(Posted: Dec 14, 2007)
According to Michael Blakey, Amtrak's Senior Director for Loyalty Marketing, the exchange option was temporarily closed due to high volumes of exchanges, and will be re-opened Dec. 14.
Choice Privileges joined the Amtrak Guest Rewards program as a partner at the end of May earlier this year. Recently, Amtrak introduced a very lucrative exchange opportunity through the Choice Privileges program where Amtrak Guest Rewards members could convert 5,000 Amtrak points to 25,000 Privileges points, which could then be converted to 5,000 frequent flyer miles with several airline programs.
On Dec. 1, Amtrak changed the exchange rate, offering members 15,000 Choice Privileges points in exchange for 5,000 Guest Rewards points - a reduction of 10,000 points. Then, on Dec. 6, the redemption option was closed entirely.
Once the exchange option is reopened, Amtrak Guest Rewards members will again be able to transfer points from Guest Rewards to their Choice Privileges account at a rate of 5,000 to 15,000 points, and transfers will be completed for members who were in the middle of a transfer when the closure occurred. According to Blakey, the exchange option will remain in effect through the end of 2007, at which time changes to the program will be instituted. As of Jan. 1, 2008, the Guest Rewards exchange program will only be available to elite members (Select and Select Plus) and members who hold an Amtrak co-branded MasterCard. Elite members will be able to transfer at a rate of 5,000 Guest Rewards points to 15,000 Choice Privileges points.
A few members have reported points being removed from their Choice Privileges accounts, points which had been transferred from Amtrak Guest Rewards. According to Blakey, the only members who have been impacted by these removals are those who opened more than one Amtrak Guest Rewards account, which violates the programs' terms and conditions. He told us that any points removed from Choice Privileges accounts will be returned back into the members' Guest Rewards account.
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