Bank of America Amtrak MasterCard – 40K Bonus + $100 Statement Credit
Amtrak is the biggest train service provider in The US. While, not for everyone, this card offers big value to regular Amtrak travelers. The current new sign up bonus is the biggest sign up offer which has ever been made available for this card.
We will take a look at the card features, sign up offer, point value and more. Learn now whether or not this card is a good credit card choice for you.
Card Features and Benefits
- 40,000 point sign up offer (spending requirements)
- $100 statement credit offer for new cardholders
- Complimentary companion pass or lounge access for new accounts
- 3x points with Amtrak, 2x for travel, and 1x for all else
- 5% reward bonus when booking with Amtrak Travel
- Bonus 1,000 points for each $5,000 spent on your card
- No limit for annual point earnings
- Free FICO score updated monthly
- Annual fee of $79
Earning Points With Your Card
There are three category point structures with the Amtrak MasterCard. First, all purchases with Amtrak will earn 3x points. This includes travel and on train purchases.
Second, cardholders will earn 2x points for qualifying travel purchases. This includes many travel related expenses. Qualifying purchases would include hotels/motels, flight purchases, car rentals and more.
Finally, 1x point will be earned for all other purchases. There is no limit to the amount of points which can be used earning your card.
An additional 1,000 points can be earned each time your spend $5,000 on your card. This benefit is good for up to 4 reward bonuses annually.
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New Cardholder Sign Up Offer (As of 7/31/19)
The big buzz around this card is the entirely revamped sign up bonus. What was once a somewhat milquetoast offer is now quite formidable. The bonus offer comes in two parts. Only one spending requirement is necessary to qualify.
New customers who spend $2,500 on their new account in the first 90 days of opening their account will qualify for a 40,000 point bonus.
Additionally, customers who meet the spending requirements will also qualify for a $100 statement credit. This credit alone will more than cover the first year’s annual fee.
Cardholders will also receive one complimentary “upgrade”, of sorts. You can choose from any of the following:
- First Class Lounge access
- Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge access
- One companion pass coupon
- One-Class upgrade
Credit Card Fees
As mentioned above, the card has an annual fee of $79. There are no waived annual fee offers for this card at this time. If you qualify for the $100 statement bonus offer you will completely cover your first year’s fee.
Other fees include a late payment fee up to $39. Returned payment fees clock in at $28. Balance transfer fees are 3% of the transferred balance.
Overall, these fees are very much in line with similar premium travel credit cards.
Redeeming Your Points
The popular credit card website Compare Cards values these points at a rate up to 2.9 cents per point. This would make the 40,000 point bonus valued at a whopping $1,000+ for select Amtrak Travel.
It is important to point out that this rate is not the same for all travel options. If you have the option to purchase your ticket using “Saver Fare” you may elect not to use your points.
Saver pricing is not factored in to the value of reward points for a given trip. This means that you can get your ticket at a big discount relative to the “regularly” priced ticket. Redemption values can drop as much half when steeply discounted Saver pricing is available.
Cardholders can also use their points for a variety of other options. Amtrak is a partner with the United Mileage Plus Program. You can also choose from gift card options. These choices redeem at a much lower rate than travel.
For non-travel purchases you will typically be earning 1 cent per point. This means that 10,000 points would be equal to a $100 gift card. This is still a very generous sign up offer but not nearly as valuable as the travel redemption rate.
Who This Card Best Suited For
This card is best suited for two types of credit card holders: frequent Amtrak Customers and credit card churners.
If you regularly travel with Amtrak the massive sign up bonus for this card will go a long ways towards covering your future travel expenses. Being able to make use of your points for travel will provide the best value.
Another group excited about this offer are credit card churners. This somewhat controversial hobby involves reaping the benefits of a credit card sign up bonus. With the statement balance and big point offer this offer has many credit card churners mouths watering.
If you are not a frequent Amtrak traveler this card probably doesn’t make a ton of sense for you because you. You will be missing out on the top redemption rate for Amtrak Travel. Other travel cards (like branded airline cards) may be a better option for you.