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Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard® review

 /  4 min
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Snapshot

3.0

Bankrate rating
Info Hover for more
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Rewards rate

1X - 3X
Info

Annual fee

$79

Intro offer

20,000 bonus points
Info

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% variable

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info

Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard® Overview

Amtrak enthusiasts are rewarded generously with the Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®. This Bank of America credit card features a substantial welcome offer, plus several other fun perks within the year. If you use train travel for transportation, you will be rewarded with 3X the bonus points for all your Amtrak travel purchases, including the ones you make onboard.

What are the pros and cons?

Pros

  • Checkmark

    20,000-bonus-point sign-up offer after spending $1,000 in purchases first 90 days of account opening.

  • Checkmark

    Free companion ticket annually.

  • Checkmark

    One-time pass upgrade and station lounge access.

Cons

  • $79 annual fee.

  • No intro APR on purchases or balance transfers.

A deeper look at the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: 3X Amtrak Guest Rewards points on Amtrak travel, including onboard purchases; 2X points on other qualifying travel purchase; 1X points for all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: Up to 20,000 bonus Amtrak Rewards points with $1,000 in purchases first 90 days of account opening
  • Annual fee: $79
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable

Current welcome offer

The Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard offers a 20,000 point bonus if you use your card for $1,000 in purchases during the first 90 days. With Amtrak Guest Rewards points currently valued by The Points Guy at around 2.5 cents each, the bonus offer alone is worth $500 in Amtrak travel.

Rewards rate

Earning rewards with the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard is straightforward, and Amtrak enthusiasts will quickly accumulate points they can use on travel and more.

Earning rewards

You earn 3X bonus points for all Amtrak purchases, even your onboard purchases such as food and drinks. You earn 2X the bonus points for non-Amtrak, qualifying travel and 1X bonus points for all other purchases. There is no limit to how many points you can earn, so be sure to take full advantage.

Redeeming rewards

One of the best perks of the point structure is as long as your account remains open, your points never expire. You can save them up and use them on Amtrak travel, gift cards, hotels, car rentals and more.

And when you do finally book your reward travel through Amtrak, you’ll earn 5 percent back in points to use once again.

Other cardholder benefits

Bankrate’s Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard review reveals several freebies and perks along with the welcome offer and robust point structure. You’ll enjoy benefits such as free companion travel and upgrades on Amtrak travel.

Free companion passes

Every year, when your renewal date rolls around, you’ll receive one free companion pass. Depending on your travel destination, this could be worth several hundred dollars.

Upgrades

When your card renews, you’ll receive a one-pass class upgrade, plus a one-time pass for a complimentary visit to the station lounge. As you reach higher tier levels with your earned points, you can earn upgrades as well. With the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard, you earn 1,000 Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) towards tier status each time your purchases reach $5,000 in a calendar year.

Rebates

When you use your card on board during Amtrak travel, you’ll earn a 20 percent statement credit for your food and beverage purchases.

Rates and fees

The regular APR for this card is 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent, depending on your creditworthiness. One drawback to this card is the lack of an introductory APR for purchases or balance transfers, so if you’re planning to use your card for a balance transfer, you’re immediately subject to the regular APR. Cash advances are subject to an APR between 16.99 percent to 26.99 percent.

The card has a $79 annual fee, along with a $10 or 3 percent fee (whichever is greater) for balance transfers. For cash advances, it’s even higher—$10 or 5 percent, whichever is greater.

If you travel overseas and need to use this card, the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard does not charge you foreign transaction fees.

How the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard compares to other travel cards

Annual fee

$79

Intro offer

20,000 bonus points
Info

Rewards rate

1X - 3X
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Bankrate Score
Apply now Lock
On Capital One's secure site

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

20,000 miles
Info

Rewards rate

1.25X - 5X
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Bankrate Score
Apply now Lock
On Chase's secure site

Annual fee

$95

Intro offer

60,000 points
Info

Rewards rate

2x - 5x
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info

The Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard is one of several travel credit cards available, so how does it stack up to other popular options?

Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Compare it to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee and doesn’t have an introductory APR on purchases or balance transfers, either. However, the 60,000 points in Chase Ultimate Rewards welcome offer (if you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months) is seriously enticing and worth $750 when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard vs. Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Compare the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard to the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, which doesn’t have an annual fee and offers a 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (17.99 percent to 27.99 percent variable APR after, 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months). The VentureOne also gives you 20,000 bonus miles if you spend $500 in the first three months. These miles can be used for airline travel if you prefer to travel by plane instead of train.

Best cards to pair with the Amtrak Mastercard

If you see a balance transfer taking place in your future, pair the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard with a card offering a 0 percent introductory APR on balance transfers. This way, you can still earn your Amtrak perks but not be financially dinged with a higher APR on a balance transfer. Plus, with a lower balance transfer APR, you can pay down your balance faster.

Bankrate’s Take—Is the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard worth it?

The bottom line is, if you still enjoy traveling by train or if you rely on the train for your daily commute, then the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard is worth a serious look. Even with the $79 annual fee and lack of introductory APRs on purchases or balance transfers, you can still earn a substantial amount in free train travel. The welcome bonus and annual perks, plus the 3X points on Amtrak travel, means you can be rewarded whether you’re a commuter or going on vacation.

The information about the Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard® has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.