When Do Amtrak Points Expire? Really?

So, when do Amtrak points expire? Amtrak points expire if your account is inactive for 24 months consecutively. In this article, we discuss how to keep your points active and investigate if Amtrak’s Awards Program is worth it.

when do amtrak points expire

As we mentioned, Amtrak’s points expire due to account inactivity.

But fortunately, there are so many ways to maintain activity on your account. Some of them don’t actually need you to even get on a train!

Will it be worth it for you? Let’s find out! 

What Are Amtrak Points? 

Amtrak points are a core element of the Amtrak Guest Rewards. This program is available to United States residents as well as Canadian citizens. It works much like plane milages. These points can be redeemed for a plethora of benefits.

This includes free train travel, hotel bookings, and car rentals, among others. 

You can apply for the Amtrack Guest Rewards program by calling their hotline. 1-800-307-5000. 

Alternatively, you can fill out an application on Amtrak.com. 

amtrak train in washington

How To Earn Amtrak Points

Once your account is up and running, you gain points with every purchase. You can also earn points online with every Amtrak ticket booking. 

Amtrak is also partnered with a bunch of stores and companies. Buying from them can also help you gain points. It really comes in handy in a lot of ways. Here’s an in-depth guide on the ways you can earn Amtrak points. 

Taking The Train

The most popular approach to earning Amtrak points is through purchasing train tickets.  Members get 2 points for every $1 spent. You can also get an additional 25% by traveling in business class.

And if you travel through Acela First class, you get an additional 50%. 

You get points for referring your friends to the program, too. The Amtrak Guest Rewards program offers a 500-point incentive for referrals. 

Amtrak also often provides deals for cheaper fares and more points. Typically, there is no restriction to the number of points you receive via these programs. Usually, though, registration is required.


Amtrak has a number of retail partners. These purchases allow you to earn extra points on hotels, vehicle rentals, and more.

They even have their own web store or shopping portal. Furthermore, select retailers offer more than 18 points for every dollar you spend. 

You can also purchase additional points. However, we’d only recommend doing this if you are only slightly short of the points for a particular reward. 

Transfer Points

Amtrak has no partnerships with large transferrable credit currencies. Examples of these are Chase and American Express.

However, you may still transfer points through to the programs listed below. At most times, certain partners even give transfer incentives.

  • Choice Privileges
  • Audience Rewards
  • Hertz Gold Plus Rewards
  • Wyndham Rewards
  • Hilton Honors
woman traveling on amtrak train

Amtrak Credit Cards 

Are you always traveling with Amtrack? Then, maybe you should look into Bank of America’s co-branded cards. Amtrak commemorated its 50th anniversary by offering 50,000 bonus points for every $2,500 spent on The Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard® during the first 90 days. These points can actually equate to $1,000 towards your vacation. 

Moreover, the Amtrak Guest Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® has no annual charge. They are also offering a 12,000-point incentive per spend of $1,000. 

No, we are not an Amtrak Affiliate, just railroad lovers.

How To Redeem Amtrak Points 

This is where it gets even more exciting. You can redeem your Amtrak points starting at 800. Here are some ways you can redeem them: 

Train Tickets 

You can use your points to score tickets. You may calculate the number of points required for individual trips on Amtrak.com. Upon searching, activate the “Use Points” function.

Non-Train or Travel Experiences 

Amtrak also provides you the opportunity to exchange earned points for travel-related activities.  It spans hotel bookings, rental vehicles, and cruises.

Or, you can go shopping! For example, a $100 Nike gift card will cost between 10,000 and 12,000 points. This implies that Amtrak values your points at between 0.83 cents and 1 cent each for such redemptions. 

You will get nearly the very same rate whether you choose gift vouchers for eating or recreation. All $50 valued vouchers are priced at 6,000 points.

Sounds too good to be true, right? But, in fact, it’s a win-win situation for everyone. You earn extra points. And in turn, the store receives sales. 

Moreover, the gateway receives a portion of the merchant’s revenue. This, ideally, exceeds the cost of purchasing, to begin with. 

girl sitting on train

Status Tiers

Amtrak Guest Rewards provides three tiers of elite status. This offers extra credits, upgrades, and admission to the club lounge.

However, your qualification is determined by your annual sum of Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs).

Amtrak Lounge Access 

There are metropolitan and ClubAcela lounges in the following areas:

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Los Angeles
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Portland
  • Washington D.C.

And despite the pandemic, these lounges have been open.

You can access these areas if you travel in Amtrak sleeper cars or in first-class. And depending on the tier of your status, you can access the lounge even if you’re traveling in business class. 

When Do Amtrak Points Expire?

Amtrak points only expire if you don’t use your account for 2 years. 

Here’s their statement from their T&C page: “If no Member initiated qualifying activity is recorded or reported within 24 months for a Member, the Member’s points will expire.”

So, whether you plan on using your points or not, you have to keep your account active for the span of 24 months. That’s pretty much a good deal, considering most loyalty programs have an expiration date. 

How To Keep Your Amtrak Account Active 

Fortunately, there are a variety of methods to get your Amtrak account active. To add to that, you aren’t required to travel for some of them. 

Take Trips

If you travel a lot, then inactivity shouldn’t be a problem for you. Simply book a trip within the span of two years. This should do the trick in getting your account active. 

Book Stays

If you’re traveling soon, consider booking hotels or rental cars on the Amtrak website. Click here.  This will instantly keep your account active again!

Shop and Use The Portal

Overall, if you’re doing any activity that can be found in the portal, make use of it. This way, you get to keep your account active and gain more points, too. Shop till you drop! 

Take A Survey 

If you don’t have a trip coming up, that’s totally fine. You can keep your account active by simply answering a Survey Points Club survey. Bonus tip: first-time survey answers get 250 points. 

When Do Amtrak Points Expire: The Bottomline

Ultimately, the Amtrak Guest Rewards are worth it if you travel a lot. You get to accumulate points in the process. And these points can help you redeem more benefits. Even if you don’t travel a lot, it still might come in handy.

Amtrak points will only expire if your account is inactive for two years. And it isn’t so challenging to keep your account active. So, try it out for yourself, jump on a train!

Want to learn more about the railroads? Click here!