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Amtrak just came out with a promotion where you’ll receive up to 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. The last time they ran this promotion was back in September and it was a 30% promotion as well, but they’ve had as high as 50% offers in the past. You must purchase the points by December 31, 2014.
- 1,000 – 4,500 points and get a 10% bonus
- 5,000 – 9,500 points and get a 20% bonus
- 10,000 points and get a 30% bonus
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 10,00 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). As I mentioned, this promotion happens every so often and there is always the chance of a higher offer, so I wouldn’t purchase out of pure speculation. But, if you are looking to travel Amtrak and see the ticket costs in the $100+ mark, then this can provide you some great value. I know the math also works out well for some other routes throughout the US.
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)
Will you be purchasing points?