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Through December 31, 2013, you will 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.
- 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. Since they run 30% bonus promotions quite often (even at the lowest point level), I’d probably hold off on buying less than 10,000 points. 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)