If you live in Philadelphia or Boston, you may have noticed signs like these posted at some of your favorite restaurants and shops:
That nifty little sign indicates that the businesses are a part of Level Up, a new way to pay using your iPhone, Android, or a card you receive in the mail. For the past week, I have tried out the app at various participating merchants around Philadelphia and am really pleased with how simple (and oddly fun!) it is to use.
So how does it work? After registering online (it’s free to join but does link to your credit card), you are assigned a personal QR Code.
You can download the Android or iPhone app on to your phone, and begin using the service immediately. To find merchants who accept Level Up, you can use the app on your phone, which will sort locations depending on their proximity to your location, or by checking out the “Browse” section of the Level Up website. Just go to a participating location and bring up the QR code on your phone. The store scans the code as a method of payment; you will receive an e-mail within minutes with a digital receipt.
|The scanner used to pay|
You can even add tip right on the app.
If you do not have a smart phone, you can request a card be sent to you, and that can be scanned at all participating locations.
So what’s in it for you? Each participating merchant has a credit that will be applied the first time you use Level Up at that location. The credit varies depending on location, but you can look up how much it is on your phone or on the website. The credits never expire, and the more you use the app, the more credits you unlock at that merchant. To check on your status until your next credit is unlocked, just view the progress bar.
|“Spend $100, Get $10”|
The leftover balance is charged to your credit card.
The process is secure and even has the option to pin-lock your QR code.
If you ever think the code has been compromised, you can easily reset the QR code and receive a new one instantly.
Level Up is not just for restaurants, many boutiques, hair salons and shops are also participants. Just keep an eye out for the Level Up signs and have fun using it! To sigh for Level Up and receive a $10 credit that can be used at any location, go to TheLevelUp.com/joinand enter the code “KLUNN” where it says “have a promotion code?”
The images are courtesy of Level Up. The poor quality photos were taken by me around Philadelphia.
The Culinary Lens says
It will be interesting to see how the banks an credit card companies will react to having a new player on the block.
What an interesting idea! I don’t live anywhere that this is happening, but would be kind of interesting to use.
Well, the QR code requires data on a phone. It’s more of a loyalty program for now than anything else until acceptance really kicks up. I find it interesting that the BBJ states the effective discount on it is only 17% whereas it gives the free credit to start and then has 10-20% back in credit once someone full cycles through the program. Note is that if you have the card, you can’t leave a tip through Levelup so you’ll need to do it in cash.