Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®
The Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard might not sound exciting, but it’s actually a great rewards card. It earns 1 to 3 points per dollar spent, depending on the purchase category, and points are worth at least 2.6 cents each! That means that at a minimum you’re getting 2.6 percent back on your purchases.
The big caveat, however, is that these points are primarily good for train travel. If you don’t ever travel by train and have no interest in doing so, Amtrak points are not going to get your very far. We recommend this card to anyone who is interested in, or at least open to, train travel within the U.S. If that sounds like you, this could be a very rewarding card for you to have!
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard® offers and the value of the Bank of America points you earn.
The current sign-up bonus for the Bank of America Amtrak Guest card is 20,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases within three months of being a cardholder. Additionally, when you open your account you will receive a complimentary companion coupon, one class upgrade and a single-visit Station Lounge Pass.
What You Get
- 20,000 points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months
- Complimentary annual companion coupon good for one-way or round-trip travel
- One free class upgrade per year
- Complimentary lounge pass upon card approval
- 5% points rebate for Amtrak redemptions
- 3 points per dollar with Amtrak
- 2 points per dollar for travel purchases
As long as you keep your Amtrak credit card open, you don’t need to worry about your points expiring.
What is the value of Amtrak Guest Rewards Points?
The value of Amtrak Guest Rewards points varies depending on how you use them. Every point is worth 2.9 cents each when redeeming for non-Acela trains and 2.6 cents each when redeeming on all Acela trains. Unfortunately, saver and promotional fares are excluded, so when you consider how many points you’ll need for a given train, you likely won’t be able to pay for the cheapest ticket with your points.
What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?
Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket (minus taxes and fees charged for an award ticket) by the number of miles the award flight costs. This is a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the flight in both cash and miles fluctuates by season and availability.
How we calculate CPM:
The Best Ways to Redeem Amtrak Points
The best way to redeem your Amtrak points is for non-Acela trains. Buying tickets for these trains will offer you 2.9 cents per point in value. Keep in mind that since the lowest Saver and promotional fares are excluded from point redemptions, you actually might not be getting quite that good of value on a train where these low fares are still available. However, even though you’ll get a lower value per point when redeeming for Acela trains, it can still be a good value. There are also no blackout dates. Getting 2.6 to 2.9 cents per point in value is generous, no matter how you look at it.
Other ways you can redeem points
Hotel Stays2 partners2 partners
Amtrak offers a couple of hotel partners (Hilton, Choice) for points transfers, but transferring your points is only an option if you spend at least $20,000 on your Amtrak card within a calendar year.
The Amtrak card offers 3 points per dollar spent with Amtrak, 2 points per dollar for other qualifying travel purchases and 1 point per dollar for all other purchases.
- Car Rental
- Amtrak purchases
- All Other Purchases
Bank of American considers travel purchases to include airlines, lodging, car rentals, cruises, travel agencies, taxi and limo services, passenger railway, bus lines, timeshares, campgrounds, tourist attractions, amusement parks, aquariums, zoos and boat rentals.
Complimentary Companion Coupon
Bring a family or friend with you for free once a year. Good for one-way or round-trip travel.
Relax in the first class car with this complimentary annual upgrade.
Get 5% of your points back when you redeem for Amtrak travel.
Free Lounge Access
Get one free lounge pass upon card approval.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
You’ll never pay an additional fee to use this card while traveling abroad.
Earn Elite Status Fast
For every $5,000 you spent on your Bank of America Amtrak card during the calendar year, you will earn 1,000 Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) toward elite status. The maximum number of TQPs you can earn each year is 4,000. You must earn 5,000 TQPs for Select status, 10,000 TQPs for Select Plus and 20,000 for Select Executive.
- Earn 1,000 Tier Qualifying Points toward elite status for every $5,000 you spend per year. Up to 4,000 TQPs can be earned through annual card spending.
Fees: the cost of Having the Card
This card has a $79 annual fee. If you make $3,040 in purchases a year, you’ll cover the cost of the card. That’s because you’ll earn at least 3,040 points, and they’re worth about 2.6 cents each. If you spend about $2,000 a month, you’ll pay off the card in less than two months.
Since the sign-up bonus is 20,000 points, you easily have the annual fee covered for the first couple of years.
- Annual Fee
- Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- Late Payment Fee
- Up to $38
See What It Takes to Cover an Annual Fee:
We strongly recommend to spend not less than $2,508 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.
We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard
Surprisingly, the Amtrak Guest credit card is really good, and it’s hard to pick just five benefits for this list!
- Free Companion Pass: A family member or friend can take the train with you for free every year that you have the card.
- Hassle-Free Redemptions: There are no blackout dates for using your points on Amtrak.
- Big Sign-Up Bonus: This card comes with a 20,000 points sign-up bonus worth about $520!
- Valuable Points: Amtrak points can be worth 2.6 cents or more!
- Good Everyday Earning: Earn 3 points per dollar spent on Amtrak purchases, 2 points per dollar for other travel purchases and 1 point per dollar for everything else.
Should You Get the Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard?
Overall, the Amtrak Guest Rewards credit card is a really great card. The only real catch is that on order for it to be valuable, you have to travel by train. An Amtrak point can be worth 2.6 cents or more when used for Amtrak tickets, but you cannot use them to book flights or other travel.
The card has a $79 annual fee, but that is easily recouped each year with the annual companion certificate and the annual upgrade certificate. If you travel by train at least a couple of times per year, this card is a really valuable option for everyday spending. If you aren’t interested in traveling by train, this card definitely isn’t for you.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
- Most people who are approved for the Amtrak credit card report having a credit score of 700 or higher. Keep in mind that a high credit score does not guarantee approval. When you apply, Bank of America will consider your entire application before deciding to approve or deny you for the card.
- This is a pretty good sign-up bonus for the Amtrak card but not as high as it has ever been. The best sign-up bonus we have seen for the Amtrak credit card was 30,000 points.
- Amtrak does sell gift cards. Purchases of Amtrak gift cards earn three points per dollar spent with the Amtrak credit card.
- The Amtrak Platinum MasterCard is a lower version of the Amtrak World MasterCard. The Platinum MasterCard offers a 12,000 points sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 within 90 days of account opening. You will also earn just two points per dollar spent on Amtrak travel and one point per dollar for all other purchases.The Platinum MasterCard does not offer a complimentary companion coupon, class upgrade or lounge pass, or a fast track to status. However, your points still won’t expire, you’ll still get a 5 percent Amtrak Guest Rewards point rebate and you won’t pay foreign transaction fees. The Amtrak Platinum MasterCard doesn’t have an annual fee.
- It is possible to buy Amtrak points. After purchasing, points will show up in your account within 72 hours. You can only buy or receive up to 15,000 Amtrak points within a calendar year unless you are a Select Executive elite member.
Before you apply for the Amtrak card, let’s take a look at a couple of other credit cards that are issued by Bank of America. Both the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card and BankAmericard Better Balance Rewards are options worth considering.
Other Bank of America Rewards cards
|Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card|
|Sign-up bonus||20,000 points||20,000 points|
|APR On Purchases||16.24% to 24.24% Variable±||13.99% to 23.99% Variable±|
|Second Year Value||$360||$252|
The BankAmericard Travel Rewards card offers a sign-up bonus of 20,000 points. These points are worth one cent each when they are redeemed toward travel purchases, and you’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar spent on all of your purchases. The BankAmericard Better Balance Rewards card offers users $25 every quarter that they have made more than the minimum monthly payment.
If you’re looking for a card that is more flexible than the Amtrak card, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card is a good option. If you don’t pay your balance off in full each month, a card with good rewards probably isn’t the best choice since they tend to have high interest rates. If this sounds like you, the BankAmericard Better Balance Rewards card is a good option to earn rewards while paying down your balances.
Compare the Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard to Other Cards
In addition to looking at Bank of America credit cards, here’s how the Amtrak cards compares to a couple of other cards: the Discover it Miles, VentureOne Rewards and Barclaycard Arrival Plus. All four of these cards are great, but the Amtrak card offers the least flexibility and the highest value per point.
Discover it Miles, VentureOne Rewards and Barclaycard Arrival Plus are all more general travel cards. The VentureOne offers a 20,000 points sign-up bonus worth $200, and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus offers a 40,000 points sign-up bonus worth $421.
All of these general cards have more travel redemption options, including, but not limited to, train travel. So, if you aren’t set on traveling by train a couple of times per year, one of these cards is likely a better choice.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with this World MasterCard.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- 13.99% to 23.99% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 25 days
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 16.99% to 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness when you open your account, for Direct Deposit and Check Cash Advances, and 25.99% for Bank Cash Advances
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Direct Deposit and Check Cash Advances: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater. ATM, Over-the-Counter, Same-Day Online and Cash Equivalent Cash Advances: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
Security and Protections
The Bank of America Amtrak card offers standard security features, including the following:
- $0 Liability Guarantee:
- You’re not liable for any unauthorized purchases. Bank of America will block potential fraud if abnormal patterns are detected.
- Banking On the Go:
- With access to Bank of America’s award-winning online and mobile banking, you can bank from almost anywhere.
- Account Alerts:
- Stay on top of balances and due dates with account alerts.
- Text Banking:
- Get the account information you need quickly by text.
- EMV Chip + Signature Technology:
- Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip-enabled terminals.
- Overdraft Protection:
- An optional service to help prevent declined purchases, returned checks or other overdrafts when you link your eligible Bank of America checking account to your credit card.
- Credit Score Monitoring:
- Opt-in for a free FICO Score every month.
Bank of America offers an award winning mobile banking app. The Amtrak card is also compatible with digital wallet technology, including Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
The Amtrak Guest Rewards card from Bank of America has a few additional cardholder benefits offered through MasterCard.
Master Card Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
- Coverage for theft and collision for most rentals in the U.S. and abroad. Coverage is secondary to your personal insurance.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services:
- Legal and medical referrals, and other travel and emergency assistance is available any time of day. Service charges apply.