I'm always looking for new and helpful apps and I happened across an up and coming app in the local news.

Stealz is a growing company based in Raleigh, NC. I was intrigued by the concept so I reached out to Stealz and spoke with Jody Cumberpatch, Director of Marketing & Content.

Since learning more about the app, I've been trying it out and am excited to share what I've discovered with my readers.

What is Stealz?

Stealz is an app created in late 2012. The original purpose was to help students find great deals or 'steals' around campus. The developers of the app quickly realized the potential for a much broader reach beyond campus life.

How does Stealz work?

Simply put, Stealz rewards you whenever you check-in at a business through the app and  when you share a photo on your favorite social media site (also through the app).

For example, rather than just checking in on Facebook at a restaurant, you let your friends know where you are using the Stealz app.

Another great feature is it shows you all the nearby participating businesses. This is a helpful tool if you're deciding where to go.

How am I "rewarded?"

Stealz has over 800 businesses currently partnered to offer discounts, free stuff and a point system for earning rewards whenever Stealz users check-in at their establishment. Although the majority of the businesses currently participating are located along the east coast, Stealz is growing rapidly.

How does the point system work?

Depending on if you share a photo after checking-in on social media determines how many points you'll earn. When you check-in , you earn 1 point, and you can then share a photo on Twitter (2 pts) Facebook (2pts) and so on, Instagram as well (2pts) to earn more points. You can earn up to 5 points per visit.

What do I get in return for the points I accrue?

That depends on the business you're patronizing. Each business creates a deal to reward its customers for earning a certain number of points and for giving them a shout-out. It's kind of like the old-fashioned punch card system, but it's high tech and socially interactive.

What if I'm traveling and not able to earn enough points or I'm only visiting a business once?

One of the great features of the app is something called Instant Stealz. Ideal for travelers who may not frequent an establishment regularly, the Instant Stealz will reward you for checking in with a one-time savings deal. For example, the McDonald's closest to me offers a free snack-sized McFlurry with any purchase. All I need to do is check-in and let my friends on social media know I'm at my local McDonalds.

What businesses are part of the Stealz network?

The majority of businesses you'll find on this app are restaurants, but since Stealz is a new and growing entity other enterprises are joining in the fun such as golf courses and spas.

Where do I get the app?

You can download the free app from the Apple App Store, Google Play or from their website, GetStealz.com.

Any drawbacks?

The only down side I can think of is Stealz is still fairly regional. Stealz is big on the east coast in metro areas like Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta and college towns like College Park, Maryland and Charlottesville, Virginia. It's still growing with aspirations to be national in the near future.

What I like about Stealz.

This app is a lot of fun. I love being rewarded for checking in at a business. Businesses love it because the app turns customers into a social media marketing team. Stealz is truly a win-win situation.

What I especially love as a travel writer is the opportunity to receive Instant Stealz. If I'm dining at a restaurant in a new town I may not be back, but it's fun being rewarded then and there for Tweeting about my visit.  And who knows, my check-in may inspire you to visit!

Bottom Line:

You get rewards for advertising. Each time you check-in at a business using social media you're also giving publicity to that business by telling your friends. Why not make that check-in count?  Stealz makes it a simple 3-step process; visit, share, reward.



Check out this app and let me know what you think.  I love hearing from readers!