Since the advent of the smartphone revolution, the world has changed at a drastic pace, and the restaurant industry is no exception. Many restaurant chains large and small have launched their own apps to make dining more convenient and offer rewards for their loyal customers. At EatDrinkDeals, we are committed to helping our users find the best restaurant apps to save money, no matter where the deals may be found. Therefore, we are starting a new series of reviews of restaurant apps. Today we're reviewing Starbucks.
Check our Starbucks news article here for all the latest info on Happy Hours and other deals.
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Convenience and Reliability
First, you'll need to create an account separately with Starbucks. When that's done, you'll see a News Feed style page that gives you info on new products, upcoming specials like the ever-popular 50% off Happy Hour, and so on. Next, go to “Cards” at the bottom of the screen to either link up your existing Starbucks Card, or create a new one. Then, you can load your Starbucks card with money for purchases can be set up with a credit card, Google Pay, Chase Pay, or PayPal.
To get started, click “Order” at the bottom of the screen to go pick your location, then go to the menu. You will first need to pick a location. The easiest way to do this is allow the app to see your location, and it will bring up the closest choices automatically in a drop-down menu. You can also add Favorites to speed up future orders. One of the nice parts about this app is that you will get an estimated prep time and estimated travel time when you view the locations. So, if the closest Starbucks has a long wait, you can spot that and pick an alternative. Once you've ordered all your coffees and eats, click on the green bag icon to head to checkout. Once your order is complete, you'll select a payment method and soon you'll be tweaking from the caffeine rush!
Rewards and Savings
Starbucks calls its rewards points “Stars” (ha) and are generally earned at a rate of 2 Stars per $1 spent when using the app or a registered gift card. Sometimes there can be offers or news alerts in the app about ways to earn Bonus Stars or Double Stars, so be on the lookout. Rewards available are as follows:
- 25 Stars – customer your drink with an extra espresso shot, syrup, or dairy substitute
- 50 Stars – a free hot coffee, tea or bakery item
- 150 Stars – a free handcrafted drink, parfait or hot breakfast sandwich
- 200 Stars – a free salad, sandwich or protein box
- 400 Stars – a free signature cup, bag of coffee, or select coffee accessories
The rewards are alright on the low end, but as you get to the upper tiers they seem a bit steep. 200 Stars (or $100 of spending generally) will get you a free lunch entrée. You're probably better off using the smaller rewards tiers to get yourself a free coffee every now and then. Like most apps, if you provide your date of birth, Starbucks will give you a gift to cheer you up on your birthday.
One other important item to note is that Starbucks generally announces promotions like the 50% Happy Hour in summertime on the app. You'll need to check in every once in a while to make sure you're up to date on the latest deals. Or, just check EatDrinkDeals regularly!
Is Starbucks one of the best restaurant apps to save your money?
The Starbucks app is one of the most widely used on the market. The app is not quite as convenient as others. However, the rewards are fine, and another perk is that the app is the only way to learn about some of the best promotions. This justifies the precious memory space on the phones of caffeine lovers everywhere.
Next up: Pizza Hut