How To: Share a Starbucks Gift Card With Your Clients in 7 Simple Steps


Tired of the same old thank you posts? Why not show your love and appreciation for your community in a new way this year, with something that will really blow their minds and make them feel special. 

Treat them to a coffee on you!

And I'm not talking about an in-person coffee date, either! I'm talking about loading up a Starbucks gift card and sharing the barcode with your clients.  It's simple to do, and it's bound to make their day! 

Here are the easy steps you can take in order to purchase a Starbucks gift card and share the barcode:

Get the app

Download the Starbucks App on your iphone or android device. 

Create a free account

Once the app is downloaded, create your free account by clicking on “Join Rewards”

This is where you’ll choose the gift card to purchase. It doesn't matter which design or colors you decide on, but may be best to go with one of the generic thank-you options. Or something festive if sharing on certain holidays like Christmas or Valentine's Day. 

In the end, all you’ll need is the barcode that is generated from the giftcard. 

Fill out your Information

Once you choose the card you’re going to use, fill out all of the required info on the next screen.

Enter your own email address as the recipient, and go ahead and skip the message part.

Add funds to the card

When it comes to loading the dollar amount. This is entirely up to you.  $20 is a good start because it is enough to cover any single Starbucks order, but not so much for someone to abuse the system and buy one of those really fancy home espresso machines, or a round of drinks for everyone in the place. You can set up an auto-reload as well so that the gift card does not run out after the first $20. 

PRO TIP: One thing I will mention however is that I started with a low budget and when my card reloaded a few times my bank blocked the charges for security reasons. Keep this in mind, or be close to your phone so that you can ensure the app is correctly auto-reloading.


Auto reload is a great option, because if you load the card with $100 and let people use it until it’s gone, you can sometimes find it emptied in a matter of minutes. Inevitably, if the code somehow ends up in the hands of a stranger, there is a chance of someone getting greedy and ordering 10 pounds of coffee or picking up a new $40 tumbler

PRO TIP: Know your budget and watch the card balance. Once you come close to your budget, shut off Auto Reload and the card will be done once the money runs out! You can spend $20, $50, $100, $500, it’s completely up to you.

Add your credit card 

Set Up a credit card for the purchase. Then hit send.

Check your email

You should get 3 different emails from Starbucks. 

The first is your receipt. Save this one for your accounting! Be sure to mark it down as a marketing expense and not a food expense. 

The second email tells you that the gift card has been delivered to your recipient (in this case, you are the recipient).

And the last email is the e-gift card. This is the email you'll open next that has the barcode you’ll be sharing with your clients. 

Screenshot the barcode

Open the last email and click Redeem my eGift now. This will open up the e-gift card with a large barcode. Screenshot the barcode

PRO TIP: It’s best to crop the image to make it look aesthetically pleasing as opposed to  just editing out the barcode.

IMPORTANT TIP: However, make sure you DO edit out your card number and PIN. This way no one can add your information to their Starbucks account. 

Take the image of your screenshot and share it on Facebook, or Twitter, Instagram, your email list, etc! Wherever you’d like. 

Your clients will be able to pull up the image of the barcode on their phone and use it at their local Starbucks to pay for a coffee as if it were their own gift card. They can display it to their barista directly from your post, or they can save the image and use it that way as well. 

How easy is that?

Of course, Starbucks is not your only option, this same technique of sharing a gift card barcode can be done at Dunkin Donuts and other fast-food restaurants, too. 

Now you can give your clients a coffee on you! They will be so excited about this kind gesture, they may follow you for life!

Giving back to the community is something that I know many of us take for granted. It feels really good, and it’s fun when people take you up on your offer! Because so much time goes into our virtual spaces without ever being able to communicate how grateful we are in word or gesture - this could be one way to help make sure they never forget how much you truly value them as a client. 

 Enjoy treating others with kindness and generosity. It feels good to receive kindness too – maybe someone else will surprise YOU with a coffee!

Do you know of any other ways to show your appreciation to your followers? Share in the comments below! We would love to hear from you.

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  1. Thank you so much for this! I have been wanting to “buy my client a coffee” in my welcome email and this showed how to accomplish it.


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