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Swagg Android app doesn’t really make checkout any easier

by Caitlin M. Foyt

Swagg, for your Android phone, might save some room in your wallet, but it still isn't the most efficient way to shop. The app, which is supposed to save you the time of pilfering through your wallet for frequency and gift cards, might actually be more inconvenient for a lot of users.

A huge number of retailers have their own rewards cards. As these pile up, they tend to take up a lot of space on your keys and in your wallet. Swagg is designed to work like a database that holds all of this information, making the plastic cards obsolete. But, the app has some issues that make it fall short of greatness, and even make it a bit impractical.

When it comes to putting your cards onto the app, there's no scanning feature like there is with Key Ring Reward Cards, a similar application. You have to enter them in manually, one number at a time. If you have a lot of cards, you can imagine this process might take a while.

Later, when you actually use the app, you'll find that you will, again, be held up by Swagg's lack of scannable bar codes. The clerk will have to read the SKU number from your phone's screen and enter it into the cash register computer manually, unlike Key Ring, which allows store employees to scan your rewards account number directly from your phone's screen.

Swagg also requires that you log-in with each use. So, if you're like me and your mind wanders while you're waiting to check out, you're going to forget to log in and hold up the line even longer. Another note here: Swagg requires that you make a password that is eight characters or more and includes numbers. My password for Swagg is different than my normal password, which means (and maybe this is just me) I'm probably going to attempt to log-in several times before I get it right.

One thing I do like about Swagg is its ability to check card balances. When you're uploading rewards cards, you have the option to enter your account information to check on how many points you've racked up. Unless you've registered these cards online already, though, don't click the "Retrieve Balance Info" box.

The app also has a neat offers option, which is basically a bunch of current coupons. Sort of like how coupon clipping works, you can skim through the offers before you go shopping and save the ones you'll probably use.

Despite these features, I probably won't keep Swagg in my app library. This app definitely has its programming hiccups, and I encountered a "Swagg isn't available right now" message telling me to "please try again later" on more than one occasion. I'll stick with less twitchy apps like GeoQpons for great coupons and Key Ring for my rewards cards.