This post may contain affiliate links from our advertising partners, such as American Express. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here.
Amtrak just came out with a promotion where you’ll receive a 30% bonus on all points purchased. This is a promotion that they run every few months and in some cases you can be much better purchasing points to redeem for a free ride than purchasing directly with Amtrak! I’ve taken advantage of a similar promotion in the past and it worked out very well for me. You must purchase the points by July 12, 2015.
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 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 10,000 for a total of 13,000 points for $395. This will get you 3 one-way Amtrak tickets in the Northeast for a net result of $131 each way (you’ll also have 1,000 points left over). As I mentioned, this promotion happens 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 $130+ 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 15,000 points in a calendar year –> they’ve upped the limit from the previous 10,000 point cap per year!
- You can redeem your points for another passenger (this means if you’ve already hit the 15,000 point amount for purchases, use a friend/family members account)
Will you be purchasing points?