Select, Select Plus, Select Executive population

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I got to wondering how many people reach the tiers of Select and Select Plus in a given year, and I couldn't even hazard a guess. Does anyone have any ideas?
 

TheCrescent

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I am wondering the same. I am also curious how many people make Select or Select Plus without taking the Acela Express.
 
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Actually, I used to do it for years before I got my credit card, and only taking a few Acela trips. Basically, I rode a Northeast Regional two or 3 times a week for about $35 a ride in business class. Thus, each ride gave me about 88 points. Three times a week, 264 points. That's a little over 1,000 points for a 4-week month. No problem getting 10,000 points in a year. Now I didn't ride 3 times a week every week, and some weeks I was out of town and didn't ride at all, but I got 8-9,000 points a year just from my weekly Northeast Regional rides. Add a few trips per year to New York or Boston (at ~500 points for each round trip), and maybe one long-distance trip, and it was never a problem to hit my 10,000. And after I got the credit card with the 1,000 TQP for every $5,000 spend (t a max of 4,000 TQP), I was even getting close to (but never quite reaching) Select Executive.

It's a lot harder to do it now that I'm retired, and don't travel regularly, especially since the pandemic, but I've managed to squeeze Select Plus every year, although this year, I had to do some Acela Express First Class joyriding to get the final 1,000 TQP without having to take a long distance trip. Basically, with the 4,000 TQP from the credit card, a few trips to New York or Boston (even on the Regionals), plus one or two long-distance trips paid with cash will do it pretty easily. That's especially true given the current high long-distance fares. A round trip coast-to-coast in bedroom might give you 4,000 TQP just for one trip.

But in general, the status levels are really designed for people who ride the train frequently. Think someone who might be traveling from New York to Washington once a week most of the year. Even a regular on some of the corridors outside the NEC can pile up TQP if they ride it a lot. Maybe not quite commuters, but something similar.
 
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I am wondering the same. I am also curious how many people make Select or Select Plus without taking the Acela Express.
I've been Select Plus for several years now and have never ridden the Acela.
I'll revert to Select next year as I've fallen somewhat short on TQP's this year.

I never will unless the Amtrak Card gives us TQP's
It does. 1,000 TQPs for each $5000 spend. Up to 4,000 TQPs max per year.
I did notice that with the FNBO card, there is no mention of a maximum as the BofA card did.
 

Anderson

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It does. 1,000 TQPs for each $5000 spend. Up to 4,000 TQPs max per year.
I did notice that with the FNBO card, there is no mention of a maximum as the BofA card did.
Interesting. If anyone gets data points on this, I'd be interested - that would actually impact my card spend focus significantly.
 

pennyk

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I am wondering the same. I am also curious how many people make Select or Select Plus without taking the Acela Express.
I have been Select Executive for years without regularly taking the Acela Express.
 
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I got selected executive one year when they had a promotion of some sort. I do not anticipate getting it anytime soon. I've made select plus for several years in a row. It might be a reach getting it next year if Amtrak continues to have supper high sleeper fares and no guarantee of the trip not being canceled because of a sleeper being removed.
 

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I am wondering the same. I am also curious how many people make Select or Select Plus without taking the Acela Express.
I have been Select Plus like forever. Missed it only one Covid year but Amtrak IIRC extended the previous year's status into that year. After moving to Florida eight years back there has been very little Acela riding involved. Even while in NJ it was mostly Regionals, not Acela. Instead of daytime trips on the Corridor now it is one or two night trips like Orlando to Miami or Orlando to Raleigh/Greensboro/Salisbury/Rocky Mount or such and back. Shorter day trips like Orland/Winter Park/Deland to Tampa and back are also in play - usually all in Roomette. It's not that hard to make Select Plus if you have the time and money.

Ironically the recent rise in fares has made it somewhat easier and more time efficient, to achieve Select Plus of course if one has loose cash to burn. The Credit Card TQPs help in getting some of the otherwise mandatory spends into TQPs (and of course AGR points too.
 

fdaley

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I have the Amtrak card and regularly reach Select status just from routine travel around the Northeast, which includes maybe two or three Acela trips in a year, sometimes none. I used to regularly get to Select Plus in the years when we were making an annual cross-country trip, but I haven't made it to that status since flexible dining was extended throughout the east in 2019 and basically ended my use of those trains.
 
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Actually, I used to do it for years before I got my credit card, and only taking a few Acela trips. Basically, I rode a Northeast Regional two or 3 times a week for about $35 a ride in business class. Thus, each ride gave me about 88 points. Three times a week, 264 points. That's a little over 1,000 points for a 4-week month. No problem getting 10,000 points in a year. Now I didn't ride 3 times a week every week, and some weeks I was out of town and didn't ride at all, but I got 8-9,000 points a year just from my weekly Northeast Regional rides. Add a few trips per year to New York or Boston (at ~500 points for each round trip), and maybe one long-distance trip, and it was never a problem to hit my 10,000. And after I got the credit card with the 1,000 TQP for every $5,000 spend (t a max of 4,000 TQP), I was even getting close to (but never quite reaching) Select Executive.

It's a lot harder to do it now that I'm retired, and don't travel regularly, especially since the pandemic, but I've managed to squeeze Select Plus every year, although this year, I had to do some Acela Express First Class joyriding to get the final 1,000 TQP without having to take a long distance trip. Basically, with the 4,000 TQP from the credit card, a few trips to New York or Boston (even on the Regionals), plus one or two long-distance trips paid with cash will do it pretty easily. That's especially true given the current high long-distance fares. A round trip coast-to-coast in bedroom might give you 4,000 TQP just for one trip.

But in general, the status levels are really designed for people who ride the train frequently. Think someone who might be traveling from New York to Washington once a week most of the year. Even a regular on some of the corridors outside the NEC can pile up TQP if they ride it a lot. Maybe not quite commuters, but something similar.

Wonderful ideas—thanks! I won’t make Select Plus this year and am going to miss going into the PHL lounge with any ticket. I want to try to make it next year, and, like you, I am lucky enough to live where I can do many short trips.
 

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Wonderful ideas—thanks! I won’t make Select Plus this year and am going to miss going into the PHL lounge with any ticket. I want to try to make it next year, and, like you, I am lucky enough to live where I can do many short trips.
I'll miss Select Plus this year, as well, by only 1k-2k TQPs. I toyed with the idea of doing credit card spend to get the TQPs but ultimately decided against it. Like you, I like the unlimited access to the Moynihan lounge but I can always buy a pass if I'm traveling with family that needs to get in.
 

jis

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I'll miss Select Plus this year, as well, by only 1k-2k TQPs. I toyed with the idea of doing credit card spend to get the TQPs but ultimately decided against it. Like you, I like the unlimited access to the Moynihan lounge but I can always buy a pass if I'm traveling with family that needs to get in.
I am actually not sure what purpose Select+ serves other than getting bonus points and a bunch of certificates that I mostly don't get to use. Since these days I get to New York only by Sleeper and am not allowed to use Moynihan Met Lounge when not traveling by Amtrak, which I seldom do out of Penn Station anymore, the Select+ access to it is not worth much to me anymore. So it is just bragging rights I suppose.
 

SNJRider

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I am actually not sure what purpose Select+ serves other than getting bonus points and a bunch of certificates that I mostly don't get to use. Since these days I get to New York only by Sleeper and am not allowed to use Moynihan Met Lounge when not traveling by Amtrak, which I seldom do out of Penn Station anymore, the Select+ access to it is not worth much to me anymore. So it is just bragging rights I suppose.
Curious, have you actually been turned down at the lounge because your ticket? The desk does look at mine but I thought it was only to check if I was actually travelling that day.
Considering how empty the lounge is, they really should allow all Select Plus members in.
 

jis

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Curious, have you actually been turned down at the lounge because your ticket? The desk does look at mine but I thought it was only to check if I was actually travelling that day.
Considering how empty the lounge is, they really should allow all Select Plus members in.
Frankly, I don't go there often enough to know for sure, and I will not be there until very late in 2023, if that. Nothing planned so far. All the trips to the Northeast that are planned do not go all the way to New York. I guess I will visit New York at least to check out Grand Central Madison after it opens, and on the same trip I will check out the LIRR Main Line third track too.
 
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I agree that Select Plus is not as useful as it was when you didn’t have to have a same-day ticket. In the good old days, when I was doing a getaway in Philly, I would take SEPTA down and hang out in the lounge til my hotel room was ready if I got there too early. And then one or two days when there, I’d take SEPTA over from near the hotel, get lunch and eat in the lounge, and SEPTA back.

Those days are gone. However, I did find it very helpful this year to have lounge access at PHL—I had some mobility issues and a cane for a while, and sometimes was traveling with a friend with some mobility issues, and it was nice to have the redcap take us up to the lounge and come and get us and take us right to the train. It was a very relaxing place to wait.

Of course, all of PHL is peaceful, so there’s nothing wrong with being in the beautiful main hall—especially if you still get a redcap to avoid the lines.

I avoid New York but imagine it’s more crucial there to have a lounge to get away from the crowds and noise and congestion out in the main station. Although if they don’t take you right to the train platform like they do in PHL, and you still have to get to the train by yourself through the crowds pushing and shoving and knocking you down, I’m not sure what the point of the lounge is.

I also read that New Yorkers have taken it over as the newest “trendy” bar— so there goes any peace and quiet. Also, if they’re not traveling, how are they getting in without a ticket?

Back to Select Plus, I guess it is worth it or not depending on someone’s circumstances in a particular year.

I have always wondered whether Select Executive is worth it, though. Not sure what real benefits you get except extra points.
 
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jcastallack

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I use the Moynihan lounge weekly and never have my ticket looked at. It's a bit harder now, anyway, since the "card" is on your phone. You'd have to flash that, dismiss it, and then bring up your ticket. But even before they added the card to the app they never checked mine.

I had been S+ for years just riding Regional coach multiple times a week. Currently I'm SE because of last year's many extra TQP's. Next year I most likely will be again since I have shifted to Acela now that it's so cheap.

I do like the extra chances to earn upgrade coupons with SE as well as the extra points but I don't know that it's worth it over S+ enough to justify a deliberate effort to get it.
 
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The lounge attendants in Washington and Boston do appear to check your reservation against the computer. The ones in Philadelphia and New York, not so much, although sometimes they ask you what train you're taking. I'm not sure about Chicago, as every time I've been there, I just show my sleeper ticket.
 

AmtrakBlue

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The lounge attendants in Washington and Boston do appear to check your reservation against the computer. The ones in Philadelphia and New York, not so much, although sometimes they ask you what train you're taking. I'm not sure about Chicago, as every time I've been there, I just show my sleeper ticket.
I've had the same experience at Washington (checks my ticket) and New York (sometimes checks, sometimes doesn't). Tuesday at NYP she only looked up my AGR number (from my Select Plus card). Though I gave her the ticket at the same time I don't think she looked at it closely enough to see that I was traveling that day.
 

Railroad Bill

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Living in Ohio makes it much more difficult to achieve higher status. I have been Select for several years since we generally take 1 or 2 long distance trips per year + the 4000 pts from the AGR card. Will make Select Plus this next year since I took 3 LD trips. Rarely get to ride an Acela and now that BC on the Lake Shore is gone, another opportunity to pick up some extra points in also gone. Will enjoy + while I have it. Does save us some cash using companion coupons for my wife and the passes for lounge might be useful, although we are usually riding in a sleeper to Chicago, NY or Boston & WAS.
 
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I finally reached Select last week. I see that the discount coupons only apply to full fare adult tickets, and also exclude room charges. So, as a solo traveler living where there is no Business Class service, who travels in sleepers (lounge access) on disability fare, the only benefit of Select that is of any use to me is the points bonus. Maybe I'll do a PGH trip with an overnight connection to the Pennsylvanian in PHL and be able to use a lounge coupon, but I already had 1 from the AGR credit card anyway.

My member profile says Select expires 3/1/23. I do hope they extend it as they have in the past; otherwise it will be a complete waste as I don't plan to do any winter travel this year.
 

TheCrescent

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I finally reached Select last week. I see that the discount coupons only apply to full fare adult tickets, and also exclude room charges. So, as a solo traveler living where there is no Business Class service, who travels in sleepers (lounge access) on disability fare, the only benefit of Select that is of any use to me is the points bonus. Maybe I'll do a PGH trip with an overnight connection to the Pennsylvanian in PHL and be able to use a lounge coupon, but I already had 1 from the AGR credit card anyway.

My member profile says Select expires 3/1/23. I do hope they extend it as they have in the past; otherwise it will be a complete waste as I don't plan to do any winter travel this year.
My member card also says that it expires 2/28/2023- I thought that it would be valid throughout 2023 since I qualified in 2022. But it doesn’t say that. And Amtrak gave me one less day than it gave to you!
 

jis

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My member card also says that it expires 2/28/2023- I thought that it would be valid throughout 2023 since I qualified in 2022. But it doesn’t say that. And Amtrak gave me one less day than it gave to you!
If things work they way they have in the past you will get a new card for all of the 2023 AGR year sometime in February. The card that you have at present is just for the balance of this year from the date you reached the status this year, if it is a higher status than you already had from your TQP collection of the previous year.
 
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If things work they way they have in the past you will get a new card for all of the 2023 AGR year sometime in February. The card that you have at present is just for the balance of this year from the date you reached the status this year, if it is a higher status than you already had from your TQP collection of the previous year.
I haven't received a card or email or anything yet; just Select status on my profile and the coupons added to my account. Will I get an actual card in the mail?
 
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