Last updated: 09:49 AM ET, Fri January 22 2016

Previewing Amtrak’s New Guest Rewards Program

Car Rental & Rail Amtrak Donald Wood January 22, 2016

Previewing Amtrak’s New Guest Rewards Program

Photo by Brian Major

On Sunday, Jan. 24, Amtrak’s much anticipated new Guest Rewards program will take effect, completely overhauling the way rail passengers are reimbursed for their travel.

Amtrak first made the announcement of the new rewards program in August, which includes several major changes meant to make it easier for customers to earn reward points. The changes include eliminating blackout dates, points that never expire and much more.

Amtrak vice president Matt Hardison released a statement in August about the changes:

“This program takes Amtrak Guest Rewards to the next level with improved earnings potential and expanded, simplified redemptions. We are confident this program combines what passengers want most — the ability to grow points earnings rapidly with the freedom to use those points in the way that best fits their individual travel needs.”

READ MORE: The Unexpected Pleasure of Travel by Amtrak

Some of the Amtrak Guest Rewards program improvements include, (via Amtrak):

• No more blackout dates and Acela time-of-day travel restrictions.

• Bonus points for Acela and Business class travel.

• Points that never expire with any qualifying account activity within 36 months.

• A simplified redemption structure for free Amtrak travel based on ticket price instead of zones or routes—as low as 800 points per trip.

• Redemption opportunities for multi-ride tickets and monthly passes

• Ability to book, modify and cancel reward tickets themselves via Amtrak self-service channels

• A “cash-plus-points” option that provides more flexibility.

For more information about the new and improved reward program and a full list of benefits for members, check out Amtrak’s official Guest Rewards website.