FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - Changes to Hilton Amex earning structure
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Old Jan 31, 13, 2:15 pm
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Originally Posted by sgideons View Post
Amtrak elites and Amtrak Chase cardholders can first transfer UR points 1:1 to Amtrak, then 1:2 to Hilton. Since the minimum value of a UR point is $0.0125 (pay with points redemption), this could conceivably be a good deal for a Hilton redemption of over $0.00625 cents per point. That's a very low UR valuation and relatively high Hilton valuation, but you travel with the points you have, not the points you might want or wish to have a later time. I don't have the Amtrak Mastercard but I've been thinking about picking it up for the easy AGR points, I guess this is another possible reason. No annual fee.

Note that you have to spend $200 on Amtrak (using the Mastercard on rail tickets) to be able to make the Hilton transfers (not a problem here in New England).
There's also a limit of 25k AGR : 50k HH per year (and thus per $200 Amtrak spend). From:
Members that are active cardholders of the Amtrak Guest Rewards® MasterCard® issued by Chase Bank with an Amtrak travel spend on the card of over $200 per calendar year may redeem up to 25,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards points per calendar year for hotel points
It may not be a problem for you, but it probably depends on exactly where you are (even in New England). Amtrak does not go everywhere. Nor, even when it goes, is it always the most cost-effective way to get somewhere (unless you don't have a car, of course).

Where I am, in SoCal, while Amtrak is relatively near me, I have to drive to a parking lot to use it, then I have to take the train, and probably have to rent a car at the other end. Or I could just drive the whole way and be done with it! So what's the point of taking Amtrak in such a case? (Are HH points really the only thing you can use those UR points on usefully?)
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