users to automatically reload their Starbucks card from a linked credit or debit card once the Starbucks card dips below $10.

As such, criminals are able to steal money from bank accounts – without knowing a consumer’s account number, username, or password – by using Starbucks cards linked to those accounts.

In the case of one victim, who wrote about her experience in an article for the now-defunct blog Gigaom titled, “How scammers drained $1,700 from my bank account using Starbucks cards,” scammers repeatedly transferred her automatically-reloaded Starbucks card balance onto a card of their own in $30 and $60 increments until they had depleted $1,700 from her account.

In a statement, Starbucks said, “We have safeguards in place to constantly monitor for fraudulent activity and work closely with financial institutions to make sure our customers are protected.”

But consumer advocates like Bob Sullivan are suggesting Starbucks card users immediately disable the auto-reload function on their Starbucks cards and mobile payments.

The scam is representative of a recent shift in consumer hacking. Criminals have begun focusing less on banks and financial institutions, which now have more protections in place and are therefore harder to hack, and more on third-party retailers.

“Fraud is moving away from banks into big ecommerce companies,” Avivah Litan, a fraud analyst at consultancy Gartner, told Mr. Sullivan. “Criminals are learning how to turn rewards programs, points, and prepaid cards into cash.”

Cardholders can control their security, however. Consumer advocates are advising those who use merchant cards to use strong passwords, change passwords often, monitor their accounts closely, and turn off auto reload options on their accounts.

Get the Monitor Stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

Meanwhile, Starbucks has assured consumers that it is aware of the problem, and that card users won’t be on the hook for unauthorized charges.

“ustomers are not responsible for charges or transfers they didn’t make. If a customer registers their Starbucks Card, their account balance is protected by Starbucks,” spokeswoman Maggie Jantzen said in a statement. “As soon as we were contacted by the customer of this activity, we worked quickly to resolve her concerns.”


If you’re still on the hunt for a gift, here’s why you might want to avoid those grocery store gift cards, as tempting as they are when you’re desperate. Over for the Colorado Springs Gazette, several consumers reported having purchased gift cards from places like Walmart and local groceries—only to find the balance wiped shortly after leaving the store.

“I got home and scratched the codes off, checked them on my Amazon account, and they said they already had been claimed by somebody,” one gifter told the Gazette. “They had no money on them.” In this particular customer’s case, this meant losing out on $850 worth of Amazon purchases.


As it turns out, gift cards aren’t invulnerable to being hacked. The con is simple: A scammer steals the information off an unactivated gift card (including peeling back or scratching the label to reveal its PIN and covering it up) and monitors the card’s activity, using that retailer’s website. Once it’s activated, the scammer pounces, spending the remaining balance.

Back in 2017, one security researcher detailed to Wired how some tech-savvy scammers can even use brute-forcing technology, or trial-and-error tech, to predict the numbers of existing gift cards without PINs, as some retailers’ cards may differ from one another by only a few digits. Using this technology, they then check the value of each number (if that card number exists) against that retailer’s website and strike gold, without ever having seen the card or its number in person.

All in all, scams involving gift cards have cost victims $74 million, according to the Federal Trade Commission, and with Christmas inching closer, there’s no better time for scammers to strike, knowing full well those grocery store gift card aisles will be wiped clean. If you want to avoid being scammed by purchasing a gift card, there are a few simple things to keep in mind. For one, before leaving the store, always check the card for any sign of being tampered with (if, for instance, the label covering the PIN is missing or looks different from any other card in the store). Keep the receipt, too, just in case.


As the Los Angeles Times recommends, you should also stick to buying gift cards online whenever possible, rather than in stores, which might provide you with an extra layer of security. And if you must, always go for the card toward the back of the rack or one behind the counter to avoid a card that’s been compromised. And keep in mind that some gift cards may also be more vulnerable to getting hacked than others. (I’d imagine you’re probably safer buying a $5 Starbucks card over a $250 one to Best Buy.)

And if you do wind up getting caught in the crosshairs of a clever scammer’s con, you should contact that retailer immediately; the FTC has the numbers of several retailers’ customer support line, in case of fraud. In some instances, you might even be able to get your money back if you act quickly.