How to prevent your Amtrak points from expiring!

How to prevent your Amtrak points from expiring!

Life happens, and we cannot travel as much as we want. But did you know that if you previously traveled and accumulated points, they do expire? You do not need those well-earned Amtrak points to go to waste!

While Amtrak points can expire, there are ways for you to keep them to use for travel or redeem them in other ways, and that is what this article is about.

Hiawatha in SVT
Amtrak’s Hiawatha arrived at the Sturtevant Depot

The value of Amtrak Guest Reward points

This section may or may not be relevant to some of you, but some people like to know.

You earn 2 Amtrak Guest Reward points for every dollar you spend on Amtrak travel, providing you enter your number when booking. Points are often awarded within 7-10 days after the conductors “lift” or scan your tickets.

Amtrak points redemption Value.

According to The Points Guys, an Amtrak point is worth 2.67 cents for travel, while the average airline point is 1.7 cents (Nerdwallet).

If I did the math right, points would be worth 1 cent for gift card redemption.

The Empire Builder Stopped at the Sturtevant Depot
The Empire Builder Stopped at the Sturtevant Depot. (This was a temporary stop in 2020)

When do Amtrak points expire?

Amtrak Guest Reward points can expire after two consecutive years of inactivity. But there are things you can do to stay active, even if you cannot travel before they do, to save them.

Here are ways you can keep your points:

Here are a few ways that Amtrak suggests you do to keep your points active.

  1. Book a trip and travel before your expiration date. While this doesn’t fit the “can’t travel right now” theme, it’s the easiest way to get points.
  2. Redeeming points for Amtrak travel​ will keep your account active. In other words, if your points are about to expire, book a trip to use some, and then you can keep the balance. Amtrak allows you to book a trip eleven months out.
  3. Get theAmtrak Guest Rewards® Preferred Mastercard®​. If you do this, your points will not expire while you have the card.
  4. You can redeem points for ​Amtrak coupons and lounge passes​; the info is at the bottom of the page.
  5. There is a survey program​ you can join that will keep your account active.
  6. You can redeem points for gift cards. Amtrak offers dining and entertainment or shopping and carbon offsets.
  7. Buy points for yourself or gift or transfer your points​ to others! Travels with Kev accepts points, haha.
  8. Use one of Amtrak’s retail partners.
  9. Book a trip for someone else using your points, and you can give the gift of travel while keeping your remaining points.

You have to do something, but the nice thing is that it is often not hard to do.

Where to get help with Amtrak Guest Rewards

If you want to book using points or have questions, call the Amtrak Guest Rewards service center at 1-800-307-5000. It is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

A look at the Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station
Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station

Wrap-up

If you are a member and have not traveled in a while, it wouldn’t hurt to see when your points expire and you know that you know how to renew them.

It is advisable to follow the suggested steps to retain most, if not all, of your points. It might be better to forfeit some points rather than lose them all. However, the decision ultimately depends on what you believe is best.

I hope this information is helpful and you can utilize your Amtrak Guest Rewards points to enjoy as many miles of “free” travel as I have. Thank you for allowing me to assist you with your Amtrak adventures. For more Amtrak travel suggestions, please explore the rest of this site. If you’d like to receive further updates from me, you can sign up for the email list below.

Safe Travels and Happy Planning.

Kev

Kevin Monteith

Kev Monteith has been traveling on Amtrak since 2012. With over a decade of experience, he has been on over 800 trains, covering over 200k miles of rail. Kev enjoys helping others achieve their travel dreams by providing support and information. Outside of travel, Kev enjoys making music as an organist and outings with family.

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