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

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As it is a Bank Holiday today, I have no qualms in filling a slot with a silly travel tip which you may, actually, find that you can use.

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, 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!  Happy New Year.

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  1. Nick Burch says:

    You can add India to the list of places with a Starbucks but where the cards aren’t interchangeable. UK Starbucks cards won’t wok in India, and Indian ones won’t work back over here. I believe it’s because Starbucks India is a 50% joint venture with TATA

  2. in France and London cannot use my starbucks app or gold card..refused to take it!!

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