Members of the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program who have been topping off their accounts with points earned from Uber rides will have to find an alternative. Meanwhile, Uber has a new credit card – but that won’t earn points or miles either.
SPG just told members that its partnership with the ride-sharing giant will end effective December 17, so no more Starpoints will be earned as of that date. SPG’s partnership with Uber started more than two years ago.
Since Marriott acquired Starwood, it has continued to maintain three separate loyalty programs – SPG, Marriott Rewards and Ritz-Carlton Rewards – although accounts can be linked, giving members of one the opportunity for point transfers and status matches in the others.
TravelSkills reader RC tipped us off to the change this week and offered his assessment: “This does not bode well IMO for Starwood’s future in Marriott, as it is a unique Starwood program that Marriott is ending.”
Road warriors who still want to reap a return on their rides should note that Lyft has a partnership with Delta that pays one SkyMile per dollar spent on Lyft rides to persons who link their Lyft and Delta accounts. And Uber devotees who have an eligible American Express card can get two Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on Uber rides. Plus Amex Platinum card members get $15 monthly Uber credits.
Meanwhile, the ridesharing giant this week announced its own branded credit card. Customers can apply for the new no-fee Uber-Visa Card – issued by Barclaycard – starting November 2.
But cardholders won’t earn airline or hotel points or miles; instead, they’ll get money back on their purchases – 4 percent for restaurant and bar bills, 3 percent for hotel and air fare charges, 2 percent for online purchases (including Uber rides) and 1 percent for everything else. Cash-back credits can be deposited in the user’s account or redeemed for rides.
The new card is similar to a new credit card that United Airlines recently introduced. The United TravelBank Card from Chase, which also carries no annual fee, gives users 2 percent cash back for United purchases and 1.5 percent on other purchases. The returns go into a United TravelBank account where they can be applied to United flights.
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