Want a free coffee? Check out the “Jonathan’s Card” social experiment!

| August 8, 2011 | Reply

I’m sure that plenty of you are Starbucks fans, I know I am! I’ve come across a pretty cool site that allows you to grab some free Starbucks coffee from your local establishment, using someone else’s Starbucks card!

This all comes via a social sharing experiment started by a guy named Jonathan Stark,┬ásimply called “Jonathan’s Card”. The idea is pretty simple: You download a picture of his Starbucks card to your phone, take it to Starbucks and get a coffee. His card is charged, no money out of your pocket! You can do your part in “paying forward” by adding money to the card so that some other caffine-deprived strangers can grab some free coffee themselves. We would like to note that Jonathan makes it very clear that this is in no way affiliated with Starbucks.

How can you find out whether there’s enough money on the card for you to pick up your free coffee? Well, Jonathan’s Starbucks card has its own Twitter account, @jonathansbot! He wrote a bot that scrapes the Starbucks website for the card balance and posts it on Twitter whenever the amount changes. Jonathan also wrote a simple read-only API that returns JSON, for any devs out there that are eager to write an app/site that keeps track of the card balance.

You can head over to Jonathan’s blog to find out more on what inspired him to start this. You’ll also find instructions on how to give or get some free coffee there, and we also have the links for that below.

Jonathan’s Card blog

Jonathan’s Card Twitter account

Downloadable picture of the Starbucks card

How to Get a Coffee

How to Give a Coffee

Getting the Card Balance

Developer API

Contact Jonathan


Thanks to @tbaybe02 for bringing this to my attention!

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Co-owner and PR guy for GizmoNinja.com. I’m happily married and a father to a wonderful (most of the time) son. I work in the E9-1-1 software/data industry by day and am a tech loving geek in my spare time. I’m interested in all things tech, but am big into Android especially. I dabble in a little of everything – Android development, PC development, web development, etc – but am a master of none (not even close)… But I have fun doing it anyway! =P