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February 27, 2015

Starwood Partners with Uber for Rewards Program

Social media transportation giant Uber Technologies is teaming up with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide to give travelers reward points by booking cars through the Uber app.

Bloomberg reported that Uber riders are able to link their account with the Starwood Preferred Guest program, gaining points for use at any Starwood hotel.

“From today Starwood Preferred Guests can link with their Uber account and get star points for every dollar they spend on Uber,” Chris Holdren, SVP of Starwood Preferred Guest and digital, told Bloomberg. “And when they stay in our hotels, they earn even more points.”

According to the Associated Press, points earned through the Uber app can't be earned until an Uber passenger spends at least one night during the calendar year at a Starwood hotel. Guests can earn between two and four points per dollar spent, depending on their level of status in the Starwood rewards program. This could help Uber get a leg up in large cities, where it is currently battling taxi and car services that have an established base.

The partnership with Uber is just one more thread in the web of companies that offer bonuses between Starwood properties and other travel companies. Starwood's Crossover Rewards program gives top rewards members early check-in and priority boarding at Delta Airlines, and offers similar benefits with Emirates Airlines after a partnership that was signed last year, according to USA Today.

Uber was established in San Francisco in 2009, and is now in 291 cities in 50 countries. Starwood is by no means the only hotel company Uber is invested in. Hyatt Hotels Corporation and TripAdvisor both offer access to Uber services through their own mobile apps, as do companies such as Starbucks, OpenTable, United Continental Holdings and more.

The integration of multiple apps and services within one another is becoming more and more common as a means to create incentives for crossover business between customers. One such example took place last July, when Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants launched Kimpton Karma Rewards, which recognized guest actions via Twitter and Facebook by offering free nights.

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About the Author: Elliott Mest





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