How to use your Starbucks card for free foreign currency conversions!

This is one of those silly travel tips which you may, actually, find that you can make use of!

If you have a Starbucks plastic payment card or pay via the Starbucks app, you may not know that there is a degree of compatibility between countries.

According to the Starbucks website here a UK Starbucks account in £ can be used in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Hong Kong,  Australia, and Mexico.

It cannot be used in Brazil, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand or Turkey.  Cards issued in those countries cannot be used outside of national borders.

Here is why I mention this on HFP:

Starbucks 350

Imagine you are at JFK in New York about to depart for the UK.  In your pocket you find that you have $20 in notes and about $4 in loose change.  It is hardly worth changing back into £, and it is unlikely that anyone would take the coins off you anyway.

Instead, you go over to the nearest Starbucks and ask to top up your account using all of your remaining $.  The rate is apparently spot, give or take – and you get to use up all your coins as well.

It will convert to the £ equivalent and you can spend the balance when you get home!

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  1. Andrew says:

    This will be quite handy on my next trip stateside – particulary as my employer sells £50 Starbucks cards for £45. At today’s rates, that makes it a 1.38 exchange rate.

  2. Frappuccinos

  3. I love a cup of McDonald’s black “tar”. Many an afternoon’s travel has been boosted by an injection of caffeine. McD’s also great for long cycle journeys, caffeine, toilets and salty fries. A significant contribution to road safety.