Amtrak Gift Cards
Amtrak Gift Cards

Amtrak Gift Cards: what you need to know

Are you looking for a gift for that traveler in your life? Maybe you want to save up for a trip and look for a way. What about Amtrak Gift Cards? These gift cards make for an excellent gift for the traveler in your life or to yourself, whether physical or digital forms. Other stores sell them as well.

Be aware that several scams on Facebook exist where you can win Amtrak gift cards—more information about how the scam works is in the article, along with Amtrak gift card basics.

Amtrak Gift Cards Basics

Here are the gift card basics:

  • You can choose an amount up to $500.
  • The minimum amount you can put on the card can vary by vendor.
  • Some physical cards come in set amounts.
  • There are no fees to get a gift card (outside of shipping)
  • Cards Never expire.
  • You can get an electronic card emailed to you or someone else.
  • Physical cards can be sent through the mail.
  • Redeem online, in the app, on the phone, or at a station.

Give the gift of Amtrak Gift Cards.

Amtrak Gift Cards
Amtrak Gift Card

A great way to help travelers is to help them travel more, and you can do that with a gift card.

Sometimes, they can be a good gift for yourself because you can use them to save up for a trip. That way you have to spend that money on travel.

Amtrak gift cards have advanced significantly since I started and are more flexible.

Years ago, you could only get gift certificates from Amtrak stations or by calling, and to redeem them, you had to call or visit a staffed station. They also carried cash value, so you were out of that money if you lost it.

Today, you can store gift cards in your Amtrak account and then have those credits, even if you don’t have the card.

Where Can You Buy Amtrak Gift Cards

You can buy these cards in two ways, physically or digitally, and the right one is the one that works best for you or the person you are giving them to.

Be aware Amtrak and Amtrak Vacations run differently, and gift cards do not transfer between the two. So be careful when purchasing gift cards so people get what they need.

Physical Cards

Physical gift cards are great gifts that you can add to a letter or greeting card or even hand to another person.

You can purchase physical gift cards online through Amtrak or the following vendors. Amtrak can send your gift card with a personal message to you or your traveler for free, and for a fee, Amtrak will expedite shipping.

You can find Amtrak gift cards in some brick-and-mortar stores and leave them with them.

Places To Shop For Amtrak Gift Cards

A few places that sell Amtrak Gift Cards (these can change at any time)

  • Kroger
  • Staples
  • And more

Digital Gift Cards

One fun advantage of buying digital cards through Amtrak is they offer several designs, including route-specific cards.

This option could be a neat touch if your traveler plans to go on a specific route.

If you want to send one, I am not picky!

If you buy an e-gift card from Amtrak, they will receive an Amtrak-branded digital copy in the email.

Target and other retail locations can send digital cards. However, the messages depend on the retailer’s rules and availability.

How to get a discount on Amtrak Gift Cards

Who doesn’t like a good deal? Amtrak does not run (or at least I have seen any sales other than scams) deals on these cards, but there are a few ways to save.

If you have a Target Red Card, you receive 5% off when you use it at checkout, and this works for both physical cards bought in-store and digital online. Sometimes, stores offer gift card deals, so keep your eyes out for that. If you use your Amtrak Credit Card, you can earn points while buying travel for others!

Where you can use Amtrak Gift Cards

Amtrak gift cards can be used online, in person, or over the phone for Amtrak travel only.

At this point, you cannot use gift cards for onboard purchases. (I am unsure if you can use them on Amtrak ticket machines.)

What to do when you receive a gift card

The Lake Shore Limited in Albany.
The Lake Shore Limited in Albany.

If you purchase or receive a gift card, you can save it in a “safe place,” which is not a good option for me, or you can store it in your Amtrak account.

To store them in your Amtrak account, log in, and from there, you can store them there under the payment section. Then, when you are ready to book your next trip, they are already there waiting for you!

If you store them electronically, you may be unable to use them at stations. You can also visit the Amtrak website to check your gift card balance. To do so, visit this page.

Amtrak Gift Cards limits when buying tickets.

One of my readers recently informed me that you can only use a certain number of Amtrak gift cards per transaction.

They tried to use eight at a time and could not, which leads me to believe you can use up to six per transaction.

You may need to break up the reservations if you have more than six. If you have more than six, buy two one-way trips instead of a round trip; often, there is no deal for round trips.

Auto Train
The Auto Train Photo courtesy of

You are fine if you buy your cards online from Amtrak directly, at a store you know, or in person. You may see a Facebook group, ad, or something on other social media saying you can get Amtrak gift cards for a dollar or practically nothing; think twice. These are scams!

Often, these groups go after data or your credit card information or try to scam you somehow.

What To Look For

There are a few ways you can check. If they are running a contest, you will find it on the Amtrak website.

These sites will try and spoof One way to check if the page is legit is to click on the logo in the upper right-hand corner, and when you do that, it should go to the Amtrak home page.

Also, the photos of trains often are not of Amtrak trains but stock photos of trains with Amtrak logos.

Doing a little digging can also raise red flags. If you notice on the example faux Amtrak page, it states that this is only valid to US residents, but when you look at the people who claim to win, they were not from the US, if they have current or even real profiles.

Often, the people “leaving reviews” abandon Facebook profiles.

Kev’s thoughts about Amtrak Gift Cards

The Silver Star in the Tampa, Fl Station with passengers boarding and detraining.
The Silver Star is in Tampa, FL. Station.

I received a few Amtrak gift cards from friends, which were easy to use and give. Not long ago, Amtrak had a somewhat archaic paper gift certificate system, and you could only redeem the gift certificates at staffed stations.

These new cards are more convenient and valuable for travelers.

If the traveler in your life enjoys riding the rails, these cards will be a welcome gift! They also are great gifts for your favorite travel blogger (that’s me, right?)!

If you receive an Amtrak gift card and don’t know how to travel on Amtrak, fear not; I have you covered!

Check out the Riding Amtrak Page as a starting point for your next Amtrak adventure. If you like what you see, there are other ways to follow my work, or if you want to know when new stories come out, join my email list.

Safe Travels!


Kevin Monteith

Kev Monteith has been traveling on Amtrak since 2012. With over a decade of experience, he has been on over 800 trains, covering over 200k miles of rail. Kev enjoys helping others achieve their travel dreams by providing support and information. Outside of travel, Kev enjoys making music as an organist and outings with family.

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