Canceling vs modifying a ticket bought with points

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If one cancels a ticket bought with AGR points, do you get the points back? Looked all over the Amtrak site and could not find anything about this.

I did see you can change the reservation so if I can't refund it I might just do that, change to some randon date in the future as I know I will be taking the trip at some point.
 
Ok sounds like there will be a 20 % penalty so i am probably going to reschedule instead.

The base penalty is 10%. If the cancellation occurs within 24 hours of departure, or for sleeper within 14 days of departure, the penalty is 20%. If you modify and the new trip uses fewer points, the points redeposit is subject to the 10% or 20% penalty based on the time prior to the original departure date.

Train Ticket Refund and Cancellation Policy | Amtrak
 
I know the policy says trips booked with points will be charged like 10% fee for any changes. I booked a trip for 125,000 points that I may need to change or cancel. Will they really deduct points if I do this?
 
I believe they’ve extended the change fee waiver, even for points, till end of July. You’ll want to double check that. If you cancel, then they’ll deduct a cancellation fee.
 
I’ve now encountered two successive AGR phone agents that say there is no way to override re-pricing when changing sleeping car rooms of the same type, on the same train. Both agents were firm, and when I asked for their supervisor, they transferred me to Customer Relations where there was a long wait, at least 30 minutes, to speak to an agent.

The first Customer Relations agent I spoke to tried to get an AGR supervisor on the phone. Took forever, and eventually she was told there were no supervisors on duty. She said she’d try over the next couple of days, but no surprise, there was no change in the room assignment.

On my second call, Customer Relations was able to make a change directly. But the agent said that since it was my second room change, I would have to accept re-pricing. I explained the circumstances (first change to get out of a car subject to deletion, second change to move from a room next to the toilet). She relented, but then said the system wouldn’t let her skip a change penalty (vs. re-pricing). I’m dubious, but accepted this because on another reservation, the agent had waived a legitimate change penalty. Plus, this penalty in points is only 2.97% (huh…is that any sort of legitimate value?) If priced now, the trip would cost 31.5% more points.

Seems there is no clear system in place. It’s catch as catch can.
 
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I had a trip from New York City to San Francisco via the Lake Shore Limited and California Zephyr. I was going to visit my sister in San Francisco for a few days and then make it back to southern California somehow. Any way the visit in SF wasn't going to work so I cancelled and rebooked to Riverside via the Southwest Chief. It ended up costing about 10K more points because there was a 3K point penalty. I probably should have called as I wouldn't have done any worse. Would that have been considered modifying since the destinations and trains were different?
I see there is one roomette left on the SWC that looks to be a few thousand points less. Would it be worth calling to modify or should I leave well enough alone?
Thanks.
 
I've mentioned this before, but I missed a train CS round trip and was only charged a 10% penalty on coach. I might have been able to modify by calling AGR, but I was in a hurry and it would have been cancelled without a points refund had I not just cancelled and requested my points back.
 
I'm trying to explain to my wife our options if we cannot make it to a train, because of other transport delays. I'm buying the tickets (sleeper) with points, and if unable to show, would likely want to reschedule for the next day. I would likely not know until within 24 hours. It seems that a fee change waiver is still in effect "Amtrak is waiving all change fees for any changes made by December 31, 2023 on fares that have change fees. A fare difference may apply for itinerary changes."
Also for Rewards tickets:
  • Modifications: A points difference (to new, prevailing fare) will apply in all cases with a 10% points penalty withheld on any fare difference returned to member. If modifying a non-room ticket within 24 hours prior to departure, or a private room ticket within 14 days prior to departure, an additional "close-in" penalty of 10% of the points redeemed will be collected (waived for Select Executive and Select Plus members).
(I might be Select Plus by this time!)

So it looks like, I must make the change before departure time (otherwise I'd be a "no show" and that's a different problem)
and I either "pay" the only the difference if more. If less, I take a 10% penalty on the refund.
Is this right?

Thanks.
 
Hey there,

If I book a sleeper with points, and notice that the cost has gone down, can I call and get a refund for the difference? Or, do I have to cancel the reservation and rebook, thus incurring a 10% points penalty?
 
We would like to use our accumulated AGR points to book a trip from LA to Chicago. We always make our reservations at least 11 months prior to when we want to travel. Assuming that we made our reservations and paid for them using travel points and then, 8 months or so before we’d planned to travel, decided to reschedule those reservations to a later date, would we be charged a penalty or be charged more travel points?
 
It depends on how much the replacement trip "costs" vs. the original booking. If it's more, then you have to pay the difference. If it's less, then they may hold back 10% on the refund.
So the price we paid in points is not "frozen" if we reschedule the same trip to a later date. Although I might be mistaken, for those times when we paid cash for a trip and then rescheduled it, I don't recall having to pay more because of fare increases.
 
I'm not sure I understand your experiences. When you "buy" a trip with points, a specific number of points is charged to (subtracted from) your account. The number quoted does vary with their yield management, just like $, until the time you book it. Then that's what you "pay" and it's set then. It could be the same, or it could be more or less. Notice the people talking about fare buckets on this forum. Points vary in similar ways. Last year when I was booking a round trip from RTE to FLA, on the Silver Meteor, depending on exactly when I wanted to go, there were certain days of the week, when I didn't have enough points to make the trip and other days it was cheap enough.
 
Our only experience with obtaining Amtrak travel with AGR points has been to request that a certain trip be paid for with points and then have the required number of points deducted from our account. We recognize that the cost of tickets can vary depending upon the time of year and the day(s) of the week that we want to travel. (Lately, we’ve been scheduling our trips in May and September which are not peak travel months.) Our question had to do with a reservation that had already been made and paid for with travel points. If we have to reschedule that reservation to a later date, assuming it is not during the peak travel months or on a national holiday, will it be a just a matter of issuing us a new ticket with the revised dates or will we be charged additional points because of normal fare increases that occurred from the time that we made our reservations? (We usually book our trips 11 months or so in advance.) If the travel dates have to be changed due to a train being cancelled by Amtrak, will we be charged more points?
 
Booking AGR points travel does not lock in the points cost if the trip is moved to a different date. AGR award travel paid with points is directly tied to the cost of the trip as if paid with money. Except when caused by cancellations or delays, re-booking to another date is repriced to the then current fare - cash or points. If the new cost is higher, you pay more (points or money). If the cost goes down, money is refunded or credited to a voucher, and the excess points are re-deposited to your account less any applicable penalty (10% for sleeper travel). You may get an agent that will waive the sleeper re-deposit penalty. If the change is due to Amtrak, then the original fare (cash or points) is honored.

The old rule of thumb that the lowest fare for a trip is when the reservation window opens at 11 months out is no longer true. The opening fare is now often set at a mid or high fare level (bucket) hoping to snag customers who want to lock-up a reservation early. As time goes by, the fare can vary, both up and down. For most routes, May and September are among the busiest travel times.
 
Booking AGR points travel does not lock in the points cost if the trip is moved to a different date. AGR award travel paid with points is directly tied to the cost of the trip as if paid with money. Except when caused by cancellations or delays, re-booking to another date is repriced to the then current fare - cash or points. If the new cost is higher, you pay more (points or money). If the cost goes down, money is refunded or credited to a voucher, and the excess points are re-deposited to your account less any applicable penalty (10% for sleeper travel). You may get an agent that will waive the sleeper re-deposit penalty. If the change is due to Amtrak, then the original fare (cash or points) is honored.

The old rule of thumb that the lowest fare for a trip is when the reservation window opens at 11 months out is no longer true. The opening fare is now often set at a mid or high fare level (bucket) hoping to snag customers who want to lock-up a reservation early. As time goes by, the fare can vary, both up and down. For most routes, May and September are among the busiest travel times.
Thank you for this information which we have saved for future reference. Once we make a reservation, we don’t reschedule it unless Amtrak cancels it due to the weather or because of human or structural failure. However, we wanted know what to expect should we do have to reschedule.

Just off hand, what is the cash value of a single AGR point assuming that it is applied to a full fare ticket and not one that is being discounted?
 
I am aware there is a 10% penalty for cancelling a reward ticket and having the points redeposited into your account. Does this still apply if Amtrak changes your reservation due to a new departure time? I booked a reservation on Sunset Limited train #2 departing Tuscon, AZ at 8:53am and just received an email that the departure time has been moved up by three hours to 5:53am. If I am unhappy with this change and cancel, does the 10% points penalty still apply?
 
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