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Amtrak extending points expiration, 'actively evaluating' elite status adjustments

April 6 2020
3 min read
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In an email to its members, Amtrak Guest Rewards shared a number of changes due to the global coronavirus outbreak. These changes come after Amtrak suspended a number of routes, including nonstop Acela service between New York City and Washington D.C. and all service to Canada.

In the email, Amtrak announced that it has paused expiration of Amtrak Guest Rewards points and all coupons — including companion passes, upgrade certificates and others — until Sept. 25, 2020. These changes are effective immediately and there's no need to enroll or contact Amtrak.

Amtrak is also waiving change fees on all new and existing reservations with travel set to begin before May 31, 2020. Affected customers can change their travel online or through the Amtrak app, or by calling Amtrak at 800-872-7245. We highly recommend changing online or through the app to avoid long hold times.

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Elite status changes are being evaluated

A northbound Amtrak train moves along a track near the Delaware River in this aerial photograph taken over Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. By the middle of this century, climate change is likely to punch a hole through the busiest stretch of rail in North America, parts of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor route. Flooding, rising seas, and storm surge threaten to erode the track bed and knock out the signals that direct train traffic. Photographer: Michelle Gustafson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
(Photo by Michelle Gustafson/Bloomberg via Getty Images.)

Additionally, Amtrak also stated that it's "actively evaluating" changes to Tier Status. We're hopeful that this means that an outright status extension will be announced in the near future — we'll keep you updated when there's more information to share.

Amtrak said the following regarding Tier Status:

"We know that Tier Status is important to you. We are actively evaluating potential adjustments for 2021 Tier Qualification and will keep you posted as details are confirmed."

Related: The best credit cards for train travel

Bottom line

It's nice to see Amtrak making positive changes to its loyalty program in response to the global coronavirus outbreak. Points and coupon extensions are a good start, and extending elite status for Amtrak's most loyal customers would sweeten the deal even further for the company's most loyal members. This is especially important as Amtrak positions itself as a worthy competitor to U.S. airlines in the Northeast Corridor.

As always, keep checking our coronavirus hub page for more info. We'll keep you in the loop on how the outbreak is changing the travel world.

Featured photo by Amtrak Empire Builder Nears Glacier National Park. (Photo courtesy Amtrak)

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    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

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The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

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  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
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