It gets kind of old and some considerate it rude pulling out my phone every time i go somewhere and checking in. It might not be so bad, but i am torn between my old loyalty to Yelp and my newer fondness of Foursquare. So most times i'll do both extending my face-in-phone time.
Why check in? The greatest incentive for me to check in is obviously to get something in return. Essentially that is why i have decided to join the Foursquare masses. i still check in via Yelp, but in my significantly shorter relationship with Foursquare, it has already given me more.
Just for checking in on Foursquare, Hooters gave me 10 free wings. That's pretty impressive. Then on future visits, i get free fries. A deal that actually got me to go there in the first place and actually puts them into the realm of consideration for future meals. Another place gave me 20% off my entree. If someone is going to follow me around stalking my check ins, i at least want to get something in return. One other time, i bought a few shirts at Express then got to the car and realized there was a Foursquare discount for checking in, so i went back inside and they gave me the discount which was like $30 back.
Another reason to check-in is as a competition of sorts to have the most points or become the mayor/duke of a business. Decent reason, but not really that important unless you get something for your effort. Annoyingly, people can cheat and check in without actually being places, so the competition loses its appeal.
The partnership between American Express and Foursquare gives another incentive to utilize Foursquare checking in when they have promotions and give you money back for eating local or whatnot. Overall, Foursquare does have the best check in incentives, however Yelp does occasionally have something to offer.
If you like saving money and have a smartphone it just makes sense to at least check out the check in offers available nearby, it could just save you a couple bucks for doing nothing at all.