And when I first saw this — whoa, didn’t Starwood get any exclusivity in the hotel space when they did their Uber deal?
But then I looked into the actual arrangement, and my reaction changed: Meh.
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.
That’s all pretty generous. So what does Hilton’s tie-in offer?
- “Simplify their stay with the Uber ‘Ride Reminder'” Hilton will remind you to use Uber when you’ve told it in advance you’re going to need to do so. Umm… 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.
- “Discover the most popular restaurants and nightlife spots with ‘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.
I actually think that finding out what people do, using Uber’s aggregate data, is pretty interesting. Although I suspect I’d be more interested in categorizing those things in a way that rank-orders not based on mass popularity but on something more likely to tie to my own preferences. I can figure out what people in general like already by googling “most popular X” or going to yelp and looking at rank order (reviews are far more useful but you have to figure out whether reviewers know what they’re talking about).
Always cool to see new and interesting cuts at data. Props to Hilton for including that in their mobile app though I’d rather access it and play with it outside the app.
But since Starwood set the bar with their partnership, Hilton really does need to provide points-earning for their partnership to have weight.