60 Seconds with Co-founder and CEO of Topguest, Geoff Lewis

60 Seconds with Co-founder and CEO of Topguest, Geoff Lewis

Topguest is a members-only service that allows members to earn loyalty points for checking in with a participating geo check-in app, including Facebook, Twitter, foursquare, Gowalla and Brightkite. Topguest members automatically earn loyalty program points for check-ins and can choose to earn currency from Priority Club Rewards, Viceroy Rewards, Grand Guest or Standard Rewards. We recently spoke with the co-founder and CEO of Topguest, Geoff Lewis, about the program.

InsideFlyer
Can you tell us a bit how Topguest works and how members can earn loyalty program points?
Geoff Lewis
Topguest is a members-only club that gives you real hotel points, air miles and travel perks for your Facebook Places or Foursquare check-ins, automatically. You can join in one click at Topguest.com. To unlock bonus perks, download our iPhone or Android app. We’re the only service that gives you real rewards for your virtual check-ins.

IF
How long has Topguest been around and how did you come up with the idea for the program?
Lewis
Topguest launched in mid-June 2010. I was a road warrior and points junkie in my previous job as a VP at a hedge fund, but also was passionate about how the new geolocation technology on smartphones could be used in fascinating ways. Decided to couple my two passions–travel and technology–and the result is Topguest!

IF
Why is the program named Topguest?
Lewis
We thought it sounded good and captured who our target member is. Topguests are on top of new technology trends such as “checking in” with Facebook Places, and also deserve the top perks from the top spots around the world. We want to give it to them.

IF
Right now, Topguest members who check-in via Facebook, Twitter, Gowalla, Foursquare or Brightkite can earn points with Priority Club Rewards, Viceroy Rewards, Grand Guest or Standard Rewards. Do you have plans to add additional earning partners and can you name any of the programs? Will there be additional ways for members to “check in”?
Lewis
Yes, Hilton, Wyndham, Thompson and two national airlines are all launching late October.

IF
How does Topguest benefit business travelers?
Lewis
More points and exclusive rewards, including the ability to gift complimentary perks to your Facebook friends from your favorite hotels and airlines.

IF
Is there a limit to the number of points members can earn in one program? If so, what is the limit?
Lewis
No, it is based on where you are “checking in” with Facebook Places and Foursquare. If you check in at an InterContinental Hotel each day, you will earn 50 Priority Club points each day.

IF
Is there an end date for any of the current offers? In other words, do you see these as ongoing partnerships?
Lewis
They are long-term, ongoing partnerships.

IF
Can Topguest members switch the type of loyalty currency they earn?
Lewis
Not yet, but perhaps soon.

IF
What other types of rewards can Topguest members expect to earn?
Lewis
VIP tables at nightclubs, complimentary club passes to airport lounges, free rounds of drinks at lobby bars, complimentary appetizer and dessert with meals, plus bonus points from the top hotel and airline programs you know and love.

IF
What has the response been from Topguest members and partnering programs?
Lewis
Excellent so far! Lots of engagement from both members and among our partner programs.

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