Believe it or not I had never finished a cup of coffee before 2010. I was just never a coffee drinker. At some point I ended up in a Starbucks with some friends and tried a "Skinny" Hazelnut Latte and now I'm addicted. Since I'm also addicted to technology I started checking out Starbuck's iOS Apps. They actually have a couple (I'm not sure why they can't be one App). The one that I use the most is the Starbucks Mobile Card. A Starbucks Card is like a refillable debit card for use to make your Starbucks purchases. You can buy/get one at most Starbucks and give them as gifts. Once the pre-loaded amount runs out you can actually go online, register and refill the card from any major credit card or PayPal. The App pretty much replaces the need to go online to refill your card(s). You can refill a card any time you want right from your iDevice.
Use your iPhone to Pay!
One of the more intriguing features of the App is the ability to use the onscreen barcode to actually pay for your purchase. The purchase amount is deducted from your card. Up until recently finding a location that actually had the necessary scanner/software to scan your display has been hit or miss (mostly miss). They did a pilot test with the Starbucks located in Target Stores and even then I was only able to get to work once. Even if you can't get ti to scan your electronic card and you have to use the plastic one, the App will still update your balance over the air. Starbucks recently began rolling out this technology to rest of their US based stores. This means that eventually I shouldn't have to carry the physical Starbucks card in my wallet any more.
The App also has a built-in Starbucks locator or you can just look on any and every corner of your downtown area You can also use the App to check your Starbucks Rewards Balance. With each purchase you're awarded a "star" after so many stars you get a free drink. While this is great it's the part of the app that annoys me the most! You can assign a 4 digit pin to protect the info in the App and I have. However, you also have a password for your online account and credit card info. That makes sense. What doesn't make sense is that while you can see your $$$ balance and make purchases after you enter your pin, you can't see your Rewards balance (the number of stars you have) until you also enter your password. Frankly, that's just dumb. I really don't care if anyone knows that I have 5 stars or 10. Why should we have to enter a password for this info every single time when all you need to make purchases (spend real money) is your 4 digit pin? Hopefully they will fix this with a preference in the next update! Otherwise if you're a Starbucks customer there is no reason not to have this App.