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Amtrak is offering 1,000 bonus points when you make a minimum 2-night stay with Starwood and choose to earn Amtrak points instead of Starpoints. While I probably wouldn’t choose to earn Amtrak points over Starpoints in most circumstances, this promotion might make sense if you’re close to a strategic redemption.
- Earn 1,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards points points on a stay of 2 or more nights at participating SPG hotels between now and December 31st, 2017.
- From the terms included in the email (bold print is mine for emphasis):
Terms and conditions:
To receive Amtrak Guest Rewards in lieu of Starpoints®, recipient must participate in the Airline Direct DepositSM portion of the Starwood Preferred Guest program. With Airline Direct Deposit, Starpoints earned from eligible hotel stays and select bonus offers will be converted automatically into Amtrak Guest Rewards points, will be credited to your Amtrak Guest Rewards—account, and may not be transferred back to your SPG account. If recipient does not participate in Airline Direct Deposit, Starpoints will be earned in the Starwood Preferred Guest program. Minimum stay 2-nights stay required to earn bonus points. Guest must be an SPG member to be awarded points. Offer is valid at participating Starwood Hotels & Resorts in North and Latin America. Offer is valid for stays completed by December 31, 2017. Book online, call your travel professional, or call (877) 782-0108 and mention rate plan AIRPRO.
You can normally transfer Starpoints to Amtrak Guest Rewards at a rate of 1:1, but non-elites must move a minimum of 2,500 Starpoints and SPG Gold members have a minimum of 1,500 Starpoints for a transfer (there is no minimum for Platinum members). If you have a use in mind and you need just over a thousand Amtrak points, this deal might work out well when paired with a cheap Starwood stay. That’s a lot of stars lining up, but it might beat transferring over more points than you need.
Of course, if you’re not in a hurry, you can always earn points through the Amtrak shopping portal. I earned a number of points that way and recently redeemed for a roomette from Boston to Albany, NY. I had never traveled more than an hour or so by train in the US, so it was a new experience. We had fun on the train and I thought it was a nice value on points — for just about 4,700 Amtrak points, I saved myself the cost of a one-way car rental and didn’t have to drive. I’d definitely do it again — though I don’t know as though I’d give up on earning Starpoints in order to do it.
What about you? Do you plan to take advantage of this promo?