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How To Earn Amtrak Points

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 8 minute read

Rewards are great for Amtrak passengers since you may earn additional points for rail travel, whether it is personal or business.

An estimated 21,000 miles of lines, more than 300 trains a day, and 46 states and Washington, D.C., make up Amtrak’s network. There is no surprise that Amtrak is a popular mode of transportation because it serves more than 500 locations in the United States and a handful in Canada.

The best credit card for Amtrak is something you should think about whether you use it every day to go to work or whether it’s just a once-in-a-lifetime excursion.

For an enjoyable, safe, and energy-efficient voyage on Amtrak, you may earn rewards points and miles for your purchases by selecting a card that offers additional credit card points and miles or unique Amtrak benefits.

How to Pick the Best Amtrak Credit Card

If you’re planning to make an Amtrak purchase, you’ll probably want to use a credit card that offers points for spending on transportation or travel. Your Amtrak ticket purchase is likely to account for the majority of your Amtrak-related expenditures using a credit card.

However, if you select a credit card that offers extra points for meals as well as travel, you might receive even more value for your money. If you dine on the train and your food purchase is designated as restaurant expenditure, this can help you maximize the points you receive.

Because of this, Amtrak’s preferred credit card isn’t only the one with the best bonus incentives. Consider the benefits that come with becoming a cardholder as well. Amtrak-specific bonuses may include complimentary companion tickets and/or travel refunds for Amtrak expenditures.

For people who prefer to fly rather than take the train, there are a number of credit cards that provide specific bonuses.

As you review our list of the top Amtrak credit cards, keep in mind how the card will fit into your whole lifestyle. Makes sense to acquire an Amtrak-focused credit or debit card if you’re a daily commuter and frequently travel by rail. You should also always try and take advantage of any Amtrak deals that are currently available for you.

In contrast, if Amtrak is only one mode of transportation you utilize, a general-purpose travel card may be the best option.

You can read our previous articles on how to earn rewards with other travel companies, such as American Airlines in order to get free airline tickets.

Best Cards for Amtrak

There are a number of cards from various credit card issuers that will let you easily earn Amtrak Guest Rewards points, such as making qualifying travel purchases, paying for eligible delivery services, and many other purchases that qualify.

With these Amtrak rewards points, you can enjoy a number of bonuses and Amtrak specific benefits, such as credits towards future Amtrak trips, discounts on rental cars, the ability to earn hotel credit that can cover the cost of hotel stays, and more.

We will cover the best credit card companies for earning Amtrack points below.

The Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard

This credit card is a great option for frequent Amtrak travelers who want special benefits tailored to the needs of cardholders who travel by rail frequently. 3X points for Amtrak, 2X points for other qualified travel purchases, and a 1X point for everything else are just a few of the benefits of this card.

You can also obtain a free companion voucher to invite someone along for the ride. Each time you open or renew your account, you’ll receive a coupon for up to $300 in Amtrak travel for a companion. The card entitles you to a free one each year that you hold it.

A $150 yearly upgrade coupon is also available, allowing you to fly in elegance once per year. There’s also a 5 percent refund on all Amtrak reward redemptions, as well as a 20% discount on all food and beverage purchases made aboard Amtrak trains using your card.

You’ll also receive a FREE annual Station Lounge Pass and 1,000 Amtrak Membership Tier Qualifying Points for every $5,000 you spend, up to a maximum of 4,000 points per year, using your card, as if that weren’t enough.

Member, Select, Select Plus, and Select Exclusive are the four levels of Amtrak’s membership program. Class upgrades, complimentary lounge access, and companion vouchers are all included in each category.

The 20,000 extra points for first-time cardholders who spend $1,000 in the first 90 days of their account creation make the $79 annual price of the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard well worth it. Many famous Amtrak locations are within reach with this added value.

The Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Mastercard

You may choose the Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum MasterCard over the World MasterCard if you travel on Amtrak trains infrequently enough to warrant the yearly price of the World MasterCard.

Cardholders who spend $1,000 or more in the first 90 days after opening an account will receive 12,000 extra points for using the Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum Credit Card. With the Amtrak World MasterCard, cardholders receive 2X points for every dollar spent on Amtrak purchases, including onboard purchases, instead of 3X points per dollar spent.

For all other purchases, you get 1X points for every dollar spent, so there’s no benefit for trip spending.

However, it lacks several of the benefits offered by the World MasterCard. However, you’ll still earn a 5% discount on Amtrak travel points and a 10% rebate on food and beverage purchases on Amtrak trains.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Amtrak Card

When it comes to earning benefits for your travels, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a terrific option. Using the card to make qualified dining, delivery, takeout, certain streaming services, and online grocery purchases earns you three times as many points as using the card to book travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs).

As a result, you’ll be rewarded for both the purchase of train tickets and the purchase of food aboard the train.

Get 5X points on Lyft rides and travel booked with Chase Ultimate Rewards (through March 2022) if you require a ride to the train station.

With the $95 annual fee, you’re paying more than the Amtrak World MasterCard for a host of benefits, including free DoorDash DashPass for one year, a 25 percent bonus on all points redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and trip cancellation and baggage delay insurance for the first year.

Additionally, new cardholders may earn 60,000 bonus points through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program after making transactions totaling $4,000 in the first three months of their membership.

Additionally, you’ll receive 10% of the total purchases completed in the previous year as an anniversary incentive.

You can read our article on how to quickly earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points in our article on the topic.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

With a $550 annual fee, this Chase Sapphire Reserve Card should be reserved for people who expect to use it extensively, particularly for travel on Amtrak and other modes of transportation, such as flights, cruises, hotels, and rental vehicles.

Amtrak passengers will appreciate the 10X points on Lyft rides, the 5X points on air travel booked through Ultimate Rewards, the 3X points on travel and eating, and the 1X points for $1 spent on all other transactions while using this premium travel card.

As a result, purchasing train tickets and dining on rail cars might earn you a lot of money.

Your yearly fee is more than offset by the fact that you’ll receive a $300 statement credit to use toward future travel expenses. Your points are worth 50% more if they’re used through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site when redeeming for travel.

Additionally, the Chase Sapphire Reserve gives cardholders free access to airport lounges in more than 500 destinations around the world. So whether you fly or ride the train, you can unwind in style at the airport.

Additionally, you’ll receive 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of your membership. Up to $750 in free travel maybe had just from this one offer.

Citi Premier Card

In comparison to the Amtrak cards, the Citi Premier Card has an annual cost of $95 but is less expensive than the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

You earn 3X points on restaurants, supermarkets, petrol stations, air travel, and hotels, and 1X points on all other qualified transactions with this card, despite the annual charge.

On this list, you gain bonus points both for train tickets and for meals purchased on board the train. Every dollar spent will get you a point.

After spending $4,000 in the first three months on the Citi Premier, you’ll receive 60,000 extra points. Up to $750 worth of free travel can be redeemed without any restrictions.

Amtrak’s Two Preferred Business Credit Cards

You and your workers may save money on commuting costs by taking advantage of Amtrak if you’re a business owner, and you can also get work done while on the train. There are also a number of excellent business cards that may help you earn more Amtrak points.

The following are two of the greatest business credit cards to consider.

  • Ink from Chase Ink is the preferred brand for business printers. For new cardholders who spend $15,000 in the first three months, this card offers a very significant bonus of 100,000 points. Additionally, you can earn three times the points per dollar spent on the first $150,000 in travel, shipping, internet, cable, and phone services each year, as well as advertising purchases on social media and search engines, so purchasing Amtrak tickets can result in a significant number of bonus points. Your employees may also use their free employee cards to schedule rail travel and increase your incentives. You get a 25 percent bonus when redeeming points for travel-related purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, so the $95 annual fee is definitely worth it.
  • The Business Advantage Travel Rewards credit card from American Express. 3 points for $1 spent on travel purchases made through the Bank of America Travel Centre and 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other qualified transactions are available with this card; After spending $3,000 in the first 90 days, you can additionally get 30,000 points. In addition to earning points on Amtrak purchases, this Business Advantage Travel Rewards credit card offers a 0% APR on purchases for the first nine billing cycles (then between 12.24 percent and 22.24 percent (variable)), making it one of the most cost-effective business cards.

These Cards Were Chosen for a Reason

Since your Amtrak train tickets and on-rail purchases fall into these categories, we looked for credit card advantages for Amtrak riders, as well as reward cards for travel and eating.

If you’re a cardholder, you’ll want to sign up for a card that provides enough privileges to warrant the annual cost, as well as big signup incentives, so that you’ll be rewarded for being a cardholder.

Bottom Line

Choosing the finest Amtrak travel credit cards isn’t always straightforward because there are so many fantastic alternatives. When choosing a credit card, you should take into account your lifestyle and spending goals.

While an Amtrak-only card would be a better choice if that’s all you do while traveling, if you also fly or drive, a more general travel credit card might be a better choice than rewards you for all your journeys, regardless of how you arrive at your final destination.

Frequently asked questions

What is the process for redeeming rewards?

Redeeming points with Amtrak is simple. You simply need to navigate to the Amtrak redemptions page and choose what you would like to redeem your points for, such as train tickets, tickets for the high-speed rail, and hotel stays.

Can you buy or transfer points?

You can absolutely buy and transfer points with Amtrak. You can buy points for yourself, or as a gift to others. You can transfer points to or from your account. You can even share points between two accounts. You can do all of this on Amtrak's website.

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