How To Spend 12000 Amtrak Points
Updated: Sep 2, 2022
For the 3rd prize of my client giveaway, I'm giving away 12000 Amtrak points. That's enough points where I've seen in the past that can cover the following examples:
1. 2 people going round trip business class (non-Acela) between Newport News and Philadelphia, Fredericksburg, DC, or Baltimore on direct trains
2. 4 people going from Newport News to Richmond (I wouldn't recommend it unless staying in a high cost/night parking hotel close to the Amtrak station & intending to do some walking).
Here is the Amtrak map, with red routes being train routes and green routes requiring a bus (which I highly recommend avoiding).
Here's a spreadsheet (click it to expand it) that goes over some of the costs I've seen for business class 1 ways, the times in transit, and comparable times in traffic:
Amtrak points are maximized (for those without any special benefits i.e. via status) when going for more than a short distance on non-Acela trains in business class or standard (non-saver) coach. It's also best to take direct routes only, and ones that aren't too long (i.e. <4 hrs) unless you enjoy the experience of train travel or have never done it and would like to savor the journey. If you don't savor the journey, long-haul train travel costs too much time. Train travel is also best if staying in the middle of a high-cost city. For instance, I've stayed at hotels in DC (i.e. 1 & 2) with >$50/night bills for parking, and when I attempted to find cheaper parking with more digital resources than most on the subject for the Willard (the #1 IHG hotel in the world according to US News), it was very difficult to find. Free checked bags on trains are easier to come by than in the air flying domestically (excluding SW in the US).
Restrictions for the redemption include:
1. 2-year expiration
2. Like other giveaways, I'll be using my points to book someone's travel & will be covering the Amtrak imposed mandatory taxes/fees.
3. We need to use as many points as you're planning on using on a single trip, even if 2 itineraries along the same route in a time frame of under a month.
4. These points will be coming directly out of my account for the booking so I will need details at the time of booking to accomplish that.
5. The program changes over time, and what's available at time of authorship may not be available in the future. Some generalities above are shared. If something mentioned above isn't available at time of booking, whatever is actually available for 12k points or less is how we can use the points.