It’s been well-established on this blog how I feel about credit cards, as I’ve commented several times on the Dave Ramsey cash envelope system. Andy and I recently started using an app called LevelUp. At businesses that use it, you simply open the app on your Android or iPhone (which is linked to a credit card of your choice), hold it up to their space-age looking LevelUp scanner, and you have paid. My immediate thought the first time I used this was that Dave Ramsey would have a field day. It is scary easy. And if Andy and I didn’t keep such close tabs on our spending, I might be very, very nervous of it.
But it has a lot of cool features. For one thing, you can unlock a lot of deals with it. For example, at the coffee shop in our apartment complex, once you’ve spent $30.00, you unlock $3.00 of credit. That’s a free cup of coffee! From the app, you can choose to donate a portion of any savings you receive to a cause you support. And it’s accepted at a lot of places like food trucks and the mobile popsicle cart that lives in our neighborhood. I like the thought that if I’m out somewhere and for some reason don’t have my wallet, I could still pick something up at one of these places. Plus, there is less to fumble with at the register!
The app keeps track of all your transactions, and it also emails you a receipt immediately when you make a purchase. So as long as you’re savvy, it’s no different from using your credit card. Plus it’s secure: Andy tried to change the card linked to his account, and coincidentally he ended up trying to add that card that is linked to mine (which is a joint card). LevelUp wouldn’t let him do it, and it sent me a warning email that someone else had tried to link my card. Obviously, I wasn’t freaked out because it was my husband, but if it had been an actual case of attempted fraud/theft, I would have been relieved that it was nipped in the bud!
It obviously isn’t a viable method of payment everywhere, but the app can locate you and tell you what businesses near you accept LevelUp. I would venture to bet that more and more businesses will be going this direction soon. If you’d like to join the trend, you can use my referral code (230291) at https://www.thelevelup.com and we will each get $5. (Since we would both benefit, I don’t feel skeezy offering this at all!) Check their website to see if enough merchants around you offer this as an option to make it worth your while! $5 free money never hurt anyone…