Review: Amtrak Credit Card

Amtrak offers 2 credit cards in partnership with Bank of America that allow you to earn points toward future Amtrak travel. Our overview / review of the cards is below:

The Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard has no annual fee and offers reward points in a simple way:

  • 2 points per dollar charged to the card for Amtrak purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases with the card

In addition, if you spend $1000 with the card within the first 3 months of having it, you’ll get a bonus of 12,000 points — which is enough for a free round-trip ticket on Amtrak to many destinations.

Also, when you redeem your points for travel, you’ll get 5% redeemed back into your account. For example, if a round-trip would normally be 12,000 points, you’ll get 600 points back once you’ve redeemed those 12,000 points.

The interest rate on this card may be anywhere from 16.99% to 24.99%, depending on your credit history. So, if you have a habit of carrying a card balance, you’d be better off trying to get a card with a lower interest rate without rewards — carrying a balance and paying interest essentially wipes out the reward benefits you might get.

Now, if you really love Amtrak, there’s also the Amtrak World Mastercard, which comes with a $79 annual fee but greater rewards. With this one you get 3 points per dollar on Amtrak purchases, 2 points per dollar on other travel purchases, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Your potential bonus is bigger, too — 20,000 points if you use the card for at least $1000 in purchases in the first 90 days.

In addition, the World MasterCard offers various upgrade perks and companion ticket opportunities.

The interest rate on the World MasterCard is the same range of 16.99% – 24.99% as that of the Platinum Mastercard.

In our view, neither of these cards has a particularly attractive rewards formula. However, if you are really a regular rider of Amtrak, it would probably make more sense to pay the $79 annual fee to get the greater perks of the World Mastercard, because the no annual fee card offers too little to be of real value when compared to other reward cards such as the best cash back credit cards.