Double Points on Amtrak Through May 17 – And Amtrak’s Weasely Terms and Conditions

Amtrak is offering double points on all routes between March 17 and May 17, registration required.

Amtrak Guest Rewards number must be included at the time of reservation. They’ll award double points on up to two one-way trips per day (they seemingly don’t want train versions of mileage-runners, but since Amtrak’s program is revenue-based outside of their Acela Express service and those trains are too pricey for it to make sense I don’t think they’d have much of a problem anyway).

I don’t like weasel words in the terms and conditions like, “Other terms and conditions may apply.” (Emphasis mine.) Ah, yes, unlisted secret terms and conditions — but in practice such weasel terms aren’t likely to pose a problem.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’ve done mileage runs on amtrak before to make status. There’s a $6, 15 minute ride from Philadelphia that will net 100 tier points.

  2. @Gary – I’ve an unrelated question to your Amtrak post, you mentioned in another post about checking into recently renovated hotels if possible, is there an easier way to find that out besides calling all the hotels in your area of interest?

  3. Gary-

    What’s the running count on the number of times Amtrak has made a huge, negative change to its program with no notice? I recall two-the big reduction in transfers out and eliminating United as a partner. Have there been others that come to mind?

    I still think of Amtrak’s program as one with little interest other than for those who ride the train to work.

  4. Thanks Gary! Signed up for couple of my family members, we’re all taking the train in a few days.

  5. @Sam they’ve made changes without notice to their United partnership, to points transfers, to their Choice partnership, to their award chart… though for the most part big changes were when the progam was outsourced

  6. Amtrak’s value all depends on where you live. In areas outside the northeast where there is regional service, Detroit-Chicago, LA-San Diego, Chicago-Milwaukee, etc. you can get one-way rewards for 1,500 points. So it takes 15 one ways at 100 points each to get a free one. But using a Chase card and then transferring 1,500 points gives a good value when tickets are high. Often, my train ticket would be $50-60 if bought the day of travel but I can get it for 1,500. Not the most glamorous redemption but getting 3-4 cents value per point is pretty good in my book. THe reason they now have the two tickets per day rule is that people were splitting up trips into really short segments to get extra bonuses. If you’re taking connecting trains, I’d still recommend doing this. For instance, don’t buy Grand Rapids-Milwaukee, but get GR-Chicago and Chicago-Milwaukee. Do the same on the return. You’ll get 400 base points on the trip plus bonuses.

  7. @nathan – yes, the economics of it still need to work out for most folks on double points though and even with cheap fares and minimum earning it generally won’t.

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