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Nice Point Savings with the new Guest Rewards


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#1 nferr

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 01:49 PM

There are times when the new system does give a nice savings. Just booked a March round trip from Bridgeport (BRP) to New Orleans (NOL) roomette all the way from NYP. Used Amsnag to find best prices. Total points came to 27,038, would have been 40,000 under the old system. That's a substantial savings on points.



#2 abcnews

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 02:50 PM

I agree. There are times when it is better. The old program was strange. It certainly encouraged you to go on really long trips across two full zones (like Chicago - LA to Seattle..), but was not much help on so many typical journeys. A great example is going from MSP to Whitefish Montana.

 

At least in the current program you can go coach, Bedroom and roomette on the same trip,just by selecting the best point value based on each leg of the journey. I just looked at MSP to Richmond, VA. The best value (two of us) was a single roomette out of MSP-CHI which is an 8 hour day trip. Then a bedroom from Chicago to Washington (little difference in roomette & BR on the Cap Limited on certain days), then coach down to Richmond on the Silver Star. 

 

We often go from WAS to Chicago round trip. The old program was two zones (20 K & 40 K) for each direction. I will typically book a bedroom one-way for about 18,000 points. We usually do this trip once per year...


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#3 Bob Dylan

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 02:53 PM

There are times when the new system does give a nice savings. Just booked a March round trip from Bridgeport (BRP) to New Orleans (NOL) roomette all the way from NYP. Used Amsnag to find best prices. Total points came to 27,038, would have been 40,000 under the old system. That's a substantial savings on points.

Mostly true, but when you figure in that it is much harder for the average person to accumulate points, and that they have been devalued, it's not always such a deal when you have to make Connections and on High Bucket Trains!( plus Sleeping Car Passengers get No Bonus Points unlike Biz Class and Acela Riders! 😬)

Edited by Bob Dylan, 24 January 2017 - 02:55 PM.

 
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".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
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#4 dlagrua

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 06:26 PM

The new AGR points system requires that you must now hunt for the best fares for the fewest points. On short trips the points needed may be less but on long cross country trips, they are almost now out of reach. We used to be able to go PHL to SEA for 60,000 points (bedroom fare) . This year PHL -SEA would have been in the 90,000 point range and our PHL-DEN trip now cost us 56,000 points (use to be 40,00). On the up side you do get three points per dollar spent on Amtrak but with the $70 yr fee B of A card. The shopping portal can also be your friend as some deals there provide good points value for the dollar spent.



#5 the_traveler

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 10:10 PM

The old program was strange. It certainly encouraged you to go on really long trips across two full zones (like Chicago - LA to Seattle..)

It doesn't seem strange to me!:giggle:

But I agree. Last year I took a trip to NYP from FED. It cost just over 1,000 points on 2.0, but would have cost 5,500 points using 1.0 - that's a big savings!:)
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

#6 Ryan

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 11:21 PM

That's impossible. Everyone knows that the new AGR is the worst thing since unsliced bread and will bring about the imminent demise of Amtrak any day now.
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#7 dlagrua

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 08:00 AM

That's impossible. Everyone knows that the new AGR is the worst thing since unsliced bread and will bring about the imminent demise of Amtrak any day now.

I don't think anyone is claiming that but if posters do present factual statistical evidence, it does tell a story. The bottom line is that LD trips now require far more points under AGR 2.0.  Shorter trips can require less points on many trips..  It cannot be disputed that buying points today is a losing proposition as they cost more than the value at which they are redeemed. AGR 2.0 seems to be good for some and not for others. Am I wrong with this analysis?



#8 the_traveler

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 12:49 PM

I think Ryan was just being humorous with his post.

Yes, you're correct about buying points "for a trip down the road sometime". The only "good" time to buy them is to book now if you are only a few points short.

And it's not just the short trips that may cost less. Trips like Cleveland to Chicago, Gainesville to Birmingham or Lamy to Gallup used to be 2 zones under AGR 1.0 and cost 8,000 points. They now under 2.0 cost FAR less!
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

#9 jebr

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 01:12 PM

Even Washington to Chicago is significantly cheaper - 20,000 under the old system, but only 12,765 for two in the new system (at low bucket, anyways.) Bumping it to MSP does bring it to around 20,800something, but that's not a huge increase, and I can save points by doing coach on the CHI - MSP leg and just bringing on my own supper or paying for supper in the diner. (Plus, I do save rail fare for the second person if traveling alone.)

 

It's definitely not adventageous for the long trips, but for a large portion of common trips it's a savings or essentially a wash.



#10 nferr

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 01:23 PM

I wouldn't consider Connecticut to New Orleans a short trip. No it's not cross country but it's a substantial trip. I also priced out a Connecticut to LAX trip and came out a little less on points using Amsnag again. Plus there's a lot more flexibility in planning a trip now as far as making intermediate overnight stops, etc. Now it's also definitely true that many trips require substantially more points depending on lots of different factors.


Edited by nferr, 02 February 2017 - 01:29 PM.


#11 printman2000

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 06:47 PM

I think Ryan was just being humorous with his post.

Yes, you're correct about buying points "for a trip down the road sometime". The only "good" time to buy them is to book now if you are only a few points short.

And it's not just the short trips that may cost less. Trips like Cleveland to Chicago, Gainesville to Birmingham or Lamy to Gallup used to be 2 zones under AGR 1.0 and cost 8,000 points. They now under 2.0 cost FAR less!


Lamy was a border stop. It was only one zone to the West coast or to the central zone.

#12 the_traveler

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 09:00 PM

You're right. I forgot every stop from TRI to ABQ was a border city on the SWC.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

#13 Tennessee Traveler

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 08:35 PM

I'm doing roomette trip in April, Crescent NOL to DC, Capitol Limited DC to CHI, and California Zephyr CHI to EMY for 46,000 points.  I consider that a good deal.  In a roundabout way I am traveling across at least three old zone boundaries.


Edited by Tennessee Traveler, 20 February 2017 - 06:08 PM.


#14 Bob Dylan

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 09:14 PM

I'm doing roomette trip in April, Crescent NOL to DC, Capitol Limited DC to CHI, and California Zephyr CHI to EMY for 26,000 points.  I consider that a good deal.  In a roundabout way I am traveling across at least three old zone boundaries.

Heck of a deal! You're one of the lucky ones!😎
 
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Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#15 dlagrua

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 11:34 AM

I'm doing roomette trip in April, Crescent NOL to DC, Capitol Limited DC to CHI, and California Zephyr CHI to EMY for 26,000 points.  I consider that a good deal.  In a roundabout way I am traveling across at least three old zone boundaries.

 You are going roomette from NOL -WAS-CHI-EMY  for 26,000 points????  I don't know how you did that but it certainly sounds unbelievable. We are going PHL-WAS-CHI-DEN bedroom in June and it cost us 56,000 points. Traveling in slower periods and avoiding June-July-Aug-Sept may be the key to getting a good buy.



#16 RRRick

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 01:41 PM

I'm doing roomette trip in April, Crescent NOL to DC, Capitol Limited DC to CHI, and California Zephyr CHI to EMY for 26,000 points.  I consider that a good deal.  In a roundabout way I am traveling across at least three old zone boundaries.

Using lowest bucket prices for April, I came up with 36,984 points for that trip as a senior, in roomettes. How did you do that ? 


Edited by RRRick, 04 February 2017 - 01:42 PM.


#17 Tennessee Traveler

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 06:22 PM

I booked my tickets July 23, 2016, all were priced at low bucket fare.  I checked and the fare was 46,000 instead of 26,000.  My 75 year old mind was in error.

 

Please forgive my error.  



#18 RRRick

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 07:37 PM

I forgive you !  I was hoping you found a loophole to share. Have a nice trip, from another 75 year old .



#19 me_little_me

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 06:01 PM

 

I'm doing roomette trip in April, Crescent NOL to DC, Capitol Limited DC to CHI, and California Zephyr CHI to EMY for 26,000 points.  I consider that a good deal.  In a roundabout way I am traveling across at least three old zone boundaries.

Using lowest bucket prices for April, I came up with 36,984 points for that trip as a senior, in roomettes. How did you do that ? 

 

As a senior? Seniors get no special deal when using points. Point price is based on adult fare.



#20 RRRick

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 08:36 PM

 

 

I'm doing roomette trip in April, Crescent NOL to DC, Capitol Limited DC to CHI, and California Zephyr CHI to EMY for 26,000 points.  I consider that a good deal.  In a roundabout way I am traveling across at least three old zone boundaries.

Using lowest bucket prices for April, I came up with 36,984 points for that trip as a senior, in roomettes. How did you do that ? 

 

As a senior? Seniors get no special deal when using points. Point price is based on adult fare.

 

I am a senior. I didn't write that seniors got a special deal on points. Do you agree ?






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