I’ve been reviewing several aspects of Amtrak recently, and wanted to take a look at their elite status levels for those of you who may ride the rails frequently.
Amtrak has 3 elite status levels:
- Select Plus
- Select Executive
Today, I’m going to look inside Amtrak’s Select status, which I held for several years while in college.
Unlike airline status, Amtrak’s elite levels are a bit different – don’t expect many of the same benefits you would in the air.
So, let’s talk first about Tier Qualifying Points – these are earned for every dollar you spend on Amtrak. So, yes, Amtrak is a revenue based program. You’ll earn 2 points for every dollar you spend on Amtrak travel, with a 100 point minimum per trip. So, earning select status would mean spending $2,500 on Amtrak travel – which, if you’re a frequent user in the Northeast Corridor, may not be hard to do.
Once you do that, you’ll earn select status and begin to earn benefits:
25% Bonus on Amtrak Trips
Pretty self explanatory, but you’ll earn an additional 25% bonus on the amount of points you earn on your trip. Note that this is based on the fare of your ticket, and NOT mileage (like airline travel).
Priority Phone Number
I generally find Amtrak’s agents to answer fast on their regular line, so didn’t find too much value in this benefit, but it’s there for high call volume times.
50,000 Point Transfer Limit
Unlike the general members below this status, you can transfer up to 50,000 Amtrak points to another member.
Many years ago, you used to earn 4 upgrade coupons per year that allowed you a one-class upgrade. These were most lucrative upgrading from Business Class to First Class on the Acela Express train, though these certificates have since been discontinued for Select members.
If you’re going to earn this status anyways by way of excessive Amtrak travel, it’s worth it. However, don’t go out of your way to get the perks included – it simply isn’t worth it, and most of what’s provided is simply a marketing ploy for unknowledgeable people.
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