February 26, 2013 09:00 ET

"Credit Card Diet" Sweeps Boston- and DC-Area Restaurants

20 Restaurants and Cafes Ditch Credit Cards in Favor of Cash and LevelUp Only

BOSTON, MA and WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Feb 26, 2013) - The Credit Card Diet craze is sweeping Boston and DC, with 20 local restaurants agreeing to shut off their credit card readers for a day. Instead, these merchants will accept only cash and LevelUp, firing up the revolution against interchange fees full force. Hey plastic cards, hope you're ready: Tonight we dine in hell... but pay the bill with our phones!

Who: 20 Boston- and DC-area restaurants are leading the credit card diet charge, including sweetgreen, Falafel Corner, Chubby Chickpea Food Truck and Rosie's Cafe. These revolutionaries will convince customers to download LevelUp and experience all of the good things that happen -- including moar savings and less waiting in line.

"We're in the good fight to eliminate credit card interchange fees, which do no good for our business," said Ahmed Naguib, owner of Falafel Corner in Cambridge, MA. "Instead of charging us a fee to move money, LevelUp campaigns actually drive new and repeat business for us. The Credit Card Diet event is just the first step in convincing our customers that it's OK to go on a credit card diet permanently when they visit us."

What: You might think the whole lot of us are pretty crazy, but The Credit Card Diet actually makes a lot of sense. Instead of paying up to 5% of every purchase in credit card fees, these 20 restaurants decided, "Enough is enough." Customers can do a quick one-time setup with LevelUp, linking their credit or debit card to the mobile app. No credit card information is actually stored on the phone -- just a secure, randomized token that can be changed at any time. After the initial setup, it takes only seconds to pay with LevelUp, and customers get rewarded the more they visit their favorite places.

When: Today! February 26, 2013.

Where: Businesses ranging from Boston to DC (even Tennessee!)

Why: "We're from Boston, which is known for its revolutions, but we made the executive decision that the Credit Card Diet was a much more environmentally friendly than dumping a bunch of plastic cards into the harbor," said Seth Priebatsch, chief ninja at LevelUp. "In all seriousness, the Credit Card Diet is a bold move on behalf of merchants to prove that their overall economic health can be much better without accepting plastic cards in store. We know the shift to mobile is going to take years, but we hope this one day event showcases why this shift is better for consumers and merchants and why we should all try to push the shift forward."

About LevelUp
LevelUp is a revolutionary new way to pay. Users pay with their phone, saving time and money. Businesses pay 0% payment processing fees and reinvest those savings into growing their businesses by attracting new customers and bringing them back.

LevelUp is a part of SCVNGR which is backed by Google Ventures, Balderton Capital, Continental Advisors, Highland Capital, Transmedia Capital and T-Venture.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact
    LaunchSquad for LevelUp
    Mike Farber or Erica Orthmann
    levelup [at] launchsquad [dot] com