Starwood Preferred Guest has been a leader among hotel loyalty programs it comes to their partnerships with other travel providers, whether it’s airline or ridesharing apps.
While the partnership has remained unchanged for almost two years, there will finally be some changes coming as of next month. I’m not sure if this is influenced by Marriott’s takeover of Starwood or not. I suspect it isn’t, and that this is simply the natural progression of any partnership, where companies renegotiate after being able to analyze the performance of a partnership.
What’s changing about the Starwood & Uber partnership
Per a statement from Starwood:
Next month we begin our third year of partnership with Uber and we will be changing how members earn Starpoints for their rides.
Beginning February 1, 2017, SPG members will earn Starpoints in the following ways after they link their accounts and have one qualified stay:
- While staying at a SPG Hotel: Members will earn two Starpoints per US$1 spent with Uber (versus two, three or four Starpoints per US$1, depending on member tier).
- When not in-stay, members will earn one Starpoint per US$2 spent with Uber (versus one Starpoint per US$1).
If you haven’t already linked your accounts, be sure to do so at spg.com/uber. This is still an easy way to boost your Starpoints balance through your everyday activities.
As you can see, as of February 1, 2017, SPG members will earn:
- 1 Starpoint per $2 spent with Uber, rather than 1 Starpoint per $1 spent
- In conjunction with an SPG stay, members will earn 2 Starpoints per $1 spent with Uber, rather than 2, 3, or 4, depending on their status (Gold and Platinum members received 3 Starpoints per dollar spent, while SPG Platinum 75 night members received 4 Starpoints per dollar)
Of course I’m sad to see this change, though at the same time I’m sure they have their reasons.
As before, the following basic rules apply:
- You can only earn Starpoints for your first $10,000 of spend with Uber per calendar year
- You must have stayed at an SPG property once so far in the calendar year in order to be able to earn Starpoints for Uber rides (the exception is that for January 1-31, a stay in the prior calendar year is fine)
Starwood is offering an Uber promotion in February
I suppose in recognition of this devaluation, Starwood has a promotion for Uber rides which will last all of February. Members will earn 5 Starpoints per $1 spent with Uber rides while staying at SPG hotels from February 1 through February 28, 2017. This promotion will kick in automatically if your accounts are linked, and no additional registration is required.
Of course I’m sad to see the perks of this partnership cut, though at the same time I’m sure they have their reasons for doing so. For me, the Starwood and Uber partnership was a fun way to earn bonus Starpoints, but I can’t say it caused me to change my consumer behavior too much.
I’m not sure what the back-end agreement between Starwood and Uber was, but I suspect they decided that the rewards they were offering didn’t reflect the incremental business being generated for either company as a result of the partnership.