As a bonafide retail junkie and deal maven, I belong to a LOT of retail, restaurant and travel loyalty plans.  I have somewhere between a 3″-4″ stack of loyalty cards in my dresser drawer.  Needless to say, I hate putting all of that in my wallet.

Enter Cardstar, my favorite app available on most smart phone platforms including iPhone and Blackberry.  Cardstar lets you store, manage and retrieve all of those membership numbers directly from your phone.  The app includes a barcode for each membership that is formatted to be compatible with the retailer format – as long as their scanner is sensitive enough to read the barcode from the phone’s screen.  Otherwise, store associates can manually enter your membership number so you receive your discount or loyalty points.

This has dramatically increased my use of loyalty programs.  Before Cardstar, I regularly turned down all offers because I did not want to carry all those cards and I always forget them when I shop or eat out.  Now, I accept offers, enter them into my phone and know that I can always take advantage of loyalty programs.  I currently have 19 membership cards on Cardstar.

Recently Cardstar has added the ability for offers to be loaded directly onto my phone under a “Deals” tab for each membership program. I can scroll through and see time sensitive promotions and sales.  Examples include a sale on new titles at Barnes & Noble, a BOGO rental offer from Blockbuster and sale prices on merchandise from Hallmark.  I can also back up all of my card information to the Cardstar cloud to ease my anxiety over losing my information permanently with a phone failure or theft.

File this under “Technology that actually DOES make your life easier!”

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