The Best Credit Card for Amtrak: Ride the Rails to Rewards in 2024

CREDIT CARDS - TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS
These credit cards are ideal for Amtrak travelers because you can earn bonus points for train travel, whether it’s personal or for business.
Updated May 8, 2024
Fact checked
Best Credit Card for Amtrak

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Amtrak spans 46 states plus Washington D.C., has an estimated 21,000 miles of routes, and operates more than 300 different trains each day. Because you can take Amtrak to get to more than 500 different destinations across the U.S. — and even a few in Canada — it should come as no surprise that traveling on Amtrak is a popular transportation option.

Whether you take Amtrak to work on a daily basis or are taking it for the first time for a fun trip, it's important to consider what the best credit card for Amtrak is. Cards like the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card card can help you earn miles that you can use for future travel on Amtrak or elsewhere.

By choosing a card that provides extra credit card points and miles or special perks for Amtrak trips, you can get rewarded for the spending you're doing as you enjoy a pleasant, safe, and energy-efficient journey.

In this article

Key Takeaways

  • If you want a well-rounded travel card, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are good choices.
  • Amtrak offers two cards. The Amtrak Guest Rewards® Preferred Mastercard® offers significantly more benefits for a relatively low annual fee of $99.

The 5 best cards for Amtrak

Card Welcome offer Rewards rate Annual fee
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases $0
Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card(Rates and fees) Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months (that’s a $200 cash redemption value) Earn unlimited 3X points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans; plus earn 1X points on other purchases $0
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening 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 $95
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening Earn 5X points on flights and 10X points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually; 3X points on other travel and dining & 1X points per dollar on all other purchases $550
Amtrak Guest Rewards® Mastercard® Earn 12,000 bonus points after making $1,000 in purchases within 3 billing cycles Earn 2X points per $1 spent on Amtrak travel, including onboard purchases; 2X points on dining; and 1X points per $1 spent everywhere else $0
Amtrak Guest Rewards® Preferred Mastercard® Earn 20,000 bonus points after making $1,000 in purchases within 3 billing cycles Earn 3X points per $1 spent on Amtrak travel, including onboard purchases; 2X points per $1 spent on dining, travel, transit, and rideshare; and 1X points per $1 spent everywhere else $99

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card offers a $0 annual fee. Where it really stands out, though, is with its simple rewards structure: 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases.

With the Travel Rewards card, you can earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.

The advantage of the Travel Rewards card is that you don’t have to worry about specific earning categories, and you can earn more if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member.

Read our Bank of America Travel Rewards card review.

Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards

4.1

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Annual Fee

$0

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

The Autograph Card has a generous welcome offer where you can earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months (that’s a $200 cash redemption value), which is especially impressive for a $0-annual-fee card.

It’s a great fit for frequent Amtrak travelers because you earn 3X on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans along with 1X on other purchases.

Read our Wells Fargo Autograph Card review.

Awesome Rewards Rates + Intro APR

4.7

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

Current Offer

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Earn unlimited 3X points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans; plus earn 1X points on other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a great card if you travel on Amtrak but also want to earn rewards for other trips you take. In addition to offering 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, it offers 2X points on other travel purchases, and also 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries. So you'll get bonus rewards both for buying your train tickets as well as for any food you purchase on the train.

New cardmembers can earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Each year on your card anniversary, you will also earn bonus points equal to 10% of the total purchases you made in the previous year.

Make sure to check out our Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Review.

Great for Flexible Travel Rewards

4.9

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Current Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

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

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

This Chase Sapphire Reserve Card comes with a $550 annual fee, so it’s best used by those who will fully take advantage of its benefits — including travel not only with Amtrak but also other travel purchases including plane tickets, hotels, cruises, rental cars, and more.

This premium travel card is ideal for Amtrak users because you get 5X points on flights and 10X points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually; 3X points on other travel and dining & 1X points per dollar on all other purchases.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve also opens up the door to airport lounges in more than 500 cities with complimentary lounge access. So if you fly as well as take the train, you can relax in style at the airport.

You'll also earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This alone is worth up to $1,125 in free travel when booked through Chase Travel℠.

Get more details at our Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Review.

Premium Travel Benefits

5.0

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Current Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$550

Rewards Rate

5X points on flights and 10X points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually; 3X points on other travel and dining & 1X points per dollar on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Amtrak Guest Rewards® Mastercard®

The Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard is a co-branded card issued by First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO). It has a $0 annual fee and a welcome offer that allows you to earn 12,000 bonus points after making $1,000 in purchases within 3 billing cycles.

You also earn 2X Amtrak Guest Rewards points specifically on Amtrak travel, including onboard purchases, and dining along with 1X everywhere else. You also get a 10% rebate on onboard food and beverage purchases in the form of a statement credit.

Get more details in our Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard review.

Earn Rewards Toward Train Travel

Amtrak Guest Rewards® Mastercard®
3.2

Amtrak Guest Rewards® Mastercard®

Current Offer

Earn 12,000 bonus points after making $1,000 in purchases within 3 billing cycles

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

2X points per $1 spent on Amtrak travel, including onboard purchases; 2X points on dining; and 1X points per $1 spent everywhere else

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Amtrak Guest Rewards® Preferred Mastercard®

For a higher annual fee of $99 you can earn significantly more with the Preferred Amtrak credit card than the Guest Rewards Mastercard. You can earn 3X points per $1 spent on Amtrak travel, including onboard purchases; 2X points per $1 spent on dining, travel, transit, and rideshare; and 1X points per $1 spent everywhere else.

There’s also a more generous welcome offer that allows you to earn 20,000 bonus points after making $1,000 in purchases within 3 billing cycles.

You also get a 20% rebate on onboard food and beverage purchases in the form of a statement credit, a round-trip companion coupon, a station lounge pass, and a one-class upgrade coupon on account opening and on your card anniversary.

And the Amtrak Guest Rewards Preferred Mastercard also allows you to earn 1,000 Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) each time you make $5,000 in qualifying purchases so you can get to the next tier status faster.

Find out more in our Amtrak Guest Rewards Preferred Mastercard review

Train Lovers Can Earn Rewards

Amtrak Guest Rewards® Preferred Mastercard®
3.5

Amtrak Guest Rewards® Preferred Mastercard®

Current Offer

Earn 20,000 bonus points after making $1,000 in purchases within 3 billing cycles

Annual Fee

$99

Rewards Rate

3X points per $1 spent on Amtrak travel, including onboard purchases; 2X points per $1 spent on dining, travel, transit, and rideshare; and 1X points per $1 spent everywhere else

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

The 2 best business credit cards for Amtrak

If you're an entrepreneur, using Amtrak can help keep commuting costs down for you and your employees — and a train trip is an excellent time to get work done. There are also plenty of great business cards that will help you score additional rewards for your Amtrak purchases.

Two of the best business credit cards to consider include the following.

  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: This card offers 100,000 points for new cardmembers who spend $8,000 in the first 3 months. You can also earn 3X points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year — so you can earn ample bonus points for buying Amtrak tickets. Free employee cards also enable your staff to book their train travel with their cards and supersize your rewards. The $95 annual fee is well worth these perks, especially as you get a 25% bonus when redeeming points for travel-related purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card: With this card, you earn 3 points per $1 on travel booked through the Bank of America® Travel Center and 1.5 points per $1 on all other purchases. You can also earn 30,000 online bonus points after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening. With a $0 annual fee and a 0% APR on purchases for the first 9 billing cycles (then 18.49% - 28.49% Variable), this Business Advantage Travel Rewards credit card is one of the most affordable business cards you can use to earn points on Amtrak purchases as well as trips you take via plane or rental car.

How to choose the best credit card for Amtrak

When choosing which credit card to use for an Amtrak purchase, you'll likely want to focus on a card that rewards you for transportation or travel spending. Train tickets are typically classified by credit card issuers as travel spending, and your ticket purchase will account for the bulk of your Amtrak-related expenditure.

That said, you can get even more bang for your buck if the card you choose provides bonus points for spending on dining, in addition to travel. This can help you maximize the points you earn if you eat on the train and your food purchase is categorized as restaurant spending.

But it's not just the chance to earn bonus credit card rewards that makes a particular card a good choice for Amtrak. You also want to look at the cardholder perks. These perks can include free companion tickets, travel rebates for Amtrak spending, and other Amtrak-specific benefits. Cards that offer special perks are more common for airline travel, but there are options for those who prefer to ride the rails.

If you're a regular commuter, you take the train every day, and you spend a fortune with Amtrak, then it might make sense to get an Amtrak-focused card for the rewards program. But if Amtrak is just one of many means of transportation you use, a broader general purpose travel card may be a better bet.

Methodology

We looked for credit cards that offered special benefits for Amtrak riders, as well as cards that rewarded travel and dining purchases since your Amtrak train tickets and on-rail purchases would fit within these categories.

We also looked for cards that provided enough perks to justify their annual fees — if they charge for being a cardholder — and offer generous signup bonuses so you'll be rewarded for becoming a cardmember.

Bottom line on the best credit card for Amtrak

Picking the best travel credit cards for Amtrak isn't always easy with so many good options out there. You should consider your lifestyle and spending priorities when you pick which card is right for you.

If you only or primarily travel on Amtrak, one of the Amtrak-focused cards might be a better bet — but if you also fly or drive, then consider one of the broader travel credit cards that rewards you for every type of trip you take no matter how you get to your destination.

Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards

Benefits

Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Longer intro APR on qualifying purchases and balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Apply Now
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Bank of <span class='whitespace-nowrap'>America<sup>®</sup></span> Travel Rewards credit card
4.1
Apply Now

on Bank of America’s secure website

Read Card Review

Intro Offer

Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

Annual Fee

$0

+

Why we like it

Author Details

Christy Rakoczy Christy Rakoczy has a Juris Doctorate from UCLA Law School with a focus in Business Law, and a Certificate in Business Marketing with an English Degree from The University of Rochester. As a full-time personal finance writer, she writes about all things money-related but her special areas of focus are credit cards, personal loans, student loans, mortgages, smart debt payoff strategies, and retirement and Social Security. Her work has been featured by USA Today, MSN Money, CNN Money and more, and you can learn more at her LinkedIn profile.

Want to learn how to make an extra $200?

Get proven ways to earn extra cash from your phone, computer, & more with Extra.

You will receive emails from FinanceBuzz.com. Unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

  • Vetted side hustles
  • Exclusive offers to save money daily
  • Expert tips to help manage and escape debt