This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Amtrak’s Double Days promotion is back for spring. Passengers will earn double points on qualifying Amtrak travel between March 18-May 18, 2013.
In order to score the bonus points, you must be a member of Amtrak Guest Rewards (sign up here) and you must register for the promotion prior to travel. Remember, if you’re a new member, when you sign up and travel within 90 days of enrollment, you’ll earn 500 bonus points.
Amtrak also has a ton of partner offers going on at the moment, which include:
Hertz: Earn 200 Amtrak Guest Rewards points per day or quadruple Amtrak Guest Rewards points and save up to 25% on all rentals at participating airport and off-airport locations through June 30, 2013. Available in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico. Use PC# 169864 and CDP #1229959 for the bonus and savings.
Vinesse: It’s not a great wine club, but if you’ve been thinking about joining it anyway, Vinesse is offering 1,680 Amtrak points with each Grab Bag wine shipment of 12 bottles now through May 18. Your first shipment is $69.99 including shipping.
La Quinta Inns & Suites: Now through May 18, 2013, you get 750 Amtrak points for each qualifying stay at La Quinta Inns & Suites. Eligible stays include those where guests pay a room rate that is eligible to earn points in La Quinta Returns and that are available to the general public.
Budget: Now through June 30, 2103, save up to 25% on rentals of two days or more and earn triple Amtrak points by using coupon code MUAZ058 and discount code U082100 when making an advance reservation. Reservations must be made by June 30 and rental must begin by July 31, 2013.
Enterprise: Available through May 30, 2013, Amtrak Guest Rewards members can earn triple points on Enterprise rentals for a total of 150 points per day at locations in the US and Canada. You must use the code AMGRTRP when making your reservation.
Amtrak Guest Rewards members can also earn double points with the following partners: 1-800-FLOWERS, Teleflora, Travelstore, Choice Privileges, Audience Rewards and Samsonite.
Although I don’t often talk about Amtrak Guest Rewards, the program is still an interesting one and presents plenty of lucrative opportunities to redeem your points.
As the summer travel season approaches and travelers on the East Coast especially start looking around for how best to get to various seaside spots from the hot, crowded city centers, train travel and Amtrak in particular can be a great option and you might find some good redemption values as the cost of train tickets rises.
Check out our post on Maximizing Amtrak Redemptions and Partners for ideas on how to put your points to use – sometimes at rates of over 4 cents per point by taking advantage of Amtrak’s generous zone structure – as well as this other post for ideas on how to Maximize Earning Amtrak Points.
Chase and Amtrak offer a co-branded Guest Rewards Mastercard. The current sign-up bonus is 12,000 points after spending $500 in the first 3 months, 2 points per dollar spent on Amtrak, and one point per dollar on everything else. Since there are several other Chase cards that earn more than one Ultimate Rewards point per dollar spent on various categories, this card offers little value beyond those other Chase products. Its only real benefit is that it grants Amtrak Guest Rewards users the ability to transfer points to hotel programs. Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
American Express Membership Rewards points also transfer to Amtrak gift cards at the rate of one cent per point, in 5,000-, 10,000-, and 30,000-point increments. However, this option usually offers substantially less value per point than transfers to airline miles.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.