FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - Introducing the next stop for Amtrak Guest Rewards
Old Aug 28, 2015, 8:30 pm
AGR Insider
Company Representative - Amtrak
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: Amtrak Guest Rewards (Select Executive)
Posts: 528

Thank you for your questions and feedback regarding the upcoming changes to the Amtrak Guest Rewards program, effective January 24, 2016. We recognize this is a forum for some of our most engaged Amtrak Guest Rewards members and want to ensure outstanding questions are addressed. Please see below for some clarifications to common themes:

  • The 25% and 50% earn bonuses for Business class and First class seating, respectively, replace the existing Select City Pair earning structure on Acela. This means Acela trips now earn bonus points no matter where you sit or where you travel. In addition, as a new benefit, Business class on all other Amtrak services will also receive a 25% earn bonus. The 25% and 50% class of service earn bonuses --- will --- be tier qualifying. Members who will earn fewer points in the new structure will notice that redeeming for the same trip may require fewer points, as well.
  • For instance, at today’s fares, ALL Acela travel between New York and Boston will be less expensive to redeem than in the current structure. Today, an Acela traveler earns a flat 500 points in Business class from New York to Boston, and redeems for the same trip at a flat 8,000 points. In the new structure, and with class of service bonus, the same trip would earn between 283 and 488 points (depending on fare chosen) and be redeemed between 4407 and 7605 points (depending on fare chosen).

  • For instance, at today’s fares, ALL travel on the Capitol Limited between Chicago and Washington, D.C. – in both coach and sleeping car accommodations – will be less expensive to redeem for one person than in the current structure:

    1. Today, a coach seat on the Capitol Limited is redeemed at 8,000 points (a two-zone award), and in the new structure, the same seat could be redeemed between 3,312 and 6,521 points depending on fare chosen. Today, a roomette is redeemed at 20,000 points (a two-zone award), and in the new structure, the same room could be redeemed between 8,901 and 17,319 points. (Even if you add a second passenger to the room, the maximum possible rate is 20,631 points, very close to today’s 20,000 rate and it would certainly be cheaper than today with any of the four possible lower accommodation charges).

    2. Today, a bedroom is redeemed at 40,000 points (a two-zone award), and in the new structure, the same room could be redeemed between 13,490 and 27,531 points! (Even if you add a second passenger to the room, the maximum possible rate is 30,843 points, over 9,000 points less than today.)
  • The 25%, 50%, and 100% additional earn bonuses for Select, Select Plus, and Select Executive members, respectively, are remaining the same from the current program. They are not tier qualifying today. The base earning for a trip (2 points per dollar) is what qualifies a member for tier status. All of these things are remaining the same from the current program to the new program and are not changing.

  • The 100-point minimum earning per trip will not be a feature of the new program. However, travelers who typically ride Amtrak on low-earning tickets (such as today's "Special Routes") will notice that redemption for the same tickets will often be attainable at much lower rates – starting at 800 points per trip – than in the current structure. A minimum of 800 points per passenger, per travel segment, will be priced for non-Acela redemption travel. A minimum of 4000 points per passenger, per travel segment, will be priced for Acela redemption travel. This means that Acela redemption travel now starts at exactly half (!) of the current rate for that service.

  • "Adult" and "Child" pricing will apply to redemption travel, but not other discount types such as AAA, Senior, etc. "Saver" fares will not qualify for redemption, but please note that AGR One-Class Upgrade Coupons will continue to be permitted for use on non-redemption Saver fare tickets, according to the terms of the coupon (e.g. Acela and Northeast Regional).

  • Sleeping car travel will be calculated using the prevailing fare, which would reflect the actual number of passengers occupying the room. Amtrak assesses a single accommodation charge for the room, plus one adult/child rail fare per occupant.

  • Auto Train may be redeemed using the same process as other coach or sleeping car travel. The vehicle(s) on your reservation will be priced the same as the other portions of the itinerary, and in accordance with standard Amtrak Auto Train policies and procedures. Priority Vehicle Offloading may not be redeemed using points.

  • Our August 27th announcement was not intended to be an exhaustive list of all program features that will continue in 2016. Any updates to non-travel earnings/redemptions, partner earnings/redemptions, and other existing program features would be communicated separately should they occur.

Anthony Rizos
Director, Member Experience Solutions
Washington, D.C.

Last edited by AGR Insider; Sep 7, 2015 at 8:32 pm Reason: fixed typo in first bullet - class of service earn bonus WILL be tier qualifying
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