Buying Train Tickets as a Gift for Someone Else

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Jan 20, 2016
East San Diego County
We currently have an AMTRAK e-voucher and some travel points which we’d like to apply towards buying train tickets as a gift for Eric’s brother and his wife so that they can experience riding on a long-distance train. (They travel a lot between Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle to visit their children, so a trip on the COAST STARLIGHT would be ideal for them.) Could we buy the tickets or an e-voucher and give it to them directly, or do they first have to open their own AMTRAK Guest Rewards account for us to transfer the points and e-voucher into? (We’d like to do this in such a way so that we don’t get stuck with any AMTRAK service fees.) Before we talk to an AMTRAK agent, we’d like to hear from those of you who have already done this.

Eric & Pat
As I have calculated myself in the past, the average worth of AGR points to each dollar for Amtrak train tickets is 34.5 points to each dollar. I test calculated and came up with the 34.5 points to 1 dollar (for current Amtrak fares) result, after doing several different days of calculating points and dollars on current LAX-SEA fares, on a couple different days.

Good luck, I hope you have enough AGR reward points saved, to buy such a trip for someone else! And as far as I know, yes you can transfer your saved AGR points to someone else account (as long as they also have AGR I believe), if you want to. Correct me if I'm wrong others, on that 34.5 points to 1 dollar figure. And as I remember when I checked earlier today, it's something like 13000 points, to get a basic Superliner Roomette in the cheapest fare bucket. Obviously too, remember to use Amsnag to compare dates for better fares.
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We’ve used our trip points in the past and have some idea of what they will get for us. A round trip Pacific Surfliner Business Class passage between Los Angeles and San Diego for two seniors required 7,542 points. A round trip Capitol Limited round trip Reserved Coach passage between Chicago and Toledo required 6,762 points.
You may buy a ticket with cash, voucher or points and have literally *anyone's* name put on it. You can also give them more than one email address to copy the e-tickets to (after all, only one person gets to use it, the one whose name is on it).

I know, because I have used my husband's points to fund travel for either or both of us, LOL! Of course, he had them make me an authorized user on his account, since I do all the booking. And when I travel alone, I have my itinerary emailed to him as well as me. There is also nothing stopping you from forwarding an e-ticket email to any email address or device.

Just make sure Amtrak gets the names of the actual travelers on the tickets. If your friends have their own AGR accounts, they will get the points for travel. Otherwise, there will be no points awarded for the travel (when Hubby and/or I travel, each of us receives travel points into our own AGR account no matter whose points or credit card paid for the tickets).