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Monday, September 7

The End of an Era - Amtrak Devalues the Amtrak Guest Rewards Program Starting January 2016

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. The Amtrak Guest Rewards program that I have come to love - giving us 10s of free, flexible tickets worth thousands of dollars each year is soon to be no more. Well, the program will still exist, but it will not be worth much in the future.

While currently you can use 4000 points to redeem a last minute train ticket worth up to $200 or more, even a day before the day you travel - a great use of Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amtrak points, starting on January 24, 2016 a totally new redemption system will go into effect. This new Amtrak Guest Rewards program uses the price of the ticket you are purchasing to determine how many points you will have to spend on the ticket. As an example, the 4000 points that used to cover a one way ticket to anywhere on the northeast regional network is now redeemable for a ticket costing roughly $126:

Monday, September 29

Amtrak guest rewards credit card 18000 point bonus offer now available! Includes a companion coupon!

UPDATE: Not only is this offer no longer available, but Chase has stopped offering the Chase Amtrak Guest Rewards card to new applicants! Now the only route to signing up for an Amtrak earning card is one of the cards earning Chase Ultimate Rewards.

For the first time in several years Chase and Amtrak are offering a higher than normal sign up bonus for the no annual fee Amtrak Guest Rewards credit card!

Apply now to snag this great 18000 point Amtrak Guest Reward credit card offer from Chase (normally 12k bonus) with additional Companion Coupon for a free Companion Ticket - After $1000 in total spend within 3 months - a great deal
Limited Time Amtrak 18000 Point Amtrak Credit Card Offer

The Amtrak guest rewards credit card is a great way to stock up on free Amtrak points that you can use in a variety of ways. The 18k bonus is one of the highest bonuses in years, especially where Amtrak is giving the offer out to everyone (in the past several years everyone has been offered a 12k bonus, with only a select few receiving targeted offers as longtime Amtrak Guest Rewards members).

Thursday, June 26

How to always get a seat at NYC Penn Station on Amtrak and NJ Transit

Do you hate the crowds at NYC Penn Station?

Make Amtrak Travel Less Stressfull - Follow this Tip at NY Penn Station - Image of staircase underneath the Departures/Arrivals sign Leading Down to Platforms
Skip the Crowds and Lines with this Easy Tip to Get You to Your Seat Fast
One of the hardest things about taking Amtrak or NJ Transit trains from Penn Station in NYC is the boarding process. Hundreds of people are crowded around the departure board, waiting for the announcement of the track assignment for their train. Once the announcement is made, a huge line forms at the single escalator going down to that track number. On popular travel days and around rush hour, this quickly turns into a huge crowd. If you don’t manage to get in the front of the line, you will have a limited choice of seats available, often having to ask someone to share a seat with them. Luckily, there is a better option.

Sunday, May 4

Amtrak WIFI connection problems? A possible fix to AmtrakConnect Fatal Errors

The AmtrakConnect WIFI service on Amtrak trains (image of WIFI window sticker) can experience errors, typically when first starting a trip. But don't despair, typically the steps outlined below can get the WIFI fixed for you and your fellow passengers
Problems connecting to AMTRAK CONNECT?  Try the below fix first
Although I am a fan of Amtrak, much more now that I have learned how to take all of my Amtrak trips for free, the WIFI can definitely be a source of frustration at times. Recently, I have come across a solution that seems to work for most of the recent errors I have been seeing.

Thursday, April 24

Do I Qualify for Business Credit Cards? I Don’t Have a Business with Employees

I used to think that I wasn't qualified to open business credit cards, because I didn't have a business with employees. I was wrong. Over the last year I have successfully signed up for several business credit cards, while still working a fulltime 9-5 job and earning $0 to-date in income for the business in question (although I do hope to get it off the ground some day).

Sunday, April 20

Credit Cards and Credit, Some Questions to Ask Yourself before Opening any New Cards

"I Do Not Pay My Balance in Full Each Month. Should I Open a Credit Card to Earn Free Amtrak Travel?"

Getting to a point where you consistently pay off your credit card bills each month is a prerequisite to earning free travel using credit cards. If you do not pay off all of your credit cards in full each month, you will typically end up paying more in interest then you will earn in any cash back, rewards points or travel benefits and miles, including Amtrak. Credit card companies charge sky-high interest rates on most credit card balances in general, but travel and rewards credit cards typically have some of the highest interest rates. You would be much better served working towards paying down all outstanding credit card balances before considering any type of reward credit card to earn free travel. Once you have been able to pay down your balances in full each month, then you can re-evaluate whether you are ready to open and use credit cards for the purpose of earning free travel. One strategy I personally like to use when opening any credit card is to sign up to have my credit card balance automatically paid from my bank account each month, the same day I activate the card. This ensures I will never risk being subject to late payment fees or interest charges as I will always be paying my balance off in full.

Wednesday, April 9

Signing Up for the Amtrak Guest Rewards Program – A Visual Guide

Amtrak Guest Rewards: Steps to Sign Up for an Account

Signing up for the Amtrak Guest Rewards program is simple and straight forward.

Here are the steps required to enroll: