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Turn Your iPhone into a Starbucks Card

I'm strongly in favor of any tool that lets me carry one less card in my overstuffed wallet. Today, that tool is Starbucks Card Mobile, a free iPhone app that kicks physical cards to the curb.

Well, almost. The app was initially designed to help you manage actual Starbucks cards. You could check your balance, reload depleted cards, and view your transaction history.

You could also pay for coffee, but only at a handful of locations in California and Washington. As of yesterday, however, Starbucks Card Mobile can be used to buy coffee, pastries, and whatnot at over 1,000 Starbucks locations inside Target stores.

Just tap the Payment Trial button, then flash your screen at the barista. He'll scan the barcode, hand you your beverage, and send you on your way. It would be really nice if you could opt to tack on a tip, but for now you'll have to keep some silver or singles on hand.

Obviously the brass ring here is for the app to gain acceptance in actual Starbucks stores. (Why Target locations are getting this rollout first is a mystery.) Until then, I'll have to hang onto my gold card. But don't worry, wallet -- someday all those customer cards will be a thing of the past.

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