What is the likelihood of successfully purchasing these fares listed on the website? Can it be done online from the states as long as they are posted?
To the extent of my knowledge, DB website has no issues working with foreign cards.
Completely likely. I use a VPN most of the time, so my computer looks like it's in the states and I have no trouble purchasing the lowest fare available. You just need to purchase 92 days in advance.
Just let your credit card co know in advance that you are making a foreign transaction. You need to take that credit card with you when you travel. The conductor will scan it as well as your print-at-home ticket to make sure you are the one who actually purchased the ticket (you did not buy it from a reseller/scammer). Works slicker than you know what.
Excellent! Thank you! What are the chances that I will find typical fares in the summer based on what I see now. Any ideas?
Adjust for inflation, and the fares will be comparable. The only difference is that the cheapest offerings will sell out a little quicker.
I wouldn't buy in advance. We bought Schones Wochenender pass for $44 euro which covers up to 4 people for the whole weekend. No problem getting tickers at station. On some trains (like Westbahn which runs from Vienna to Salzburg) buy your ticket on the train.
Just keep in mind the the Schones Wochenende Ticket, and its weekday counterpart, the Quer-durchs-Land Ticket excludes use of the fast ICE and IC trains. Only Regional Express, Regional Bahn and S-Bahn. Weekdays must travel after 9 am. Thus slower trains and more connections for most longer journeys.
I only bought Bahn savings fares once (from the US), but it was quite easy. The site took my US credit card with no problem, and I printed out the ticket (it said to use A4 paper, but 8.5 x 11 worked fine). On the train, you show the ticket and the credit card used for purchase; they scan the ticket, swipe the card, and you're set. Be sure to put in two travelers (assuming you're traveling together). From Berlin to Dresden, the full fare was €38 per person, but the discount fare was 19 for one person and €29 for two. So, on that one round trip we saved €94! Yes, for shorter distances the Laender tickets and similar deals are good. They're particularly useful for routes that don't have faster trains (we used a Saxon Ticket for Dresden to Goerlitz, and even trying to do it another way in the ticket machine, it came back to that as the least expensive). But, they do limit you to the slower trains. As with so many things in life, it's a trade off of time vs. money.
A a couple of weeks ago, I bought my savings fares ticket Munich to Salzburg for 19 euro. Easy as pie and no issues with my credit card.