Earn money by locking phone



Opinion columnist Cristian Ortiz encourages students to try the new Pocket Points app as a way to save money while attending class.

CRISTIAN ORTIZ, Opinion Columnist

If you haven’t heard about the Pocket Points app, you might be missing out on a really cool and easy chance to save some money at local restaurants and other shopping places near campus.

All you have to do to save money is lock your phone and not use it while in class or on anywhere on campus.

I must admit that it’s a brilliant idea, and I don’t know why someone hasn’t developed this kind of app before. I first heard about Pocket Points while I was waiting for my Craft of Creative Nonfiction class to start.

Can you guess what I was doing while I was waiting? I was on my phone just wasting time.

I overheard a classmate tell some other people near her about the newly discovered app. Right away I got off Twitter and went to the App Store to download the new app and try it out.

Let me just say this: I’m so glad I overheard that conversation.

The app was easy to use straight from the beginning. After signing up, it told me how it works, and then it prompted me to keep the app open and lock my phone as a timer started. I then got a notification that I was earning points.

Pocket Points has partnered with local restaurants like Insomnia Cookies, PepperJax Grill, Marco’s Pizza, Buffalo Wild Wings, Pita Pit and Chick-fil-A, among others. They also have options for online shopping.

To save at these places, all you have to do is go to the app and choose a “gift.” You pay for the gift with the points that you’ve already earned, but you can only use one gift from each location once a day.

When signing up for the app, you can connect your Facebook account and see who else is using it. There is also a points leaderboard!

In addition, the more people that are using it on UNI’s campus, the more you get a “school bonus,” which can help you earn points faster.

On average, one point is usually earned every five minutes, but it can go faster if the school bonus is higher. So, it benefits to tell other people about the app.

I’ve also found out that one of the best times to use the app is on Tuesdays because that’s when it’s double points day, and you can rack up a lot of points really fast.

You can even have your phone locked and earn points when you are at places like the library, the WRC and when you are walking across campus trying to get to your next class.

That’s even more motivation to hit that next set of bench presses faster or study more.

The app was developed by two college students who thought it would be smart to have an incentive to have students stay off of their phone during classes. They then found out that restaurants and other businesses have budgets for programs like this, and a lot of them were ready to partner with Pocket Points.

I’m very grateful for their spark of inspiration because not only does it help me focus more on the professor in class, but it also gives me a chance to save money at restaurants I usually go to anyways.

So, download the app if you already haven’t and go start earning!