Amtrak is introducing a new credit card lineup to go along with its revamped Guest Rewards program. The new card products are issued by Bank of America and include both a fee-free and premium option. The fee-free Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum MasterCard includes a 12,000 point new account bonus if you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.

Amtrak, Guest Rewards, Credit Card

But the real winner in this lineup for me is the World MasterCard, even with its $79 annual fee. With this card you get:

  • 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 within 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn 3 points per dollar spent on Amtrak purchase, 2 points per dollar on other eligible travel purchases, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. According to the Bank of America website eligible non-Amtrak travel merchants include “airlines, car rental agencies, hotels, motels, inns, and resorts, steamship/cruise lines, and travel agencies.”
  • Earn 1,000 Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) when you make at least $5,000 in purchases in a calendar year, up to 4,000 TQPs per year.
  • A complimentary Companion Coupon, One-Class Upgrade and a single-day ClubAcela® pass upon account opening.

My Take

If I still lived in the DC, I would apply for this card now. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. One of the things I miss most about living in DC is having access to relatively frequent train service in the northeast corridor. Unless I was in desperate need of elite qualifying segments, there is no way I’d choose flying to New York City over Amtrak’s Acela, which takes me to the reasons I’d pick up this card – the companion coupon and one-class upgrade. While Acela first class wasn’t mind-blowing, it can be worth it….especially if you can upgrade using a the comp upgrade that comes with this card. That along with the companion coupon more than pay for the annual fee, and I am not even talking about the bonus points which can pay for a few trips. If you travel on Amtrak, consider this card.

Coming up – Can you still leverage the new Guest Rewards program to fund one of the most expensive Bahama’s shore excursions?

-MJ, September 17, 2015