Thursday, December 15, 2005

Amtrak Redemption Point Increases

Amtrak is raising the number of points you need to get a free ticket starting January 3, 2006. This is covered on the Amtrak Guest Rewards on the page titled Amtrak Redemption Point Increases

This is bad for Philly-NYC commuters as it will take more points to get free travel. The gist for us is the following:

1) Coach Class 1 Zone will cost you 5,500 AGR points
2) Coach Class Special Northeast Zone will cost you 3,000

I think the Philly to NYC leg falls under the Coach Class Special Northeast Zone, so it will cost me an extra 500 points (it's 2,500 points now, so a 20% increase in 2006) to get a free one way ticket.

But the Philly to NYC leg can also be considered in Zone 1 I think. The zone map that used to be on the Amtrak site is no longer there so this policy change is not yet 100% clear to me. I emailed AGR and asked them if Philly to NYC is 3,000 or 5,500 points, but they didn't answer the question and just returned the table in the URL above. If it's 5,500 points for me to get a free ticket in 2006, this will be a huge financial hit. 3,000 is also a hit but certainly less dramatic and something I think I can manage in 2006.


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