To All Coffee Shop Regulars–You Need the Cash Card

I love caffeine. I still claim that I’m not addicted to it and I can even function properly without it for long periods of time. The relationship I have with caffeine is on a want basis, not a need basis, so it’s perfectly healthy, I assure you. What’s not healthy is my bank balance, decreasing consistently as I reload $10 onto my Starbucks card every other day and happily swipe (or rather, insert into the chip reader) my credit card at Pavement, Caffè Nero, Neighborhoods, or Dunkin’.

Credit: Vice

I’ve tried to make my habit more financially responsible but, nothing seems to work. I’m a Starbucks Gold member, which comes with perks like free refills on brewed coffee or tea on same-visit orders, a free drink/treat on birthdays, and a free drink/treat after reaching 125 stars (Starbucks has me wrapped around their finger, I know). But, that doesn’t really alleviate any of my expenses.

And even if it does, it’s impossible to get coffee from Starbucks only. The one near Warren is always crowded, the one at the GSU is out of the way (for me at least), and I have yet to venture into Questrom. The one in McCausland Commons in the law school is amazing, but only on weekdays before 5 pm. And with Starbucks out of the picture, what if you’re feeling like Pavement?

The Cash Card (and app) is the solution to this.

Credit: Everything Everett

Now, as much as I love it, I do have to say one thing. Dear Marketing Team at Cash, what are you doing? The card and the app are primarily advertised as a money transfer app. And while that’s a useful function, everyone uses Venmo. Everyone. Occasionally, someone will transfer funds to you via Zelle in the Bank of America app. You’ll thank them because that money comes in immediately, versus the 3 days of processing for Venmo transfers from the bank to the app but, not everyone is a Bank of America customer. Venmo has a hold on money transfers.

Very few people will decide to use a different app when everyone and their mother has a Venmo.

But there’s something huge that Cash does, that Venmo doesn’t. Cash issues sleek, all-black debit cards (that you can customize, but more on that later) that when you use them at any coffee shop (defined as a shop that sells primarily coffee) you get $1 back. While a dollar doesn’t seem like much, saving a dollar on every single coffee purchase really adds up. And they don’t care what you purchase, as long as it’s at a coffee shop, so ordering a croissant at Starbucks can get you money back too.

The card itself, which they’ll ship to you for free, is a Visa debit card that you can transfer funds into. It’s completely black, and like most modern cards, has all the crucial information on the back of the card. The front has space for you to draw something, sign your name, or type/place emojis onto. (I ordered mine impulsively, so I hurriedly signed my name on it, forgetting that my handwriting is terrible on a trackpad, but I’ll live.)

Credit: Cult of Mac

So while the Cash app and card can be used for peer-to-peer payment and limiting your spending (debit cards are good for that), its most useful and beloved feature is the coffee boosts, which help you save big on your coffee shop purchases.

If you can’t kick the habit, you might as well ease the financial burden. Less money on coffee means more money for everything else you adore.


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