Topguest, the location-based "checkin" service that gives travelers hotel points, airline miles and other travel perks, has just nabbed one of its biggest partners yet: Choice International, the world's second largest hotel company. Choice manages brands like Quality Inn, Comfort Suites and Cambria Suites.
What, you ask, only the second-largest hotel chain? Actually, Choice joins Topguest's previous partners, including IHG, the largest hotel chain worldwide. That means the top two hotel groups are now using Topguest's service for location-based marketing. Maybe it's time you sign up, too?
Checkin Fatigue? Not With Topguest
When Topguest launched this summer, we asked if you were sick of "useless badges and mayorships" and ready for something that really paid off? That sentiment has grown in recent months, it seems. Although Foursquare and sites like it are seeing increased numbers of check-ins (Foursquare is almost at 5 million users now), a backlash from those who don't see the point of these apps is growing as well. For example, this recent diatribe on the blog All Facebook vehemently calls out Foursquare and others for massaging our egos to the extreme, in a very bad way. Of course, that's just one example. Another is TechCrunch writer Sarah Lacy explaining why she wouldn't bother with Foursquare.
In addition, a cavalcade of studies on the actual use of checkin services all report nearly the same data - location-based check-ins are still a very niche activity.That doesn't mean their users aren't passionate (they are) or that the trend won't go mainstream at some point (it probably will), it simply hasn't caught on yet.
But why not? What about the deals? There are plenty of those out there, especially if you live in urban areas like New York or San Francisco, but for the rest of us, there's only the occasional retail discount or free cup of coffee. Good to have, but not ground-breaking.
Topguest's Checkins Lead to "Real" Deals
check into your flight and earn airline miles. And unlike in other "checkin" based applications, those points add up to real perks. Instead of unlocking a badge, you can earn free drinks, spa passes, complementary stay credits, 25% off rooms at top hotels and more.However, with Topguest, you're getting deals that have a bit more impact on your bank account and lifestyle. You can check into your hotel and earn reward points or you can
The best part about Topguest is that it works on top of the check-in services you're already familiar with, including Foursquare and Facebook Places. So if you can't stand to lose your mayorships, or whatever else kitschy stuff they come up with next, you don't have to. Just associate that account in Topguest's smartphone app and checkin. (The app is Android or iPhone only, for now. If you're a BlackBerry user, you can still earn points by signing up online.)
Since its launch, Topguest has been quickly adding partnerships with major travel brands. In addition to Choice it's now partnered with Standard Hotels, Soho/Tribeca Grand Hotels, Viceroy Hotels, Priority Club (Holiday Inn, InterContinental, Indigo), Select Radisson, Best Western and Leading Hotels of the World properties, Thompson Hotels & Restaurants, Avis Car Rental, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Doubletree, Hilton HHonors, Wingate by Wyndham and Virgin America.