Starbucks is pretty ‘with-the-times', but I’m often surprised at huge chains that don’t offer the option to use Apple Pay. 

I’m someone who doesn’t often carry cash around, and frankly, forget my wallet at home half the time. 

I’m about to cover the ins-and-outs of how to use Apple Pay, why it’s one of Starbucks' main payment methods, and how to pull of the process as smoothly as possible. 

  • Starbucks does offer Apple Pay
  • Apple Pay is super simple, quick, and convenient.
  • Apply Pay must be set up on a smartphone
  • Customers can still earn stars with this payment method. 

Can You Use Apple Pay At Starbucks? 

Yes! Starbucks does take Apple Pay.

You can use Apple Pay[1] at participating Starbucks locations in the US via any recently updated iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch.[2]

You can use Apple Pay to pay for your order and get and reload a Starbucks gift card for no additional fees.

Thanks to the single-touch payment system, you can breeze through any Starbucks drive-thru, Starbucks mobile app transaction, and any local Starbucks outlets across the country to get your favorite Starbucks espresso drinks.

Just make sure that your Apple device runs iOS version 11 or later and has a POS that supports Near Field Communication (NFC) to enable contactless payments.
Paying Using Apple Pay

5 Benefits of Using Apple Pay at Starbucks

Starbucks accepts Apple Pay as a payment method, but why has it become so popular? 

Let me share why me and so many others love using it at Starbucks! 

1. It's Extremely Fast

Using Apple Pay in-store makes paying at the counter much faster. No more anxiety over putting my card away fast enough so the person after me can order. 

No more worrying about inputting the wrong PIN or fumbling around for cash. With just a tap, I pay in literally less than a few seconds. 

2. Convenience Is Key!

One-handed checkout that is smooth and easy when you use Apple Pay at Starbucks.

After linking Apple Pay to my Starbucks account, it’s easy to keep track of spending and earn  Starbucks Stars with basically zero effort.

Plus, topping up my Starbucks cards takes only a few moments.

Person using Apple Pay at a counter

3. It Keeps Information Secure

Paying with credit or debit cards runs the risk of hackers and fraudsters stealing payment information.

Apple has invested quite a bit of money into top-notch security features to protect debit card information from hackers.

By paying with Apple Pay, I'm protecting myself without any effort.

4. Contactless Is The Best Way To Go

Yes, I’m that person who uses hand sanitizer after I use an ATM. 

Needless to say, I love contactless payments as I don’t have to worry about picking up some random flu or cold. 

The one-touch system is both hygienic and simple.[3]

5. Works Every Time

With Apple Pay accepted everywhere, ordering Starbucks in-store or online can be done even if I don’t have my Starbucks card or debit card on me.

With just a synced iOS device like the range of Apple Watches, I know that I can pay without worry.

No need to rush home for my physical card or to the bank when I have a compatible device.

Woman using phone to pay for coffee

How To Set Up Apple Pay On Your Phone

Setting up Apple Pay on your iOS devices or Apple Watch is simple as can be since it is already built into the latest Apple devices.

Setting Up Apple Pay

  • Download the Wallet app from the Apple Store
  • Tap the Wallet icon
  • Follow the instructions on-screen, inputting relevant personal information
  • Verify identity by using a text code, thumbprint ID, or face ID
  • Add preferred payment methods to the app as instructed

Similar steps would be used for getting it on your Apple Watch.

Downloading The Starbucks App

  • Download the Starbucks App from the Apple Store
  • Tap the Starbucks App icon
  • Follow the instructions on-screen, inputting relevant card and personal info
  • Add any Starbucks card
  • Link Apple Pay account to Starbucks account by going into Payment Methods and following the instructions

I love knowing I can automatically apply and earn Stars as part of the Starbucks rewards program every time I use Apple Pay.

Having these two apps linked and ready to go can ensure that I reap all the benefits with each dollar spent for no extra fee.
How to Use Apple Pay

Tips For Using Apple Pay at Starbucks

Using Apple Pay In Starbucks Store And Drive Thru

Once I have given the barista my order, they will input the total amount and hold the card reader towards me. Here’s how to pay:

  • Open Wallet app
  • Select Apple Pay
  • Select the card or payment method desired
  • Hold phone near the terminal
  • When it beeps or vibrates, and I see a tick on your phone screen (or I feel the little vibration on my phone), the payment has been made.
  • Collect your receipt and order

Using Apple Pay In The Starbucks App

Once the barista presents the card reader to complete my order, here’s what I do:

  • Open the Starbucks App[4]
  • Select Apple Pay
  • Hold phone near the terminal
  • Once it beeps and I see a tick, it is completed

Using Apple Pay At Starbucks With Your Apple Watch

  • Double-click the side button default payment method shows automatically. Scroll to choose another.
  • Hold the Watch's display near the reader until I hear a beep and feel a gentle tap.
Paying With Mobile Phone

Alternatives To Pay for Your Daily Starbucks Drink

Don’t wanna take a bite of Apple Pay? Here are some common preferred payment methods to try out at Starbucks - find the right payment option for you.

Google Pay

Similar to Apple Pay, Google Pay can be used in any Starbucks location across the US.[5] .


I didn’t know this was a thing until recently, but I’ve used my PayPal account to make online or in-app Starbucks purchases. I can even pay ahead on a gift card or load money onto a Starbucks card.[6]

Gift Cards

A Starbucks gift card with extra cash can be used to make a purchase in-store or online provided it has the funds.[7]

Simply add it to the Starbucks app or present the card to the cashier to pay or add cash to it.

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay is another excellent alternative to Apple Pay. It cannot be used on Apple devices like the Apple Watch.[8]


GrabPay, like Bakkt Cash, is another option that can be used at Starbucks locations and other retailers that are not Starbucks.[9]

Using Samsung Pay at a coffee shop

Common Questions About Apple Pay At Starbucks

Will I still earn Starbucks Rewards Stars if I use Apple Pay?

Yes, you will still earn Starbucks Rewards Stars if you link Apple Pay to your Starbucks account. Customers can earn 2 stars for every dollar spent at Starbucks.

Is Apple Pay the same as Apple Wallet?

No, Apple Pay is not the same as Apple Wallet. Apple Pay is a payment method, whereas Apple Wallet is a digital wallet that stores various cards and other payment details, including  Apple Pay ones.

How do you troubleshoot Apple Pay problems?

You can troubleshoot Apple Pay problems by contacting Apple Pay support online or by phone for help.[10]

What are the disadvantages of using Apple Pay?

The disadvantages of using Apple Pay are:

  • It is almost too easy to spend money
  • You have to take time to set everything up
  • You have to update your phone and the app
  • It does not work with Android phones
Does Apple Pay work in all countries?

Apple Pay works in most countries. If traveling abroad, make sure to check the official list on the Apple website.[11]

Conclusion - Try Contactless Payments Today!

So, does Starbucks take Apple Pay? Yes, across their US stores and online.

I don’t often use Apple Pay, but in Starbucks it’s a very fast-paced environment and I think everyone appreciates the quick-pay option. 

It’s less stress, more convenient, and even more safe!

For a fast and secure way to pay, try setting up the Apple Pay mobile app today.



Chloe Page


Chloe Page
A lifelong mocha fan, Chloe is an award-winning writer with over eight years’ experience weaving words. Her journey in the coffee industry is highlighted by extensive research and interviews with coffee experts. In her moments of relaxation, you'll often find her sipping on Bird and Blend tea, thoughtfully scribbling in her notebook.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... Bird and Blend Co Tea

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