There’s a wide variety of credit cards geared towards those who frequently travel by air, but few are aimed at those who prefer to travel by train. For years, the one exception has been the Amtrak Guest Rewards Credit Card. It used to be issued by Chase bank, but the company recently decided to do away with the Amtrak card in September 2016 and converted cardholders to to Chase Freedom credit card. Fortunately, the Amtrak credit card that so many loved is being continued by Bank of America. The points system, perks, and redemption options are better than ever, making this card well worth a look if you often use Amtrak.
The New Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard
After Chase got rid of the former Amtrak Guest Rewards card, Amtrak partnered with Bank of America to create a similar product that has a few more perks. The latest Amtrak Guest Rewards credit card enables you to quickly earn points on all of your purchases that you can then redeem for travel, hotel stays, gift cards, and more. There are no foreign transaction fees associated with the card, and cardholders earn triple the points for each dollar spent on Amtrak travel.
How to Earn Points
The bonus point system is hassle-free, and there’s no limit to the number of points that you can earn. Spending money on Amtrak travel and onboard purchases will give you three points per dollar. You’ll earn two points for ever dollar spent on most other travel purchases outside of Amtrak, and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases. If you often travel or use your credit card for everyday expenses, you’ll quickly rack up points. It’s a definite advantage that points don’t expire with the Amtrak Guest Rewards credit card — as long as you keep your account open, you’re good to go.
The number of ways that you can redeem the points that you earn is what makes this card a great option for Amtrak travelers. When you redeem your points for an Amtrak ticket, you’ll get a five percent Guest Rewards point rebate, which will help you save even more on future trips.
Another way to use your points is to book hotel stays at select Hilton, Starwood, and Choice Hotels properties. Car rentals are another way to redeem points earned with the card. If you prefer to get a different reward other than travel, there’s a nice selection of $50 and $100 gift cards that you can opt to receive instead. Some of the retailers included in the program are Barnes & Noble, Bath & Body Works, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Pottery Barn, Regal Theaters, AMC Theaters, and Lowe’s.
Safety when using credit cards has become an increasing point of concern over the last few years, and one great thing about having the Amtrak Guest Rewards credit card is the number of security measures built into it. Potential fraud is monitored, which means you’ll be contacted if Bank of America notices any abnormal activity patterns on your account. Should your card ever be stolen, you won’t have to pay for any fraudulent transactions due to the bank’s $0 Liability Guarantee.
The Amtrak credit card also uses chip technology for enhanced protection, and when you shop online you can take advantage of Bank of America’s ShopSafe service. Basically, instead of giving your credit card number to an online retailer, the service will generate a temporary credit card number to keep your actual card protected. If you’ve ever had to go through the process of having a new physical card delivered after having your information compromised online, you can see how convenient temporary credit card numbers are.
For even more convenience, your Amtrak Guest Rewards credit card can be added to your digital wallet and used to pay in-app or in-store via Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, or Android Pay. The option to receive your account information by text is another handy feature that comes with opening an account.
The Amtrak card comes with an excellent introductory offer that’s ideal for anyone who’s keen on traveling for pleasure. If you sign up for the card, are approved, and make at least $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of opening your account, you’ll earn 20,000 bonus points. That’s enough to pay for a trip to any one of Amtrak’s more than 500 destinations.
Because you’ll earn points on each purchase and spending $1,000 within three months is relatively easy, taking advantage of this introductory bonus offer would be a breeze. Imagine earning a trip to the place of your choice just for spending money on everyday purchases, such as gas, groceries, and eating out.
You’ll also receive a free Companion Coupon when you open your account, so you can take someone along on a trip without paying extra fees to Amtrak. In addition, as a new cardholder, you’ll get one pass to Amtrak’s ClubAcela, Metropolitan Lounge, or one of the company’s other first class lounges, along with a one class upgrade on any trip that you take. Just as airport lounges provide an exclusive experience, these private lounges are geared towards making your Amtrak trips more luxurious and exclusive.
ClubAcela is where you’ll find free internet access, complimentary drinks and snacks, magazines, televisions, and access to business services including fax machines, copiers, and a conference room. The Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge is a chic and swanky area that has plush seating, gourmet snacks, refreshing drinks, and a very quiet and comfortable atmosphere. You’d normally have to pay extra for access, but when you open your Amtrak credit card you’ll get a pass for free.
Annual Fee and Interest Rates
The APR for the Amtrak Guest Rewards credit card is a variable 13.24% to 23.24%, depending upon your credit. For balance transfers, the fee is 3% of each transaction or $10, whichever is greater. The APR for cash advances is 16.24% to 25.24%, and the annual fee to have the card is $79.