Amtrak adds new amenities on Acela nonstop between New York and Washington, D.C.

Sep 13, 2019

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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi Premier® Card        

Starting Sept. 23, customers riding Amtrak’s new nonstop Acela service between New York and Washington D.C. can expect new amenities onboard. Offerings will include complimentary coffee, tea, water and a light snack while also featuring “at seat” cashless cart service offering a limited menu of drinks and snacks for purchase. Additionally, you’ll be able to purchase an onboard phone charging kit in case you forgot yours.

These amenities are exclusive to the new service, which is currently only scheduled to run once a day each direction — departing from New York Penn Station at 6:35 a.m. and departing Washington DC’s Union Station at 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.

This announcement comes soon after Amtrak revealed full scale mock-ups of its new Acela trains that will be put into service in 2021. The new cars will travel faster and have revamped interiors.

(Photo by Brendan Dorsey / The Points Guy)
The interiors on the upcoming Amtrak Acela trains. (Photo by Brendan Dorsey / The Points Guy)

The high-speed Acela was already marketed to business travelers, and departure times appear to indicate that the nonstop service is catering to the same group — those who want to spend a whole day in Washington but be back in time for dinner in New York.

The Northeast Corridor, which runs from Washington to Boston, is one of Amtrak’s most-profitable routes, and it’s the only route the high-speed Acela runs on. In 2018, New York Penn and Washington’s Union Station were Amtrak’s top two busiest stations across the national network.

(Photo by Scott Mayerowitz / The Points Guy)
Acela First Class. (Photo by Scott Mayerowitz / The Points Guy)

The new speedier service makes the ever-present debate of what’s the best way to travel between the two cities a bit clearer. TPG recently tested five methods of transit on the same route — while the American Shuttle from LaGuardia to DCA beat the Acela, this new nonstop service would have you arriving at about the same time — and the Acela is much more immune to delays and takes you directly into each city’s center.

Related: The best credit cards to use for train travel

The inaugural ride is coming up on Sept. 23, 2019. You can use your Amtrak Guest Rewards points to book the tickets, but if you don’t have any points, you’re best off putting the purchase on card that earns bonus points on train travel, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Citi Premier® Card, both of which earn 3 points per dollar spent on travel.

Featured photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.