Last updated: 04:27 PM ET, Thu July 02 2015

Reward Points Make Rail Travel Ideal Alternative for Business Travelers

Business Travel | Amtrak | Patrick Clarke | June 18, 2015

Reward Points Make Rail Travel Ideal Alternative for Business Travelers

Heads up, road warriors.

Business travelers traversing the Northeast U.S. and looking to save money and take a break from some of the routine hassles of air and ground travel, are finding out that train travel can be an affordable change of pace. 

As USA Today's Road Warrior Voices points out, Amtrak's Guest Reward program is often overlooked despite the perks it offers frequent travelers. 

Travelers can earn points with the rail operator by purchasing train tickets, using an Amtrak credit card or by transferring Ultimate Rewards from a Chase credit card. And considering passengers can expect to pay up to $200 for a ticket for trips between major East Coast cities like Washington, D.C. and New York, reward points provide excellent value for Northeast train travel.

"Experts value Ultimate Rewards points at between 1.9 and 2.1 cents per point, and if you’re cashing in 4,000 points for a ticket on a regional train that would otherwise cost you between $100 and $200, that means you’re getting a value between 2.5 cents and 5 cents per point, which can be considered a great value," states Road Warrior Voices. "Anything less than $80, and you’re better off simply buying the ticket."

Another one of the perks of using reward points to book rail travel with Amtrak is that travelers don't have to pay additional taxes and fees like they would when booking a flight with their membership points. 

For business travelers specifically, the additional space and comfort available on a train compared to a plane is likely to boost productivity. For example, wider seats, Wi-Fi, access to electrical outlets and tables in some cases can give rail travel an edge over air travel when covering shorter distances for work. 

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