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[Expired] Register Now for Amtrak Select Status Challenge [Ends September 10]

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Victoria M. Walker
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Victoria M. Walker

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Victoria holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the Howard University School of Communications and is an award-winning journalist, travel reporter, and the founder of the “Carrying On with Victoria...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury


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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Update:The offer mentioned below has expired and is no longer available.

You’ve heard of mileage and mattress runs, but what about rail runs?

Amtrak has launched a promotion where you can earn Select status after completing qualifying requirements. Here’s what you need to know.

Select Tier Challenge — Keep Status Through February 2025!

Amtrak sent an email recently for members to register for the “Amtrak Select Tier Challenge.” Similar to a mattress or mileage run, this is a way to quickly earn elite status after completing the requirements.

Here’s how it works. You can earn Amtrak Select status after taking 3 qualifying roundtrips (or 6 one-way trips) by September 10, 2023. You’ll then keep your status through February 28, 2025. 

While there don’t appear to be limits on travel distance, you’ll have to spend a minimum of $25 per one-way segment required for travel to qualify. Additionally, you can only earn 1 qualifying trip per single train number per day, so if you take additional trips on the same train number, you won’t earn additional qualifying trips. Theoretically, you could earn Select status for just $150 if you met only the minimum spending requirement.

You shouldn’t have trouble meeting the promotion terms if you’re a frequent Amtrak traveler. A round-trip trip between New York and Washington, D.C., can frequently cost upwards of $150 on the Northeast Regional and even the Acela, depending on when you travel. Amtrak also launched the “Night Owl” promotion this year, which offers discounted fares for those traveling at off-peak times.

This offer does appear to be targeted, but you can check out the details of this Amtrak status challenge promotion online.

Amtrak Select Tier Challenge
Image Credit: Amtrak

What Is Amtrak Select Status?

Amtrak Select status is the entry-level status in Amtrak’s Guest Rewards program.

There are 3 status levels in the Amtrak Guest Rewards program: Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Status, Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Plus status, and the top-tier Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Executive status. Generally, to earn Select status, you need to earn 5,000 or more Tier Qualifying Points in a year.

As a Select member, you’ll earn the following:

  • 2 single-Class Upgrade Coupons
  • 2 Single-Visit Amtrak lounge passes
  • 2 coupons for 10% off Amtrak travel
  • 25% point bonus on Amtrak travel

To maximize your Amtrak trips, you’ll want to make your purchases with an Amtrak credit card. The Amtrak Guest Rewards® Preferred Mastercard® was relaunched last year through First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO). The card offers 3 points per $1 spent on Amtrak travel, including onboard purchases. When opening the card, you’ll also earn 2 lounge passes, 2 upgrade certificates, and 2 companion coupons. This card has a $99 annual fee.

Hot Tip:

Amtrak has another credit card, the no-fee Amtrak Guest Rewards® Mastercard®. This card offers 2x points spent on Amtrak travel (including onboard purchases), 2x points spent on dining, and 1x points for all other purchases.

Final Thoughts

Amtrak status is essential to have if you frequent the rail network. Seeing as you can earn Select status for as little as $150, this promotion is a no-brainer to take advantage of (if you’re targeted)!

The information regarding the Amtrak Guest Rewards® Preferred Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Amtrak Guest Rewards® Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Victoria M. Walker's image

About Victoria M. Walker

Victoria holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the Howard University School of Communications and is an award-winning journalist, travel reporter, and the founder of the “Carrying On with Victoria M. Walker” newsletter.


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