Membership Benefits Suspension - Addressing Rumors
May 7, 2020
I’d like to take a few minutes to address some rumors around our April 30th membership benefits suspension announcement.
We are NOT taking away the discount on Amtrak. At no time has that ever been communicated to our members. The 10% every day discount remains in force and can be used today, or tomorrow or when you feel comfortable traveling by rail.
You are NOT losing your Amtrak Guest Rewards points. While we work closely with Amtrak, we are not the railroad. We have no power over how you use your Amtrak Guest Rewards points in any way. Those policies are set by Amtrak. Nothing we have done would prevent you from using the points you have been saving up. If you have a trip you want to take with those points, Amtrak will honor them.
Our announcement on April 30th was only about the bonus points that we, as a nonprofit association, make available to our dues-paying members from time to time. We have typically awarded points in two ways: we have given members bonus points for their annual renewal, and we have run promotions a couple of times a year where we might offer extra point totals for buying a membership at a certain level. This has nothing to do with Amtrak having the points program or letting you use points to travel.
To clarify: we are TEMPORARILY suspending awarding bonus Amtrak Guest Rewards points for memberships. With the economic crisis facing the country, we have seen our income and donations decline and we had to find ways to economize. Once the financial situation improves, we fully expect to restore points.
When you give us money (as a member or as a donation) you are NOT giving money to Amtrak; you are supporting the Rail Passengers Association. We work to educate our members and the general public about rail travel, and we help our members support Amtrak by reaching out to their congressmen and Senators and other leaders asking them to support Amtrak. We do not own nor manage Amtrak or the Amtrak Guest Rewards program.
I hope you'll understand that we have to do things to preserve the financial health of your Association so that we can continue to fight for more trains, better trains, restoration of important routes and new equipment, and all of the rest of the things our staff does every day to make sure that Amtrak passengers' voices are heard in Congress, at the Federal Railroad Administration and in Amtrak's executive offices.
Stay healthy and safe!
President & CEO
"The National Association of Railroad Passengers has done yeoman work over the years and in fact if it weren’t for NARP, I'd be surprised if Amtrak were still in possession of as a large a network as they have. So they've done good work, they're very good on the factual case."
Robert Gallamore, Director of Transportation Center at Northwestern University and former Federal Railroad Administration official, Director of Transportation Center at Northwestern University
November 17, 2005, on The Leonard Lopate Show (with guest host Chris Bannon), WNYC New York.