An update on Amtrak. Some of the old discount codes that I’ve posted are no longer valid, so I figured it was time to update my tips.
First, make sure that you sign up for Amtrak Guest Rewards. You’ll get 500 bonus points with your first trip, plus points for the ride. These points can be used for free train travel or converted into miles with United, Continental, and Midwest Express. Furthermore, frequent travel while a Guest Rewards members has additional dividends. Amtrak has an elite level that offers upgrades to first class if space is available, and passes to their first class lounge. 5 roundtrips on the Acela Express or Metroliner in a year is all it takes to qualify.
Second, you should be sure to get the best price for your tickets. When booking your train, you can enter a discount or promotion code — “V529” is good for about 20% off but may not work with Acela express trains. “H234” is good for 35% off on many trains. “H233” is good for 30% off on other trains. In addition, consider booking your return train to a city past your final destination in order to get a better price. For instance, on a Washington DC to New York trip, you might return to North Carolina (stopping in DC, where you get off the train) and find that the price is lower.
Update 8/10/03: Here’s a rundown of current discount codes (thanks to Flyertalk.com):
- H215: Entertainment book 10% off coupon. You need the coupon for this one.
- H317: 50% off one companion fare for each full fare purchased. For travel through November 24 between any stations from New London CT to Washington DC. Regional trains only (excludes Acela and Metroliner).
- V529: 20% off Northeast Corridor trains (reserved or unreserved) except on Fridays and Sundays from 11am to 11pm. Valid for travel through December 18. Blackouts 5/23-27, 7/3-7,8/29-9/1, 11/25-12/2.
- V707: 20% off many unreserved Northeast Corridor trains, with no time or weekday restrictions. Valid for travel through September 17. Blackouts 8/27-9/1.
- V709: 20% off various unreserved Northeast Corridor trains at any time or day of week. Valid through November 9. Blackouts 8/29-9/1.