Starwood’s partnership with Uber allows members of the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty program to earn Starpoints – the chain’s version of hotel loyalty points – when riding around town with the on-demand car company.
Those Starpoints can later be traded in for a free night at hotels like Westin, W and St. Regis or converted into airline frequent flyer points such as with Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines and American Airlines.
Each Uber ride you take – whether on the low-cost UberX platform, with Uber Taxis or the more expensive Uber Select, Black, LUX and SUV options – will then earn one Starpoint per US$1 (or the local equivalent), capped at US$10,000 in a calendar year.
When staying at a Starwood hotel, that doubles to two Starpoints per US$1, including on your rides to and from the airport, climbing to three Starpoints per US$1 for Gold and Platinum Preferred members and four Starpoints per US$1 for 75-night Platinum Preferred guests.
To get started, visit the Starwood website and follow the instructions to link your Uber profile to your SPG account, noting that you’ll need to have the same email address attached to both accounts for the link-up to be successful.
(If your accounts are registered to different email addresses, make adjusting this your first step.)
Then, in the same calendar year, spend at least one night in any Starwood hotel on a rate that usually earns Starpoints – that’s any of the public rates available when booking direct with the hotel or on the Starwood website – which will unlock points on your Uber rides until January 31 of the following year.
For example, spend a night at the Westin Sydney on February 1 2016 and you can then earn Starpoints on all of your Uber rides through January 31 2017. To unlock Uber Starpoints in 2017, simply stay again any time after January 1 2017.
That also means that if you're currently earning Starpoints with Uber from a stay in 2015, you'll continue to do so until January 31 2016 and will need a further Starwood stay in the 2016 calendar year to keep those points trickling in beyond the 31st.
It can take 24 hours from the time you check-out of that first stay for Uber points to become available on your account, but once it’s sorted the words ‘Earning with Uber’ will appear on your digital membership card, available via the SPG smartphone app:
Get a discount on your first Uber ride
New to Uber? You can sign up for free using the special Australian Business Traveller promotion code of uberAusBT to get $10 off your first Uber ride anywhere in Australia.
(Disclaimer: we’ll also pick up a free $10 ride when you take your first Uber journey, so it’s a win-win.)
Uber doesn't actually employ the drivers or own the cars, but rather provides a go-between to link drivers with riders in a range of cars from the everyday (UberX) through to luxury private vehicles in Brisbane (Uber Select) and professional hire cars (Uber Black, LUX and SUV) at the click of a button.
Uber counts many business travellers among its customers, especially for those runs to and from the airport.
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT