Not surprisingly, the Amtrak-Continental Airlines partnership will soon be scaled back. From 01 January 2012, you will no longer be able to transfer points between the two programs. Thankfully, it appears the train codeshares will remain and even after the United-Continental merger is complete, you will still be able to earn miles on select Northeast corridor rail service.
This e-mail explains the changes:
While the Continental® OnePass® program will formally end in December, we’re happy to inform you that a new Amtrak Guest Rewards® partnership with the United MileagePlus®program is in the works.
In the meantime, here’s what the changes mean for you as an Amtrak Guest Rewards member:
• December 31, 2011 is the last day that Amtrak Guest Rewards members will be able to convert Continental OnePass miles to Amtrak Guest Rewards points
• Members may convert OnePass miles to Amtrak Guest Rewards points in increments of 5,000 miles for 5,000 points
• To convert your miles, contact the OnePass service center. Learn More
Eligible members* may convert Amtrak Guest Rewards points to OnePass miles at AmtrakGuestRewards.com through December 31, 2011. Transfer of points and miles will not be a benefit of the new partnership with United MileagePlus.
As always, thank you for your continued loyalty.
Senior Director, Loyalty Marketing & CRM
Elite status on Amtrak or Continental is not required to transfer miles from Continental One Pass to Amtrak Guest Rewards, but in order to transfer points from Amtrak to Continental, one of the two requirements below must be met:
- Members with current Amtrak Guest Rewards Select or Select Plus™ status (limit 50,000 miles transferred per year)
- Cardholders of the Amtrak Guest Rewards MasterCard® issued by Chase Bank with an Amtrak travel spend on the card of over $200 per calendar year (limit 25,000 miles transferred per year)
I do intend to transfer points over before this partnership ends--An Acela ticket is only 8K points and a Northeast Regional only 3K. You can also use the points for "heritage" trips like a sleeper from New York to Chicago on the Lake Shore Limited or Los Angeles to Seattle on the Coast Starlight.
A few other points about the United-Amtrak partnership:
- Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Plus members will continue to enjoy access to the United Clubs through February 2012. Present your valid Select Plus card at the United Club to enjoy complimentary beverages and snacks, free Wi-Fi and more.
- Through March 2012, members will continue to earn Amtrak Guest Rewards points on Continental operated flights. And beginning in March, members will earn points on United operated flights.
- Earn 1 point for each air mile traveled on Amtrak/Continental code-share trips taken through Newark Liberty International Airport to Philadelphia, PA; Wilmington, DE; Stamford, CT; or New Haven, CT, with a minimum of 500 points per flight. Plus, earn a 50% point bonus for travel in Business, BusinessFirst, or First Class, with a minimum of 750 points per flight.
ZFV has become one of my favorite "airport" codes and I intend to "fly" out of ZFW (Philadelphia's 30th St Rail Station) often next year. Earning United miles is icing on the cake.