The Long Game savings app incentivizes users to save by engaging them in games that can also prove profitable.
At its core, the app is just a savings account, but the technology around it is designed to make it fun for customers to save more money.
The overall feel of the Long Game app — launched in 2015 — is a bit gimmicky for traditional savers, and the interest rate the savings account pays is relatively low. However, for those that either don’t have a savings account or aren’t inclined to save by nature, the gaming aspect can be a painless way to keep engaged with the saving process.
- How does the Long Game savings app work?
- What is the Long Game savings account?
- How to set up your Long Game account
- How much does the Long Game app cost?
- The pros and cons of the Long Game savings app
- Who should use the Long Game savings app?
- How the Long Game savings app stacks up to the competition
How does the Long Game savings app work?
The Long Game savings app is powered by a basic savings account that pays interest on deposits. However, the main feature that distinguishes it from countless other online savings accounts it that it is structured as a game.
When you make a deposit, you not only earn interest but are also awarded Coins, which you can use in the app to play lottery-style games. Although these Coins have no cash value, they do have value as in-game currency. You can win money — up to $1 million — by wagering your Coins in the app’s top-paying game, the weekly lottery.
Coins are earned based on how much you are saving with Long Game. You can also earn additional Coins by completing savings missions, such as hitting a savings target. One thing to note is that if your account is inactive for at least 30 days, you may lose all Coins in your account that are at least 30 days old.
Various activities within the app will earn you Brains, which are Long Game experience points that help you level up within the app and earn additional rewards. PowerUps are special opportunities for limited-time earnings or games within the app.
Within the app are Ruby, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond levels. You’ll need a certain number of Coins to participate in Daily Win promotions at each level. For example, you’ll need 10,000 coins to participate in a Ruby-level Daily Win promotion, 30,000 for the Silver level and 50,000 for the Gold level. Platinum promotions require 100,000 Coins, while Diamond promotions require 1 million Coins.
There are two main types of games you can play with your Coins. The first is a weekly, lottery-type drawing, somewhat akin to the Mega Millions lottery, which takes place at 6 p.m. Thursdays Eastern time.
For 20,000 Coins, you can enter the weekly drawing and select six numbers and one bonus number. Just like a traditional lottery, winnings are paid out based on the amount of correct numbers selected. For example, one matching number results in a prize of 1,000 Coins. The ultimate jackpot, consisting of six matching numbers plus the correct bonus number — in the form of an emoji — results in a payout of $1 million. Of course, the odds of winning this prize are 1:227,279,052.
The other games you can play in the Long Game app are of the instant-win variety. These types of games are akin to slot machines or scratch-off lottery tickets. Games are subject to change anytime but currently include Lucky Slots, Flip It, Spin to Win, High Roller, Scratchers and Coin Games.
With Flip It, for example, you’re required to wager 20,000 Coins for the chance to win up to $100. Cards appear in a 3-by-4 rectangle and you choose which ones you want to flip. If you uncover a match, you earn the prize listed on the matching cards.
Lucky Slots, as the name implies, works like a slot machine. A 10,000 Coin wager can win up to $5 if the slot reels match.
Each instant win game has a daily prize limit that resets at 3 a.m. Eastern time. After the limit is reached, no more prizes are available until the daily limit resets. For example, games that pay out $5 may have a limit of $200 daily. The daily total awarded in the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers can’t exceed $5,000.
One interesting twist with the Long Game app is that you can also win cryptocurrency. In fact, crypto plays a significant role in the Long Game savings app overall. You’re rewarded with crypto, up to one bitcoin or Ethereum, as you achieve various financial goals established by the app, a process known as “leveling up.” Along the way, the Long Game app provides education for investors about crypto assets and blockchain technology.
How does the Long Game savings app work?
Although the framework of the Long Game savings app is a bit nontraditional, at its core lies a conventional savings app, paying interest on deposits that are Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-insured up to the legal limit. Long Game itself is not a bank but rather a fintech interface. Customer deposits are held by Blue Ridge Bank, Long Game’s banking partner.
As a straight savings account, the Long Game app comes up short. Although the structure of the app encourages savings, it has a low APY of 0.10%. While this is just slightly above the national average savings rate for all savings accounts, it’s far below the rate you could earn from one of the top online savings accounts that are available. Overall, this means the account is not a great option for replacing your main savings account.
How to set up your Long Game account
As a mobile-only savings app, you’ll have to set up your Long Game account by downloading the mobile app. By providing basic information, you can link your bank account in a snap and begin saving. Be aware that you need to be a U.S. resident aged 18 or older to open a Long Game account.
1. Open your Long Game Savings account
After downloading the app via the App Store or Google Play, provide a username and password to start the process. The Long Game app uses Plaid to establish a link to your bank account, so you’ll have to provide the username and password you use to access your online bank account.
After providing some additional personal information, including your name, address, date of birth and Social Security number, you’ll be ready. You can immediately initiate a funding transfer between your bank and the Long Game app, or you can opt to do so later.
2. Set up your savings jars and AutoSave
Savings jars are simply subaccounts that you can use to compartmentalize your savings goals. For example, you can set up savings jars called “Vacation,” “House,” “Retirement” or anything you’d like.The process is simple, as you click on the “Jars” tab in the app, hit “Create Now” to make a new savings jar and name it as you see fit. The app leads you right into the AutoSave page, where you can set up how often you want to automatically transfer funds to your new jar. Default options are weekly, monthly, twice a month or on payday. You can opt to set up AutoSave at a later date if you desire, and you can withdraw your money anytime.
3. Start playing games and earning prizes
Once you’ve established your account, you’ll have access to the games section of the app. At the top of the screen, you’ll see the day’s most popular games listed. Underneath that, games are broken down by category and amount. Here’s a list of some of the games available as of Sept. 28, 2019:
- Lucky Slots 10K Coins to win $5
- Lucky Slots 20K Coins to win $100
- Lucky Slots 30K Coins to win $500
- Lucky Slots 50K Coins to win $1,000
- Flip It 20K Coins to win $100
- Spin to Win 50K Coins to win $1,000
- Spin to Win 50K Coins to win Crypto
- Spin to Win 100K Coins to win $5,000
- Spin to Win 1M Coins to win $10,000
- High Roller 1M Coins to win $10,000
- Scratchers 10K Coins to win $5
- Coin Games 5K Coins to win 1M Coins
- Weekly Drawing 20K Coins to win $1 million
If you win money, it’s deposited into your Long Game account. You can either keep the money there or transfer it to your checking account. If you win more than $600 in a calendar year, you’ll be issued a 1099 form that you’ll need to file with your taxes.
As you can see, you can win a variety of rewards for playing, from cash to additional Coins to cryptocurrency tokens.
How much does the Long Game app cost?
The Long Game app is completely free. You won’t have to pay anything to set up an account or make transfers into or out of the account, although transfers either way do take two to four business days. There are no account minimums or account maintenance fees. The app makes money from its partner banks, who pay it a fee to generate deposit activity.
According to the app, partner banks earn more than 3% by loaning out customer money deposited via the app. They share a portion of these earnings with the Long Game app, which passes these benefits on to customers in the form of rewards and a small APY.
The pros and cons of the Long Game savings app
All apps have pros and cons, and Long Game is no different. Here’s an overview of its most prominent features and drawbacks.
- Encourages savings
- No account fees
- Easy to set up and withdraw cash
- Fun way to earn prizes, cash and cryptocurrency
- APY is far below that available at many online competitors
- Cap on daily prize payout
- Odds of winning large amounts are minuscule
Who should use the Long Game savings app?
The Long Game savings app isn’t a good choice for those looking to maximize their earnings from a savings account. However, for those who may find it difficult to consistently save, the unique interface offered by Long Game certainly encourages participation. By linking savings to games, Long Game may entice those who play the lottery, gamble in Vegas or play online games such as Candy Crush to divert their attention to the more productive pursuit of saving money.
Although the APY isn’t great, anything that can encourage saving is a plus, particularly in a package that comes with no fees. Experienced investors that already understand the importance of saving and the way to earn the highest interest rate possible won’t find the app to be anything but a diversion. But those immersed in gaming in general may be enticed to start saving additional money thanks to the entertainment value of the app.
How the Long Game savings app stacks up to the competition
The Long Game app is unique in that it feels more like a game than a strict savings account. It shares similarities with some other apps, but there’s nothing out there quite like it just yet.
Acorns, for example, allows users to round up purchases to the nearest dollar and deposit that money into an investment account, which is another savings “trick” that can turn casual users into savers. Qapital has a hip, engaging interface and allows users to set “Money Missions” or use “Rules” to force savings. Countless other apps, from SoFi and Betterment to Aspiration and Ally, offer less fanfare and more direct banking and investment services.
Underneath the hood, the Long Game app does offer some of the more important basic savings account features, such as low account minimums, zero fees, FDIC insurance and interest-earning capability.
Overall, the games offered by the app seem designed to trigger the same endorphin rush that certain people get from checking their weekly lotto numbers or winning a scratch-off lottery ticket. To associate this type of visceral feeling with the somewhat staid process of saving money is a genius move, in one sense.
Unfortunately, the app can’t compete with other online or mobile savings apps when it comes to the most important aspect of a savings account — the interest you earn.
While the app is a good idea for those that would not otherwise save anything at all, it’s not the best option for investors looking to earn a high rate on their savings, or for those looking for more advanced online banking features.