Select Executive - Is it enough?

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Do you all feel that Select Executive provides enough perks to make it a worthy title to obtain?
Given that one has to spend close to $10,000 in order to achieve status, do you feel Amtrak provides worthy perks?
Before the United Lounge deal fell through, I would have said an immediate yes, but now, I'm not so sure.
To be fair, if one is incredibly point savy, and regularly rents cars, books hotels, and takes cruises, I think it can be a nice system (if you have the Amtrak credit card and can accumulate points quickly).

Select Plus seems like a much better deal, since that tier has loung access, and many of the same perks.
If you travel on the NEC frequently, and can naturally attain executive status, than more power to you, but in a post-pandemic world, I wonder if Amtrak needs to re-evaluate their GR system.

If nobody wants to spend the money to achieve the status, it could be a problem.
 
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Do you all feel that Select Executive provides enough perks to make it a worthy title to obtain?
I would not go out of my way to obtain it, that is for sure. If I rode the Acela regularly I might feel differently.

I am usually Gold with Marriott, and I am starting to really wonder if my loyalty is worth it at that level. All I really care about is the late checkout and the bonus points you get with status. I am platinum this year (and will be next year), but thanks to the pandemic there isn't that much benefit to the higher status.

But serious question... how much does Amtrak really need a robust loyalty program compared to the airlines? It seems to me that most people take Amtrak because they genuinely want to take the train - and it's not as if Amtrak has a lot of competition from other train companies like the airlines have with each other.
 
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I would not go out of my way to obtain it, that is for sure. If I rode the Acela regularly I might feel differently.

I am usually Gold with Marriott, and I am starting to really wonder if my loyalty is worth it at that level. All I really care about is the late checkout and the bonus points you get with status. I am platinum this year (and will be next year), but thanks to the pandemic there isn't that much benefit to the higher status.

But serious question... how much does Amtrak really need a robust loyalty program compared to the airlines? It seems to me that most people take Amtrak because they genuinely want to take the train - and it's not as if Amtrak has a lot of competition from other train companies like the airlines have with each other.
Agreed!
I think the only place a GR program makes a lot of sense is on the NEC (which is why achieving status is unfairly skewed in favor of NEC riding individuals), is because Amtrak is really trying compete with the shorthaul airline market there.
 
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For what it's worth, I first obtained Select Exec status in late 2018, largely due to the 'double TQP points' promo they ran for a couple of months. I made SE again in 2019, partly due to using my Amtrak CC to get a 'freebie' 1000 TQPs every $5000 spent. So it's not necessary to spend $10K on Amtrak to get SE status. The current full year 'double TQP' program should make it easier to 'make it' for the rest of 2021 (after you reach 20K TQPs) and will apply to all of 2022. I suspect that it's more to lure back frequent travelers and enable them to reach status after the 2020 major passenger count drop.

The 100% bonus 'regular' points for SE also makes free travel easier. And if they run a 'regular' double points days, those double points are great as well. Unfortunately, the 100% bonus doesn't get applied a 2nd time for those double points.
 

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Do you all feel that Select Executive provides enough perks to make it a worthy title to obtain?
Where I live earning Amtrak status is tedious and expensive while most of the benefits are unusable or non-existent. By comparison status with other programs (Hyatt, United, American) was so easy to earn it happened without any planning and brought immediate benefits to my very next trip. Loyalty programs can print money when designed properly but if you don't live on or near a major corridor Amtrak's Just Rewards status is just shy of useless.
 
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For what it's worth, I first obtained Select Exec status in late 2018, largely due to the 'double TQP points' promo they ran for a couple of months. I made SE again in 2019, partly due to using my Amtrak CC to get a 'freebie' 1000 TQPs every $5000 spent. So it's not necessary to spend $10K on Amtrak to get SE status. The current full year 'double TQP' program should make it easier to 'make it' for the rest of 2021 (after you reach 20K TQPs) and will apply to all of 2022. I suspect that it's more to lure back frequent travelers and enable them to reach status after the 2020 major passenger count drop.

The 100% bonus 'regular' points for SE also makes free travel easier. And if they run a 'regular' double points days, those double points are great as well. Unfortunately, the 100% bonus doesn't get applied a 2nd time for those double points.
Yeah, the offers make a difference.
I was poised to get Select Plus this year with regular travel, but with the bonus, its possible to get SE.
 

pennyk

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I did not achieve Select Executive the first year it was offered, but have every year since. I am retired and travel quite a bit. With the double TPQs, I have already achieved SE for next year. Yes, I wish the benefits were better, but I am OK with them as it. In December 2019, I used my accumulated points to purchase a cross country trip. I am thinking about doing the same thing this year (even though the cost may be double).
 
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By comparison status with other programs (Hyatt, United, American) was so easy to earn it happened without any planning and brought immediate benefits to my very next trip.
Just curious, how much flying do you do/how do you find it so easy to earn status with an airline like United? By my calculation, United costs roughly double the dollar spending that amtrak costs to get status. The one time I earned Premier Silver, it was because of a round trip to Greece, and a round trip to Israel, both connecting in Newark (in addition to the normal domestic flying I did.
 
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Airline frequent flyer programs aren't what they used to be. Lower level elites almost never score upgrades. A lot of this has to do with the airlines pricing the first class cabin to actually sell - rather than holding it out as an elite amenity. And you can get a free checked bag and priority boarding (at least with Delta) just by holding the airline's credit card.
 

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Airline frequent flyer programs aren't what they used to be. Lower level elites almost never score upgrades. A lot of this has to do with the airlines pricing the first class cabin to actually sell - rather than holding it out as an elite amenity. And you can get a free checked bag and priority boarding (at least with Delta) just by holding the airline's credit card.
Southwest Rewards has mostly the same " Benefits" for their Loyal Riders.
 

TheVig

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I live in Charlotte, so many perks don’t do much for us. With that said, I have both the no AF and AF AGR cards. I spend 125 to 200 nights a year in hotels for my job. Using the AF card, I can make it rain points. I also book directly with one or two hotel brands, and make it rain hotel points as well.

The points I earn, more than cover our Amtrak travel. So for us, that is the perk.

My wife uses the no AF card.

I love reimbursable travel expenses.
 

flitcraft

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Chasing elite airline status is pretty much over, I think. Upgrades are fewer, and the cost of first class is proportionately lower than it used to be. When people whine on Flyertalk about not getting an upgrade, the response is WFBF--"want first, buy first.' I seldom check bags, so that perk doesn't matter to me. I do like being able to get the 'premium economy' seats, which are a lot like standard economy was not so long ago, minus airline food. I used to have status with several airlines, but post COVID I'm not going to get status except on Alaska. But, like I said, I don't really care that much anymore. And, given that I live in the Pacific Northwest, status on Amtrak is even less valuable to me than airline status.
 

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Loyalty programs, in the travel industry at least, are designed to induce incremental spend - the no status traveler doing extra trips or more expensive trips to get to that first ring. Higher levels are also to get that additional business but also to counter the "I did all this and I get nothing more?" thoughts of true high spend customers.

The secondary goal is to obtain enough outside revenue from the program to cover/defray the costs of points earned in house. Hotels/credit card/shopping portal are all revenue to AGR and for me and I would guess most here are the bulk of the points earning rather than revenue train trips.
 

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I never really chased any status. Whatever happened happened mostly because the business travel booked by the companies that I worked for tended to do so on the same airline and the two that were mostly used chose to merge their programs at some point. Most of my hotel chain status is through credit card affiliates, and Amtrak is que sera sera. This year I am already S+ due to double TQP with basically two round trips from Florida to NEC-land.

I will probably do a big trip in December. Other than that things are quite unsure. We'll see how it turns out.
 
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Bob Dylan

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I never really chased any status. Whatever happened happened mostly because the business travel booked by the companies that I worked for tended to do so on the same airline and the two that were mostly used chose to merge their programs at some point. Most of my hotel chain status is through credit card affiliates, and Amtrak is que sera sera. This year I a already S+ due to double TQP with basically tow round trips from Florida to NEC-land.

I will probably do a big trip in December. Other than that things are quite unsure. We'll see how it turns out.
Is your "Big trip" going to India or touring the US via Amtrak?

I'm not certain that by December we'll be able to travel Internationally,and possibly even here,if we have another "Wave" like Scientists are starting to talk about.
 

jis

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Is your "Big trip" going to India or touring the US via Amtrak?

I'm not certain that by December we'll be able to travel Internationally,and possibly even here,if we have another "Wave" like Scientists are starting to talk about.
For various reasons mostly unrelated to COVID I am unlikely to travel to India before Summer or Fall of ‘22.
 

Bob Dylan

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For various reasons mostly unrelated to COVID I am unlikely to travel to India before Summer or Fall of ‘22.
Yep, it's looking like touring the USA will be where most of us do our traveling for the rest of this year into 2022!( mainly due to COVID in my case)
 

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Just curious, how much flying do you do/how do you find it so easy to earn status with an airline like United? By my calculation, United costs roughly double the dollar spending that amtrak costs to get status. The one time I earned Premier Silver, it was because of a round trip to Greece, and a round trip to Israel, both connecting in Newark (in addition to the normal domestic flying I did.
Before the pandemic slower years started around 25K seat miles up to around 50K in a busy year with 75K being my upper limit. My travel log tracks airports and aircraft rather than miles and segments so these are estimates. I also spread my travel across multiple airlines which substantially erodes my status potential.
 
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JoshP

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I spend $1900 in two months on 7 trips and I became Select then I travel few more on Empire Service (Biz class seat) and within month, I moved to Select Plus.

I'm not sure how I would spend $10,000 to reach to the top?
 

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But seriously, what Tlcooper93 says, he's right and what I did was this way (The figures are just example) and how to reach the tier status)

AmtrakAGRTQPChart.png

if you want to start building up, you would need at least 25 trips on the $100 ticket level to Select. If you decide to want to ram up, ride on Business Class instead, from there you would need at least 40 trips on the $100 Business class level to become Select+. Now, once for all if you want to reach the top, you will need 80 trips on Business Class or almost 69 trips on Acela First Class to achieve it. Now that tells you, it’s way too much and it takes longer to reach to the top. If you want to reach the top fast? The secret is book $585 Roomette Sleeper rooms, let’s say from New York City to Miami and do it 20 times roundtrip, you are all set or do the full Bedroom for $995 and do it 16 times, that is other thing too. The price is as a example.

Bottom line, the way to reach to the top is not cheap, very expensive. If you can afford the luxury, great and go for it. But if you want to be budget wise, just enjoy and travel and go with the flow. Unless if you have the Amtrak AGR World Mastercard, say with $7500 credit limit, spend on anything like Bills, Restaurant, Food Shopping, Amtrak trips and many more and it’s the only true option to reach higher status faster because the spending you do, you earn more points that way since it has 3X points every dollar so it adds up. You do the math.

Enuff said, it's a failure. I wouldn't spend $10,000 just to get to the top. I rather enjoy, travel and have fun!
 

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Unless if you have the Amtrak AGR World Mastercard, say with $7500 credit limit, spend on anything like Bills, Restaurant, Food Shopping, Amtrak trips and many more and it’s the only true option to reach higher status faster because the spending you do, you earn more points that way since it has 3X points every dollar so it adds up. You do the math.
Those are regular points, not Tier Qualifying Points. The only way to get TQPs from the card is by spending $5,000 in a calendar year to get 1,000 TQPs, but that's only valid for 4,000 TQPs total.
 
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