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Amtrak suspends nonstop Acela, waives change fees in response to coronavirus

March 07, 2020
2 min read
Amtrak suspends nonstop Acela, waives change fees in response to coronavirus
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As demand for travel continues to ebb amid coronavirus fears, Amtrak is joining U.S. airlines in modifying its schedules and policies.

Beginning March 10, the railroad will suspend Acela nonstop service between New York and Washington, according to a statement.

The service began in September, and generally targets New York-based travelers with an early morning departure from Penn Station to Washington, and an evening return to New York as the only current nonstop options on the route. The suspension will last until May 26.

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In its announcement Friday, Amtrak also said it would be waiving change fees on new and existing reservations through April 30. And the railroad suggested it would likely cancel some other trains and reduce the number of cars on some services in response to slower ticket sales. It has not yet announced which other routes will be affected.

Related: Everything you need to know about traveling during the coronavirus outbreak.

The change waiver comes less than a week after Amtrak rolled out new, more restrictive ticketing policies. Beginning March 1, the railroad's cheapest tickets became nonrefundable and unchangeable 24 hours after booking. Those restrictions seem to be temporarily suspended as part of the railroad's coronavirus response. The waiver is also more flexible than any of those announced by U.S. airlines so far.

On Saturday, governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency as the number of coronavirus cases in New York continues to rise. Amtrak mentioned, however, that there are no specific restrictions in place against rail travel or any of the destinations it serves.

Featured image by The Washington Post via Getty Im

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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
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  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases