Loyalty Rewards Startup LocalBonus Launches An iPhone App, Expands To 10 Cities And 1,200 Merchants

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The loyalty rewards world is like the Wild Wild West lately. There’s no shortage of apps or cards that users can take advantage of to save money or get money back for buying from the same merchants over and over again. But the market is incredibly fragmented, with many businesses using different apps, and so consumers are left having to use all of them. LocalBonus provides a simpler approach, allowing users to tie rewards to credit card usage. Today, LocalBonus is launching an iOS app to make its rewards program even easier, and is doubling the number of markets that users can collect rewards in.

LocalBonus users don’t need an app to collect rewards — there’s no “checking in” required for them to receive credit for a purchase. Instead, rewards are automatically provided whenever they use a credit or debit card in a supporting merchant location. But the launch of the app could help the company gain new users more quickly and to help them find participating merchants.

The new app provides an easy sign-up process that allows users to take a picture of their credit card to begin receiving rewards. The app also lets users see merchants near them, as well as their Yelp reviews. And they also can check their account balances and track rewards progress directly from the app without having to log in to the LocalBonus website.

In addition to the app, LocalBonus is extending its reach into new markets, making the service available to more users and at more locations. It’s now available in Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Norfolk, bringing the total number of markets it serves to 10, and the total number of merchants it supports to 1,200. Since LocalBonus doesn’t strike up partnerships with merchants on its own, but rather supports them through third-party aggregators, it can quickly ramp up operations in new markets when it enters.

New York City-based LocalBonus was part of the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator in April. It raised $900,000 in seed funding from Payment Ventures and Actinic Ventures earlier this year.