Pocket Points rewards students for every second that they don’t use their phone. Several other applications (such as Offtime, Moment, BreakFree and Flipd) use different methods to keep your phone from being a distraction, but Pocket Points is the only application that has a reward system in place. You simply open the app, lock your phone, and begin earning points. These points can be used to earn discounts at local stores such as Jamba Juice, TOBI, and Auntie Anne’s. Discounts can also be used for purchases on websites such as Levi’s and Cirque du Soleil. For online shopping, gifts give the user access to a promo code that can be used at the checkout page of the store’s website. For most restaurant discounts, the user is required to show their phone to a cashier in the store within 24 hours of purchasing the gift.
In the two weeks that I’ve owned the app, I’ve redeemed three gifts and earned a little over 200 points. I should have over 1,000 points by this point, but one downside of a simple app like this is that it is extremely easy to forget about. The app is optimized for students on a high school or college campus, since it requires you to specify which school you are attending, your age and graduation date, and tracks your location to ensure that you’re in class. This renders the app useless for anyone who is not a high school or college student, which limits the app’s potential.
I’ve spent the majority of my time on the app searching for gifts that could be used at restaurants, which turns out to be a difficult task because the app does not categorize the gifts they offer. The most popular gifts seem to be discounts on food purchases, leading me to believe that if they discontinued all the other types of sales, no harm would be done.
Ultimately, if you’re the kind of person who can’t stay off of your phone, and pulls out a long list of coupons every time you go to your favorite store, Pocket Points is just for you. It’s not for those who won’t admit to being cheap; if getting $3 off of a $5 smoothie means nothing to you, you may want to consider using Offtime or Moments. Regardless, I think it’s worth a try.