How to Effectively Use LionCash+

Photo from LionCash+ on Facebook

LionCash+ is Penn State’s alternative system for a debit card, allowing students and parents to put money on a student’s ID card to use at their expense. This concept may seem better than using a debit card or credit card to save yourself from using your “real” money, but once your LionCash+ amount runs low, panic sets in and you’ll actually have to use that “real” money to reload it. VALLEY has some tips on how to effectively use LionCash+ around campus and downtown, so that you don’t find yourself running low so fast.

As a First-Year Student, Only Use In Case of an Emergency

All first-year students are required to live on campus, so they automatically are given a meal plan. Meal plans are allotted in three levels, all part of a dining dollar system. This is accessible on a student’s ID card, allowing them to swipe in at all eateries on campus. With a meal plan, students have a 65 percent discount at all dining commons, so prices of meals and snacks dramatically decrease.

However, because students have meal plans during their first year, they should only use their LionCash+ if need be. LionCash+ is also stored on a student’s ID card, so it’s possible to confuse it with a meal plan balance. To save yourself from doing this, though, when you go to get food, make sure you tell the person at the register that you’re using your meal plan, and not your LionCash+. You’ll be saving yourself a lot of money, and can keep your LionCash+ amount in tact.

Take Advantage of the Discount

Every time you use LionCash+ on campus, you can receive a 10 percent discount on your meals. Yes, the discount isn’t as great as the one that comes with using a meal plan, but it will still save you some money. All eateries on campus accept LionCash+. In the commons, you’re able to use LionCash+ to swipe in to the buffet, convenience stores or grab-and-go stations. In the HUB, you can pay for your meals using your LionCash+. And, if you’re stuck doing work in any of the academic buildings during the day, you can use your LionCash+ to pay for food at Saxby’s in the Business Building, or at the Au Bon Pain in the Westgate Building, just to name a few. The options for on-campus eating are endless.

Use LionCash+ Downtown

If you’re an upperclassman, you know the struggle of not having a meal plan. That doesn’t mean there is a shortage of opportunities to eat downtown or on-campus. If you live downtown as an upperclassman, there are several places to get food that also accept LionCash+. Using LionCash+ at these places saves you from using your “real” money on your debit card or credit card, saving that for emergencies only. Every month, Penn State has featured merchants that provide discounts if you pay with LionCash+ as well!

Use LionCash+ to your advantage to eat on or off campus to save you from using your “real” money. It definitely comes in handy if you’re looking for a snack to save yourself from making food on your own.


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