Pay with your phone and save time and money.
If you’ve noticed a trend in this column’s infancy, it’s that we love food and good deals, so whenever there’s a chance to combine the two, we’ll be the first to let you know about it. So far, we’ve helped you find a place to eat, as well as steered you towards a satisfying dish. And for our next trick, we’re going to reward you for paying the bill.
LevelUp is an app linked to a personal credit card account, which can be used to pay your tab at a growing number of nosh spots in the Seattle area. To get started, add credit card information in the app (note: your credit card information is only contained on your phone, rather than stored in a database) and you are provided with a QR code. When dining at a participating restaurant, pull up the QR code, and the waiter will provide a scanner—if it’s an order-at-the-counter joint, the scanner will be at the register. The system instantly sends an e-mail receipt, and you’re on your way.
The convenience isn’t even the best part. Also included in LevelUp are credits which can be used towards purchases. Users are provided with initial credits ranging from $2 to $20, and are redeemable for first-time visits. In addition, there are featured daily credits worth up to $20. And there’s more: they have “unlockable” credits. The app tracks the frequency of your visits, and if you reach a certain level, that means more free dollars towards your next visit. Think of it as a dining out rewards program.
LevelUp launched in Seattle in February and has quickly increased its local presence, having already doubled the number of debut locations—it started with 24 and is now approaching 50. The explosion mirrors similar growth in other major cities, including New York City, Boston and Philadelphia; all three of which boast hundreds of participants. So, in addition to your neighborhood hot spot, next time you travel, fire up the app and see what’s out there.