Put a Starbucks card on your BlackBerry (hands-on)

The new Starbucks Card Mobile App lets you add value and even pay for drinks and snacks from your BlackBerry smartphone. We're looking forward to seeing Starbucks expand its trial partners to cover more ground.

Starbucks Card Mobile App
We successfully added $10 to our Starbucks account. Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Racking up another point for mobile management, Starbucks released its free Starbucks Card Mobile App for BlackBerry on Thursday. Once you log into the account associated with your Starbucks card, or register a new card to the app, you'll be able to keep tabs on your lattes.

Starbucks Card Mobile App can display your card balance and even better, let you reload value from $10 to $100 (in $5 increments) by paying with your credit card. Auto-reloading is another option for when your balance falls below a certain threshold when you need your coffee kick.

The store-locator feature is handy, but the best feature--paying with the app--is only available in select Starbucks stores (in Seattle and Northern California) and in some trial Target stores. When you do find a participating location, the app will produce a bar code for the cashier to scan.

Starbucks Card Mobile App-Scanner
The Starbucks Card Mobile App can produce a scannable barcode for buying your cups of Joe. Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

We successfully loaded credit onto our empty Starbucks card and produced a bar code, and we're looking forward to Starbucks expanding its trial to other stores. While remotely increasing the prepaid balance is a nice perk, the app's real value is in obviating the need for that plastic card in your wallet.

When it came down to the way this simple app did its business, we did have a minor nit to pick--our wish that all number fields were smart enough to translate letter submissions into numbers when pressing the shared number/letter keys on BlackBerrys with physical keyboards.

Other than that, turning those physical cards digital for all regions should be the company's mobile goal.

Download Starbucks Card Mobile App for BlackBerry by pointing the browser to http://mobilecard.starbucks.com/wap/home. The app is compatible on BlackBerry Bold, Curve, Storm, and Tour handsets.

 

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