Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard® Review [2024]: Ride the Rails and Earn Rewards

CREDIT CARDS - TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS
Use the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard to fuel your Amtrak travel experience with valuable cardmember rewards and benefits.
Updated May 7, 2024
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Editor's note:
The Amtrak Guest Rewards® World 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 compare credit cards, you won’t find many cards that specifically offer rewards and benefits for train travel. But with more than 500 destinations in 46 states, it makes sense for Amtrak to offer credit card options to its customers.

As one of the best credit cards for Amtrak, the Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard® offers train enthusiasts and everyday Amtrak riders the opportunity to earn rewards and receive benefits to boost their train travels.

In this Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard review, you’ll learn about the benefits and drawbacks of this card, along with how to earn and redeem your points. This will help you understand more about the card and whether you should apply for it.

In this Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard review:

Who should get the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard?

The Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard is designed for people who often ride Amtrak trains and want to earn rewards on their travels. Because this card specifically earns Amtrak Guest Rewards points, it’s meant to be used for Amtrak travel.

Travel rewards credit cards typically provide points or miles that can help you travel more while spending less. With the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard, you earn points for qualifying travel purchases, including Amtrak train tickets and onboard purchases. 

You also get specific Amtrak benefits, such as an annual companion coupon and an annual upgrade coupon. Because these benefits revolve around traveling with Amtrak, the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard wouldn’t make much sense for someone who isn’t a loyal Amtrak customer.

Card basics

Card type Travel
Credit card issuer Bank of America
Credit card network Mastercard
Reward rate 3X points on Amtrak purchases, including onboard purchases; 2X points on other eligible travel purchases; 1X point on all other purchases
Recommended credit score Good, Excellent
Foreign transaction fee None

Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard benefits and perks

  • Earning potential: Earn 3X points on Amtrak purchases, including onboard purchases; 2X points on other eligible travel purchases; 1X point on all other purchases.
  • Amtrak travel rebate: Cardholders get 5% back in Amtrak Guest Rewards points when booking Amtrak award travel. 
  • Food and beverage rebate: In addition to the travel rebate, you can also get 20% back in the form of a statement credit when you use your card for onboard food and beverage purchases. 
  • Annual coupons: Receive a complimentary companion coupon worth up to $300 in Amtrak travel and a free one-class upgrade coupon worth up to $150 in Amtrak travel when you first open your account and each year when you renew your account.
  • Tier status earning: This credit card offers 1,000 Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) for each $5,000 you spend on your card in a calendar year, up to 4,000 TQPs each year.

Drawbacks to the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard

  • Not convenient: Train travel isn’t typically as convenient as flying or driving, so you have fewer options for routes and destinations when using this card to make travel plans.
  • Redemption value: You can redeem your points for hotels, cars, cruises, and gift cards, but you wouldn’t get the same value as you would if you used your points on Amtrak award travel.
  • Limited travel partners: There is no redemption option for flights with Amtrak Guest Rewards points, and the transfer partners are limited to Audience Rewards, Choice Privileges, and Hilton Honors.

Earning and redeeming Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard

Potential earnings in years one and two 

Here's a look at how your points can add up with the Amtrak Guest Rewards World 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: $510

Year two earnings: $310

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

Note that the values above account for general travel spending, not Amtrak-specific spending. If you use your card frequently for Amtrak purchases, you’re likely to get a higher earnings rate than what’s noted above.

Best ways to earn

The best way to earn Amtrak Guest Rewards points with the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard is by focusing on making purchases with it on expenses that fall within its bonus categories. For example, you can earn 3X points on Amtrak purchases, including onboard purchases and 2X points on other eligible travel purchases. If you stick to making purchases in these categories, you’ll earn the highest possible rate of points with this card.

Categories Rewards rate
Amtrak purchases, including onboard purchases 3X
Other eligible travel purchases 2X
All other purchases 1X

Maximizing your redemptions

Amtrak Guest Rewards points can be redeemed for multiple things, but the best redemption method on the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard is for award travel on Amtrak trains. All Amtrak award travel redemptions offer 5% of your points back with the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard, which immediately makes this points redemption more valuable than other options.

However, you still have these other redemption options available if you'd rather not use your points for Amtrak tickets:

  • Hotel stays: Use the Amtrak Hotels & Cars travel portal or transfer your points to the Choice Privileges or Hilton Honors loyalty programs.
  • Car rentals: Use the Amtrak Hotels & Cars travel portal to redeem points on a car rental.
  • Gift cards: Redeem your points for gift cards from popular companies like Budget, Celebrity Cruises, Disney, Best Western, Applebees, Amazon, and more.

Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard FAQs

How much are Amtrak Guest Rewards points worth?

Amtrak Guest Rewards points are worth between 83 cents per point to more than 2 cents per point. For example, at the time of writing, a $100 Disney gift card cost 12,000 points to redeem, which equals 83 cents per point (100 / 12,000 = 0.0083333). However, a $100 1-800-Flowers gift card cost 10,000 points, which is 1 cent per point (100 / 10,000 = 0.01).

And if you book award train travel through Amtrak, you’ll get varying degrees of value. For instance, a one-way coach fare from New York City to Albany, New York costs $36 or 1,575 points, at the time of writing. That ends up being about 2.2 cents per point (36 / 1,575 = 0.022857). If you did a one-way business fare instead with the same itinerary, it would be $67 or 2,345 points. That gives you about 2.8 cents per point (67 / 2,345 = 0.028571).

What can Amtrak points be used for?

Amtrak points can be redeemed for Amtrak train travel, car rentals, hotel stays, and gift cards. Award travel on Amtrak trains typically provides the best redemption rates for your points, though.

How many points do you need for a free ride on Amtrak?

You’ll need at least 800 Amtrak Guest Rewards points to take a free ride on Amtrak with its reward travel options.

What credit score do you need for an Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard?

You likely need a good or excellent credit score to qualify for the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard. A good credit score typically starts around 670, and excellent credit starts around 800.

How do you redeem your Amtrak Guest Rewards points?

To redeem your Amtrak Guest Rewards points, log into your online Amtrak account with your email or Guest Rewards number and navigate to the “Ways to Redeem” section of your profile. Then choose the applicable redemption option.

Other cards to consider

Although the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard provides you with great earning potential and helpful benefits, it may not be the best fit for everyone. For other credit card options, consider the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

If you don’t plan on using your rewards towards Amtrak travel, you’re better off applying for a more versatile rewards credit card like Capital One Venture Rewards Credit 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.

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 Travel℠; 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.

Rewards for Loyal Train Travelers

Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®

Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®

Why We Like It

Earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in first 90 days

See how these cards compare:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Travel℠
  • 10% anniversary point bonus each year
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through Chase Travel℠
  • 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

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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