At this point much has been written about the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (primarily the flexibility of the 40,000 bonus points you get after $3k in spend): those points can be transfered on a 1-to-1 basis into Marriott Rewards, Continental OnePass, Priority Club, British Airways and Amtrak.
Which of those kids is not like the other? Yes, Amtrak. As oddball as that one seems, one nice benefit there is that Amtrak Guest Rewards points can then be turned around and transfered into Hilton HHonors on a 1:2 basis (ie, 50,000 Amtrak GR points can be transfered into 100,000 HHonors points).
That’s fantastic. Except, as you’ll note in the title of this post, I wrote “eventually.” Eventually because while Elite (?) members on Amtrak can transfer up to 50,000 Guest Rewards points into HHonors each year, non-Elites can only transfer 5,000 points each year. There is an in between, though, as Amtrak Guest Rewards credit card holders can transfer 25,000 points in a year. On a plus note, that credit card is has no annual fee.
So you can’t exactly spend the $3k on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and get 100,000 HHonors points immediately, you will get them eventually. Considering the HHonors Surpass Amex only gets you 40,000 bonus points, it’s a pretty impressive bonus (especially if, like me, you’ve also convinced your spouse to get a card). You just need a little patience.