Check-in To Savings: Can Social Media Pay For Your Data Plan?

By Leo Mikinberg

Facebook recently launched Facebook Deals, giving retailers yet another avenue by which they can provide discounts and promotions to consumers. Between Facebook Deals and Foursquare specials, there is a lot of potential savings floating around mobile cyberspace. The question I ask is, can I check-in to enough savings to cover the cost of my data plan? That is to say, can I get enough discounts to make my data plan free!?

The Numbers

After a quick visit to the websites of Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T I found the cost of a data plan to be the following:

Verizon: $29.99 for 5gb of data (unlimited unavailable)

AT&T: $29.99 for unlimited data

T-Mobile: $29.99 for unlimited data

Our goal is going to be to rack up $29.99 in savings through either Facebook or Foursquare.

The Savings

I need clothing, I am a big sports fan, I love food, coffee keeps me going, and I enjoy the occasional drink with dinner on weekends. In order to keep me from going deal crazy, only those Specials and Deals that apply to what I would normally purchase are used to calculate savings, and everything is going to be estimated for 1 month. Here we go!

If you were involved in Gap’s Facebook Deal on November 5th, which I was, you picked up a free pair of jeans valued at $59.50. Assuming that you actually needed a pair of jeans that deal alone would cover 2 months of data from any of these carriers.

If you are a coffee drinker, like most of New York, you are picking up coffee at least once a day, 5 days a week. The Likeable office is located exactly 2 blocks from Crumbs Bakery, so I can check-in through Foursquare on Fridays to get a Free Medium Coffee. The cost of a Crumbs Medium Coffee is 2.25, assuming there are 4 Fridays in a month that’s $9.00 every month.

If we are talking drinks on weekends, you can visit Doghouse Saloon, Southern Hospitality, ‘Inoteca (323 3rd Avenue Location), and House of Brews for a free drink. Assuming, very generously, that a drink is $6.00 and you visit each of these places once in a month, your Foursquare Check-in saves you a total of $24.00 every month. It’s important to note that at the House of Brews, you have to be the mayor to score the free drink.

I’m a big sports fan, but more importantly my close friends are sports fans too. These friends have birthdays. If I end up buying a gift at a Modell’s, I can check-in for $10 off of a $50 purchase (Note: If you’re not a sports fan, check out Modell’s for sneakers). If I run in to Element afterwards, I can get a free eco-bottle. Not something I need, but it’s free so I will take it. Once again, both of these discounts are available through Foursquare.

So far the savings is $102.50 and 1 eco-bottle. If you can score a Mayorship at Lure Restaurant and Sushi Bar, you can add a $40 free brunch to your savings. That would make for a grand total of $142.50 saved in 1 month.


Coffee, jeans, drinks, brunch and a Modell’s racks up more than $140.00 in savings. That is more than 4 times the cost of a data plan, and that is just 1 month. As Facebook Deals becomes more popular, the savings are only going to get better. If you are savvy enough to pick up a few more Deals and Specials throughout the year you’ll end up covering the cost of data, and walking away with a few more dollars in your wallet.

Other Foursquare Specials:

  • Yin Beauty and Arts Spa: %50 off your visit
  • Lululemon athletic Lincoln square: free yoga session
  • Payless: $5 off $25 purchase
  • Ann Taylor: %15 off for a check-in, or %25 off for the Mayor
  • Crunch Gym: free 7 day pass
  • Avis: Free Upgrade on a Rental Car

Have you checked in to savings? What kind of Foursquare Specials and Facebook Deals do you look out for?