Is the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard worth it? | September 2018

Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard® review – September 2018

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Ride the rails for a 20,000-point signup bonus, companion tickets, travel upgrades and lounge access to 500+ US destinations.

30-second take

  • Get this card if… you frequently ride the rails with Amtrak or want to save on foreign transaction fees.
  • Recommended good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.
Product NameAmtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$79
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases16.74% to 24.74% variable
Balance Transfer Fee$10 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate19.74% to 26.74% variable
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Interest Free PeriodUp to 25 days
Minimum Interest$1.5
Late Payment FeeUp to $38
Returned Payment FeeUp to $27
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome BonusEarn 20,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
Reward Value per Dollar1 points
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

The basics

If you’re looking for a travel card that earns you rewards for railroad travel, the Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard® is worth looking into. It comes with a generous 20,000 point signup bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days — enough for a free trip on Amtrak to more than 500 destinations.

If you travel with Amtrak often, you’ll earn 3x points on all purchases with Amtrak and its travel partners — like Hertz, Hilton HHonors and Teleflora. Earn 2x points on qualifying travel purchases and 1x points on all other purchases. There’s no limit to how many points you can earn, and they don’t expire as long as your account is in good standing.

When you open your credit card, you’ll also get a complimentary companion ticket, a one-class upgrade and a single-visit pass to a variety of exclusive lounges. All of these perks for an annual fee of $79.

The perks

  • Signup bonus.

    Not only can you earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days, but also get a Companion Coupon, One-Class Upgrade and a Single-Visit Station Lounge Pass that provides access to ClubAcela, Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge or First Class lounges on account opening.

  • Annual gifts.

    Receive a Companion Coupon and One-Class Upgrade each year on your anniversary.

  • Rewards points for your spending.

    You’ll earn 3x points on all purchases made with Amtrak, 2x points for other qualifying travel and 1x points on anything else.

  • Redeem points.

    Redeem your points through Amtrak Guests Rewards for rail tickets, car rentals, hotels, gift cards and more.

  • Use outside the US with no fees.

    You’ll pay 0% foreign transaction fees when you use this card overseas.

You’ll also like …

  • Points rebate on tickets.

    When you redeem points for an Amtrak ticket, you get a 5% rebate on the points you redeem. That means when you redeem 200 points, you’ll receive 10 points back in your Amtrak Guest Rewards account.

  • Points transfer.

    If you spend more than $20,000 each year, redeem up to 25,000 points for Audience Rewards or hotel points.

  • Security and protection.

    Protected by a chip, this card offers increased security and comes with a $0 liability guarantee to protect you from fraud.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee.

    If you don’t travel with Amtrak frequently, paying the annual fee of $79 may not be worth it.

  • Stiff penalties.

    Paying late can cost you up to $38, and return payments come with a $27 fee, in addition to a penalty APR of up to 29.99% variable.

Consider other cards if …

  • You don’t travel with Amtrak.

    This Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard® won’t do much for you if you’re not a frequent Amtrak traveler.

  • You don’t want to pay annual fees.

    Other no-annual-fee cards let you earn and redeem rewards across brands and reward types.

Compare travel credit cards

Name Product Welcome Bonus Reward Value per Dollar APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Annual Fee
1 points
16.74% variable
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
1 points
16.74% variable
$495
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
2 points
16.74% variable
$995
Earn points every time you spend. Luxury Card enhances your purchasing power by providing you with one (1) point for every one dollar ($1) you spend. Every purchase gets you closer to the rewards you want.
Earn 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
1 points
None (Charge Card)
$550
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Earn 25,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
1 points
None (Charge Card)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($195 thereafter)
25,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points (up to $250 value) when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months
Earn 25,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
1.5 points
16.74% to 24.74% variable
$0
An intro offer rewards cardholders with a $250 value (25,000 online bonus points) after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening
Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
1 points
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Earn 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days
1.5 points
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$95
Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
1 points
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$450
Earn 50,000 BONUS POINTS after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening* — that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
2 miles
14.74%, 21.24% or 24.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
1 miles
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.* Plus a $100 statement credit after your first purchase.
Earn 40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
1 points
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$99
40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open

Compare up to 4 providers

What to know before you apply

To apply for the Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®, you must be at least 18 years old and a US citizen or permanent resident.

Information you’ll need

  • Your full name and contact information
  • Your residential status
  • Your annual income, source of income and employment information

What credit score do I need?

The chances of your approval for the Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard® increase with a good to excellent score of 680 or higher.

How to apply for the card

  1. Go to Bank of America’s Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard® site and click Apply Now.
  2. Complete the application with your personal and financial information. Click Review your information.
  3. Confirm that the information is correct and submit your application.

How long will it take to be approved?

Because conditional approval is automated on Bank of America’s website, you’ll often get a decision immediately. In some cases, you’ll need to wait a few days to a few weeks to receive a response.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make timely payments. Pay your card statement online at the Bank of America website, where you can also enroll in autopay.
  • Avoid unnecessary interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 25 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
  • Avoid fees. Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $38. Balance transfers and cash advances also come with fees.
  • Customer service. If you have questions, contact Bank of America support at 800-732-9194 or send a secured email from your account. You can also connect with BofA on Twitter @BofA_Help or Facebook @BankofAmerica.

Bottom line

If you frequently enjoy relaxed rides to any of Amtrak’s 500 destinations, the Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®’s benefits can easily offset its $79 annual fee — including points toward free travel and rebates for points redemption. If you don’t travel with Amtrak, consider finding another travel rewards card.

Common questions about the Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®

Adrienne Fuller

Adrienne Fuller leads the publishing team at finder.com. She has one goal: to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. When she's not helping folks save money, she's hiking with her two Catahoulas around her home in San Diego.

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