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Deal alert: Book a private room on Amtrak from $193 for you and a friend

April 06, 2021
5 min read
Amtrak Empire Builder
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A couple of years back, I rode on Amtrak's Empire Builder from Portland, Oregon, to Chicago, Illinois. I was able to do so for a great price thanks to a buy one, get one sale on roomette sleeper-car accommodation. Luckily, you can take advantage of the same deal during Amtrak's current sale. To book these low fares, book your roomette by April 16, 2021 and travel between June 1 and Sept. 30, 2021.

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Sale details

A roomette seat on Amtrak's Empire Builder (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

During this limited-time sale, you can book a private Amtrak roomette and bring a companion for free. When you book a roomette, you get a private space with seats to enjoy the views during the day. At night, the seats turn into a bed and a second bed folds down to create a private, secure sleeping space. Plus, roomette travelers also get the following:

  • Fresh towels and linens
  • Access to a shared restroom and shower
  • An attendant who will provide turndown service, assistance with meals and help with luggage
  • Complimentary lounge access at major stations
  • Priority boarding
  • Complimentary meals onboard

During this promotion, two can travel together in a roomette for as low as $193 between Chicago and St. Paul-Minneapolis. The only blackout date is July 5, 2021.

(Screenshot courtesy of Amtrak)

Many other itineraries are possible. Private rooms are available on the following Amtrak routes:

  • Auto Train
  • California Zephyr
  • Capitol Limited
  • Cardinal
  • City of New Orleans
  • Coast Starlight
  • Crescent
  • Empire Builder
  • Lake Shore Limited
  • Northeast Regional
  • Silver Star
  • Silver Meteor
  • Southwest Chief
  • Sunset Limited
  • Texas Eagle

Related: 11 mistakes people make when taking a cross-country Amtrak

Booking the deal

Observation car on the Empire Builder (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

To book at discounted rates during this sale, go to amtrak.com/privateroomsale or enter code C645 when booking a trip on the Amtrak app. The paying adult and free companion must travel in the same room and reserve in the same reservation. This offer is only valid for roomettes and isn't combinable with any other discount offer.

Unfortunately, there's no easy way to search for the best price if you have flexible dates or routes. Instead, you'll need to try a lot of searches. However, if you are flexible with your travel dates, I've typically found the best pricing in September. For example, here's a day-time itinerary on September 29 that would cost $193 for two passengers in a roomette from St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN to Chicago, IL.

(Screenshot courtesy of Amtrak)

But, I believe you need to spend at least one night on the train to get the complete experience. So, here's an example from Lorton to Sanford on the Auto Train:

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(Screenshot courtesy of Amtrak)

Or, if you wanted to do the Empire Builder from Portland, Oregon to Chicago, Illinois like I did, here's an example itinerary that would cost just $529 for two passengers in a roomette.

(Screenshot courtesy of Amtrak)

I'd certainly pay $529 to travel with a friend in a roomette along this route. After all, the 45-hour journey gives you enough time to settle into train life, but not enough time for you to tire of it.

Be sure to book your train fare with one of the best cards for train travel. I'd use the Chase Sapphire Reserve since it offers excellent travel protections on top of 3x Ultimate Rewards points on travel purchases. If you don't have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, I recommend using one of the other best cards for travel purchases.

Related: Earn rewards on your train trip with Amtrak Guest Rewards

Bottom line

The Amtrak roomette my husband and I traveled in on the Empire Builder from Portland to Chicago was tight. But, we loved having our own space and a door we could lock while sleeping. And I enjoyed looking out the window at the passing scenery and towns. It's certainly an experience I'm glad I jumped on. So, as long as whoever sleeps in the upper bunk is agile enough to get into the bunk and isn't nervous about tight spaces, I highly recommend booking a private room during this sale.

Featured image by Amtrak Empire Builder (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

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  • Recommended Credit
    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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees