We’ve seen some interesting tie-ups in the loyalty world over the past few years, including a great relationship between Hyatt Gold Passport and MGM Resorts as well as Uber tie-ups with Starwood Preferred Guest, Delta and, to a lesser benefit for US residents, Emirates.
Now there’s news of a partnership with Lyft and Starbucks. It appears Starbucks will be supplying their loyalty program so Lyft can reward their customers.
The first thing I thought about this was, “Gee, why didn’t Uber do this?” I consider them a market leader in this segment, rightly or wrongly. However, given that they have partnerships like the SPG one to reward customers, I imagine the Starbucks asking price may have been too high. And, considering the existing Starbucks partnerships like Apple and an upcoming one with the New York Times, it seems believable the coffee giant may have tried to land Uber before settling on the smaller Lyft, especially since they already have something of a partnership with Uber.
At any rate, Lyft riders will be able to earn free Starbucks points (or “Stars” in Starbucks lingo) towards free beverages when they pay for a ride with Lyft. I also like the twist where Lyft drivers can earn benefits as well, showing that Lyft is trying to create incentives for all the “customers” in their funnel.
Further, it appears riders will be able to gift free drinks and stars to drivers as tips. No idea whether this is in lieu of the prepaid tip built into the fare (does Lyft have this? Uber does) or on top of it.
There’s also a tidbit that says Lyft will give Starbucks baristas rides to work “when they need it most”.
This isn’t enough to get me to switch from Uber in a given market where they compete with Lyft. I value the extra Starpoints I earn with my Uber rides, especially when I have an SPG stay. But, pending the final details of this program, it’s sure a nice “lift” for Lyft customers.
I’ll be interested to see the details when they come out later this year.
Does this make you more likely to use Lyft over Uber?