Why I Like the Starbucks iPhone App
February 22, 2013 – by Per Christensson
The Starbucks iPhone app, IMHO, is the best iPhone app ever. Besides being intuitive and practical, the app pushes technology forward, which is good for both consumers and Starbucks. Let me explain.
First of all, I haven't used my credit card to pay at my local Starbucks for over a year. Instead, I just use the Starbucks app and scan my phone in front of the QR reader. It sounds simple, but once you get used to it, getting your wallet out of your pocket and swiping your credit card actually seems like a bit of a hassle. The app uses a prepaid Starbucks card and automatically deducts the payment amount each time you pay. It updates in seconds to show you your new available balance.
What is especially convenient and great for Starbucks is how easy it is to reload your card. If you choose, Starbucks will store your credit card information and you just press the "Reload" button to add more funds. Just choose an amount, press Continue, and the app magically adds more funds to your account in a few seconds. This convenience was especially apparent today when I realized I only had about $2.00 left on my card when I was waiting in line to buy a drink. With a few taps on my screen, in about 15 seconds I had over $52.00 available.
The Starbucks app also makes it super easy to send a gift card to a friend, a feature I have used multiple times. Simply press the eGifts tab, choose the recipient and the amount, type a message and hit Send. You can create a custom eGift in less than a minute. While I think it's important to send time choosing gifts for people, a Starbucks eGift is a great choice when you just want to send someone a nice surprise.
My favorite feature of the Starbucks iPhone app is the Rewards tab, which tracks the stars you've earned as a Starbucks member. They are displayed in a Starbucks cup and move around as you tilt your phone. What may seem like a frivolous feature some programmer added happens to be my favorite aspect of the app. For some reason, I enjoy making the stars bounce around as I wait in line for my drink.
Besides these features, the iPhone app includes a custom drink builder, a list of different drinks and food items Starbucks offers, and even offers a free song of the week from iTunes. The app also provides a Starbucks locator for finding the nearest Starbucks, though where I live, I can usually locate the nearest Starbucks by just looking down the street.
All of these features combine to create an incredible app. It's one of the few third-party apps on my iPhone that I use on a regular basis. The app's ease-of-use and seamless integration with my Starbucks account have turned me into an even more loyal Starbucks customer than I was before.
Disclaimer: I wrote and published this update at my local Starbucks.