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The secret way to transfer credit card points to Amtrak

March 31, 2022
6 min read
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Amtrak Guest Rewards points are extremely valuable. TPG values them at a whopping 2.5 cents each, which is the highest of any award currency. The only problem is that they aren't as easy to earn as other currencies.

The two main ways to earn Amtrak points are by taking the train or spending on a cobranded Amtrak credit card — you can't transfer points directly from any of the major flexible points programs. Although it is possible to transfer points from several hotel programs, as well as Hertz Gold Rewards, the transfer ratios usually mean you're giving up value. However, as first discovered by Miles to Memories, there is a lesser-known transfer option that can be useful.

We're going to discuss how you can bolster your Amtrak Guest Rewards account by transferring points from JetBlue TrueBlue. The two programs aren't officially partners, so transfers require jumping through a few hoops. But as you'll see, it can be worth the effort.

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And since JetBlue is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards, this essentially opens up transfers to Amtrak from most major flexible points programs.

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(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Transferring JetBlue points to Amtrak

Amtrak Guest Rewards and JetBlue TrueBlue aren't officially partners, but the transfers are possible through the third-party site Points.com. Although its main business is selling points and miles, the site also acts as a points exchange and clearinghouse that allows members to move one kind of points and miles to another loyalty program, or exchange them for gift cards.

We generally only recommend transferring points through Points.com when you need to prevent miles from expiring, or if you need miles to post in a very short amount of time and have no other option, such as transferring from a flexible points program. This is because the value you'll get is generally poor. However, JetBlue-to-Amtrak transfers are a notable exception.

Related: Your complete guide to Amtrak Guest Rewards

Points transfer from JetBlue to Amtrak at a 2:1 ratio. Usually, a transfer ratio like that wouldn't be very compelling. However, considering TPG values JetBlue points at 1.3 cents apiece and Amtrak points at 2.5 cents, these transfers could be worthwhile if you need to top off your account for an upcoming award.

Just to give you an idea, you can score a ticket from New York City to Washington, D.C., on the Northeast Regional for 2,450 Amtrak points or 4,900 JetBlue points. If this ticket were to cost $65, you'd get about 1.3 cents in value from your JetBlue points, which is on par with TPG valuations.

Note that this strategy is only useful for converting JetBlue points into Amtrak points. Transfers in the reverse direction are at a 1,000:319 ratio, which is significantly worse ($21.50 to $4.15).

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Step-by-step guide

Points.com is free to join, and its interface is easy to use.

Simply sign up for the "Points Loyalty Wallet," and then click "Add program" to link your Amtrak and JetBlue accounts.

(Screenshot from points.com)

Linking your accounts is as simple as providing your frequent traveler number and name.

(Screenshot from points.com)

Next, head to the "Exchange points" page. Select JetBlue as the program to exchange out of and Amtrak as the program to exchange into.

Exchanges are at a 2:1 ratio and can be done in 1,000-point increments. As with any other point transfers, these exchanges are irreversible. As mentioned, transfers in the opposite direction are at a much worse conversion rate.

Related: Best credit cards for train travel

(Screenshot from points.com)

Boosting your JetBlue TrueBlue balance

If you're looking to increase your JetBlue points balance (and ultimately Amtrak Guest Rewards balance), consider picking up a cobranded JetBlue credit card. Alternatively, you can transfer points from the following programs:

Here are some of the top cards that earn these types of rewards:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve ($550 annual fee): Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card ($95 annual fee): Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express ($695 annual fee; see rates and fees): Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the card in your first six months of card membership.
  • Citi Premier® Card ($95 annual fee): Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Related: How to earn points in the JetBlue TrueBlue program

For rates and fees of the Amex platinum card, click here

Bottom line

Although Amtrak and JetBlue aren't officially partners, you can exchange points between the programs through Points.com at a 2:1 transfer ratio. This opens up a unique avenue for transferring points to Amtrak Guest Rewards from the major credit card points programs.

Featured image by (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases