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What’s the deal with the Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard?
We usually let you in on deals for credit cards that offer travel rewards in the form of flights and hotel stays, but how about earning bonus points towards your train travel?
The Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard from Bank of America has a sign-up bonus of 20,000 points when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. The annual fee is $79 (not waived) but the bonus points can be worth several hundred dollars in travel…
Depending on the original fare option, Guest Rewards are actually worth between 1.8 cents and 2.9 cents each. Amtrak trains have three coach fare options of Saver, Value and Flexible (plus there’s one Premium option for business class) and redemptions only apply to the Value option when calculating the value you’ll get on the award ticket. Saver tickets may not always be available, but when they are, this will change the value of your points.
For instance, searching cash fares (shown as the DOLLARS option) from New York Penn Station to Boston South Station on February 20th, 2017, finds various departures including these Saver, Value, Flexible and Premium tickets:
If you search instead for Amtrak Guest Rewards fares (shown as the POINTS option), you’ll only see one price in points for coach and one for business class:
The coach seat costing 2,657 points, when valued at the Value option of $77, means the points would be worth 2.9 cents each if there was no Saver fare available. However, as there is a Saver ticket available here for $49, this instead means the points are actually worth 1.8 cents each.
If you use your 20,000 points bounty from signing up for this credit card on tickets where they are worth just 1.8 cents each, that’s still $360 worth of travel! So the sign-up bonus is worth at least $360 and up to $580!
How do I get the Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard deal?
Apply for this credit card here to earn 20,000 bonus points.
What else do I need to know about the Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard deal?
While 20,000 points may not sound a lot when you think about travel rewards cards that offer 80,000, it really can be a lucrative bonus. It’s not a bad haul at all for a card that lets you earn:
- 3 points per $1 spent with Amtrak
- 2 points per $1 spent on other qualifying travel purchases
- 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases
Plus there’s no foreign transaction fees to pay and you get a companion coupon, a one-class upgrade and a single-day lounge pass all for free. Maybe it’s time to start taking the train!