Topguest travel app review: Check in and earn more airline and hotel loyalty points

travel appAre you the type of traveler who checks in on Foursquare when you’re at the airport or your hotel? If so, your social media addiction can now translate into extra loyalty points, thanks to the free Topguest travel app.

Topguest rewards your Foursquare or Facebook Places check-ins by linking your hotel or airline loyalty programs with your social media activity. Nothing is posted publicly without your permission, so you can reap the rewards without worrying about divulging your whereabouts.

While in San Francisco for Thanksgiving, I tested out the Topguest app, which has expanded since its summer debut.

After downloading the free app, I was able to add my membership numbers for Virgin America (25 Elevate points for each check-in to a Virgin America terminal, clubhouse or ticket counter) and Hilton HHonors (50 points for each check-in at a Doubletree). Don’t know the numbers by heart? I was able to easily copy and paste the loyalty numbers from account statements in my e-mail inbox. Once your accounts are linked, you can just check in on Foursquare or Facebook Places like you normally would.Kimpton Hotels are another Topguest partner — you can earn an InTouch loyalty credit after your first check-in at any Kimpton hotel, restaurant, or bar, but you need to enter your loyalty number by visiting topguest.com on a computer. Unlike the other hotel loyalty programs, the app doesn’t currently let you enter your Kimpton number from a mobile device. (I had to e-mail the support desk to figure this one out — at least my questions were promptly answered even over the holiday weekend.)

Other hotel loyalty programs include Wyndham Rewards and Priority Club Rewards (50 points for check-ins at an InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites, or Candlewood Suites). Repeat visitors to luxe hotels like the Standard may earn “elite travel perks” like free drinks and spa passes, according to the website.

So far I only saw Virgin America listed as an airline partner, so it’d be nice if the Topguest program eventually expanded to JetBlue and other major carriers.

Though checking in is just one more thing to remember to do when traveling, using the Topguest app is also a relatively painless way to supplement your loyalty program account balance.

The Topguest app works on the iPhone and Android. Points are capped to one check-in per person per day.

[Photo by Amy Chen]