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Buying Pts. @ 30% Bonus?


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#1 Rail Freak

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 02:35 PM

From vowing never to ride Amtrak again (because of AGR II) to Jonesing for another train trip, I'm thinking of buying 15k pts. to get the 4,500 Bonus Pts. Any thoughts out there?

Thanx


A Rookie No More! But Still A Lot Of Track To Travel !!!
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#2 the_traveler

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 02:52 PM

Under AGR 2.0, unless you need some points for a ticket "tomorrow", it is not advantageous to purchase points "to save up for a future trip"! A trip is no longer just 15K or 30K, it's based on the current bucket. Plus, if you only need a few points, you can always buy them at that time.

If it were me, unless you need the points right now, I would not buy them.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#3 Rail Freak

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:25 PM

I'm not going to travel LD Trips like I use to (1 or 4 a year) I want to save for a truly last ride. ex. STP-WAS-CHI-LAX-PDX-SAC-CHI-NOL-WAS-STP. Hopefully with my only hotel in PDX.  But, I probably would be planning another trip after that! LOL!!! So I guess this would be like buying a trip on Lay Away! (Any youngsters know what that is?)

HAVE FUN


Edited by Rail Freak, 17 May 2017 - 03:31 PM.

A Rookie No More! But Still A Lot Of Track To Travel !!!
Silver Meteor #97(6) & #98 (4), Silver Star #91 (2), Capitol Limited #29 & #30(6), Empire Builder #7,#8,#27(2) &#28(4) Coast Starlight #11 (6) & #14(5), California Zephyr #5 (2) & #6 (5), Cascades #506, City of New Orleans #58, #59 (2), South West Chief #3 (4), Lake Shore Limited #49, Maple Leaf #63, San Joaquin #714, Pacific Surfliner #774, Texas Eagle #422 (2), Cardinal #50, Crescent #19, Sunset Limited #1. Approx. 60,169 miles & 41 states!

HAVE FUN


#4 oregon pioneer

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:26 PM

I did some calculations, and it looked to me like the points *at 30% bonus* cost almost exactly what they are worth in exchange for a ticket. I'd just buy the ticket, especially if it's one where you can take advantage of a Senior or other discount.

 

On the other hand, if you have to use two payment methods, it can cause you to break the trip at a transfer point on what would otherwise be a through-trip. In that case, there can be a substantial cost penalty, and it might make better sense to buy the points to keep it one one res.

 

I will be paying for part of my trip next winter, and I will probably do the ticket purchase for a short portion after an overnight layover with a friend! That portion will be Business Class, so nice Senior discount there.


Jennifer

 

I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.


#5 City of Miami

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 07:03 PM

I did some calculations, and it looked to me like the points *at 30% bonus* cost almost exactly what they are worth in exchange for a ticket


But 'what they are worth' varies from a max of $0.028 downward to much less at times! I only found it advantageous to buy pts at 50% bonus, and now......not yet!!:-)

#6 jebr

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 07:10 PM

Unless you already have a bunch of points and are looking to top it off for a redemption that you're looking at booking now, just put the cash in a savings account until you're ready/have enough money to buy the trip you want. If nothing else, the refund penalties are less for a paid ticket vs. a points ticket, and you don't have to worry about the points devaluing further down the line.

 

There's no sweet spot where you're getting a significantly better redemption buying points than by just paying cash, and without that incentive I would say it's not worth buying points unless you're already flush with points and are just needing to top off for a specific trip.



#7 Rail Freak

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 01:50 PM

I know AGR II only started last year but have they offered this "Up To 30% Bonus" before?


A Rookie No More! But Still A Lot Of Track To Travel !!!
Silver Meteor #97(6) & #98 (4), Silver Star #91 (2), Capitol Limited #29 & #30(6), Empire Builder #7,#8,#27(2) &#28(4) Coast Starlight #11 (6) & #14(5), California Zephyr #5 (2) & #6 (5), Cascades #506, City of New Orleans #58, #59 (2), South West Chief #3 (4), Lake Shore Limited #49, Maple Leaf #63, San Joaquin #714, Pacific Surfliner #774, Texas Eagle #422 (2), Cardinal #50, Crescent #19, Sunset Limited #1. Approx. 60,169 miles & 41 states!

HAVE FUN


#8 the_traveler

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 01:59 PM

Many times.

It used to be a straight 50% bonus, then a straight 30% bonus, but lately it's been a staggering bonus.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#9 Rail Freak

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 02:33 PM

Thanx Dave, do you remember when the last 50% Bonus was?


A Rookie No More! But Still A Lot Of Track To Travel !!!
Silver Meteor #97(6) & #98 (4), Silver Star #91 (2), Capitol Limited #29 & #30(6), Empire Builder #7,#8,#27(2) &#28(4) Coast Starlight #11 (6) & #14(5), California Zephyr #5 (2) & #6 (5), Cascades #506, City of New Orleans #58, #59 (2), South West Chief #3 (4), Lake Shore Limited #49, Maple Leaf #63, San Joaquin #714, Pacific Surfliner #774, Texas Eagle #422 (2), Cardinal #50, Crescent #19, Sunset Limited #1. Approx. 60,169 miles & 41 states!

HAVE FUN


#10 the_traveler

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 03:17 PM

It was at least 2-3 years ago.:(
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#11 RSG

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 07:49 PM

It was at least 2-3 years ago. :(

 

Closer to 3.5 or 4, IIRC. I passed on it, thinking "Pfft...maybe next time."



#12 dlagrua

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 10:28 AM

With the introduction of AGR 2.0 the price of points went through the roof and more were required for LD tickets. It was a double whammy. If that's the way the game was going to go, I just stopped buying points all-together.  You pay more for the points than what they are worth when redeemed.  At a 50% bonus costs are on par with the value of the ticket.  If you want to lose money buy the points.

Unless folks just need a few points to bring things to the required level to get a ticket, I doubt if many are buying points anymore. Its a lousy system and IMO Amtrak needs to revisit it.  If they want our money in advance, there must be some incentive for people to buy.


Edited by dlagrua, 25 May 2017 - 10:31 AM.


#13 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 11:57 AM

Buying points with AGR2 starts at a disadvantage on day one and continuously underperforms standard inflation. Although there may be very specific cases where it helps, such as topping off a few points to cross the finish line, in most cases it's a fools errand.

If I had a tumor I'd name it Marla.


#14 Carolina Special

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 01:10 PM

If they're still pushing it, there must be someone out there buying the points. No matter how foolish we may think it is for the buyer.

So why shouldn't Amtrak keep pushing the points? It helps them meet that operating cost target.

Edited by Carolina Special, 25 May 2017 - 01:10 PM.


#15 the_traveler

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 01:38 PM

With the introduction of AGR 2.0 ... more were required for LD tickets.

If your going end to end or "the long way" (like WAS-SEA via NYP, CHI and LAX), that is true. But how about CLE-CHI (which is also a LD route)?:huh: It used to be 2 zones (8,000 or 20,000 or 30,000)! I bet it costs much less now.

So you can't just say that more points are required for LD routes.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#16 Railroad Bill

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 03:00 PM

 

With the introduction of AGR 2.0 ... more were required for LD tickets.

If your going end to end or "the long way" (like WAS-SEA via NYP, CHI and LAX), that is true. But how about CLE-CHI (which is also a LD route)? :huh: It used to be 2 zones (8,000 or 20,000 or 30,000)! I bet it costs much less now.

So you can't just say that more points are required for LD routes.

 

But I really miss doing "The Toledo Shuffle"  NOT  :)


Amtrak Trains Ridden So Far:
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#17 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 03:05 PM

 

With the introduction of AGR 2.0 ... more were required for LD tickets.

If your going end to end or "the long way" (like WAS-SEA via NYP, CHI and LAX), that is true. But how about CLE-CHI (which is also a LD route)? :huh: It used to be 2 zones (8,000 or 20,000 or 30,000)! I bet it costs much less now.

So you can't just say that more points are required for LD routes.
 
But I really miss doing "The Toledo Shuffle"  NOT  :)
My one time trying to do that shuffle I got bused to Chicago instead. :o

Edited by AmtrakBlue, 25 May 2017 - 03:05 PM.

2011: Jun: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER) // Nov: WIL=>WAS=>CHI=>PRO (NER=>CL=>CZ)
2012: Apr: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER) // May(NTD): WIL=>PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>PAO=>PHL (Keystone) // Aug: WIL=>WAS (NER) / BWI=>WIL (NER) // Oct(Gathering): PHL=>WIL (NER) / PHL=>HAR=>PHL (Keystone) / SEPTA, NJT, PATCO, River Line, Princeton Dinky
2013: May(NTD): WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER)  // Oct (Gathering): WIL=>CHI (Card) / CHI=>MKE=>GLN=>CHI() / CHI=>JOL=>CHI () / CHI=>WIL(CL=>NER) / CTA, Metra. SEPTA (WIL=>NRK) // Nov:  PHL=>PHL (Autumn Express) 
2014: May(NTD):  WIL=>PHL=>WIL(NER) // May:  WIL=>BOS=>WIL(NER) day trip

2014: Oct(Gathering): WIL=>NYP=>TOL(pd-NER=>LSL) / TOL=>CHI=>LAX=>EMY(pts-LSL=>SWC=>CS) / EMY=>CHI=>TOL (pts-CZ-CL) / TOL=>WAS=>WIL(pd-CL=>NER)
2015: May: CHI=>CIN(pd-Card) / CIN=>WIL(pts Card)
2015;  Oct(Gathering):  WIL=>WAS(Acela) / ALX=>WAS(NER) / WAS=>BAL(Acela) / WAS=>WIL(NER)

2016: Mar: WIL=>WAS=>WIL (NER)  // Oct:  WIL=>NYP=>NYP=>WIL (Autumn Express) 


#18 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 03:28 PM

 

With the introduction of AGR 2.0 ... more were required for LD tickets.

If your going end to end or "the long way" (like WAS-SEA via NYP, CHI and LAX), that is true. But how about CLE-CHI (which is also a LD route)? :huh: It used to be 2 zones (8,000 or 20,000 or 30,000)! I bet it costs much less now. So you can't just say that more points are required for LD routes.

 


All those people who were buying and saving points for years so they could finally make a six hour trip from Cleveland to Chicago are much better off now.   :rolleyes:


If I had a tumor I'd name it Marla.


#19 the_traveler

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 03:32 PM

But I really miss doing "The Toledo Shuffle"  NOT  :)


You could always "Shuffle off to Buffalo" instead!:giggle:
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#20 the_traveler

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 03:35 PM

With the introduction of AGR 2.0 ... more were required for LD tickets.

If your going end to end or "the long way" (like WAS-SEA via NYP, CHI and LAX), that is true. But how about CLE-CHI (which is also a LD route)? :huh: It used to be 2 zones (8,000 or 20,000 or 30,000)! I bet it costs much less now. So you can't just say that more points are required for LD routes.
All those people who were buying and saving points for years so they could finally make a six hour trip from Cleveland to Chicago are much better off now.   :rolleyes:
It cost me less points now to go from upstate NY to Florida!
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!




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