Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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Select Executive is the highest status level Amtrak offers members of their Guest Rewards program.
There are 3 tiers in Amtrak’s loyalty program:
In this post, we’ll look at the top tier status, Select Executive.
The perks are numerous, and if you’re a frequent rider of Amtrak for work or leisure, Select Executive status entitles you to many benefits, special offers, and ways to earn travel points.
As a Select Executive member, you’ll get benefits such as:
In this post, we’ll look at each of those perks and how to maximize them.
Anyone in the United States or Canada can become a member by enrolling on Amtrak’s website, completing an enrollment form, or calling 1-800-307-5000. You’ll then supply basic information such as your name, address, and email.
Upon enrollment, members are provided with a membership number. This number is significant as it’s how you earn Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs). Be sure to provide the number when booking a train, hotel, or rental car reservation.
Your Amtrak member number is unique to you and is nontransferable.
Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) are the basis of the Amtrak Guest Rewards program.
Your tier or status level is based on how many TQPs you’ve earned in a calendar year. To qualify for Select Executive membership, you must earn at least 20,000 TQPs in a calendar year.
To get this top-tier status, you must spend $10,000 a year on Amtrak travel. Remember, most domestic airline programs require at least $15,000 in spending for top-tier status, so Amtrak is still among the “cheapest” programs within the U.S.
As a traveler on Amtrak, you earn 2 points for every dollar you spend, a 25% point bonus for all business class tickets, and a 50% point bonus for all First Class Acela travel. You can also earn 2 points per dollar spent on an Amtrak monthly or a multi-ride pass or ticket.
Amtrak travel can be redeemed starting at 800 points. The price you pay in points is based on the cash price of a ticket. You can get up to 2.9 cents per point redemption value which is very valuable.
For example, you can get a fare valued at $100 for about 3,448 points. Blackout dates and times may apply to point use; peak travel may cost more in points.
Using points is a great way to book cheap Amtrak tickets.
Hot Tip: Make sure you purchase tickets directly from Amtrak because tickets purchased from a secondary travel source or discount portal won’t earn you points.
Select Executive members are entitled to offers from Amtrak partners, including earning points for hotel stays, car rental, and more.
Amtrak also hosts a shopping portal, which allows members to earn points by shopping at select retailers. Gift cards for restaurants and other Amtrak partners can also be purchased with Amtrak points.
From 6,000 points, Select Executive members can get free car rentals. Some companies, such as Hertz, Budget, and Enterprise, also offer members the chance to earn Amtrak points if they reserve cars with them. When members use their Amtrak membership number, points are credited to their account.
Amtrak also has co-branded credit cards. Aside from riding a train, this is one of the easiest ways to earn points.
There are 2 versions of credit cards that earn points in the Amtrak Guest Rewards program: the Amtrak Guest Rewards® Preferred Mastercard® and the Amtrak Guest Rewards® Mastercard®.
The Amtrak Guest Rewards Preferred card comes with the following benefits for a modest [up cc_id=334372 name="amtrak-guest-rewards-preferred-annual-fee-number"] annual fee:
The Amtrak Guest Rewards card comes with these benefits for [up cc_id=369257 name="amtrak-guest-rewards-annual-fee-number"] annual fee:
Let’s take a look at each of the Select Executive member benefits in detail.
Select Executive members get unlimited access to ClubAcela and Metropolitan Lounges, which can be found in the following cities:
While Amtrak’s lounges are generally more basic than airline clubs, they’ve been improving them and introducing entirely new spaces at select stations. You can expect snacks, non-alcoholic beverages (though some lounges now feature a bar), ticketing assistance, restrooms, TVs, and more.
Any travel you take with Amtrak earns you a 100% point bonus, which means your points can add up faster. Because Amtrak’s redemption system is based on the cash cost of a ticket, you’ll have more points to cover the cost of the ticket.
Amtrak Select Executive members get 4 1-class upgrades. These can be used on any train except long-distance overnight services in sleeping car classes.
The best uses of these certificates are on Amtrak’s Acela Express trains when you purchase a business class fare and can upgrade to first class for free.
For full clarity, these are the trains you cannot use a one-class upgrade on:
To redeem your 1-class upgrade, contact Amtrak over the phone or at the station within 12 hours of departure. If a business class or first class seat is available, it’s yours.
For every 3,000 tier qualifying points you earn (about $1,500 worth of spending with Amtrak), you’ll earn an additional 1-class upgrade.
However, you can earn these faster by traveling Acela Express Business Class, earning a 25% point bonus, or Acela Express First Class, earning a 50% point bonus. The more you travel Acela, the faster you’ll earn these TQPs toward 1-class upgrades.
When you call Amtrak’s call center, your call will be handled before other Amtrak elites. Since the call centers usually don’t receive a ton of calls to begin with, this is a fairly useless benefit.
When you travel in any non-premium cabin, you can upgrade 2 companions for free. These upgrade vouchers are for one-way or round-trip travel, so you’re much better off using them for round-trip trains, where you’ll get much more bang for your buck.
If you want to upgrade to a premium cabin, you need to purchase a coach first for yourself, upgrade your companion, and then both pay whatever the up-charge is into business class, first class, or sleeping accommodations.
As a Select Executive member, you’ll receive 2 10% discount coupons per year, which can be applied to your trip.
As an Amtrak Select Executive member, you’ll get 1 Auto Train priority vehicle offloading coupon per year. You’ll skip the wait, as your vehicle will be one of the first 30 offloaded from the train.
Amtrak Select Executive members can purchase unlimited Guest Rewards points (capped at 50,000 points annually for general members). Plus, Select Executive members can share and transfer unlimited points per year.
Unlike lower elite levels where you need to register for promotions, as a Select Executive member manually, you’ll be registered automatically.
It’s doubtful you’ll run out of upgrades as a Select Executive member, but if you do, you can purchase 5 upgrade passes for 10,000 points. The upgrades move you from coach to business class and business to first class on a single travel leg.
Hot Tip: Do you know where Amtrak can take you? If not, check out all the Amtrak routes available, including regional and long-distance options.
By far, this is the best Amtrak status — you can really see the benefits. If you travel with Amtrak often, you’ll find the upgrades plentiful.
If you typically purchase business or first class fares, you may find Amtrak Select Plus status cheaper (and just as valuable), but for the regular rider, Amtrak Select Executive is full of great benefits to help you ride the rails.
If you want to learn more about Amtrak Business class, explore our Amtrak Northeast Regional Business Class review.
The information regarding the Amtrak Guest Rewards® Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Amtrak Guest Rewards® Preferred Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
To earn Amtrak Select Executive Status, you need to earn 20,000 tier qualifying points during a calendar year, which amounts to around $10,000 of spending with Amtrak. If you travel in Business Class or First Class, you can earn tier qualifying points faster, thus reducing your overall spend.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.