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FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: New Amtrak Guest Rewards MasterCard arriving Fall 2015
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Beginning September 12, 2015, two new Amtrak-branded credit cards are available through Bank of America:
  • World MasterCard (20K pts for $1K spend in 3 months; $79 AF, not waived)
  • Platinum MasterCard (12K pts for $1K spend in 3 months; no AF)
Both cards offer the following benefits:
  • Earn 1 AGR point for non-Amtrak purchases
  • Earn a bonus for Amtrak ticket and on-board purchases
    • World MC earns a total of 3 AGR pts/$
    • Platinum MC earns 2 AGR pts/$
  • Receive a 5% points rebate on award redemptions for Amtrak travel
  • No forex fee on purchases outside the US
  • Your AGR points will never expire as long as you hold either card
The World MasterCard offers these additional benefits:
  • Earn 2 AGR pts/$ on non-Amtrak travel purchases
    • Per the T&C, this includes "airlines, car rental agencies, hotels, motels, inns, resorts, steamship/cruise lines, and travel agencies"
    • Program Rules insert mailed with card by BofA states that eligible travel purchases do not include Merchant Category Codes (MCC) for
      • Passenger Railways (MCC 4112)
      • Transportation-Suburban and Local Commuter Passenger (4111)
      • Bus Lines (4131), or
      • Transportation Services not classified elsewhere (4789).
  • Earn 1,000 TQPs for every $5,000 in eligible purchases, up to 4,000 TQPs in any calendar year
    • Purchases are credited for the year of the statement on which they are billed. For an account that closes on the 20th of each month, purchases after Dec. 20 will count in the following year.
  • On account opening, receive a single-day pass for access to ClubAcela, Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge or First class lounges
    • Per T&C, "ClubAcela pass valid for bearer and one guest, or bearer's spouse/domestic partner and children under the age of 21. No same-day ticket required for use."
  • On account opening and at each anniversary renewal, receive a Companion Coupon and One-Class Upgrade
    • "Companion Coupon valid for one (1) free companion rail fare with the purchase of one (1) regular (full) adult rail fare. Free companion and paying passenger must reserve at the same time and travel together at all times. Valid for travel as one (1) one-way or one (1) roundtrip on one reservation per coupon. For roundtrip usage, both directions of travel must be reserved at the same time. Travel blackout dates apply."
      • Blackout dates for 2016: Jan. 2-3; Feb. 12; Feb. 15; Mar. 24-25; Mar. 28; May 27; May 30; Jul. 1; Jul. 4; Sept. 2; Sept. 5; Oct. 10; Nov. 22-23; Nov. 26-28; Dec. 21-24; Dec. 26-30.
      • Blackout dates for 2017: Jan. 1-2; Feb. 17; Feb. 20; Apr. 13-14; Apr. 17; May 26; May 29; Sept. 1; Sept. 4; Oct. 9; Nov. 21-22; Nov. 24-27; [other dates TBD].
      "Regular (full) adult rail fare" excludes Senior/AAA/etc. discount fares. AGR Insider has asserted at one time that "full fare" includes Saver & other unrestricted fares, but two separate FTer reports indicate that Saver fares are in fact excluded.
    • "One-Class Upgrade Coupon valid for one (1) space-available, one-way, one-class upgrade. Valid only from Coach to Business class, or from Acela Business class to Acela First class, on a single travel segment or leg. Not valid for upgrade to sleeping car accommodations. Travel blackout dates apply."
If my application is not instantly approved, is there a special contact number for Bank of America?
Try calling 888-221-6262 or 866-811-4108. (M-F 8am-7pm EST)
When will I receive my World MC Companion Coupon/Upgrade Coupon/ClubAcela Pass?
"Companion Coupon and One-Class Upgrade Coupon are available online through your Amtrak Guest Rewards account. Your ClubAcela pass will be mailed to you within 2 weeks of account opening."
How soon will my AGR points post after I complete the required spend?
Bank of America transfers your signup bonus points to Amtrak a day or two after the end of the monthly billing cycle in which you complete the required spend.
Are these cards churnable?
TBD
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Old Sep 12, 15, 9:24 am   #166
  
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 87
Finally decided to get the AF card and now it looks like they're not actually accepting anyone. I guess i'll wait a couple of days and see how this plays out.
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Old Sep 12, 15, 9:42 am   #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoAmtrak View Post
Watch out, that's not entirely true. If you're non-Select and interested in Choice Hotel transfers, that benefit goes away with the non-AF card and becomes a benefit of the premium card (per MileCards).
Is that MileCards post really true? It gets the facts wrong about how it worked before, so how can we beiieve what it says about how it will work in the future?

And you oversimplied it. That blog claim that even with premium card, you'll have to spend $20k (but on what?) to get the transfer benefit.

But that blog claims the hotel transfer was enabled by $200 spend on the Chase card. Not true. It had to be $200 Amtrak travel spend.

Which begs the question, since the blog got that wrong, what does it mean by $20000 spend, does it mean $20000 spend on Amtrak travel, or on anything? Or does it have any of the facts right?

And was this even ever documented at Chase? I thought it was only documented on the AGR side, under the hotel redemption rules.
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Old Sep 12, 15, 10:38 am   #168
  
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1
Yeah, same thing happened to me! Excellent credit, had a B of A mortgage (paid off), had MBNA and B of A credit cards in past, AGR member, other credit cards, never late, have my credit reports and score too.

B of A is closed last night. What major bank is closed nowadays? I waited until 9 am EST per their recording to call in today, it was almost 11 am EST and recording still says closed to call back after 9 am!

Spoke to someone, cannot do anything, no way to be transferred somewhere else or find out why you were denied. Must wait for letter in mail to then get your free credit report (which I already have.)

What a joke! They made a big blunder on this. Could there be a worse launch? I will think twice about this in the future.
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Old Sep 12, 15, 11:20 am   #169
  
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New Amtrak Guest Rewards MasterCard arriving Fall 2015

Based on all these declines I am going to hold off in applying. I would guess it's a problem or something in their system with the card application or something since I don't think we've seen a single person post that they got approved. I'm a BoA banking customer with a pretty large amount of money in my accounts plus excellent credit. When I apply I better not get refused or it will be bye bye BoA.
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Old Sep 12, 15, 11:31 am   #170
  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Programs: Amtrak Guest Rewards (SE), Virgin America Elevate, Hyatt Gold Passport (Platinum), VIA Preference
Posts: 1,279
Adding insult to injury, I fired off an application for the Virgin Atlantic card just now and got the "we need to verify some stuff" response I'm used to (I have a good credit score but a...somewhat atypical financial profile). Not. Happy. At. All.
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Old Sep 12, 15, 11:52 am   #171
  
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Norfolk, VA, USA Occupation: Former Hotel, Airline, Travel Agency, and Computerized Reservations System Representative
Programs: Amtrak Guest Rewards
Posts: 3
I applied about an hour ago and received a "pending" status with the "we need to verify some stuff" response, too. I bank with BoA and have quite a large balance, so I'm hoping for a positive outcome. If I'm turned down, I will absolutely transfer all funds to my credit union.
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Old Sep 12, 15, 12:45 pm   #172
  
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by AGR Insider View Post
Today, you’ll begin to see information through various sources about the new Amtrak Guest Rewards MasterCard® credit cards. For those of you who are deeply engaged with the program, we wanted to share the details here. With the new Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard® credit card, members will enjoy accelerated earning in the program like never before—3 points for every $1 spent with Amtrak, including onboard purchases, 2 points per $1 spent on all other eligible travel purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, to make earning Amtrak award travel even faster and easier, the World MasterCard® credit card comes with an attractive 20,000 bonus points offer after spending at least $1,000 in purchases on the new card within 90 days of account opening. Also, World MasterCard cardholders will be entitled to additional benefits—ranging from the ability to earn valuable Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) toward elevated status and a complimentary Companion Coupon, One-Class Upgrade and a single-day ClubAcela pass.

Now you will have the choice between the premium World MasterCard credit card and the all-new Amtrak Guest Rewards Platinum card, which will earn you 2 points for every $1 spent with Amtrak and 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, both cards will allow you to enjoy greater acceptance and added security with smart-chip technology when used at chip-enabled terminals.

For information about the rates, fees, other costs and benefits associated with the use of these credit cards, go to http://AmtrakGuestRewards.com/Apply, and we highly encourage you to visit the site for a comprehensive overview of the new cards.

This credit card program is issued and administered by Bank of America, N.A. MasterCard and World MasterCard are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated and are used by the issuer pursuant to license.



Anthony Rizos
Director, Member Experience Solutions
Amtrak
Washington, D.C.
Mr. Rizos, I just contacted Bank of America customer service and they have informed me that the reason people have not been able to get an answer when they apply for that Amtrak credit card is that the official launch date is not till tomorrow. Please advise persons posting here that that is in fact the
case.
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Old Sep 12, 15, 1:39 pm   #173
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Which begs the question, since the blog got that wrong, what does it mean by $20000 spend, does it mean $20000 spend on Amtrak travel, or on anything? Or does it have any of the facts right?
Let's go straight to the horse's mouth (now that the horse is publicly speaking, to awkwardly extend the metaphor). The new BofA $79 AF card terms state:

Quote:
Points transfer. Members that are active cardholders of the Amtrak Guest Rewards® World MasterCard® issued by Bank of America with an annual Net Retail spend on the card of $20,000 or more per calendar year may redeem up to 25,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards points per calendar year for hotel points and Audience Rewards points.
So, yeah, the $20K general spend requirement is definitely a significant, onerous change from the current terms, which require $200 in Amtrak spend:

Quote:
Only Members with Amtrak Guest Rewards Select, Select Plus or Select Executive tier and Members that are active cardholders of the Amtrak Guest Rewards® MasterCard® issued by Chase Bank with an Amtrak travel spend on the card of over $200 per calendar year may redeem for hotel points and Audience Rewards points.
In any case, I'll be sitting all this out until the apparent IT issues are resolved with this rollout.
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Old Sep 12, 15, 2:44 pm   #174
  
Join Date: Apr 2015
Programs: United Global Services, Amtrak Select Executive
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I just applied on-line and got approved for the World version. I've never had any relationship with BofA before, but my credit is spotless.
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Old Sep 12, 15, 2:50 pm   #175
  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Programs: Amtrak Guest Rewards (SE), Virgin America Elevate, Hyatt Gold Passport (Platinum), VIA Preference
Posts: 1,279
So, while we're on this...in the event that I can't get this mess sorted out, can anyone recommend a passable airline from Virginia (the DC area is acceptable) to Florida?
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Old Sep 12, 15, 3:40 pm   #176
  
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoAmtrak View Post
I also wonder if the 5% redemption rebate will stack to 10% with two cards, which AA does for cardholders of both its Citi and Barclays legacy cards.
The AA 10% bonus that you get for reward redemption does not stack. If you hold both of those cards it gets split in half between the two banks (5% each). If you just held one of the cards (or multiple copies with Citi OR Barclays you would get the full 10% (and not any more) from Citi or Barclays.

Last edited by isle-hawg; Sep 12, 15 at 4:26 pm
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Old Sep 12, 15, 3:43 pm   #177
  
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by physioprof View Post
I just applied on-line and got approved for the World version. I've never had any relationship with BofA before, but my credit is spotless.
How many new apps/accounts have you opened in the last 6 months? In the B of A thread someone mentioned getting denied for two many apps (6 in their case) within the last 6 months. Perhaps that is why others are getting denied? Or, perhaps it is just an IT glitch as I do not even see either card listed on the BoA site yet?
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Old Sep 12, 15, 3:55 pm   #178
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isle-hawg View Post
How many new apps/accounts have you opened in the last 6 months? In the B of A thread someone mentioned getting denied for two many apps (6 in their case) within the last 6 months. Perhaps that is why others are getting denied? Or, perhaps it is just an IT glitch as I do not even see either card listed on the BoA site yet?
I only applied (and was approved) for one other credit card in the last six months, a Chase Sapphire Preferred. My motivation for getting the AGR World is solely the 4000 TQPs I can earn for $20,000 spend (which is about 1/4-1/3 of my annual spend).
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Old Sep 12, 15, 5:47 pm   #179
Company Representative - Amtrak
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Programs: Amtrak Guest Rewards (Select Executive)
Posts: 528
We were notified of some technical difficulties with the application process from Bank of America. The issue is fixed and previous applicants who received a denied or referred message will be contacted by Bank of America with further resolution.

Anthony Rizos
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Old Sep 12, 15, 6:22 pm   #180
  
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 10
Thanks, Anthony. Wish I hadn't jumped so fast- I'm taking a (driving) trip the very first weekend of October and I was hoping to have the new card in time to use it for five hotel nights.
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