For the past two summers in mid- to late-July, Bank of America has offered the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard with a special 30k bonus instead of the normal 20k bonus. And for the past two years, I’ve said to myself “Next year, I’m going to get that card!”
Well, this is the year. I want the card! I’ve been stalking the Internet for the Amtrak 30k deal, fully expecting it to pop up any day. So far, I’ve come up empty handed.
Until today! I just noticed a 40k points offer on the Amtrak website here (non-affiliate link). Spend $2500 in the first 90 days, $79 annual fee not waived. That’s over $1000 in free Amtrak travel. Woohoo! (Try a dummy booking to get the same offer with a $100 statement credit).
Why I Want Amtrak Points
Two years ago, my kids and I rode the Amtrak California Zephyr from San Francisco to Denver in a Superliner Family Bedroom (see the post here). It was definitely an adventure! And surprisingly, my kids said they’d like to repeat an overnight train trip.
I’ve got my sights set on a trip to Chicago. We could fly one-way to Chicago and take the Texas Eagle train from Chicago to Dallas. It’s only 22 hours (compared to the 36 hours of our previous trip), but I think that would be sufficient.
The cost varies by date and cabin configuration, but it hovers in the $650-$800 range or 20,000-30,000 points. For this next trip, I’d like to try two Superliner Roomettes instead of the Superliner Family Bedroom.
My kids have never been to Chicago, and it’s been years since I’ve been there. We’ve got some friends and family in the area, and we would have fun exploring the city.
My husband has no desire to try the train. He would likely fly both ways.
Keeping My Amtrak Stash Alive
A few weeks ago, Amtrak sent me an email that my remaining points were about to expire. I’ve known for a while now that my Amtrak points would expire after 24 months, but of course I procrastinated.
My first thought was to transfer some Hilton points to Amtrak to reset the clock. This must be done over the phone. I was all set to do this when the Hilton rep said the points could take up to 30 days to transfer to Amtrak. Nope, that’s too late!
Instead, I purchased 500 points for $18.85. They posted instantly, and now I’ve got another 24 months.
Don’t Count on Predictability in the Miles and Points World
I was so sure that Amtrak 30k offer would come back this July/August. But 40k is even better!
Do you have the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard? Are you planning to apply with this new higher bonus?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.