Location based services are moving towards establishing rewards program for check-ins; Foursquare just announced that it would be testing rewards offers to users this week. Topguest, which is backed by the Founders Fund, has an interesting take on the LBS arena; the platform gives travelers loyalty points and rewards for check-ins on Foursquare, Twitter, Gowalla, Yelp, Loopt and even Google Latitude.
So when you ‘check-in‘ at a hotel, frequent flyers’ lounge, board a plane, or rent a car you would would be able to collect a reward from a program you participate in. Topguest will give travelers loyalty points from established programs, such as Intercontinental, Starwood, or Delta’s programs.
You don’t actually have to download a separate application to take advantage of Topguest. You sign up for Topguest with your accounts on the various LBS services you use, and points are automatically credited from all of applications you used to check-in on Topguest.
The biggest challenge for Topguest (besides competing with the rewards programs of the location-based services themselves) will be striking meaningful partnerships with airlines, hotels, and rewards programs. But the startup has already signed on a premium partner-Andre Balazs’ Standard hotels. A Topguest users who checks in on any supported geolocation application and stays at all four Standard hotels in a week will receive a complimentary week stay at The Standard Hollywood, Downtown LA, Miami Beach or New York. Users are also eligible for 25% off their next reservation after 10 check-ins at any Standard hotel, bar or restaurant. Other location-varied rewards include spa treatments, Standard boutique discounts, and cocktails. And the startup has also signed up three other top loyalty programs as well that will be announced later this summer.
Of course, the number of people who will stay at all four Standard hotels in one week is extremely limited. But the rewards for check-ins at Standard bars and restaurants is actually compelling.