Starbucks card does not work in other countries

Starbucks advertises its card with “treat like cash”, it has the same system set up in multiple countries – I haven’t checked them all, but have seen at least US, Swiss and Greek cards that are from the outside indistinguishable. When I got my card in Zurich, Switzerland, I was also told it would work worldwide, for example in Vienna, Austria.

However, when I tried using my Swiss card in Greece, it would not work. Asking the teller about it, they told me they were a “different company”. That was not at all obvious, it looked just like any other Starbucks, showing the same Corporate Identity and products. On the desk they had Starbucks cards where I took one to take a photograph comparing the Swiss and Greek card. Honestly, I cannot see a difference other than language.

In conclusion, the Starbucks card is neither like cash, nor does it work in different countries. It’s still nice to use it for refills and every once in a while for a free tea or coffee, but still – lying is bad advertisement.

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