The Starbucks Apple Watch app is a favorite of mine, Starbucks junkie that I am.
Using the Starbucks Apple Watch App is a great way to find the nearest Starbucks or see how many reward points you have. Many people, however, are surprised to learn that you can’t pay with your Starbucks cards using the Starbucks watch app.
What the Starbucks Apple Watch App Does
Begin by installing the Starbucks app on your phone and logging into it with your Starbucks account information, if you haven’t already.
If you have your watch set to Automatic App Install, you’ll see exactly what you expect on the watch: the alluring green siren logo. Otherwise, you’ll need to go to the list of apps in your Watch app on your iPhone and install Starbucks from there to your watch.
Tap on the app to open it, and first, you’ll see your rewards balance. (I guess I need to pay with gifts cards more. What a pitiful balance!)
Swipe from left to right to go to the next screen. It will show you the closest Starbucks to your current location. Beneath the map, you’ll see that location’s distance from you as well as its business hours.
(If you need directions to the Starbucks, tap on the map to open the Maps app. From there, you can choose to navigate on foot, by car or by public transportation.)
In the Starbucks app, scroll from top to bottom to see the “amenities” at that location.
Swipe from left to right one more time to view your Starbucks gift card balance. This is where things get interesting.
First off, let’s talk about how these cards get into your Starbucks account.
If you purchase or receive a gift card from Starbucks, you must add it to your Starbucks account. You can do this by logging into Starbucks on your computer, or by using the app on your iPhone (Pay>Manage>Add Starbucks Card).
If you reload a card balance using the app or the website, that card is already in your account.
All gift cards in your account will appear in your Starbucks Apple Watch app, just like this:
But here’s where the fun starts.
When you use your iPhone, you can pay for your coffee by using the Starbucks app. Open the app, tap the card and use the bar code to pay.
Not so with the watch.
What the Starbucks Apple Watch App Does Not Do
The Apple Watch Starbucks app does not display the gift card bar code you use to pay. Instead, you’ll need to add the card to Apple Wallet. Adding the card to Wallet requires your iPhone:
- Open the Starbucks app on your iPhone
- Tap Pay
- Select the card that you want to add to Wallet.
- Tap manage.
- Tap Add to Wallet.
At this point, you can access your Starbucks cards by opening Wallet on your watch. Open Wallet:
Tap the Starbucks card in your list of passes.
You can see that I have two Starbucks cards in my Wallet. One has a balance of $0. You might also see credit cards, movie tickets, boarding passes, etc. in your Wallet. Tap the card you’d like to use.
When you’ve opened the card. tap on the bar code to make it full size.
And then simply use the bar code reader at Starbucks to pay for your coffee.
In other words, if you simply want to pay for your coffee using your Watch, you never need to open your Starbucks app. You only need to use Wallet.
Other Tips for the Starbucks Apple Watch App
It can take a few minutes for newly purchased gift cards to appear in your account. Speed up this process by putting your watch into airplane mode for about 30 seconds and then turning it off. Check your phone to make sure you don’t have to take it out of airplane mode also.
The Starbucks app hangs up on me from time to time. Restarting the watch takes care of it. (But please don’t do this if you’re in front of me at Starbucks! Just pay the old fashioned way and fix it later. Thanks!)