Starbucks Foursquare Promo: Game for a Freebie?

Maressa Brown

starbucks new logoD'oh! Just when I was sure I wasn't interested in sharing my whereabouts with the world, here comes Starbucks, tempting me to go public on Foursquare! In honor of their 40th anniversary today, the national coffee chain will randomly award $40 gift cards to people who use the site to "check-in" at their favorite, participating* Starbucks. (Note the asterisk, as we'll discuss that in a second.)

The promotion, which runs from 12:01 a.m. PT until 11:59:59 p.m. PT tonight, will give 500 gift cards to those who check-in to Starbucks locations and unlock a “Tribute Badge.” Consumers can also enter the drawing via e-mail by sending a note with the subject line “Starbucks Foursquare Entry Submission” to (How that's the equivalent of a Foursquare check-in, I'm not quite sure, but okay...) Winners will be drawn in less than a week, on March 16. And, of course, like any promo, there are some official rules.

As exciting as it is to think you could tap into the power of Foursquare to be the PROUD owner of a $40 Starbucks gift card to spend on cocoa cappuccinos, lattes, light Frappuccinos, and those adorable Petites galore ... you gotta take note of that darn asterisk. According to Mashable, previous partnerings between Starbucks and Foursquare have resulted in a lot of frustration for some customers ...

For instance, last year, Starbucks awarded discounts to "mayors" (oh dear, one of those Foursquare-exclusive terms -- it means you're the #1 visitor of any given 'check-in' locale) of various stores, but some consumers griped that stores that were supposed to be participating were unaware of the promotion. I'm not surprised! It seems like when it comes to these nationwide promos, there's often a lot of miscommunication, especially in a huge corporate company like Starbucks! 

But, it doesn't really matter that much, right? I mean, you won't be that disappointed if you don't get the $40 gift card, because you'll probably still spend $40 over the course of time at Starbucks. Admit it -- you're a loyal customer even if you don't try to be. Now, with the snazzy new logo, new adorable CAKE POPS (OMG, need to try!), the new drinks, and before we know it, it'll be Frappuccino season ... you're more enamored every day. Well, maybe I should just speak for myself, and that's how I feel. I gotta say, there was a time when I couldn't really care less about Starbucks, but lately, the chain keeps upping their game! And that's why PLENTY of people (in a line out the door, waiting for their "handcrafted beverages") all still looooove it, 40 years later.

So, check-in or don't, but don't forget that today through end of day Saturday, you can get a free Petite with any drink between 2-5 p.m. I know where I'll be this afternoon.

How 'bout you?


Image via bfishadow/Flickr

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