Amtrak

Reminder: Only Days Left To Transfer Chase Points To Amtrak

Chase_Amtrak_Transfer2

If you’ve been on the fence about taking a trip on Amtrak using Ultimate Rewards points, now is the time to make a decision.

As Travis covered earlier this year, Amtrak is making big changes to the Amtrak Guest Rewards program.

The major changes include:

— Amtrak will switch from a zone-based award chart to revenue redemptions
— Chase will no longer be issuing the co-branded Amtrak credit card

With the co-branded credit card moving from Chase to Bank of America, Chase will lose Amtrak as an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. Back in October Amtrak announced that the last day to transfer points is December 7, 2015.

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New Amtrak Guest Rewards Program Revealed

Family bedroom on Amtrak

Amtrak is relaunching their Guest Rewards frequent rider program starting in January 2016. There are two big aspects to the announcement:

• Amtrak will switch from a zone-based award chart to revenue redemptions
• Chase will no longer be issuing the co-branded Amtrak credit card

The news of this devaluation hit me kind of hard. I’ve only ever booked one Amtrak Guest Rewards award trip (and that was mostly for my parents), but I’ve come to appreciate the value of AGR points. Particularly for families. And especially for families that are close to a station on the border of two zones.

You see, for those in Denver, or Atlanta, or Albuquerque, or Wolf Point, a single-zone family bedroom could take up to 5 people anywhere within 2/3 of the United States for just 30,000 points. Meals included.

Well, Amtrak has now announced that the relaunched Amtrak Guest Rewards will go into effect January 24th, 2016. (They probably intended for it to start at the beginning of the year, but nothing at Amtrak is ever on time.)

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Amtrak Switching To Revenue Based Redemptions. Book Now!

amtrak train

Assuming you like riding trains, the Amtrak Guest Rewards program offers some exceptional values. Amtrak currently has a zone-based system, and as Amtrak is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards it’s easy to accrue point in the program even if you’re not a frequent train rider.

I am definitely not an expert at Amtrak Guest Rewards, and have actually only ridden Amtrak once in my life as part of a really cool Amtrak Adventure for my parents a little over a year ago. In the process of booking that trip, I read just about everything I could find on the loyalty program (and the trains in general), and found it fascinating. It was like a whole new world had been opened up to me, a world which I had hoped to explore more in the coming years.

Well, that world is about to cease to exist.

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