Put Leftover Foreign Currency On A Starbucks Gift Card

Starbucks in London (Photo: John Li / Stringer, Getty Images)

The days of rushing through an airport like an old-timey sheriff at high noon — loose coins clink-clankin’ around in your pockets — are over, my friends.

If you’re about to head back home from a trip abroad and you still have a bit of cash left over, but the thought of stopping by one of those currency exchange places fills you with existential dread, do not fret. You have another option, particularly if you’re an avid coffee drinker: Load that excess dough onto a sleek, easily pocket-able Starbucks gift card.

This hack comes courtesy of the Recomendo newsletter:

Here’s a tip I haven’t tried yet, but it sounds like a great idea. When you’re leaving a foreign country and still have some of the local currency, take it to a Starbucks and load it onto a gift card. You can use the card later in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Mexico, and the Republic of Ireland.

One thing to note: In Australia, the minimum amount that can be loaded onto a fresh gift card is $5, so there’s likely a similar minimum in other countries. Of course, if you already have a Starbucks card loaded onto your phone, you can probably use your pounds, Euros, whatever, to replenish that account instead.

A nice hidden upside to this is that you won’t have to pay any kind of currency exchange fees. The cash will obviously be locked for use at Starbucks until the end of time, but if you’re eternally indebted to the provocatively posed green siren anyway or travel enough overseas to rely on drinking Starbucks (it's terrible coffee but you know what your getting).


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