UPDATE: Based on the comments from other readers it looks like accounts are receiving targeted offers. Some have received offers as high as a 50% bonus (which I am jealous of) and others have received a tier offer of 10-30% bonus depending on the number of points purchased. Anyone receive any other offer?
Through March 15, 2014, you will receive 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. You can purchase up to 10,000 points per account per year.
I am limited to Northeast travel on Amtrak where the cost of a one way train ticket is 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. 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)