"In addition, when you want to sacrifice some point efficiency for convenience, you can redeem points for non-award airline tickets (no restrictions, blackouts) at $1.25 per 100 points. That's the most generous point to cash conversion in the industry. So, a $200 ticket 'costs' 16,000 points. Unlike other generic programs, you can book *any* ticket availble on the market *on your own* at this rate. No begging a preselected travel agency to pick your favorite airline. Once you've booked, you submit the cost of the ticket for credit in exchange for your Diners' points. No other program offers such personal flexibility."
if that is the case, i have a trip i need to take very soon about a week domestic (BOS-WAS) and the ticket seems to be around 275$ (inc taxes). And with all the taxes and 50/100$ stupid fees airlines collect it seems to be cheaper to use 100~1.25 conversion.
PS: Does starwood give the 25% bonus (on 20K points even to amtrak?). As acela business seems to be 16K round trip that could also help. THanks again for your help