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You can now avoid crowds for train departures with the Amtrak app

June 10, 2020
3 min read
You can now avoid crowds for train departures with the Amtrak app
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Have you ever witnessed travelers crowding to board a plane or train the moment the doors open?

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Gate lice behavior may be here to stay, but you don't have to stand around for it — at least when traveling with Amtrak, anyway. Now for select Amtrak stations, you can track real-time gate and departure information directly through the Amtrak app.

The app feature allows travelers to avoid clustering around departure boards and other information signage, like they currently do at Penn Station, before making the mad dash to the right track. This process is annoying during the best of times, and potentially harmful during these times of heightened infection risk.

Amtrak passengers lining up at New York Penn Station. (Photo by Amtrak/Doug Riddell)
Amtrak passengers lining up at New York Penn Station. (Photo by Amtrak/Doug Riddell)

Penn Station will be the latest Amtrak destination to display real-time track and departure information within the app — the functionality will be added by July 2020. Existing stations with tracking information include:

  • Sacramento, Calif.
  • Berlin, Conn.
  • Meriden, Conn.
  • Wallingford, Conn.
  • Wilmington, Del.
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Carlinville, Ill.
  • Normal-Bloomington, Ill.
  • Aberdeen, Md.
  • Baltimore, Md.
  • BWI/Thurgood Marshall Airport, Md.
  • New Carrollton, Md.
  • Havre, Mont.
  • Omaha, Neb.
  • Rochester, N.Y.
  • Klamath falls, Ore.
  • Salem, Ore.
  • Philadelphia, Penn.
  • Austin, Texas
  • Houston, Texas
  • Richmond (Staples Mill), Va.
  • Tukwila, Wash.

Tracking your train track and departure information isn't the only feature available within the newly updated Amtrak app. You can stay efficient and germ-free by accomplishing the following tasks, all from your trusty smartphone:

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  • Show your scannable eTicket while onboard, including multi-ride and monthly passes, bypassing the need for printed tickets.
  • Purchase one-way, roundtrip, multi-ride and monthly tickets, either by credit card or with Amtrak Guest Rewards points
  • Check the status of your train
  • Find station hours and addresses
  • Get real-time gate and track boarding information at select stations
  • Edit and manage your account profile
  • Save credit cards for quick checkout (these are the best cards to use for train travel)
  • Send your eTicket to Apple Wallet

Related: Amtrak adopts "plane policies" for train tickets

The app is free for both Android and iPhone devices, and can also be used on an iPad. The Amtrak website is also mobile-friendly, so you can pull up any browser window to access the Multi-city tickets are not supported, but can be purchased through the Amtrak website. And you can "favorite" the Amtrak stations you use the most often by selecting them within the app.

Amtrak has made a number of customer-friendly changes in recent months, including extending elite status for travelers impacted by coronavirus lockdowns, as well as extending the expiration date on Amtrak Guest Rewards points.

Featured image by Amtrak passengers lining up at New York Penn Station. (Photo by Amtrak/Doug Riddell)

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

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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.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
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  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.