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You Can Explore Over 500 Destinations With This U.S. Rail Pass For Under $300

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To kick off the new year, Amtrak has dropped the prices on its USA Rail Pass and will be offering $200 off until January 20, which means you’ll be able to choose from over 500 destinations for under $300. The pass allows you to take 10 ride segments for $299 to and from any of Amtrak’s destinations, whether that be visiting family and friends or taking a weekend getaway to the countryside.   

he Empire Builder long distance Amtrak train behind a locomotive in 50th anniversary paint scheme crosses the North Fork Skykomish River in Index

Amtrak travels to more than 500 destinations in 46 states, which means you’ll have plenty of choices for exploring. From getting you close to America’s most iconic national parks, such as the Grand Canyon or Glacier National Park, to traveling along the ocean in California or checking out the winter snow through the Adirondack mountains, Amtrak offers a fantastic way to see the United States and all its beauty.

“Travelers can jump-start the new year by planning a cross-country train adventure, hopping from town-to-town, or simply spending a few extended weekends away from home,” states Amtrak in a press release. “Whether looking to discover hidden gems or visiting friends in the next city over, the USA Rail Pass makes it easy for customers to plan and use this year’s vacation days on more getaways.”

Amtrak train ride through the snow

What Are The Benefits Of Traveling By Train?

Considered the more romantic form of travel, getting around by train allows you to spread out, recline your chair for sleep, work on the go, or gaze at the beautiful American landscape through giant windows. Bikes, boards, and small animals are invited along for the ride, and you’ll find it a cheaper and more sustainable option for travel.   

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Train Tracks, Colorado U.S.A, Amtrak

How Does The Amtrak Rail Pass Work?

The rail pass allows you to take ten multiple segments on Amtrak for a fixed fee. Amtrak classifies a segment as when you board a train to when you disembark it, so if you need to connect to another service – this is considered an additional segment.

Once you purchase the pass, you’ll be able to start booking your Coach class segments on the Amtrak website or mobile app. If you are an Amtrak Guest Reward member, you can earn two points per dollar spent on the Rail Pass after you have taken your first segment.

The Capitol Limited Amtrak with heritage unit 145 at the Gaithersburg train station.

Does the Amtrak Rail Pass Have An Expiry?

The pass is available for 120 days after you purchase it, so you will need to use the pass by April 20 if you are purchasing it on January 20. Once you take your first segment, you will have 30 days left to use the remaining segments.

Amtrak Train crossing through the Colorado Rocky Mountains with peak Fall Colors in September.

What Amtrak Services Can I Use The Pass On?

The pass can be used on all Amtrak services except the following routes:

  • Acela
  • Auto Train
  • Maple Leaf (Canadian portion)
  • Thruway Bus Series 7000-7999
An Amtrak passenger train traveling through rural during Michigan

What Is The Fine Print?

  • The pass is only available on Saver and Value Fares: these fares will be shown as an option when booking on the website, but Flexible Fares won’t be able to be redeemed.
  • The passes can only be used for two round trips (four single rides) between cities: you’ll only be able to go to and from the same city stations twice, so if you were hoping to use it on the same departure and destination for all 10 segments, this might not be the best pass for you.
  • No upgrades allowed: If you’re looking to upgrade to Business or private room accommodations, Amtrak is currently not allowing this.
  • Trip changes and cancellations are permitted: as long as the change has been made prior to the departure time, changes and cancellations are allowed, but you will have to pay a 25% cancelation fee if you cancel your ticket within 48 hours of departure.
  • You need to reserve your ticket: the rail pass doesn’t automatically reserve your place on the train, so make sure you reserve your seat online or through a ticket agent.
Amtrak's Empire Builder overnight passenger train from Chicago to Seattle passes through Index Washington, in the Cascade Mountains,

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