Under the new program points are worth 2.5 to 2.9 cents apiece… kind of. That’s less than a 6% rebate for paid Amtrak travel, but represents good value for points transfers or credit card earning.
Via MileCards, while the new co-brand credit cards are not yet online we do have details about them.
There are two different cards — an annual fee version that comes with a companion ticket and upgrade certificate each year and a no fee version with weaker earn. Here are the details of each and how they line up:
No no annual fee card is similar to the old Chase co-brand card, except per MileCards only the premium version will allow you to transfer points out of Amtrak Guest Rewards.
The premium card especially offers good earn for Amtrak spend. And both cards offer good earn (2.5% – 2.9% rebate) for unbonused spend, provided you’d otherwise pay out of pocket for Amtrak. Double points on travel is the only category bonus.
20,000 points is a very respectable bonus since that gets you $500 or more in train travel.
I think the premium card though is a real winner for the heavy Amtrak customer, since it helps earn elite status and throws in travel-related goodies.
Outside of the core Amtrak customer, it’s going to be a niche product. Even though it’s got good earn, as long as the Starwood Preferred Guest points continue to transfer to Amtrak then the Starwood Amex will be better for unbonused spend because the points move to Amtrak or so many other places.