Cheap Amtrak Coast Starlight Train Tickets from Seattle to Los Angeles: How To Get Them!

If you’re planning on taking a long train ride, you might be wondering what the best way to get cheap train tickets is.

Sunset Seattle, United States
Photo by Alex Mertz on Unsplash / Seattle, United States

Luckily for you, we’ve found the best ways to save money on your next Amtrak Coast Starlight ticket!

The price of an Amtrak Coast Starlight ticket can vary depending on the route and how far in advance you book. 

Generally speaking, the earlier you book, the cheaper your ticket will be. 

Tickets that are purchased at least seven days in advance are generally less expensive than those purchased three days ahead of time.

If you’re traveling during peak season or if special events are going on while you travel (such as an annual festival), then it’s likely that tickets will be more expensive than usual. 

Also, note that prices may increase during holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve/Day because there tends to be more demand for train travel around these times of the year.

You might think an Amtrak train ticket from Seattle to Portland would cost more than a flight. 

After all, flying a plane is expensive. 

And trains are slow, right? Wrong! 

It turns out that finding cheap Amtrak tickets can be tricky. 

You’ll find cheap flights and hotels, but not so much for the train. 

Why is that? 

It’s because airlines offer special deals on flights to compete with other airlines, but not so much for trains. 

But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find some great deals on your trip! 

Here’s how you can still get cheap Amtrak coast starlight train tickets from Seattle to Portland and back again.

There are several ways to get cheap train tickets on Amtrak Coast Starlight:


Know when to buy your ticket.

This is true for any mode of transportation, but it’s especially true with trains. 

If you wait too long to buy your ticket, you could miss out on the lowest fares. 

Some trains have fare restrictions, so make sure the dates you choose are available before you commit to buying a ticket. 

Some trains also sell out quickly, so it’s best to get your ticket as soon as you know what dates you want to travel. 

If you wait too long, you could miss out on the train you want entirely.

Sign up for Amtrak’s Train Rewards Program.

If you’re a frequent Amtrak passenger, you might want to consider taking advantage of Amtrak’s Train Rewards Program. 

You can sign up for the program for free, and then you’ll start earning points for every dollar you spend on Amtrak. 

You’ll earn 3 points for every dollar you spend on Amtrak trains, and 2 points for every dollar you spend on Amtrak hotels. 

You can redeem these points for Amtrak gift cards or apply them to future Amtrak trips.

Check for promo codes.

Every month, Amtrak offers special codes for discounted train tickets. 

Just sign up for Amtrak’s mailing list, and you’ll start receiving special offers right in your email inbox! 

While you’re at it, you can also sign up for Amtrak’s email list, which will send you news and updates on special deals and sales.


Consider an Acela train instead.

If you’re trying to find cheap Amtrak tickets from Seattle to Portland, you might have better luck looking for tickets on a different train, such as the Acela Express. 

These trains travel on a different route, so they’ll cost less than an Amtrak Coast Starlight trip would. 

They’re also more direct, so they’ll get you to Portland more quickly. 

While they’re not exactly cheap, they are less expensive than the Starlight. 

You can usually find specials on Amtrak tickets from Seattle to Portland with the Acela Express, so be on the lookout for those.


Visit your local travel agency.

Lots of travel agencies offer Amtrak train tickets, but they might not advertise them very often. 

If you want to visit a travel agency to book your trip, make sure you ask them if they offer Amtrak tickets. 

If they do, they might be able to get you some cheap Amtrak coast starlight train tickets.

Check for promo codes and credits.

Amtrak occasionally offers promo codes and credits for their train tickets, so make sure to check for those. 

You could also see if your student ID or rewards credit card offers any discounts for train tickets. 

If you’re a member of AARP or have a Seniors Rail Pass, you might be able to get a discount as well.


Don’t forget about travel credit cards.

If you travel a lot, especially by train, it might make sense to sign up for a travel rewards credit card. 

Amtrak is partnered with both American Express and Chase, so you should be able to get some rewards just for buying tickets on Amtrak. 

Make sure to check before you sign up for a card, though, because not all travel credit cards will offer Amtrak rewards.

Take advantage of travel bundle deals.

Many airlines offer travel bundle deals that include hotel and train accommodations. 

If you’re planning on visiting Portland, make sure you check and see if the airline you fly with offers any travel bundle deals. 

If they do, you can add Amtrak train tickets to your trip for a discounted rate.

The bottom line and final Words: Is It Worth It?

If you want to get cheap Amtrak coast starlight train tickets from Seattle to Portland, you’ll need to know when to buy your ticket, consider an Acela train instead, and check for promo codes and credits. 

This is a great way to save money on your trip. 

Also, if you have kids, you can add them to the travel bundle deal. 

Kids under 12 are free when they fly with their parents. 

This can save you a lot of money on travel expenses, and make your trip to Portland more affordable.

If you’re flying to Portland, you might be able to add a hotel in Portland to your trip as part of a travel bundle deal, which will save you even more money.

You should also make sure to use a travel rewards credit card so you can earn miles and enjoy other perks. 

With a little bit of planning, you can get cheap Amtrak coast starlight train tickets from Seattle to Portland and back again.