UPDATE: Based on the comments from other readers it looks like accounts are receiving targeted offers. Some have received offers as high as a 50% bonus (which I am jealous of) and others have received a tier offer of 10-30% bonus depending on the number of points purchased. Anyone receive any other offer?
Through March 15, 2014, you will receive a 30% bonus on all points purchased with Amtrak. This is a promotion that is probably run a few times a year (at least every other month I’d say) and one that I’ve taken advantage of in the past. You can purchase up to 10,000 points per account per year.
I am limited to Northeast travel on Amtrak where the cost of a one way train ticket is 4,000 points. Usually, the cheapest you can get in the Northeast is about $49 (on the routes between NYC – BOS and NYC – DC). However, if you don’t do it early enough you can be looking at a $100+ ticket. Last minute tickets can even be close to $150ish. A few years ago they offered a 50% bonus, but we haven’t seen this is quite some time and the current promotion has been the norm.
With this promotion, you can purchase 10,000 points (for a total of 13,000 points) for $275. This will get you 3 one-way Amtrak tickets in the Northeast for a net result of $91 each way (you’ll also have 1,000 points left over). I personally wouldn’t purchase out of speculation, although I do not foresee Amtrak changing their award chart in the near future. If you are looking to travel Amtrak and see the ticket costs in the $100+ mark, then this can provide you some great value.
Some things to know with Amtrak travel:
- The terms with purchasing points state that they can take up to 72 hours to post, however, in my experience they post immediately
- You can only purchase up to 10,000 points in a calendar year
- You can redeem your points for another passenger (this means if you’ve already hit the 10,000 point amount for purchases, use a friend/family members account)
I have a 50% bonus–perhaps because I’m a Select Plus Member? I also bought points last year.
@Nathan – Wow, that is great! So it looks like we are seeing targeted offers. I wish I got a 50% bonus offer!
Also note the sweet spot for Amtrak redemption is long distance sleeper cars. The Chicago to Seattle Route is normally $700+, but 20,000 points.
Any idea how this will appear on a credit card statement? I’d like to combine it with a current amex offer for $30 back after $150 worth of amtrak.com purchases. But I’m guessing this will be a purchase from “amtrak guest rewards” or something?
@AMEX offer – it will show up from points.com so will not work with the current amex offer.
I got a 50% offer also; my wife got 10-30%. My Amtrak account doesn’t have any status. We purchased points for her account last year, mine’s been pretty low for a long time.
@Uri – Thanks for sharing!
Hi. Unclear about something & hope u can help. My husband got 50% offer – I got none. Can he purchase the points & either put them directly into my account or transfer them to me? Or can he only purchase a ticket for me from his account? Would love it if we could combine our points somehow – without fees – plus buy the extra points at 50% off. Don’t know Amtrak rules. Thanks!
@Jackie – He can purchase points for his account only. However, he absolutely can purchase a ticket for you using his points.