6 Tips for Cheap Amtrak Tickets
Looking to score cheap Amtrak tickets? Here are 6 ways to pay less for your trip.
1. Join Amtrak Guest Rewards
Every time you ride with us, you can earn Amtrak Guest Rewards points toward free trips. Joining the loyalty program is completely free, and promotions come directly to your inbox. It’s a really simple premise: You ride, you earn points. Even better, if you ride a lot, then you get bumped up to higher tiers in the program that earn you even more points per ride.
2. Book 14 Days in Advance
The early bird really does get the worm! If you plan ahead and book your seats early, you can get the worm and the best ticket prices on the Northeast Corridor. In fact, you can save 25 percent or more off the lowest available fares when you book 14 days in advance. Just choose the Adult passenger type when booking to receive the discounted fare.
3. Buy Your Tix Online or on Your Phone
In case you were planning on waiting until the last minute and buying your tickets when you get to the station--don't. Our best prices are listed on our website and are also available on our app. If you don't have that yet, go here to download it. Not only do you get the best prices, you'll also be able to change your reservation and check your train's status right from your smartphone!
4. Bring Your Kids!
Kids ages 2-15 travel for half price! That's right, the kiddos are eligible to receive a 50 percent discount on the lowest available adult rail fare on most Amtrak trains. With all the money you save, you can buy them lots of candy and soda from the cafe car! We kid. But that would be pretty awesome.
5. Sign Up for Student Advantage
Did you know that we offer 15 percent off most routes, if you book with a Student Advantage card (only $20 a year!)? Seriously. When you book online at Amtrak.com, there’s a ‘Passenger Discounts’ page where you can select 'Student Advantage' as your discount type. Then, on the ‘Passenger Info,’ enter your Student Advantage membership number. Easy.
6. Follow @Amtrak on Social Media
We're constantly sharing our latest deals and promos online. Plus we're kinda funny, too! For Twitter you can find us @Amtrak and on Facebook, we're at Facebook.com/Amtrak. Throughout the day we share important travel updates, our latest discounts and even a few contests for free tickets. Most importantly, following us is free!
Do you have other tips to share with your fellow passengers? Tell us in the comments below!
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Not a tip to save money but especially as there are so many comments from seniors, one of my favorite travel tips is USE A REDCAP. For the cost of a tip (service itself is free) you get someone to help w/ your bags and you get to board the train early. If you've ever wondered who those folks are who already relaxed and comfy as you are rushing to find a seat, those are the folks who used red caps. I travel will my pre-schooler all the time and red caps are a great extra set of hands. They are all really nice and friendly. In DC they are great b/c they also help you get a taxi. Those lines can be 100 plus people long. Request a red cap on the train and you'll be curb side in a taxi before you know it.
Nice that you have something for writers and students. How about seniors. We 65+ people aren't satisfied with armchair traveling. Give us a shot at the real thing!
For the past 7 years I have been using Veterans Advantage, now that I'm 62, I don't need the card any more. I usually book my rail travel in the months of January and February..much cheaper.
Online booking off amtrak.com allows. Booking approx 11 months in advance. That's when you see the lowest ever first class room prices in the cross country trains
Join the National Association of Railroad Passengers (www.narprail.org) and get a 10% discount on Amtrak rail fares no matter what your age! Two or three trips will more than pay for your membership … and you'll be helping NARP in its advocacy for more and better and faster passenger trains.
Make it easier to find lower fares. Sometimes traveling a few days earlier or later makes a big difference in the fare and would work well for the leisure traveler, but that is difficult to find on line.
You can. I just bought online a ticket 2 week back for myself using Amtrak points for a PHL to BOSTON RETURN trip, so there is a sub menu for that.
@ereed96 Good advice. And make sure to leave a tip for them appropriately based on # or weight of bags!
In particular, make sure to hail a red cap if you are boarding at PHL (Philadelphia 30th street) with heavy baggage, as they are the only guys with keys to the elevators - passengers like you cannot operate these elevators in that station .. and the only alternative is to try the staircase (and a moving-staircase/escalator-in-operation if you are lucky).
Also, red caps know what coach will 'stop' where - is the business class for a particular train near the head or near the tail? ... and help you get to the right spot on the platform.
Unlike other rail systems (where upper class is always to the tail), Amtrak's coach positioning defy common-sense logic - and it is often a long walk inside to get to your coach, if you chose business class in regional trains.
@texasrose53 No. Best bet to try AAA or NARP/AARP (as applies). The online reservation gadget shows what discount categories are there.
None for Acela.
One disclaimer - AAA discount is no longer valid unless you buy in advance ... like > 3 days (?).
@GeorgeRoyall Yeah, we who have time to travel and not so much money would appreciate some great discounts!
@GeorgeRoyall Seniors (age 62+) get 15% off. :)
@sumit60192 Amtrak seems to follow a system of automated price rise as higher % of rooms or seats are booked - so booking sooner is often cheaper. You can experiment/verify this by trying different dates i.e. different months (use same day of week to eliminate weekend bias) and see for yourself how the pattern of prices are rising.. often 4 fold or more!
@BigUglyMike1 What is the senior discount? I am there.
@KarlWolfWarren Another money saving trick is to use coach for day time part of travel. For example if you are going from Chicago to Washington DC, you will save a lot if you vacate your bedroom around Pittsburgh (or the next station) and transfer to a coach seat for the day time part - as compared to use first class all the way (difference: you will have to pay for the breakfast yourself).
Upper deck seats are as comfortable (and better views) in the double-decker coaches daytime.
Same trick works for trips to SFO or Boston (from Chicago).
@Mullick Wow! That's changed then. What about room number selection booking online? Can the system handle that?