Trip Report: Chicago (part 2) Amtrak Hiawatha Service Milwaukee to Chicago


Introduction: Post Valentine’s Day getaway
Amtrak Hiawatha Milwaukee Intermodal Station to Chicago Union Station
Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Amtrak Hiawatha Milwaukee Intermodal Station to Chicago Union Station

We got to the train station about 30 minutes before hand which is way to early.  We stood in line while they let a large group of people board.  We were then summoned through in the next group and on we went.  We were the first on board our coach cabin and we had our choice of seats.  The cabin ended up being about 50-60% full I would estimate. Our tickets were for unreserved coach seating.

Boarding the train

Boarding the train

Amtrak Hiawatha coach cabin

Amtrak Hiawatha coach cabin seating

The seats are comfy enough for the simple hour and half train ride to Union Station.  More leg room then Southwest economy seating for sure.  The cabin is equipped with free wifi which is a nice feature and was highly requested of Amtrak Hiawatha passengers as so many commute back and forth for work between Milwaukee and Chicago so its nice people can be productive while on the train in to work or on the way home.

Amtrak Hiawatha coach seating legroom

DSC00808 Power outlets

Each seat also comes equipped with power outlets to charge your laptop or cell phones. The cabin also features reverse seating half way through in some cabins but not all.  This is nice as the way back to Milwaukee many seats are “reversed” thus the scenery goes by you backwards which can cause some motion sickness for some riders.

My wife on the Amtrak Hiawatha on the way home

Reverse seating on the Amtrak Hiawatha

All in all we had a pleasant, relaxing and uneventful train ride down to Chicago.  This is a great option when you don’t feel like driving or the weather is a bit iffy!

PointsPinnacle Breakdown

I was interested to see how easy (or difficult) the booking process would be when trying to redeem points for an Amtrak ticket.  I did a dummy points booking and noticed the cost is 1500 Amtrak points one way per person.  I then transferred over 3000 Ultimate Rewards points from my Chase Ultimate Rewards account to Amtrak and they appeared in my Amtrak account instantly.  I booked both of our one way tickets from my account with no problems at all.   Now this isn’t a killer redemption by any means at I am only getting about 1.5 cents per point but it does help lessen our cash cost for the weekend which is nice.

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Reservation confirmation from Milwaukee to Chicago using Amtrak points

I did end up using cash for our tickets home however which were $24 per person one way.  So I kind of did my own “cash and points” redemption using Amtrak points.  Considering parking in downtown Chicago can run over $40-50 a night at many locations it just makes sense to take the train in many instances from Milwaukee.

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Reservation confirmation from Milwaukee to Chicago using Amtrak points

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are so handy and they really have a good variety of partners. Not only are they good for hotels and airfare partners but you can see they are also valuable for train travel as well on Amtrak!

Let me know if you have any questions or if you have redeemed points for Amtrak.



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