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Convert United/Continental Airline miles to Amtrak (1:1)

rm999 83 September 12, 2011 at 09:03 AM in Travel (2)
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Hopefully this is a good deal for some of you, who like me have plenty of united airline miles and travel along the northeast corridor a lot. A coach amtrak one way ticket in the northeast region (anywhere between DC and Boston) is 3000 points, and is typically priced between 70-100 dollars, valuing those points at 2.3-3.3 cents each. This is considerably higher than I can usually get from my airline points, plus amtrak points are more convenient (easy refunds/changes and you can buy any ticket for 3000 points at any time, even 30 minutes before the train).

Of course the northeast corridor is served well by very cheap buses, but sometimes trains are way better - faster, more comfortable, more dependable, more consistent (especially during rush hour on fridays!), and safer. If you don't find value in taking the train this isn't for you.

Steps:
1. If you want to transfer continental points skip this step. Transfer united points to continental here [continental.com]. Make sure you use the exact same address and name when you setup the two accounts. Transfer in blocks of 5000 points
2. Call continental's onepass number at 713-952-1630 and request the transfer to amtrak. They only do transfers in blocks of 5000, and it can take up to ten days for the transfer to go through. It took me about 3 days.

The reason I'm posting in this forum is the ability to do this may not last much longer - continental points are merging with united at the end of 2011, at which point the ability to transfer to amtrak may end.
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Last Edited by InfamousDX September 22, 2011 at 10:54 AM
Don't forget that until Sept 30, 2011, you can get a 50% bonus on purchasing Amtrak GR points on a purchase of at least 5,000 points.
https://amtrakguestrewards.com/ex.../buypoints
-infamousdx

40 Comments

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#3
Good post, Wish I knew this 6 months ago. I used about 23K united miles to book 1 Night hotel room, this is a WAYYYY better deal.
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#4
You can also exchange Amtrak points for gift cards at hotels/merchants - 10K pts for $100
at Hyatt, Staples, Lowes, Macy's, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, etc.
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#5
Quote from pruks View Post :
I used about 23K united miles to book 1 Night hotel room
Ouch! I felt like I won the lottery when I was able to fly SFO-JFK OW NS for 12.5k...booked under one week this summer.

OT, I hate how US Airways wants to bang you RT mileage for one-way travel. Trading my dividend miles for mileageplus 1:1 would be super slick...
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#6
We used this trade for amtrak the last 2 years to take the very expensive autotrain from dc to sanford, fl. My family of 4 and our car traveled in a family bedroom for 60,000 guest rewards miles, and were pampered with a steak dinner and a wine tasting. The trip would have been over $2000 cash, and we all could not have flown for less than 100,000 round trip with stopovers. This is really an awesome experience and a very civilized way to get to disney.
BOB
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#7
Quote from piercedrn View Post :
We used this trade for amtrak the last 2 years to take the very expensive autotrain from dc to sanford, fl. My family of 4 and our car traveled in a family bedroom for 60,000 guest rewards miles, and were pampered with a steak dinner and a wine tasting. The trip would have been over $2000 cash, and we all could not have flown for less than 100,000 round trip with stopovers. This is really an awesome experience and a very civilized way to get to disney.
BOB
Is there some way to see how much trips will cost in points instead of dollars so I can see if I have enough miles to make it worth my while? Also do they do points plus cash deals like the airlines do? Thanks for your help!
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#8
this is good stuff, thanks
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#9
Does anyone know with the Continental and United points program mergers if the OnePass program will be discontinued?
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#10
thanks
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#11
Quote from piercedrn View Post :
We used this trade for amtrak the last 2 years to take the very expensive autotrain from dc to sanford, fl. My family of 4 and our car traveled in a family bedroom for 60,000 guest rewards miles, and were pampered with a steak dinner and a wine tasting. The trip would have been over $2000 cash, and we all could not have flown for less than 100,000 round trip with stopovers. This is really an awesome experience and a very civilized way to get to disney.
BOB
Bob.. you (and the OP) have literally answered ALL of my questions. I came to this thread looking for these questions.

1) Can I transfer 1:1 with no fees?
2) How long does the transfer take?
3) How much does a train ride cost?
4) How much does the Autotrain from Lorton to Sanford costs in points?

I've taken the Autotrain roundtrip and it was absolutely awesome. With my upcoming winter vacation between Xmas & NYE.. the Autotrain for 2 people, Sleeper cabin & 1 vehicle is running about $1450 roundtrip. It will be absolutely awesome to book this trip for about 50k miles or less.. which would typically be equal to a single $500 roundtrip flight.

Thanks again!!
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#12
Quote from Rhythmic View Post :
Does anyone know with the Continental and United points program mergers if the OnePass program will be discontinued?
Yep as of December.. only Mileage plus will exist. My guess would be if you wanted to take advantage of this offer.. do the 1:1 transfer from Continental to Amtrak before December.

I believe sometime in Dec, all OnePass members will be auto-converted to Mileage plus members.

http://www.onepassmergerupdates.c...NewFFPName

MileagePlus will be the loyalty program for the new United. We look forward to welcoming you into MileagePlus and will continue to work hard to build the world's leading rewards program.

OnePass® members will be automatically enrolled in MileagePlus when OnePass ends.
OnePass members will be automatically enrolled in the MileagePlus program. You don't need to do anything.

Rest assured that all of your reward miles, Elite Qualifying Miles and Elite Qualifying Points in OnePass and MileagePlus will be secure as we transition to a single program in the first quarter of 2012.

In 2012, your flights on Continental and United will earn reward miles, Elite Qualifying Miles and Elite Qualifying Segments in MileagePlus. You will receive your 2012 Elite status based on your OnePass (and any MileagePlus) Elite Qualifying Miles and Elite Qualifying Points in 2011.

The OnePass program will formally end on Dec. 31, 2011, followed by a wind-down period during the first quarter of 2012. During the wind-down period, your OnePass reward miles will remain available for redemption. Following the wind-down period, we will replace your OnePass reward miles with an equivalent grant of MileagePlus reward miles. We will also replace your OnePass Elite Qualifying Miles and Elite Qualifying Points with an equivalent grant of MileagePlus Elite Qualifying Miles and Elite Qualifying Segments.

We will update you further on specific transition plans in the coming months.
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#13
Will Continental let you transfer miles to an Amtrak Guest Rewards account that's in someone else's name? I'd like to use Amtrak to proxy points to another reward program. And Amtrak's regulations state that you must be a Select or Select Plus member in order to transfer points OUT of Amtrak.
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#14
While I don't use credit cards to accumulate miles for airlines I amuse myself with the fact that having 100,000 miles doesn't equal 100,000 miles of flight. Sounds great though. I prefer cc where I can use my rewards for anything I wish, including just adding the rewards towards my cc balance.
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#15
Quote from Rhythmic View Post :
Does anyone know with the Continental and United points program mergers if the OnePass program will be discontinued?
Link your accounts and transfer for free here:

http://www.continental.com/web/en...tedEmail=1
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