The Complete Guide Amtrak Guest Rewards

Amtrak Rewards offers free points and perks for US train travel.
Carissa Rawson
By Carissa Rawson 
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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Loyalty programs don’t stop with hotels and airlines. Several different businesses will reward you for your repeated business, and Amtrak is no exception.

The largest rail network in the United States, Amtrak runs trains all throughout the country. Along with roomy seats and hot meals, Amtrak also maintains its own rewards program, Amtrak Guest Rewards. Let’s take a look at how to earn points, how to redeem them and the benefits you’ll receive as a frequent traveler.

Where does Amtrak go?

Amtrak runs several routes crossing the U.S. and its coasts.

Note that this map shows Amtrak’s train routes as well as any connecting routes operated by buses, trams, vans or ferries.

Earning Amtrak rewards points

Those with a Guest Rewards Amtrak account will be able to earn points in a number of ways.

Amtrak rides

The most obvious way you’ll earn Amtrak points is by riding on the Amtrak. As a basic member, you’ll earn 2 points per dollar spent on travel with Amtrak.

Those who are booked into business class receive a 25% bonus on these earnings, while those in Acela first class receive a 50% bonus.

Credit card spending

Amtrak offers two co-branded credit cards:

  • Amtrak Guest Rewards Preferred Mastercard: Earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three billing cycles after account opening. 

  • Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard: Earn 12,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three billing cycles after account opening.  

The Preferred version of the card has a $99 annual fee but offers correspondingly higher benefits. This includes the ability to earn 3 points per dollar spent on Amtrak travel, 2 points per dollar spent on dining, travel, transit and rideshare, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

🤓Nerdy Tip

The Amtrak Guest Rewards Preferred Mastercard also comes with some excellent benefits that more than outweigh the annual fee. This includes a complimentary companion coupon and a single-visit Amtrak lounge pass after opening an account and each year when you renew your card.

The free version of the card, meanwhile, earns 2 points per dollar spent on Amtrak travel and dining and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else.

Other ways to earn points

It’s also possible to earn points using other methods, including:

  • Hotel stays.

  • Rental car bookings. 

  • Specialty retail partners.

  • The Amtrak shopping portal. 

  • Point purchases. 

  • The transfer of points from other accounts. 

Redeeming Amtrak points

Wondering how to use Amtrak points? Your Amtrak points value is going to depend on how you redeem your points. Generally speaking, you’ll get the best value when using your rewards for train travel with Amtrak.

Redeem points for train rides

Amtrak doesn’t publish an official award chart, but points are worth about 2.6 cents each when redeemed for Amtrak travel.

For example, a one-way ticket from New York to Boston in business class on an Acela train will either cost you $57 or 2,138 points. This gives you a redemption value of 2.6 cents per point.

Other ways to redeem your points

If you aren’t planning on traveling with Amtrak anytime soon, there are other ways for you to redeem the points that you’ve earned. These include:

  • Hotel bookings.

  • Car rentals.

  • Cruises. 

  • Dining.

  • Entertainment.

  • Shopping. 

Amtrak Guest Rewards elite status

Amtrak Rewards further rewards those who are loyal by awarding elite status. There are four levels of status in the Amtrak Guest Rewards program: Member, Select, Select Plus and Select Executive.

Status is earned through Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs); the more you accrue in a calendar year, the higher your status. You’ll earn two TQPs for every dollar spent, with a 25% bonus on business class and a 50% bonus on first class tickets.

Member: 0 to 4,999 TQPs

Members are able to earn points on all their Amtrak travel. They can also purchase up to 50,000 Amtrak points annually and receive up to 100,000 points per year.

Select: 5,000 to 9,999 TQPs

Those with Select status will get an additional 25% bonus on all the points they earn. They also get quite a few other perks:

  • Two one-class upgrades. 

  • Two 10% discount coupons. 

  • Two single-visit passes to the Amtrak lounge.

  • Priority call handling. 

  • Unlimited points purchasing.

  • Transferring up to 50,000 points from your account. 

Select Plus: 10,000 to 19,999 TQPs

Those with Select Plus status enjoy all the benefits of Select, with the following exclusives:

  • 50% bonus points on Amtrak travel.

  • Four one-class upgrades.

  • Two companion coupons. 

  • Unlimited access to Amtrak lounges.

Select Executive: 20,000+ TQPs

Amtrak’s highest level of elite status is also its most lucrative. Top-tier Amtrak elite members can expect:

  • 100% bonus points on Amtrak travel.

  • Four one-class upgrades, plus an additional upgrade for every 3,000 TQPs earned.

  • One auto train priority vehicle offloading coupon.

  • Auto-registration for promotions. 

  • Unlimited points sharing from your account. 

The bottom line

If you want to travel by train within the United States, odds are that you’ll do it via Amtrak. To that end, you’ll want to make sure that you sign up for a free Amtrak Guest Rewards account so that you’ll earn points and elite status credit whenever you travel.

How to maximize your rewards

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