Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hey! You Can Swap Air Miles for Amtrak Miles!

UPDATE: Apparently this offer is only good through December 31st. Get cracking!
According to the boingboing blog, anyone with frequent flyer mileage on Continental can swap those miles for points in Amtrak's Guest Rewards program. I have no idea how long this opportunity will last, but it would certainly be worth considering.

I'm a member of the Amtrak program, of course, and I love it. For example, 25,000 points will get you a roomette in a sleeping car for a two-night trip no matter which train, no matter what the fare ... just as long as there's a free room for those nights.

This is unlike the airlines who limit the number of seats on every flight to be used for their frequent flier program. When the allocation is gone, that flight is no longer available for mileage. And, of course, they also vary the number of miles you have to pony up depending on how full the flight may be. For example, American Airlines has two flights a day from Maui to Los Angeles. Last time I checked on a specific date in April, they wanted 60,000 miles for the daytime flight and 25,000 miles for the red-eye. And that was for one-way!

So by all means sign up for Amtrak's Guest Rewards program. And, while you're at it, if you're not already a member of NARP*, become one. You'll get a 10-percent discount on all Amtrak rail fares. Just a few trips a year will pay for your membership ... and you'll be helping NARP in their advocacy of more and better and faster trains for the U.S.

*National Association of Railroad Passengers


Anonymous said...

Continental Miles can be swapped to Amtrak mikes just until Dec 31, 2011!

JIM LOOMIS said...

Thanks! I will update the post accordingly.