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April 2, 2013

An app that reminds you when you're due a discount

There are plenty of electronic coupon sites these days, but Larky is a new, free app that lets you know when you can save money without a coupon -- simply because you have a membership perk.

From AARP to college alumni groups, members often get discounts on a wide variety of products and services. But who can remember all of them? Gregg Hammerman and Andrew Bank developed Larky as an automated reminder.

Over 120 million Americans are members of at least three paid organizations like alumni groups and museums that provide some type of perk. And they aren't confined to membership organizations.

"If you have health insurance, if you've got a credit card, you've got perks," Hammerman said. "You don't necessarily have to be a member of particular groups or organizations to have them."

Credit card perk

American Express cardholders, for example, can save every time they rent a vehicle.

"When you rent a car and you're standing at the car rental counter and they ask you if you want the collision insurance in case something happens while you're driving the car, that can be a big extra charge," Hammerman said. "If you're paying with an American Express card, American Express has you covered. You don't have to pay the extra $20 a day for that."

A personal experience set Larky in motion. Hammerman was traveling with his family in Florida and was visiting a children's museum in Miami. He went to the counter and asked what it would cost for his family to enter.

"It was a nice museum so the price was going to be $60 for my entire family," Hammerman said. "But then I remembered that we were members of the children's museum back home in Michigan. When I told them that they said,  'Oh, it's free.'"

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