The Points Guy has a very detailed post about if you should apply for the Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard – one that requires a good few minutes really understand and analyze to see if it is right for you. Instead of going in depth on that I’ll share my own experience with my Amtrak needs along the East Coast since most readers right now are in that region.
Many know that by traveling on Amtrak you earn “Guest Reward points” which are redeemable for travel on these trains. Within the Northeast Corridor (Washington, DC to Boston) it costs 4,000 points one-way for a free trip in coach, or 5,500 in business class (read: Acela). It usually takes a while to build up that number of points since $1 = 1 point.
This credit card comes with 12,000 points once you spend $500, meaning three free tickets along that same line and a free companion pass, meaning when you buy a ticket at full price you get a second for $0. The annual fee is $0.
For those reasons, I applied for and was accepted for the card. I will keep it over the long haul and it will increase my credit history over time since I never have to get rid of it. I can’t imagine buying anything but Amtrak tickets with it, but when I do I will get 2 points per $1 spent and a 5% reduction in redemption costs. I would recommend this card for anyone who travels along the Northeast corridor at least once every two months.