Ride Acela from $50 each way with targeted Amtrak offer

Jul 31, 2020

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I’ve had some great trips on Amtrak’s high-speed Acela line over the years. The rail provider’s flagship product runs between Washington, D.C., and Boston, with stops in key cities such as Philadelphia and New York along the way. Business class is the lowest cabin (there’s also a first-class car), so Acela also gives business travelers a perfect excuse to avoid booking coach.

Now, leisure travelers have a good excuse to book Acela, too. Amtrak just sent out a pair of 50% off coupons to Amtrak Guest Rewards© World Mastercard® customers, valid for business-class travel between Aug. 2 and Oct. 2 booked by Aug. 29. Each coupon is valid for a one-way, one-passenger trip, and travel must be booked at least three days before departure.

With the coupon applied, I was able to find business-class trips as low as $50 each way, on one of Amtrak’s shortest Acela legs, from Philadelphia to New York City. Note that the 50% discount is applied to the “value” and “flexible” categories — “saver” fares are not eligible for the discount.

You’ll get even more value on longer trips — you can ride the entire Acela line for just $65 each way, depending on the train you select.

Unfortunately, the 50% offer doesn’t apply to points bookings, although Acela redemptions aren’t as good of a deal as standard trains, since Amtrak applies a less-favorable rate. As for safety, the rail service has implemented a number of protocols during the pandemic, including:

  • All travelers and employees must wear face masks on board trains and thruway buses, although masks can be removed within private rooms.
  • Amtrak deep cleans and sanitizes all trains prior to service, with additional en-route cleaning to disinfect restrooms and frequently touched surfaces.
  • Bookings have been limited on most trains to allow for more physical distancing in seating areas.
  • All Amtrak trains are equipped with onboard filtration systems with a fresh air exchange rate every 4-5 minutes.
  • All non-safety materials have been removed from seatback pockets.
  • Sinks are available in each car’s restroom for frequent hand washing.
  • To move between cars, customers can use an “automatic door open” button with their foot.
  • When the train is approaching a destination, conductors will make announcements regarding where and when customers can disembark to minimize door crowding.

Amtrak first-class customers can already select seats in advance, and that same functionality will make its way to customers traveling in business-class cars beginning on Aug. 3, letting you lock in a more private seat, or one next to a travel companion, before your trip.

Related: Why I’m (temporarily) switching my loyalty to Amtrak

Featured photo by Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.

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