A Trick to Combine Amtrak Cash and Points For Sleeper Cars Booking


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A Trick to Combine Amtrak Cash and Points For Sleeper Cars Booking

I've recently learned that there’s a way to redeem Amtrak points + cash for sleeper car accommodations.

A Trick to Combine Amtrak Cash and Points For Sleeper Cars Booking
Amtrak Business Class From Vancouver Canada to Seattle

Table of Contents  [show/hide]

    Amtrak Cash and Points Booking

    First of all, it’s worth understanding that Amtrak’s booking system does not allow points + cash redemption booking. You either have to have enough points to book or pay 100% with cash. This is why the following trick to use the combination of Amtrak cash and points only works better with the sleeper car accommodation tickets, and not for the economy or business class tickets. 

    The Trick to Combine Amtrak Cash and Points For Sleeper Car Accommodations 

    Sometimes, it can happen that you are short on points to redeem for all the Amtrak tickets for all of the travelers in your parties. 

    Amtrak Private Sleep Cars include: 
    • Roomette 
    • Bedroom
    • Bedroom Suite
    • Family Bedroom
    • Accessible Bedroom

    All Private Sleeper Cars come with complimentary meals, lounge access and a personal car attendant. The Roomette layout is bunk beds configuration and can accommodate up to two (2) people. Roomette is the most economical in terms of pricing and therefore it also requires lesser Amtrak points for redemption because Amtrak Guest Rewards booking fluctuates based on the ticket's fare (dynamic award pricing). Amtrak does not charge the room type per person, but they charge extra for the second person that is staying in the same Roomette. 

    I’m going to use Roomette for this demonstration on how you can book a Roomette using the combination of Amtrak Guest Rewards points and cash: 
    • Book a Roomette for one person on Amtrak website all on points.
    • After your reservation is booked, call Amtrak at 1-800-872-7245 and tell the agent that you want to add another person to your Roomette by paying cash. Amtrak agent will do that and charge you accordingly. 
      • Take a look at the screenshots below. As you can see, one ticket for a Roomette from LAX to Seattle in the peak summer time for an almost 34 hours journey costs you $680. Two tickets cost you $840. So the difference in price for two adults is $160. This is the amount that you’d pay to add an extra person to the Roomette that you booked all on points. 
    A Trick to Combine Amtrak Cash and Points For Sleeper Cars Booking
    First Two Rows For 1 Adult
    Second Two Rows For 2 Adults

    Amtrak Transfer Partners

    Amtrak Guest Rewards points can be earned with other ways too if you do not have enough points in your account, but the process can be slow or the transfer ratio is very poor. 

    Amtrak shopping portal could take weeks for you to earn back the points on your purchases. Amtrak also has transfer partners that you can convert points from another rewards program to Amtrak points. With the exception of the Audience Rewards, the transfer ratio is not ideal:
    • Audience Rewards: 1,000 ShowPoints = 1,000 Amtrak points. 
    • Choice Privileges: 32,000 Choice Privileges points = 5,000 Amtrak points. 
    • Hertz: 600 Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Points = 500 Amtrak points.
    • Hilton Honors: 10,000 Hilton Honors Points = 1,500 Amtrak points. 

    There's another way that you can use Points.com to exchange other rewards program's points into  Amtrak points. To do that: 
    • Go directly to Points.com
    • Create an account if you don't have an account yet. If you do have an account, simply sign in and click on Exchange under the Menu on the left hand side. 
    • Simply follow the screen to see participating rewards programs and the exchange rate. 

    Once again, I personally do not think the exchange rate is good unless there’s a certain rewards program that you do not see you'll be using. 

    Amtrak Credit Cards

    Additionally, Amtrak has two credit cards that allow you to earn Amtrak points:

    However, you need to understand that you only receive points from credit card's spending once your card's account statement is closed. So time accordingly if you wish to top up your Amtrak Guest Rewards account based on the spending you put on your Amtrak's credit card. 

    Purchase Amtrak Points 

    Alternatively, you can also buy Amtrak points to top up your Amtrak Guest Rewards account. Topping up your account for a specific redemption is a good reason to buy points. You can do the math to determine the value of your points currency or the face value of your cash for a specific redemption in mind. 

    Amtrak is currently offering 30% bonus on points purchase:

    Amtrak Sleeper Car Tickets Change & Cancellation Policy

    It’s worth noting that, Amtrak has the following change and cancellation policy for the private Sleeper Car Accommodations:

    Cash Booking:
    • Cancellation Refunds: Full refund to original form of payment or eVoucher with no fees if canceled 121 days or more before departure. Refund to original form of payment with 25% fee charged if canceled 120 to 15 days before departure. Within 14 days of departure, only refundable to non-refundable eVoucher with a 25% cancellation fee.
    • No change fee

    Points Booking:
    • Cancellations: A 10% points penalty is assessed for any refund (redeposit) to the Member account. If canceling a non-sleeper ticket within 24 hours prior to departure, or a sleeper ticket within 14 days prior to departure, an additional "close-in" penalty of 10% of the points redeemed will be collected (waived for Select Executive and Select Plus members).
    • Modifications: A points difference (to new, prevailing fare) will apply in all cases with a 10% points penalty withheld on any fare difference returned to member. If modifying a non-sleeper ticket within 24 hours prior to departure, or a sleeper ticket within 14 days prior to departure, an additional "close-in" penalty of 10% of the points redeemed will be collected (waived for Select Executive and Select Plus members).
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    Posted by: PL

    Hello there! People call me PL and I am a points blogger. Obsessed with using points and miles to elevate travel experiences to explore the world. Enjoy finer things in life and good food. I have a day job, this points blog is mainly my hobby and my contribution back to the points community. If you enjoy reading this post, please help me share it! If you enjoy what you read here, please make sure you subscribe or follow this blog on social media so that you will be notified when there's a new blog's post. I thank you for reading this blog. Your support means a lot to me and it is what makes this blog's work worthwhile. If I can be of any help, you can contact me: thepointslife at gmail dot com

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