Amtrak

Category Archives for Amtrak.

Hall of Shame: Amtrak Guest Rewards

So you have to ride the train, and at least they give you points for that. But that’s more or less all you can say about Amtrak Guest Rewards. I used to like their 2500 point award, one-way in the Northeast Corridor for unreserved service. I’d keep some tickets on hand. Of course, Amtrak doesn’t even have unreserved service anymore. And they upped the point requirements with just hree weeks’ notice. And they both imposed maximum points transferred out of the program in a year and dropped United as a partner without any notice at all. These more or less made me not trust the Guest Rewards program. But their problems go even farther. Amtrak Guest Rewards has just implemented online award booking. In other words, they’ve entered the ’90s. But there’s a glitch. In…

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Amtrak Small Business Program Signup Bonus

Amtrak’s new small business program allows you to earn points in addition to the standard Guest Rewards program both for your travel and those that enter your small business program membership number. Accounts in this program earn 25% of the base points earned on Amtrak by each traveler. Through December 31, 2007 enrollment code STR07 yields a 1500 point signup bonus. (I got a copy of the offer and ignored it, so thanks to Samit for beating me over the head with it…)

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New Amtrak Guest Rewards Credit Card Debuts

The new Amtrak Visa is now up and running, offering 8000 bonus points with first purchase and no annual fee. Since it’s a Chase card, it may be churnable (Thus far, only the United card seems to disallow signing up over and over to pocket multiple bonuses). Now, I still recommend the Starwood American Express as the best all-purpose credit card. And specific charges warrant some special-case cards. But as far as truly no annual fee cards go, this one isn’t bad… although I don’t trust the underlying Amtrak Guest Rewards loyalty program, given its history of making changes without any notice whatsoever — miles used to be transferrable to outside programs without a cap and United used to be a transfer partner, for instance. Both changes were made without notice. And an increase in…

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New Amtrak Guest Rewards Credit Card Coming in the Fall

As mentioned back in January, the old MBNA–>Bank of America Amtrak Mastercard was discontinued. Now details of the new co-branded relationship have come out… This fall a new Amtrak Mastercard will be issued by Chase, with no fee and a 2500 point signup bonus. If you pre-register (you’ll need to log into your Amtrak account) with promo code 42507 you’ll get an email when the card is available and an extra 2500 point signup bonus for a total of 5000 points. You will receive a total of 5,000 points with this Bonus Offer. 2,500 bonus points will post to your Chase credit card account and appear on your Chase statement and an additional 2,500 bonus points will post directly to your Amtrak Guest Rewards account and appear on your Amtrak Guest Rewards statement. Amtrak is…

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Buy 3, Ride Free

Taking a cue from recent airline promotions, Amtrak is offering Buy 3, Ride Free on Acela. 3 roundtrips or even 6 one-ways on the Acela Express by May 19 earns an Acela Business class or Regional Coach class roundtrip. Registration is required. And in one of the more annoying clauses I’ve seen (for folks like me looking for every angle), they’ve pretty much ruled out the possibility of doing the promo cheaply or quickly: Minimum spend of $75 per qualifying trip one-way or $150 per roundtrip. Limit of one qualifying roundtrip or two one-ways per member per day. Grr.

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Amtrak Mastercard Update

The Amtrak Mastercard is on hold — no new applications are being accepted. Amtrak and Bank of America are ending their relationship. Only purchases that are posted prior to the closing date of the May 2007 statement will earn Amtrak points. Presumably a new bank will partner with Amtrak over the next few months, but there’s currently no new partner in place.

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Sometimes Banner Ads Show You Something Useful

Amtrak is advertising over at Flyertalk.com, and a banner brings you to a signup bonus promotion — enter promotion code NEC06 while opening an Amtrak Guest Rewards account and receive 3000 bonus points for your first train trip taken within 90 days of signing up instead of the usual 500 points. That’s enough for a one-way Northeast corridor ticket, and almost enough to transfer points to Continental or Hilton.

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Amtrak’s Brilliant New Business Idea

Since they can’t make running trains profitable, Amtrak is planning to build a hotel out of part of the Baltimore train station. The station is a terrible location for a hotel and the project has been unable to attract private financing or even a *brand* (like Sheraton, Marriott, etc) in the past. The best the piece can find an analyst to say about the project is that the hotel might get business if all the other hotels in Baltimore are full… … Though I suppose they could get business from Amtrak stranding passengers. Heh. (Hat tip to Hotel Chatter.)

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Amtrak Transfer Bonus

Amtrak is offering 500 bonus points when you transfer 5000 or more points into your Guest Rewards account from one of their partners by March 31. While Amtrak hardly offers a great program, it’s a reasonable place to move Continental miles for sure. Log in to your Amtrak Guest Rewards account and then register using promo code 30806.

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