Updated on January 7, 2018
Ends Today: Upside.com $200 Gift Card Offer:
Today (8/31/17) is the last day for to get a $200 Amazon gift card with $400 travel booking on Upside.com. Amazon.com gift cards are as good as cash since I shop there so often. Since I booked my flight last week I've learned more about Upside and some unadvertised “Platinum Concierge-esque” perks.
I posted a step by step guide on the deal here.
***EXPIRED – The $200 offer has expired. You can use this code BIZREWARDS to get the new offer of $125 in gift cards. I have updated the links to load the $125 offer.
Sign up Link – the code “lygkhb” should automatically work
- You need to book $400 worth of flights and or hotels/uber
- Flights only is OK, or you can add hotels or Uber to get to $400
- Upside only lets you book for 1 person. If you need more than one, have the second person sign up for the offer and get a $200 gift card too
- Other gift cards are available but I think Amazon is the most valuable.
Hidden Perks – “Platinum Concierge”, Upgrades, Free Massage/Limo
Upside.com is trying to target business travelers yet, in my opinion, does not really get the message across that you get a “Platinum Concierge”, of sort. Anyone who has had an American Express Platinum probably knows what mean… you call, don't wait long, speak to a native English speaking person who can actually take care of things for you (get show tickets, exclusive restaurant reservations, etc) and not leave you more pissed off than when you first called.
I called Upside Customer Service just to try them out and spoke with a rep from their Portland call center. They also have call centers in Kansas City and Manila so it will depend on how many calls and what time of day you are calling. Yes, I asked them about this when I called so I know what to expect in the future.
That's the point of Upside. Business travel can suck and they will do it better. Customers can find roughly equal prices (prices I found were slightly higher at Upside), get better service and get to keep the “upside” (the rewards). Versus almost no service from the competitors. Lets see.
Free Massage, Limo…
After I booked my flight, a “Navigator” reached out to make my frequent flyer # and known traveller (i.e. Global Entry) were updated. The Mrs. later got hooked up a free massage at the destination airport. Some friends got hooked up with offers for free limo rides or dry cleaning.
Free seat upgrades…
The surprises keep coming. I got an email letting me know that my seat was upgraded from economy to economy plus. I could see the cost for the upgrades was about $240 round trip!
Upside.com vs the competition (Kayak, Orbitz, and the rest)
I can't remember the big travel sites ever doing anything for me so I usually book directly with the airlines (usually award tickets). Oh wait, on occasion when I needed help with something they made me wait on hold then kindly read off the computer screen and tell me to call the airline.
The perks I mentioned above are very generous, especially on top of the gift card. Don't expect those perks — I'm just sharing my experience so far. I'm not sure how sustainable that is. Obviously, they have the funding to “wow” new customers for now. I didn't expect any of these things and won't expect them in the future (the gift card was generous enough).
For now, I'm giving them a shot. If I get free ‘concierge-like' service and the prices are roughly the same, I would use them in the future. Of course, I personally don't often pay cash for flights.
Upside.com is a startup. They try to keep their website simple and easy to use. It is. But…I can only book for one person (which is good right now, so the other person can sign up and get the bonus too). If I want to change the dates and/or destination I have to start my search over. Upside said they are working to improve on these.
Refer a Friend
After you sign up, you get a link where you can refer a friend. Most links, including mine, are worth $100 for new users… not as good as the above offer.