3 Hotel Chains Now Partner With Uber, Here’s How to Benefit from Each

IHG Hotels, which includes Intercontinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, and related brands, announced a new partnership with Uber today.

That means Starwood, Hilton, and IHG all have Uber partnerships. But only Starwood’s is actually good. Although IHG has an interesting first-use bonus for Uber.

With Starwood’s tie-in you actually earn Starpoints for riding Uber.

  • All members earn at least 1 Starpoint per dollar spent on Uber.
  • If you’re staying with Starwood when you Uber you’ll earn based on your program tier: 2 points for general members, 3 for Golds and Platinums, 4 for 75 night Platinums and above.

Unlike some of the other partnerships, this one benefits all Starwood members and not just elites (although only after your first Starwood stay for the year).

And since this is based on linking accounts, and independent of payment method, this points-earning will be stackable with credit card earning (including category bonuses). That means a 75 night Platinum, staying at a Starwood property, could earn 4 Starpoints and two Chase points per dollar spent on Uber.

Three months ago Uber and Hilton launched a partnership but that was pretty weak sauce:

  • Ride Reminders: Hilton will remind you to use Uber when you’ve told it in advance you’re going to need to do so. Of course the whole idea of Uber is on-demand, you don’t even need to schedule it. And when you need Uber do you really need a reminder? You just hit a button.

  • Local scene:: The Hilton app will tell you what venues are most frequented by Uber riders, to give you an idea of things to do.

So what of IHG’s partnership?

They have an interesting first-use bonus for Uber, though of course fewer and fewer people have never used Uber. Otherwise the partnership adds little of value. And it certainly fails to match what Starwood has done offering up to 10,000 points a year for riding Uber.

  • IHG Rewards Club has an interesting first-use bonus
  • Starwood offers the rewards on an ongoing basis
  • Hilton offers access to potentially interesting data

It amazes me that Starwood didn’t get category exclusivity as the only chain partnering with Uber, but they might as well have because only their partnership is useful in an ongoing way. We can only hope it survives the Marriott merger.

For more on what Uber is all about, see:

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. My understanding of the SPG-Uber tie up is that you can get more than 10k points per year with the SPG partnership with the bonuses (if you are Platinum 75 and only ride during SPG hotel stays, you could walk away with 40k points in a year on $10,000 of spend)

  2. My grandfather has now used Uber. And Lyft! That customer acquisition strategy needs a rethink. What about retention?

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