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Amtrak’s up to 30% bonus on purchasing points is ending December 31, 2014. For some, this promotion is worthless, but for others this can save you a lot of money on train travel!
This is a tiered promotion where the more points you buy, the higher the bonus.
- 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 (plus an bonus)
- 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)