United Airlines may have been the first major travel company to partner with Uber but Starwood Preferred Guest is the first to do it in a manner which matters for the consumer. Members of the SPG program can now earn points for every dollar spent on rides, up to $10,000 annually. The new partnership covers all transactions with Uber, plus bonus points for spend “associated” with stays at SPG-member properties.
In order to collect points for Uber rides SPG members must have at least one stay credited for 2015. This will exclude some folks initially but it works to drive SPG’s business which is getting heads in beds. Once that first stay is completed – and the SPG & Uber profiles are linked – one point will be earnt for each dollar spent with Uber. Additional points will accrue on the days of a hotel stay, up to four points per dollar for SPG Platinum 75 members:
Registration is required for this promotion.
The United/Uber integration was all about getting more people signed up for Uber but offered minimal integration to the process and minimal value to the consumer once the initial enrollment transaction was completed (Hyatt announced a similar partnership at the same time United did). The Starwood partnership is much deeper, with ongoing earning opportunities and extra inducement to use the partner in conjunction with a hotel stay. Sure, there are some additional costs to run the partnership this way, but that’s part of being in the loyalty business. It is not only about points earning but also about subtly working to change consumer behavior in a way which benefits both partners (and the consumer).
SPG & Uber appear to have done it correctly.
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