Amtrak offering 15% student discount through the end of 2021

May 18, 2021

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Today, Amtrak announced a 15% student discount to students between the ages of 17 and 24. The discount is valid for most travel booked by Dec. 30, 2021, for travel commencing by Dec. 31, 2021. The discount can be applied to regular adult rail fares, and valid student identification must be presented upon request.

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That said, there are a few restrictions to keep in mind:

  • This offer is valid for Acela Business class or Coach seats only.
  • Discount is not valid on upgrades to Acela First class, non-Acela Business class and sleeper cars.
  • Discount is not valid on Missouri river runner, Hiawatha service, Wolverine, Blue Water, Pere Marquette, Lincoln service, Illini, Saluki, Illinois Zephyr, Carl Sandburg, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquins, Capitol Corridor, Keystone, Pennsylvanian, and 7000-8999 thruway series.
  • Seats may not be available on all trains on all days.

Students can take advantage of the discount by booking through this page on Amtrak’s website or by entering discount code V814 on the Amtrak app.

Related: Best credit cards for college students

This student discount can lead to super cheap fares on some routes. For example, you can book Chicago to New York for just $90 one-way in coach this July.

Chicago to New York with Amtrak student discount
(Screenshot courtesy of Amtrak)

Or, you can book Washington D.C. to Boston one-way for $34 in coach or $69 in Acela business class in August.

Washington to Boston Amtrak student discount fare
(Screenshot courtesy of Amtrak)

Unfortunately, the route restrictions make it difficult to use the student discount on shorter local routes. This is puzzling to me as many colleges are along these routes. For example, Amtrak’s Illini service connects Chicago to Champaign-Urbana and Carbondale, home to two of the largest public universities in Illinois.

Related: The complete guide to Amtrak Guest Rewards

Bottom line

It’s great to see Amtrak offer a generous discount to students through the end of the year, despite the restrictions. It’s a great way to encourage post-pandemic travel for students and offer them a cheap way to travel to and from campus on applicable routes. If you’re eligible for the discount, see if taking Amtrak is a viable option for your summer travel.

Feature photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy

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