You spend enough time standing in line at Starbucks. Now available for Android, Starbucks has created a mobile app version of your card so you can pay quickly, get your coffee and get on with your life. Just whip it out when it's time to hand over your money at the cash register.
While it's handy to have all of your gift cards and loyalty cards on your mobile device, this one is exclusively reserved for the consistent Starbucks coffee drinker, and one who means strict business at that. (For the app that stores your library card, gift cards and frequent shopper cards in a single place, see Key Ring Reward Cards by Mobestream Media.) In order for the Starbucks app to work, your card must already be registered at the Starbucks website.
Starbucks is a little different than other retailer loyalty programs. Users first have to register a gift card at the company's website — one that was either a present from a friend or one that you bought yourself. Before you can earn any special perks (other than the standard free drink on your birthday), you first have to reach the shiny “gold level” or, basically, make 30 purchases within one year. If you don't keep up with your coffee or tea addiction, you are essentially demoted from gold status. In short, each swipe of your card, or, in this case, scanning your card's digital barcode from your Android device, brings you closer to gold status or keeps you in the designated gold zone.
Users have to keep reloading their cards with money, either on the website or at the cash register, in order to keep earning their points. This app is useful because coffee drinkers can either reload their cards, set their cards to auto-reload (users will get an email when a reload happens), check their card's balance, and even check their rewards status whenever they want.
The app isn't without flaws, though. I was a little disappointed to see that you can only have one card registered per Android phone. That means, if both you and your significant other have your own cards, you can't save time by reloading at the same time. The good news, though, is that this application is also available on iPhone and Blackberry.
If you're a serious Starbucks regular, naturally, this is a great tool to have — and it means your Starbucks card is one less thing you have to carry around.