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

Review: Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard® – February 2018

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

  • 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®
Balance Transfer Rate (not intro)14.24% to 24.24% variable
APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )14.24% to 24.24% variable
Annual fee$79
Cash Advance Rate17.24% to 26.24% variable
Card TypeMastercard
Interest Free Period
The interest-free period on purchases is the period or number of days you do not have to pay interest on your card purchases. You will be charged interest either from the day you make a purchase or from the statement date, unless you pay the closing balance in full by the due date (or within the interest-free period) on your statement.
Up to 25 days
Returned Payment Fee$27
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC)
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
0% of transaction value
Minimum Interest$1.50
Minimum Credit ScoreFair (660-699)
Minimum Age18 years of age
Min credit limit
This is the lowest credit card limit that you can request. It is possible to apply for a higher credit card limit but not a lower one than this figure.
$500
Annual fee$79
Returned Payment Fee$27
Late Payment Fee$38
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
Rewards ProgramBank of America
Bonus Points on Sign-up20,000
Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC)3
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 p.a..

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 no 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 p.a. may not be worth it.
  • Stiff penalties. Paying late can cost you up to $38, and return payments come with a $27.00 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.

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.

Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.

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.

Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard step 1

2. Complete the application with your personal and financial information. Click Review your information.

Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard step 2a

Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard step 2b

Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard step 2c

Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard step 2d

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 card’s benefits can easily offset its $79 p.a. 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 card

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