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The Marriott and Uber Case Study: a Partnership Made in Rewards

Written by 
Chloe Komesarook
May 3, 2023
Loyalty Programs
Customer Retention

It’s no secret that loyalty programs deserve to be shared. But what if they could also be partnered? Enter the union of Marriott International and Uber, setting the standard for collaborative loyalty programs. 

Marriott International and Uber recently formed a partnership which offers loyalty program members of both companies enhanced benefits and rewards. This partnership is aimed to provide a more seamless and personalized experience for members.

Let’s take a closer look at what this collaboration offers for both businesses and members, and how it can inspire more of us to follow their lead. 

Who Are The Brands?

Before we delve into their partnership, it’s important to establish what these brands are individually, to see how and why they overlapped into a mutually successful venture. 

Marriott's loyalty program allows members to earn points staying at Marriott properties.
Source: Marriott Website

Marriott International is a global hospitality company that operates a diverse portfolio of hotel brands, ranging from luxury to budget-friendly. It has grown to one of the largest hotel chains in the world, with over 7,600 properties in more than 130 countries and territories. 

Uber, the ride-sharing, transportation, and food delivery company has made it their mission to make transportation more accessible, efficient, and sustainable. As the most popular player in the transportation industry, Uber remains an innovative transportation option for millions of riders around the world. 

What are the Marriott and Uber Loyalty Programs all About? 

Both companies may be in completely opposing industries, but they share a very obvious connection; they both have unique digital loyalty programs that reward customers for their engagement. 

Marriott’s loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, allows members earn points by staying at Marriott properties, dining at participating restaurants, and making purchases with co-branded credit cards. In exchange members get exclusive benefits and rewards, such as free room upgrades, late checkout, and free night stays.

This Marriott Bonvoy program is considered one of the top loyalty programs in the accommodation sphere, with more than 160 million members worldwide. 

In contrast, Uber’s updated loyalty program, Uber One, offers a one-size-fits-all list of benefits. Previously known as ‘Uber Rewards’, the program has been replaced by a revised model, which now boasts roughly 12 million members.

Uber One offers loyal customers free delivery on some UberEats orders, discounts on Uber rides, special promotions, and access to top-rated drivers and premium support. 

Uber One offers loyal customers free delivery, discounts, promotions, and more.
Source: Uber Website

The partnership between Marriott and Uber may initially seem like a strange one, but it was a strategic move that aimed to tap into the growing trend of mobile technology and the sharing economy.

As the use of smartphones and apps became more widespread, customers were looking for ways to simplify their travel arrangements, and the sharing economy was disrupting traditional travel and hospitality models. By partnering with Uber, Marriott could offer guests a more convenient and cost-effective way to get around, while Uber could tap into Marriott’s vast network of customers and loyalty program members. 

The Sign-up Process

From the beginning, the digital loyalty program is easy and tech-savvy. Marriott Bonvoy members simply link their account to their Uber account in the Uber app, to automatically start earning points on all qualifying transactions.

If you’re not a Marriott member, you simply create an account and download the Uber app. When linking from Uber, they have created a QR code which if scanned will lead you to the account-linking page in the app. Or if you don’t have the app yet, then the code will lead you to download it in the App Store or Play Store. 

Opening the Uber app, you can find the Marriott Bonvoy under the ‘Rewards’ section, which will then lead you to log in to your Marriott account to link it, so you can start earning points. 

As an incentive to join, customers will earn 2,000 Bonvoy points for linking the two accounts. A sign up reward is a powerful way to get over that initial hurdle as there is an immediate incentive to make the integration. 

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the integration: linking account technology allows for seamless sharing of data and functionality. This technology allows users to link their accounts across different platforms, which provides several benefits such as improved user experience, increased convenience, and streamlined processes. New and exciting integration tools can be leveraged to enhance customer engagement, which is crucial given that research has revealed that most consumers prefer to interact with loyalty programs through emerging technologies

The sign up process for this collaborative loyalty program is easy and quick to do.
Source: Uber Website

Benefits of the Marriott and Uber Collaboration

After connecting the accounts, the best bit begins: earning rewards. Members of Marriott can receive six times the Marriott Bonvoy points when they spend $25 or more on orders from UberEats that are delivered to any hotel within the Marriott portfolio.

Similarly, while using Uber, you can earn three times the Marriott Bonvoy points (limited to premium Uber rides such as Comfort, XL, Black and Black SUV). As well as that, you can earn two times the points per dollar spent on all other UberEats orders over $25, including those from Marriott restaurants. 

Through the integration, Marriott Rewards members can receive personalized offers and promotions based on their Uber usage and Marriott stays. They can also request an Uber ride directly from the Marriott mobile app, making it easier for travellers to get to their destination quickly and efficiently.

Marriott and Uber have ensured that the points system is easy to understand, which is essential for any successful loyalty program. Overall, the benefits can be boiled down to more personalized offers and rewards and more logistical efficiency for people who are frequent travellers.

What Makes the Marriott and Uber Collaboration Unique?

Part of what makes this collaboration so unique is that it’s a response to changing technologies. The companies have capitalized on the increasing popularity of mobile technology and the sharing economy, resulting in a travel experience that is more cohesive and streamlined for its customers.

As well as that, customers are more likely to remain loyal to both companies, as they continue to earn points and more rewards. By elevating the base of their respective loyalty programs, they found a harmony between that, to create something that is mutually beneficial. 

The success of the partnership can be attributed to several factors, including the convenience and added value offered to customers, the seamless integration of the loyalty programs, and the alignment of the brands’ values and customer base. This is a prime example of joining what, on the surface, may appear as two vastly different brands, but in actuality, they have similar goals and customer bases. Marriott and Uber are both recognized for their commitment to providing exceptional customer service and delivering innovative solutions that meet the changing needs of customers

This partnership has been a great success for both businesses.
Source: Marriott Website

How Successful has the Collaboration Been?

This partnership has been a great success, with both Marriott and Uber reporting increased customer engagement and loyalty.

According to Marriott, the program has driven a significant increase in bookings and loyalty program enrolments, with members linking their Marriott Rewards and Uber accounts at a rate of one every two minutes since the program launched.

Similarly, Uber has reported increased customer loyalty and usage, with riders who link their Uber and Marriott Rewards accounts taking more trips and spending more on each trip. 

If you’re looking for a simple reward solution that harnesses the power of digital technology, look no further than Stamp Me.  With features such as email integration, access to customer data, and marketing tools, your business could be on the next big collaboration of your own. Contact us or check out our pricing page to get started. 

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