You’ve been wanting to go on more trips with the family, but airline tickets can be pricey.
Road trips are an option, but maybe this time you want to get a little farther away. You’ve already seen all the places within easy driving distance.
Luckily, as an active duty military member or veteran, you’re eligible for Amtrak’s military discount and can travel anywhere Amtrak goes.
What is the Amtrak Military Discount, and Who is Eligible?
Amtrak offers multiple military discounts for rail tickets in addition to their everyday discounts.
Active-duty U.S. military personnel, their spouses, and their dependents ages 2 through 12 receive 10% off the lowest available rail fare on most Amtrak trains.
This 10% discount for military children applies on top of the 50% discount all children receive, making this an excellent deal. Infants not occupying seats may ride free with a fare-paying adult.
Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces receive a 10% discount on most Amtrak trains’ lowest available rail fare. Eligible branches include:
- Air Force
- Marine Corps
- Coast Guard
- NOAA Corps*
- U.S. Public Health Service*
- U.S. Merchant Marine*
*Commissioned officers only
One thing to note: A distinction between the active duty and veteran discounts is that dependents are eligible for the active duty discount, but they are not eligible for the veterans discount.
These discounts are all available on the lowest available adult rail fare on most Amtrak trains, including travel on the Auto Train. Discount recipients are able to upgrade to higher fares, but they are responsible for the full, non-discounted cost of the higher fare.
How to Get the Military Discount
Some military discounts are hard to find or difficult to redeem. Luckily, that’s not the case with Amtrak. Amtrak makes it easy to take advantage of the military discount. There’s no registration required, and no verification through a third-party service.
When searching for fares on the Amtrak website with the Fare Finder, you should select ‘Military (Active)’ or ‘Military Veteran’ for each passenger, as appropriate.
To apply the discount for a military dependent between the ages of 2 and 12, add the number of children, then select ‘Military (Dependent)’ under discounts.
The discounts will automatically be applied to the appropriate rail tickets at checkout.
Proof of military service will be required in person by a ticket attendant. Amtrak accepts valid United States Armed Forces active duty identification cards for verification.
How Does This Military Discount Compare to Similar Discounts?
The internet will continue debating the pros and cons of Amtrak trains vs. Greyhound busses until the end of time. Both are popular transportation options that provide rides to thousands of passengers each year. They even offer the same military discount!
Greyhound offers a 10% military discount for veterans and family members through Veterans Advantage. Veterans Advantage, a membership-based discount service, requires registration to be eligible for the Greyhound discount and others.
If the total cost of travel is a major deciding factor for your next trip, Greyhound is worth looking into. While the military discount is the same, Greyhound fares will typically be lower than Amtrak fares.
However, if riding a passenger train is on your bucket list or sounds like a better option for you or your family, give Amtrak a try.
The Bottom Line
Taking a trip on Amtrak allows for a different kind of travel. Active duty service members and their entire family can enjoy an Amtrak trip at 10% off just with a valid ID card.
Check out our massive Military Discounts page to find even more ways to save on travel, dining, retail, and more!