Amtrak Guest Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® Review [2024]: Earn Valuable Points for Rail Travel

CREDIT CARDS - TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS
This no-fee rewards card will help you earn free rail travel with Amtrak.
Updated Feb. 13, 2024
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Editor's note:
The Amtrak Guest Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® is no longer accepting applications at this time. For credit cards with excellent travel rewards to help you book your next Amtrak trip, consider our recommendations for the best travel credit cards.

If you’re a fan of Amtrak, the Amtrak Guest Rewards® Platinum Mastercard® can help you earn points towards free rail travel and take advantage of other valuable travel perks. This no-fee travel rewards card is one of two Amtrak rewards cards available through Bank of America. Find out more about this co-branded travel rewards credit card in this in-depth Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard review.

In this Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard review:

Who should get the Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard?

The Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard is one of the best credit cards for Amtrak riders. Most of the card’s rewards earning and other benefits are tied specifically to Amtrak purchases and redemptions. It doesn’t offer as many perks as the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard, but it also doesn’t carry an expensive annual fee. Because points don't expire, casual travelers and first-time railway travelers may also find value in adding this card to their wallets.

It makes sense to apply for this rewards credit card only if you plan to use your bonus points to book Amtrak travel. The Amtrak Guest Rewards Program offers plenty of other redemption choices, but none with the same value found in booking rail travel. If you plan to use your points toward other redemptions, there are more versatile rewards credit cards available.

Card basics

Card type Travel
Credit card issuer Bank of America
Credit card network Mastercard
Reward rate 2X points on Amtrak purchases, including onboard purchases; 1X points on all other purchases
Recommended credit score Good, Excellent
Foreign transaction fee None

Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard benefits and perks

  • Food and beverage rebate: You can earn a 10% rebate, in the form of a statement credit, on food and beverage purchases made aboard Amtrak trains with your new card.
  • Rewards travel rebate: Your rewards can go further with a 5% bonus point rebate when you book Amtrak rewards travel.
  • No foreign transaction fees: Your Amtrak Guest Rewards card comes with no foreign transaction fees, which makes it a solid option to use when traveling outside the U.S.
  • Points don’t expire: Use your Amtrak Guest Rewards points whenever you want — points earned with your Amtrak card don’t expire as long as your card account remains open.

Drawbacks to the Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard

  • Limited earning: With this card, only Amtrak purchases earn bonus points. You’ll earn 1X on all other purchases. Other rewards cards feature additional spending categories with bonus-earning potential.
  • No airline transfer partners: Although you can transfer points from this card to hotel partners like Hilton, there are no airline transfer partners available.
  • No special coupons: Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard® cardholders get a complimentary companion coupon good for up to $300 in Amtrak travel and a free one-class upgrade coupon worth up to $150 in Amtrak travel each calendar year. The Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard doesn't offer these perks.

Earning and redeeming Amtrak Guest Rewards

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look at how your points can add up with the Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of 1 cent.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $455

Year two earnings: $335

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model, which looks at points earned via spending and the welcome bonus.

Note that these values reflect general travel purchases, not the bonus points you’ll earn from Amtrak purchases. If you’re a frequent Amtrak traveler, the value you get from this card will likely be higher than the amounts above.

Best ways to earn

The Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard only offers two ways to earn bonus points. Most of your points are earned through Amtrak purchases, including onboard purchases, which net 2X points per dollar spent. Amtrak purchases include train fares and onboard purchases. All other purchases net 1X points per dollar spent.

Categories Rewards rate
Amtrak purchases, including onboard purchases 2X
All other purchases all other purchases

Maximizing your redemptions

The primary reason to earn Amtrak points is to book train trips on Amtrak. For most individuals, this is the best redemption option, and most likely, the reason you applied for the card in the first place. Amtrak redemptions start at 800 points and can be used to travel to more than 500 destinations.

Your bonus points can go toward other Amtrak purchases as well, like upgrades to business and first-class and lounge passes. There are also options beyond standard Amtrak fares, including:

  • Auto Train: Use rewards to book a trip for you and your vehicle between Washington, D.C. and Florida.
  • Acela trips: Book rewards travel on the only high-speed rail in the U.S.
  • Private rooms: Use your points to enjoy more space and privacy in a private sleeping car.

You can also redeem your points outside of Amtrak if you want. Through your Guest Rewards account, you can redeem points for:

  • Hotel stays
  • Car rentals
  • Gift cards for dining, retail, entertainment, and travel

You also have an opportunity to transfer bonus points to one of Amtrak’s travel partner programs, which include:

  • Hilton Honors
  • Choice Privileges
  • Audience Rewards

Note that you can transfer only 50,000 points combined to travel partners annually unless you’re an Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Executive Member.

There’s even an option to share points with another member if you so choose. As with most travel rewards programs, Amtrak bonus point values vary with each redemption. As a general rule, you’ll get the most value from your points when you redeem them for Amtrak purchases.

Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard FAQs

Is the Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard a good credit card?

The Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard is a decent option if you are a regular Amtrak customer and looking for a way to earn discounted or free Amtrak trips. The card offers decent value as a no-fee rewards card, though the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard offers more Amtrak-related perks.

What credit score do you need for the Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard?

Most credit card issuers don’t publish credit requirements online, but you’ll likely need a good to excellent FICO credit score to qualify. A good FICO score is 670 and higher.

Credit scores are just one of several factors taken into account in application decisions. Card issuers look at a variety of credit factors and application details to determine your creditworthiness when you apply for a new card.

Do Amtrak Guest Rewards expire?

Amtrak Guest Reward bonus points earned with your card do not expire as long as you keep your card account open.

Can you use my Amtrak Rewards to buy a ticket for someone else?

Yes, you can use your Amtrak rewards to book qualifying travel for someone else. Tickets are sent to the rewards account holder. The individual must have the ticket and photo ID when traveling, and the name on the ticket has to match the name listed on the ID. You can also share your rewards points with another Amtrak Guest Rewards member.

How do you qualify for Amtrak elite status?

Amtrak Guest Rewards has four status levels — Member, Select, Select Plus, and Select Executive. You can reach a higher status level by earning Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs). TPQs are earned by taking qualifying Amtrak trips. You can earn even more TPQs by booking business class and first class fares, and being an Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard cardholder.

Other cards to consider

If the Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum doesn't seem like the right fit for you, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent option if you don’t think you’ll travel enough on trains to get value with an Amtrak credit card. With this card, you can earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases. 

Because this card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you have loads of redemption options available, including flights, hotel stays, rental cars, and more. Plus, all travel redemptions made through the Chase travel portal are worth 25% more on the Sapphire Preferred.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is another versatile rewards card. Cardmembers can earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. But the real value of the card is in its redemption options. 

With the Venture Rewards card, you can use points to book travel directly through Capital One, cover purchases, shop online, get cash back, purchase gift cards, or transfer rewards to a host of airline and hotel travel partner programs. This means you could still book Amtrak fares and use your Venture Rewards points to cover your purchase.

Great No-Fee Card for Frequent Train Travelers

Amtrak Guest Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®

Amtrak Guest Rewards® Platinum Mastercard®

Why We Like It

Earn 12,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days

See how these cards compare:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 10% anniversary point bonus each year
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • Earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 19.99% - 29.99% (variable) purchase APR
  • Rates and fees

Author Details

Kevin Payne Kevin Payne is a freelance writer specializing in student loans, credit cards, personal finance, and travel. He is a regular contributor to Club Thrifty, Millennial Money, and Student Loan Planner. As the budget and family travel expert behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com, Kevin recently turned his writing side hustle into his full-time career. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids.

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