I ride Amtrak occasionally when I need to go from D.C. up to New York, but definitely not someone who rides enough to rack up a bunch of points in their program, Amtrak Guest Rewards (AGR). Yesterday, I received an email from B of A to apply for their new Amtrak credit card. You might think that I am not interested, but you couldn’t be more wrong. The card comes in two versions, AGR World MasterCard and Platinum MasterCard.
The Platinum card has no annual fee and comes with a 12,000 point offer for $1,000 spend and little other benefits, so no thanks. The World card is the one to get. It has a $79 annual fee, but comes with a 20,000 point offer, and more importantly a Companion Coupon giving you a buy-get-one-free deal (with no extra fee unlike the airline version). Here are all the key benefits:
You might be saying that you don’t live near an Amtrak route, but you should still get this card. Why? Hear me out. Please read this post from my friend Greg at the Frequent Miler. He and his family took a great overnight train ride from the Midwest to several of the national parks in Utah. The trip report made it look spectacular. Imagine doing that on two for one with your companion certificate. I priced out Greg’s trip from Chicago to Green River, UT and it came in at $892 one way for a bedroom for two. Using the companion ticket could easily be worth savings of that much or more depending on how far you wanted to go. Great for a family vacation. More than two people traveling? Then use your 20,000 points for a free ticket for the extra people. Got a big family and need more free tickets? Just transfer points in from Chase Ultimate Rewards or SPG. Rumor is that the Chase UR will be going away soon, so act on this fast if that is you strategy.
On top of that, the one ticket that you do buy for the companion fare can be at a good discount, either 10% for a veteran or 15% if you have the Veterans Advantage card. My wife loves riding the train as she enjoys the slow travel aspect, so I am sure we’ll be using this card and its benefits. Seems like a good idea for a nice relaxing vacation no matter where you live.