Amtrak's best-ever credit card offer can get you $1,400 in train travel
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Points can go a long way with Amtrak's Guest Rewards program. With many fares, the U.S. rail provider's points are worth 2.8 cents apiece, though redemptions are based on the "value" category or above — deep-discount "saver" fares aren't available for awards.
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Still, there are plenty of opportunities to score great value, especially with last-minute tickets. Take a train from New York to Miami next week, for example. Paying cash, you'll need to fork over $272 for the one-way trip.
If you're booking at award, the same seat will cost you just 9,656 points, hitting that 2.8-cent-per-point sweet spot. The same redemption value applies to Roomette bookings, too.
Most recently, Amtrak was offering 20,000 points plus a $200 statement credit after spending at least $1,000 in the first 90 days with the Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®. This week, the offer is significantly higher.
The information for the Amtrak Guest Rewards card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Related: Best credit cards for train travel
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Amtrak's now offering a whopping 50,000 points after making at least $2,500 in purchases within the first 90 days. You'll need to spend more to trigger the bonus, but this new offer can get you well over $1,000 in travel (according to TPG's valuations) — as much as $1,400 with certain fares.
Beyond the incredible sign-up bonus, you'll also enjoy lucrative perks when you open your account and when you renew your card every anniversary, including an annual companion coupon (worth up to $300 in Amtrak travel) and an annual upgrade coupon (worth up to $150 in Amtrak travel). You'll receive all of these great Amtrak perks for a (more than) reasonable $79 annual fee.
Related: Your complete guide to Amtrak Guest Rewards
While 50,000 points might not sound especially impressive with so many cards offering 100k or more, Amtrak's bonus can take you further than even the 150,000-point offer after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of card membership with the $450 Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (see rates & fees), since Amtrak's points are worth so much more.
The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
An Amtrak spokesperson confirmed that the 50k offer is due to stick around until Sept. 30, 2021, but there's never any guarantee it'll last that long. It's the best U.S. rail offer we've ever seen, and I wouldn't expect a 50,000-point promo to pop up again anytime soon. So if you're hoping to take advantage, I'd grab it sooner rather than later.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire card, click here.