Apple Users Only: $10 Starbucks Gift Card For $5

Starbucks has been offering all kinds of great promotions in conjunction with different technology platforms (especially Visa Checkout) to get discounted gift cards.

Last May they offered a $10 bonus card when purchasing a $10 Starbucks gift card, last August they offered a $5 bonus card when purchasing a $10 Starbucks gift card, last September and November they offered a $10 bonus card when purchasing a $10 Starbucks gift card using Visa Checkout through the Starbucks app. All of these opportunities have been stackable, so I’ve been getting quite some nice discounts on my Starbucks spend.

There’s now another promotion for Apple users. Apple users can get a $5 Starbucks gift card when they send a Starbucks gift card of $5 or more via iMessage. The best part is that you can send the gift card to yourself, which makes this an opportunity to buy a $10 Starbucks gift card for $5.


Starbucks has step-by-step instructions for taking advantage of this promotion on this page. However, if you already have the Starbucks app and Apple Pay, this whole thing should take just a couple of minutes to complete. Here are the three step instructions they provide:

  1. First, download the Starbucks App on your iPhone 5S or above. You must be using iOS 10.2.1 and above to download the app.
  2. Second, ensure Apple Pay is set up on your phone. If you don’t already have Apple Pay set up, you will be prompted to do so.
  3. Follow the prompts to select and complete the purchase of a $5 or more Starbucks eGift Card using the app and send the eGift via iMessage

In my case, I iMessaged the $5 Starbucks gift card to myself, and then could add it to my account. Just moments later I received an email with the $5 bonus gift card, which I could also add to my account quickly.


The whole promotion took about five minutes to take advantage of, so you can decide for yourself if it’s worth your worth your time or not.

The promotion is valid through April 23, or for the first 45,000 people who take advantage of this promotion, whichever comes first. There’s no way to know whether you’re eligible until after you take advantage of the promo. I suspect if you go through the process in the next couple of days you should be fine.

(Tip of the hat to Frequent Miler)


  1. I just sent myself a $5 gift card via imessage but when I click on the card I only see the picture of the card. Tapping the card does nothing and I can’t figure out how to redeem the card as there are no codes to add the card to my Starbucks account (I only see an order number). Any ideas on how I can redeem the card?

  2. @ Shen — Had the same issue. Have you tried opening it in iMessage on your computer? That seems to do the trick.

  3. I have already received and deposited the $5 bonus, while haven’t seen the $10 GC to myself yet…anyone knows the trick?

  4. Wonder if this is already dead? I iMessaged myself a $5 card, recieved it right away, added to app no issue but its been 15 minutes and no promo/bonus card 🙁 I burn through >$5 in starbucks a day so not the end of the world but still a bummer.

  5. Received my $5 GC via email just now… I was confused as I thought I would receive it as a text but it came as an email from SB. Hopefully Ryan and Terrence will see yours soon!

  6. @Terence, similar here. Received $5 bonus card immediately plus receipt for eGift card, however have not yet received the card I sent from the app. Hopefully it shows up. Will email CS if not. In any case – thanks for the latte, Lucky!

  7. @Leigh, Terence: after purchasing the gift card through the iMessage app, you need to go back into the message thread with yourself and actually send the gift card. Then you’ll received the gift card that you purchased. Tripped me up at first too.

  8. I just successfully bought the $5 gift card using iMessage, (tap the card in your iMessage text) then add it to your Starbucks app. I immediately received the email for the 2nd $5 card. Just scrolled down and added it to my Starbucks app as well. Easy peasy, from my Apple iPhone 7. Thanks!

  9. For those who don’t have a Mac to open the IMessage on their computer, is there any other trick to opening the card when all you see is the face of the the card?
    Also is anybody still getting bonus cards? Ordered mine at 5 and now it’s 12 and still no bonus card.

  10. Bought one ON 4/12 and they never sent the advertised $5.00 when checked into it with Starbucks they emailed it was sold out. DON’T GET TAKEN READ THE FINE LINES IN THE LEGAL NOTICE. ADVERTISED TO 4/23. ALREADY SOLD OUT.

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