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New Amtrak Guest Rewards MasterCard arriving Fall 2015

New Amtrak Guest Rewards MasterCard arriving Fall 2015

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Old Oct 22, 16, 2:59 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: beltway
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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 24, 15, 11:10 am
  #271  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: CT/ Germany - Ich spreche deutsch
Programs: UA Plat, AA Gold, LH Silver, Bonvoy LTTE, HH Dia, Hyatt Disc, PC Plat, CC Gold
Posts: 3,730
Originally Posted by jfriend33 View Post
The card is actually pretty ugly in comparison to the pics presented on their sites. The lighter blue on the right side of the card is much different than previously illustrated.

https://amtrakguestrewards.com/commo...8ACFED83C13DF1

Last edited by christianj; Sep 24, 15 at 11:21 am
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Old Sep 24, 15, 12:52 pm
  #272  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: PHL
Programs: AA(Plat), UA, AGR(S), BW(Plat), HH, WoH, IHG, MAR(SE)
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Originally Posted by jfriend33 View Post
...

I am confused about something though. I was told that the 2pts/dollar on travel included bus and public transportation. Not seeing this listed?

...
Per the T&C's, and as stated in the wiki above, "travel expenses" includes "airlines, car rental agencies, hotels, motels, inns, resorts, steamship/cruise lines, and travel agencies."
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Old Sep 24, 15, 12:57 pm
  #273  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 23
Originally Posted by NovaEngr View Post
Per the T&C's, and as stated in the wiki above, "travel expenses" includes "airlines, car rental agencies, hotels, motels, inns, resorts, steamship/cruise lines, and travel agencies."
I saw that.

Dang it. How will I get bus tickets through a travel agent lol. guess I will try buying thruway busses on the phone
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Old Sep 25, 15, 8:56 am
  #274  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 23
Well I just got off the horn with BOA. Trying to get my APR lowered for kicks. They offered me 0% interest on a balance transfer until January 2017 at least. That was nice of them. I went ahead and did a small one just so the card gets extra use. I will cut the $15 as a loss towards a future CLI!
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Old Sep 25, 15, 6:13 pm
  #275  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by christianj View Post
The card is actually pretty ugly in comparison to the pics presented on their sites. The lighter blue on the right side of the card is much different than previously illustrated.

https://amtrakguestrewards.com/commo...8ACFED83C13DF1
The blue on the right is actually really variable, dependent on angle and lighting. I wouldn't call it the prettiest card I've ever seen, but it's not as flat and bland as the quick photo makes it seem.
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Old Sep 26, 15, 1:31 pm
  #276  
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Forget dresses. Is this card blue or white?
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Old Sep 26, 15, 3:04 pm
  #277  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Programs: United Global Services, Amtrak Select Executive
Posts: 2,884
Just got my card. I cancelled about $2000 of already-purchased Acela tickets today, and then rebooked them using the AGR World. BTW, I have never used BofA Web site or Android app before, but I actually like them better than Chase.
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Old Sep 26, 15, 4:14 pm
  #278  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 209
$5000 Spend earns 1000 TQP

I am considering applying for the World card mainly for the $5000 spend = 1000 TQP benefit.

In the past AGR will send reward kits annually in February or March for whatever status was earned the previously year. However, they've also been good about sending kits after that if a member's status changes to something higher than what was previously awarded.

I am hoping that someone will hit the $5000 spend soon and can share how quickly they were credited the 1000 TQP.

Hypothetically, someone could have $1000 in Amtrak spend and $15000 in credit card spend during the first quarter of next year. It would earn them a total of 5000 TQP and Select Status.

I would hope the TQP from the $15000 spend would be credited expeditiously, especially if it caused someone to move to Select+ and earn lounge benefits.
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Old Sep 26, 15, 4:29 pm
  #279  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Programs: United Global Services, Amtrak Select Executive
Posts: 2,884
The TQP benefit is my only reason for bothering with this card. I should reach my first $5000 within a few weeks, and will definitely report back regarding how fast the 1000 TQPs post.
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Old Sep 26, 15, 4:59 pm
  #280  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 209
Originally Posted by physioprof View Post
The TQP benefit is my only reason for bothering with this card. I should reach my first $5000 within a few weeks, and will definitely report back regarding how fast the 1000 TQPs post.
Thanks. My status is unlikely to change this year regardless, since the majority of my traveling occurs in the winter and spring months. I was going to apply for this card ASAP, but I'm going to wait until probably late November/early December to see how the TQP benefit plays out.

Hopefully, everything for you goes smoothly. I would hope that TQPs would be applied as early as the end of the credit card billing cycle, but could see them doing it once per quarter if they were overly concerned about returned merchandise etc.

I am sure they will have to have some mechanism in place to add and remove TQPs based on this benefit. Hopefully, it won't be overly onerous for the customer.

Granted, this is a whole new ball game for AGR, since previously, the only way to earn TQPs was to ride trains and you didn't have to worry about someone UN-riding a train once it had been ridden.
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Old Sep 28, 15, 2:45 pm
  #281  
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Any thoughts on how quickly the signup bonus will post?

I need my 12k points before 12/31 in order to top up my balance and cash out for a 1BR car under the old program. After that they are worthless to me.
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Old Sep 28, 15, 5:12 pm
  #282  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SMF
Posts: 1,236
I'm curious whether the complimentary lounge pass is good for just one individual, or for the cardholder + companion. While its not a big deal, I'm curious whether I could use it for an upcoming trip with my 3 year old.
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Old Sep 28, 15, 9:39 pm
  #283  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 209
Originally Posted by Big4Flyer View Post
I'm curious whether the complimentary lounge pass is good for just one individual, or for the cardholder + companion. While its not a big deal, I'm curious whether I could use it for an upcoming trip with my 3 year old.

I really doubt Amtrak would make specific coupons just for the credit card holders.

If I had to make an educated guess, I'd bet these coupons will be the same as the ones given to Select+ in their yearly qualifying kit.

Those passes, and also the ones you can purchase with AGR points, allow for the person traveling + 1 Guest OR the person traveling and all immediate family members that are also traveling.

You'll be fine and anyone that would actually deny access to a 3 year old that is ticketed with the accompanying parent should really be reprimanded.
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Old Sep 29, 15, 4:58 am
  #284  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Originally Posted by Big4Flyer View Post
I'm curious whether the complimentary lounge pass is good for just one individual, or for the cardholder + companion. While its not a big deal, I'm curious whether I could use it for an upcoming trip with my 3 year old.
You could read the fine print of the BofA offer, or you could just read the wiki for this thread (where I've compiled that and other useful information).

If you're reading FT using the mobile interface, don't. Use the full site/desktop version to view thread wikis.
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Old Sep 29, 15, 3:08 pm
  #285  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: DCA, IAD (not BWI if I can help it)
Programs: UA 1K, Marriott Plat, Hyatt Discoverist, status-free on AA, AS, B6, DL, WN, Amtrak
Posts: 1,183
Any reason why these cards would not be offered in a business version? If I were to get it, just about all of my spend would be for work, so I'd just as soon apply with my tax ID and get the credit-report advantages Gary Leff has outlined more than once.
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