Changes Coming To The SPG & Uber Partnership

One of my favorite ways to accrue points and miles is to “double dip” with my earnings. For the past two years, one of my favorite ways to do that was through the SPG and Uber partnership where you could earn Starpoints for every dollar spent with ride sharing service Uber. Unfortunately, as of next month, there will be some changes to the partnership that are going to negatively impact the number of Starpoints you can earn from the partnership.

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As I travel a lot, I tend to use Uber whenever possible in a new city. As you can imagine, I love this partnership between SPG and Uber. That’s because I value Starpoints higher than any other awards currency, so the opportunity to earn points from the card I use to pay for my Uber rides, while also earning Starpoints is a huge win-win for me.

Starwood & Uber’s Current Partnership

Under the current program, SPG members that have linked their accounts (you can link your accounts here if you have not done so already) and made at least one stay at a SPG property during that calendar year earn 1 Starpoint per $1 spent on all Uber rides up to $10,000 per calendar year. To sweeten the deal, if you are staying at a SPG property when you take your Uber ride, you will earn 2-4 Starpoints per $1 spent on those rides, depending on your elite status. Standard SPG members receive 2 Starpoints per $1 spent, while Gold and Platinum members receive 3 Starpoints per $1 spent and Platinum 75 night members receive 4 Starpoints per $1 spent.

Changes To The Starwood & Uber Partnership

Unsurprisingly, SPG and Uber are changing the terms of this offer to make the earning rates much less. Effective February 1, 2017, the new earning rates will be as follows:

  • 1 Starpoint per $2 spent when not staying at a Starwood property.
  • 2 Starpoints per $1 spent for all members when staying at a Starwood property.

I am definitely disappointed to see that Starwood elites do not earn any additional bonus Starpoints, though I suspect that is because the majority of the earnings came from Starwood elites.

Starwood’s Special Uber Promotion For February

In what I can only assume is an effort to quell some backlash over these negative changes, Starwood has announced that they will offer a promotion in February where all SPG members will earn 5 Starpoints per $1 spent with Uber while staying at a Starwood property.

Although I do not love the changes, for me personally the February offer could not have come at a better time as I will be spending most of February on the road and in bigger cities where I usually opt to take an Uber instead of rent a car. That means I will be able to stack this offer with the bonus points my SPG elite status affords me, plus the bonus points I receive from paying for my stays with the American Express SPG Business Card.

Final Thoughts

While I am ultimately not surprised that Uber and Starwood have changed the terms of the promotion and their agreement with each other, even with these negative changes I really cannot complain about the opportunity to earn Starpoints for Uber rides I would already be taking otherwise. While I would prefer to keep the current earning rates, I am happy that the partnership has continued post SPG-Marriott merger.

How much will this impact the number of Starpoints you receive per year from this partnership?

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