Starwood Hotels and Uber wants your business trip to be irrevocably linked to your smartphone -- and not just for answering emails.
On Tuesday, Uber and StarwoodHotels announced they were partnering up to allow Uber users to earn Starwood reward points, or "Starpoints," for every Uber ride. Registered Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) can earn one Starpoint for every $1 spent on an Uber ride and two to four times as many Starpoints per dollar while staying at a Starwood hotel.
"Uber users have become accustom to the ease and simplicity of ordering rides through the Uber app," says Maire Griffin, director of communications for Starwood. "When creating this partnership, it was important for both SPG and Uber to maintain that same level of convenience and efficiency for our members and Uber riders."
The program is kicking off on Saturday, Feb. 28, with free hotel stays in Dubai, London, Mexico City, New York and San Francisco. From 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. local time, all users who link their SPG and Uber accounts will be able to select the "SPG" vehicle option on an Uber ride and earn 15,000 Starpoints -- enough for a free night at any qualifying Starwood hotel, including Westin, St. Regis, Sheraton and W Hotels.
For the hotel industry, mobile technology is in many ways the next frontier. Starwood and Hilton are both rolling out programs to turn smartphones into room keys. Making booking a hotel on an app as easy as getting an Uber allows hotels to access guests' preferences and -- if executed correctly -- become travelers' go-to place to stay in any city. By linking a company has become a must-have for many business travelers like Uber to Starwood, the hotel company is taking a big step in making preferred guest membership and app usage become the new normal.