Amtrak Credit Card Perks That Help You Save Money on Travel

Amtrak train making a stop in San Diego
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Amtrak is a popular choice among rail travelers in the U.S. One perk the company offers customers comes by way of its credit cards. Both the Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard and the Amtrak Guest Rewards Preferred Mastercard could help you reduce the cost of traveling by train.

2 Amtrak Credit Cards To Choose From

As mentioned above, Amtrak offers two different rewards credit cards to choose from. Both follow similar rewards schemes, but the Amtrak Guest Rewards Preferred Mastercard offers more perks than the more basic Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard. Here’s a look at each offering. 

Amtrak Guest Rewards Preferred Mastercard

The Amtrak Guest Rewards Preferred Mastercard is best for consumers who travel with Amtrak often. The offer includes:

  • Sign-Up Bonus: The Amtrak Guest Rewards Preferred Mastercard gives you the opportunity to earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 within your first three billing cycles. These points won’t expire while your account stays open.
  • Points: You’ll earn 3 points per dollar you spend with Amtrak, including all onboard purchases. You’ll also earn 2 points for every dollar you spend on travel, dining, transit and rideshare purchases. Finally, you’ll earn 1 point for every dollar you spend elsewhere.
  • Onboard Purchase Rebate: You earn a 20% rebate on all onboard food and beverage purchases. That rebate is in addition to the 3 points per dollar you’ll earn when you make these purchases. 
  • Fees and Interest: The card has a $99 annual fee and the interest rate on the card is 25.99%. There’s also a 5% fee for balance transfers, with a $10 minimum, and a 5% fee for cash advances, with a $15 minimum.
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Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard

The Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard is another strong option for those who travel with Amtrak often, but it’s better for those who aren’t sure they’ll earn enough rewards to offset the $99 annual fee that comes with the Preferred option. Here are the details of this offer:

  • Sign-Up Bonus: You’ll earn a 12,000-point sign-up bonus when you spend $1,000 on purchases using your new card within the first three billing cycles.
  • Points: Earn 2 points for every dollar you spend with Amtrak, including all onboard purchases. You’ll also earn 2 points for every dollar you spend on dining and 1 point for every dollar you spend on all other purchases. Just like the Preferred card, the points won’t expire.
  • Onboard Purchase Rebate: Get a 10% rebate on all onboard food and beverage purchases. This rebate is in addition to the 2 points per dollar you’ll earn for these purchases.
  • Fees and Interest: The Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard doesn’t charge an annual fee. The interest rate on the card is 25.99%, and there’s a 5% fee for balance transfers ($10 minimum) and for cash advances ($15 minimum).

Additional Amtrak Credit Card Benefits

When you sign up for either of the two Amtrak credit cards, you’ll earn points that help your dollars stretch further. However, points and onboard rebates aren’t the only reasons you should consider applying for one of these cards. Here are the details on additional perks that come with each offer. 

Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard

The Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard offers the following benefits:

  • Point Rebate: When you redeem your points for Amtrak travel, you’ll earn an additional 5% point rebate. That means if you spend 1,000 points, you’ll receive a 50-point instant rebate.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: Never pay a fee to use your card outside of the United States.
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Amtrak Guest Rewards Preferred Mastercard

The Amtrak Guest Rewards Preferred Mastercard comes with all of the additional perks you get with the Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard, plus:

  • Round-Trip Companion Coupon: Bring a friend on your journey with you for free. You’ll receive a round-trip companion coupon the day you open your account and every year on your card anniversary.
  • One-Class Upgrade: Get a free upgrade to the next class of ticket. Like the round-trip companion coupon, this feature is available as soon as you open your account and once per year on or after your card anniversary.
  • Station Lounge Pass: Use the station lounge area for free with the station lounge pass. You’ll get one when you open your account and another every year on your card anniversary.
  • Earn Tier Status Faster: Get 1,000 tier qualifying points for every $5,000 you spend on qualifying purchases. 

Final Take

If you travel on Amtrak trains often, it only makes sense to save with one of the two credit card offers. Choose the Amtrak Guest Rewards Preferred Mastercard if you travel regularly and believe you can offset the $99 annual fee with additional perks. If you travel less but still want to save with Amtrak, the Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard is the way to go. 

FAQ on Amtrak Credit Cards

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about Amtrak credit cards.
  • Is there a no-fee Amtrak credit card?
    • Although the Amtrak Guest Rewards Preferred Mastercard comes with a $99 annual fee, there is no annual fee for the Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard. 
  • Is Amtrak getting a new credit card?
    • The two credit cards mentioned above are relatively new offerings from Amtrak and its partner, First National Bank of Omaha. The cards were launched in 2022. The company hasn't mentioned any other credit cards that consumers might see in the future.
  • What credit score do you need for an Amtrak credit card?
    • Amtrak doesn't share this information. However, since its offerings are rewards credit cards, you likely need good or excellent credit to qualify. So, your credit score should be at least 670.
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Information is accurate as of Dec. 8, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

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About the Author

Joshua Rodriguez is a personal finance and investing writer with more than 10 years of experience. He is the founder of CNA Finance. His work has been featured on U.S. News & World Report, Money Talks News and several other mainstream outlets. 
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