Using Guest Rewards points

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dan

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
30
Can I pay for a basic ticket and then use my Guest Rewards points to upgrade to a roomette?
 

Arctifox

Train Attendant
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
52
Location
D.C.
I have been wondering the same question (is it possible to buy an upgrade to ticket paid with actual money by using points, and also the other way around). Depending on the costs it could be a good option if one doesn't have enough points for booking the full ticket with points only.
 

pennyk

Amtrak Rider
Staff member
Administator
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Gathering Team Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
14,609
Location
Orlando, FL
Although years ago, it was promised that one could use a combination of cash and points, to my knowledge, that has not yet happened. It is often suggested if you are short a few points in order to purchase your tickets, you could purchase points.
 

chickpea

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 5, 2022
Messages
69
Location
East Coast
I'm chiming in here because I have a similar question but am reluctant to start a new thread.

I have been reading the Amtrak site about redeeming points and it is... less than clear. I am not currently an Acela user, just have done long distance trains since COVID started. I have done three trips and earned 6k+ points, which don't seem useful - is that correct?

I see that upgrade coupons are available for 10k but not for use on the long distance routes so nix that, right?

Could someone say what I can use points for?? Example: can you buy a ticket with points CHI to EMY and if so, how many points (obvs way more than I have but can't find a number anywhere, just people talking about buying tickets with points!)...?

Thanks for help, I wish the website was more straightforward the way many airlines show what points can be used for/how many/etc.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
5,180
Location
Baltimore. MD
6,000 points seems to be enough for a one-way coach or Northeast Regional business class ticket between, say, Washington and Boston, but not quite enough for a round trip. It might be enough for a one-way coach ticket for a longer distance on some of the long-distance trains, but I've never checked that.

To really earn enough points to be able to get free long-distance trips, especially in sleepers, you either need to be a regular rider, spending around $1,000 a month on Amtrak tickets, or you need to get the Amtrak credit card, with which you can earn points for all of your spending. Unfortunately, Amtrak Guest Rewards is changing the bank with which it's partnering, and the current card issuer (Bank of America) isn't issuing new AGR credit cards. I guess at some point we'll find out who the new bank is and then you'll be able to get an AGR credit card and start earning points.
 

daybeers

Conductor
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
1,694
Location
NHV
All that MARC Rider said is correct. Point redemption values are based on how much the dollar value of the ticket is. The higher the fare, the more points are required. Coach redemptions are based on the Value fare. Usually points are worth 2.8 cents per point, but if a Saver fare is available, comparing the point values to that will result in a 2.1-2.2 cent per point value. Acela redemptions are also worth less, meaning they cost more points.

Purchasing upgrade coupons with points usually isn't worth it, but I'd also say redeeming points for Acela First isn't worth it either. There is a thread here for people to ask questions and post coupons for free transfer, as that's allowed, but not for money. You can also ask if anyone has any coupons expiring soon, be it 10%, upgrade, or companion, and someone might PM you with the code.

Not sure where you are on the East Coast but redeeming for a Northeast Regional trip will use the least points.
 

Barb Stout

Conductor
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
1,113
Location
Albuquerque, NM
I have done three trips and earned 6k+ points, which don't seem useful - is that correct?

I see that upgrade coupons are available for 10k but not for use on the long distance routes so nix that, right?

Could someone say what I can use points for?? Example: can you buy a ticket with points CHI to EMY and if so, how many points (obvs way more than I have but can't find a number anywhere, just people talking about buying tickets with points!)...?

Thanks for help, I wish the website was more straightforward the way many airlines show what points can be used for/how many/etc.
I use points between 6000-7000 "frequently" when I travel from ABQ to Ohio. I pay money for a roomette on the long arm of the trip from ABQ to Chicago and then with points between Chicago and Cincin or Tol or Cleveland in coach since that shorter arm is going to involve disrupted sleep anyway because most/all of the Ohio stops are in the middle of the night. I do make separate reservations for these trips and then link them which will involve making the reservation over the phone as far as I can figure. So if you have a multi-leg trip, you can try using these not-so-many points for the shorter leg.
 

chickpea

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 5, 2022
Messages
69
Location
East Coast
I use points between 6000-7000 "frequently" when I travel from ABQ to Ohio. I pay money for a roomette on the long arm of the trip from ABQ to Chicago and then with points between Chicago and Cincin or Tol or Cleveland in coach since that shorter arm is going to involve disrupted sleep anyway because most/all of the Ohio stops are in the middle of the night. I do make separate reservations for these trips and then link them which will involve making the reservation over the phone as far as I can figure. So if you have a multi-leg trip, you can try using these not-so-many points for the shorter leg.

Thanks for all the replies, all helpful and Barb here super helpful as that was my only thought that might be useful... I used to do NE Regional a bunch but am not really near big cities now. Cheers all!
 
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