The ridesharing giant of the country, Uber is planning to wind down their partnership with Starwood Preferred Guest program, which allows hotel guests to bag loyalty points for booking Uber rides. Uber announced this via an email sent to users, and Marriot followed up with their statement. However, they did not comment on the party that terminated the deals.
The statement says, “We evaluate our partnerships for the long term. After careful review, we will not be renewing the Uber partnership for 2018. It will officially end on December 17, 2017. Starpoints earned through Uber will not be affected. Registered SPG members who have stays posted with their SPG member accounts through the end of this year can continue to earn Starpoints for Uber rides until 11:59 pm on December 17.”
Uber recently launched their own branded credit card. It is possible that the two developments, the end of the much popular Starwood partnership, and the release of the new credit card, are signaling that Uber wishes to have more control over their loyalty program.
The partnership between Uber and Starwood was launched in 2015. It allowed guests to earn hotel points as a function of Uber rides at the rate of 0.5 points per dollar spent on the ride. Riders were allowed to take advantage of various promotions to multiply the accumulated points, later in the relation.
The partnership between Starwood and Uber was groundbreaking for the travel industry when it was released, as it was the first time that the industry saw a partnership between a hotel and a ridesharing company. In addition to being a strong loyalty program that is great for booking a wide range of hotels, Starwood Preferred Guest is much popular among the business travelers owing to its wide spectrum of airline partners, which include Delta, United, and American airlines. Business travelers were much fond of the Starwood and Uber relation, as Uber was their default ridesharing tool and Starwood was much liked by them.
Starwood and Uber plan to end their partnership on December 17, and it is not yet clear if Uber has any other partners in their list. In addition, it is also uncertain how the other travel partnerships of Uber will evolve.
Uber also works with American Express to offer the platinum cardholders an annual credit of two hundred dollars together with a boost in the Membership Rewards points that can be converted to airline miles. With the plan to end the partnership between Uber and Starwood, American Express users might try to convert their Membership Rewards points to airline miles and sell miles to get cash for miles.