Amtrak is running another promotion where you will receive a 30% bonus on all points purchased through December 31, 2012. This is a promotion that is probably run a few times a year and one that I’ve taken advantage of in the past.

I am limited to Northeast travel on Amtrak where the cost of a one way train ticket costs 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. With this promotion (assuming you have a small stash of Amtrak points already), you can purchase 3,000 points for $82 and get a 900 bonus. This will give you 3,900 points (and if you have 100 points already in your account), you are good for a one-way ticket.

Purchasing Amtrak points used to be MUCH better when one way travel was only 3,000 points, but it can still pay to purchase points even with the point increase. I wouldn’t go ahead speculatively buying points since this promotion is run pretty often, but if you have any upcoming train travel, definitely take a look.

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)

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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