On the way home from our recent New York City trip, I decided to skip the bus and try the train. Train travel between DC and New York is usually at least 2x the cost of a bus ticket, but I found a way to save over $70 and minimize the points I had to redeem.
Here’s the trick: When you buy adult tickets on points, you can still buy 1/2 cash price tickets for your kids. You can’t do it online, but if you call customer service and give them the adult ticket reservation, they will sell you a kid’s ticket at 1/2 price. Even better, if the kid is (or if you are) new to Amtrak Rewards, sign up here for 500 bonus points if they travel on a paid ticket within 90 days on a new Amtrak Rewards number. Sign up just one person in your family with my link above, then once you’re a member, you can “invite” other members. With the invite, you’ll get 500 bonus points when they go, too!
Here’s the process:
- I got myself an Amtrak account and “invited” Deal Girl to get one also.
- I transferred over 4,000 points from Chase Ultimate Rewards and booked myself a one way coach ticket that would have cost $146.40.
- Calling in to Amtrak’s customer service then I ordered a child’s ticket on the same train for $73.20.
- After going on the trip, Deal Girl earned 146 x2(double miles promo) + 500= 792 points and I earned 500, meaning a net cost for the ticket of $60.28.
Yes, I could have transferred another 4,000 points instead for her ticket, but I covet my Chase points highly and felt this was a fair deal.