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In what appears to be a match made in heaven to me, Uber and Starwood today announced details of a new partnership. This comes on the heels of Starwood’s Crossover Rewards partnership with Delta Air Lines, and its more recent teaming up with Emirates on a program called Your World Rewards that offers reciprocal benefits to elites of both programs. Here are the details of the new SPG-Uber partnership.
After linking your SPG and Uber accounts at spg.com/uber and completing one qualifying stay per calendar year at any Starwood hotel worldwide, SPG members can earn up to 4 points per $1 spend with Uber. When you link your accounts (and you can create new ones for this), your email address and last name must match on both accounts.
Here’s how the points earning breaks down:
|Points Earned Everyday||Points Earned In-Stay|
|Preferred||1 per $ spend with Uber||2 per $ spend with Uber|
|Gold, Platinum||1 per $ spend with Uber||3 per $ spend with Uber|
|Platinum 75+||1 per $ spend with Uber||4 per $ spend with Uber|
So after fulfilling the requirements, SPG members will earn at least 1 point per $1 spend, and during stays, members earn the same amount of Starpoints per $1 on Uber spend as they would on hotel spend. The partnership is in place everywhere Uber operates globally.
To launch the new partnership, the two companies are offering SPG members and Uber riders an “SPG #SuiteRide” in five cities around the world: Dubai, London, Mexico City, New York City and San Francisco.
From 2:00pm-7:00pm local time on Saturday, February 28, lucky Uber riders who link their SPG and Uber accounts will find an “SPG” vehicle option when they fire up the Uber app on their smart phone. The SPG option will be a door-to-door branded hotel and a bonus of 15,000 Starpoint (enough for a stay at a category 1-5 property).
The special experiences will include:
- Westin Hotels – an invitation to indulge in its signature well-being amenities, including a 10-minute Headspace meditation session, a Westin Heavenly Robe, and a Westin White Tea Travel Set.
- W Hotels – a blend of iconic design and contemporary luxury will immerse riders in an extraordinary experience featuring LED mood lighting, music inspired by W, and a Bliss Spa travel pack.
- St. Regis – a luxurious ride combining classic sophistication with modern sensibility where riders will enjoy fresh flowers; jazz music; Beyond, The St. Regis Magazine; and the St Regis Bloody Mary book.
- Aloft – a modern, fresh and fun experience including a mini-refuel kit and free wifi for the tech savvy traveler.
I expect there to be just a few vehicles in each place and demand to be high, so I would keep checking throughout the promo period for special vehicles around you if you are interested in getting in on one of these experiences and earning those bonus points.
While I’ve appreciated SPG’s partnerships in the past with Delta and Emirates, if you’re not an elite with any of these programs, they were of limited value. However, by letting any SPG member earn points on Uber rides, this opens up a whole new, potentially lucrative points-earning opportunity – and the opportunity to double dip on your points.
I personally use Uber all the time, both in Miami and New York, where I spend a lot of time, as well as when I travel throughout the world. In fact, I’ve stopped renting cars very much and just take Uber when possible. It often ends up being more cost-effective, convenient and pleasant.
In terms of the points-earning, this is also a tremendous step forward. Not only can you earn double points with a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or redeem Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard points at a favorable rate, but you can also double dip by earning Starpoints now as well. I value Starpoints at 2.4 cents apiece and Chase Ultimate Rewards at 2.1 cents apiece. So if you were to use your Sapphire Preferred, which earns 2x points per $1 on Uber rides and link your SPG and Uber accounts, you’d be earning at least 6.5 cents back on the dollars you spend on Uber. Not a bad return!
All in all, I think this is a great new partnership and one that almost seems tailor-made for me as an SPG 100 night Platinum, and a frequent Uber rider. I plan to link my accounts today and start racking up the points as soon as possible.
If you haven’t signed up for Uber, you can join here and get your first ride free (up to $20).
What do you think of the new partnership? Leave your comments below!