How to earn FREE TRAVEL on European Trains? Miles/Points Programs???

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by slotownmomma, Jun 16, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. slotownmomma
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    slotownmomma Silver Member

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    Does anyone know if it is possible to earn points or miles that can be redeemed for train on the major European trains. Specifically looking to travel throughout UK & Ireland.

    Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I've heard of very few such programs that would even be vaguely similar. The exceptions would be trains that are code shared (for example, IIRC, to a few destinations in France) or operated by airlines (the German airport express trains), plus a few systems to sell annual rail passes (Holland) or ticket coupon books (Germany?). At one point IIRC German Bundesbahn had some special lounges (waiting rooms) for their FC passengers that might have been available for frequent travelers too.

    Your best bet might be to see if any of the British Isles rail companies are tied in to any airlines. Also, contact the national tourist boards and check books like the Let's Go series.

    Is there a UK/Irleand rail pass that would help you? Some countries offer ones that cover travel, for instance, during any XXX days in a YYY day period, but they must be purchased abroad in advance.
     
  3. Andyandy
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    Andyandy Gold Member

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    I don't know of any directly. I don't think that any of the Eurail lines have programs like Amtrak's. However, you might consider going at it indirectly. Apply for a Venture card or Chase Sapphire card. Both have points that can be redeemed for travel. The Sapphire card has a 50K signup bonus w/ no annual fee the first year. That would cover $500 in train travel. Good luck!

    Andyandy
     
  4. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Bahncard (also see bahn.comfort) in Germany has some type of points program and I do believe there is a way to get lounge access with it- however I have not used the train enough in Germany to have this make sense. A number of train programs offer the ability to purchase a card which gets you a discount on train travel or prepay train travel. When I was using the train very frequently in Italy the "Club Eurostar" card was a good value as it gave free access to the Club Eurostar lounges which are useful in places like Milano Centrale.
     
  5. Andyandy
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    Andyandy Gold Member

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    You may know this already, but it's almost always a good idea to book Euro train travel from the States or ahead of time. I learned the hard way that paying on the day of travel costs a lot more!
     
  6. slotownmomma
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    slotownmomma Silver Member

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    Thanks all for your input. I will research as outlined. I'm trying to make our trip as affordable as possible. My goal was to build up some point/miles to pay for good portion of our train travel throughout England, Wales, Scotland & Ireland. I just don't know if this is even possible. I will check into the Chase Saphire and see if those points can really be redeemed for train tickets in the UK & Ireland or maybe passes.
     
  7. Nicole Blaess-Smith
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    Nicole Blaess-Smith Silver Member

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    Do Virgin trains give points in the UK?
    In Ireland I don't think our going to get anything sorry =(
     
  8. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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