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How to give the gift of coffee to your community

I have a little tradition where on my birthday I give away coffee to our followers!  I love, love getting the opportunity to give back to our community at a time where I’m typically getting gifts for my own birthday.

The last two years that I’ve done this, I get lots of people emailing asking how on earth I was able to offer this.  So I wanted to write a post to show you exactly how I do this every year!

Step 1: Get a Starbucks Gift Card

Firstly, you’ll want to go to your nearest Starbucks location and buy a gift card for the amount you want to give away. You want to be sure you’re using a brand new card and not one you use to reload.  This way this card is only used for your giveaway and you aren’t giving away your own personal cards bar code.

Step 2: Upload your card to the Starbucks App

  1. Open the Starbucks App
  2. Select Pay
  3. Select the down arrow next to your available total
  4. Select Add Starbucks Card from the bottom of the list
  5. Enter in your 16 digit Starbucks card # found on the back of your card
  6. Enter in your 8 digit code found on the back of your card under the scratch off
  7. Your card will then load and you’ll select the Done button at the bottom
  8. Now, click the Pay button on the new card you loaded
  9. You’ll get a screen that has a bardcode at the bottom of it.  You’ll take a screenshot of this screen from your phone.  On an iPhone you can screenshot this by clicking the Power Button + your Home Button at once.
  10. Once you’ve screenshotted this graphic, you’ll take this graphic and edit from there. One of the easiest ways to edit this is to use an app like Photoshop or Canva directly from your phone.  You’ll just crop it into a square, add your own text, and make it your own!

Step 3: Share your gift card with others

After getting the graphic ready to go, you’ll share it on your social media channels or your newsletter list!

Did you find this tutorial helpful? Share it with others!

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17 Comments

    1. Hi Beth,

      You’ll get one card and you put whatever amount you’d like on it, so say in my case I did $100. I share that code on social media (or wherever) and whoever wants to use that card can until the $100 is gone. It’s not that everyone gets the same amount, they are just using up the entire amount that is put on the card.

      Hope that makes sense!

  1. How do you monitor how long the barcode stays active? What about repeat uses? More information on managing the cost of using it would be great. Thank you!

    1. Hi Charlsey,

      I typically just check the balance every so often within my Starbucks app and once the card is used up, I delete the post from social media so it can’t be scanned any longer.

      As for managing the cost, I only put a certain amount on the card. For example, I put $100 on a card, and once that amount is gone it’s gone. I hope that makes sense!

  2. Hi Lauren,

    I found your article and see that it’s older. I was wondering if this method still works? I would like to offer this to our followers to show our appreciation!

    Thank you!

  3. Is there any way to prevent someone from buying themselves a gift card using up the remained of the balance on the one you’re sharing?

  4. I used to do this all the time but sadly someone went in and took the full $100 for themselves last time I did it. now I am looking for other group gifting solutions.

  5. Is there any way to keep them from using the rewards/stars associated with your account? Shared a card, and they cleaned me out.

    1. Hi Madeline,
      I’m so sorry this happened to you! I’m not sure if there is or not. Maybe it’s best to create a separate account just for this purpose.
      Hope this helps!

  6. It looks like (on android, at least) you are not able to take a screenshot “for security measures”…any other ideas on how to do this?

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