Friday, November 6, 2009

Save money by using AMTRAK to visit colleges

High school juniors and seniors considering fall campus visits may want to take advantage of special Amtrak buy-one-get-one half price train fares. Partnering with Campus Visit Magazine, Amtrak is now offering reduced-price train tickets for students and their families traveling to college campuses. It works this way: the student buys a full-price adult fare ticket and their parent or guardian travels for half-price through December 16, 2009. It's like BOGO for train tickets instead of shoes. To obtain this discount, you need to know the following:

  • The offer is only good for high school juniors or seniors traveling with a parent or guardian.
    Tickets must be booked at least 3 days in advance--no exceptions.

  • Up to 2 additional children (ages 2-15) may accompany the family for half-off a full-fare ticket.

  • Some black out dates apply (Sept. 4 & 7, Nov. 24-25 & 28-30).

  • This discount does not apply to Acela trains.

If this works for you, then

  • Go to and fill out a short form about your trip.

  • Press the submit button to get your special Amtrak promotion code--WRITE IT DOWN.

  • If you haven't already done so, register for the Amtrak Guest Rewards program (you'll earn 1,000 bonus points).

  • Book your ticket by phone: 800-USA-RAIL or 800-872-7245, using your special promotion code.

  • Pick up your tickets from an agent (you can't use the kiosk) and be prepared to show identification.

  • Enjoy your trip!

Many campuses are within reasonable walking distance from major train stations. For example, both Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania are easily reached from the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. Other campuses may require connecting to a subway. Regardless, you don't necessarily need a car to visit colleges. And with these fares, Amtrak is making your trip even more affordable.

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