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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 Aug 8, 15, 11:17 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: ORD
Programs: AGR S+, Marriott Plat, HHonors Diamond, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 85
I hope this give some advanced status like S+ even if there is annual fee....
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Old Aug 9, 15, 9:15 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: DCA/RIC
Programs: AA PLT/LTG, HH LTD
Posts: 957
Originally Posted by neutralist View Post
I hope this give some advanced status like S+ even if there is annual fee....
I am just the opposite. I am sure I will get this card and hold it so long as there is no annual fee. I cannot imagine any perk that comes with this card that would be worth a fee to me.
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Old Aug 9, 15, 10:04 am
  #18  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ
Programs: AGR Executive, UA Gold, SPG Gold, Hyatt Platinum, HH Diamond
Posts: 274
To be a fee card there better be some awesome perks to beat putting Amtrak tickets on the Citi Premier card that currently offer 3X spend on Amtrak. And to most of us regular riders on the NE corridor S+ is meaningless.
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Old Aug 9, 15, 3:52 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Programs: AGR
Posts: 28
I don't know if I'd call free CA access "meaningless", it'd greatly increase my quality of life.
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Old Aug 10, 15, 12:16 am
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 38
Originally Posted by HokieNav View Post
Another request for a heads up of the Ultimate Rewards transfer is going to go away.
I have been hoarding UR points for dream amtrak trip. Need to know ahead if the transfer option goes away.
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Old Aug 10, 15, 8:20 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ
Programs: AGR Executive, UA Gold, SPG Gold, Hyatt Platinum, HH Diamond
Posts: 274
Originally Posted by HokieNav View Post
I don't know if I'd call free CA access "meaningless", it'd greatly increase my quality of life.
I didn't say free CA access is meaningless. What I meant was that folks who travel frequently on the NE corridor already achieve S+ status or higher thru their travel that providing such a benefit with the card won't sway me to apply for it. As a matter of fact I rather not have them provide that status so as not to dilute the status or set the spend bar very high.
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Old Aug 10, 15, 10:22 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: NYC
Programs: Delta Platinum, United Silver, Hyatt Globalist, Bonvoy Titanium / LTG, Amtrak Select Executive
Posts: 642
Offering S+ as a benefit would make the annual fee very high because of United Club Access (and the Chase UC card is 450/year)

I simply don't see them going from fee free to 400+ annual fee. If anything, I could see them having a 100-200 dollar annual fee that includes watered down S+ perks, such as ClubAcela access but no UC access.
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Old Aug 10, 15, 12:10 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ
Programs: AGR Executive, UA Gold, SPG Gold, Hyatt Platinum, HH Diamond
Posts: 274
Originally Posted by uppereastsider View Post
Offering S+ as a benefit would make the annual fee very high because of United Club Access (and the Chase UC card is 450/year)...
This...
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Old Aug 10, 15, 5:07 pm
  #24  
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Join Date: May 2002
Programs: WN F9 UA AA IHG HH MR
Posts: 1,699
Originally Posted by stevester View Post
I have been hoarding UR points for dream amtrak trip. Need to know ahead if the transfer option goes away.
Last year, the ability to transfer UR points to KE ended without warning; although strangely enough, KE was restored as a partner this year.

If the trip is that important, why not just do the transfer to AGR now and not worry?
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Old Aug 10, 15, 5:18 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: DCA/RIC
Programs: AA PLT/LTG, HH LTD
Posts: 957
Originally Posted by Tanic View Post
If the trip is that important, why not just do the transfer to AGR now and not worry?

+1 as someone who x-fr erred all their UR points to Amtrak a few months ago..
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Old Aug 10, 15, 7:00 pm
  #26  
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: home = LAX
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Originally Posted by uppereastsider View Post
Offering S+ as a benefit would make the annual fee very high because of United Club Access (and the Chase UC card is 450/year)

I simply don't see them going from fee free to 400+ annual fee. If anything, I could see them having a 100-200 dollar annual fee that includes watered down S+ perks, such as ClubAcela access but no UC access.
I sure hope that's only if they have multiple versions of the card. For people who don't live in the right part of the country for that, such perks could be useless to them, even if a no-fee AGR card would be useful.

(Like, what in the world is a ClubAcela, someone based in Southern California asks? )
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Old Aug 10, 15, 8:40 pm
  #27  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: ORD
Programs: AGR S+, Marriott Plat, HHonors Diamond, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 85
S+ also comes with points transfer to other hotel programs.
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Old Aug 10, 15, 8:54 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 41
A bit off topic = "us regular riders on the NE corridor S+ is meaningless" These type of statements show the arrogance of many Amtrak riders in that corridor.

For the rest of the country offering Select + status just for being a cardholder - is a perk we would love to have ( even if a yearly fee applied ). I guess those who have unlimited funds or companies paying for their rides could care less. But Amtrak ridership is much more than NorthEast Corridor. Although many of you think differently.

As for those worried about a fee. Think what you would spend out of pocket for Select + versus a yearly credit card fee. I think basic math would support that fee being much cheaper with major upside status benefits provide.
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Old Aug 10, 15, 10:22 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: NYC
Programs: Delta Platinum, United Silver, Hyatt Globalist, Bonvoy Titanium / LTG, Amtrak Select Executive
Posts: 642
Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
(Like, what in the world is a ClubAcela, someone based in Southern California asks? )
This is the Amtrak version of an airline club... it can be found in Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York And Boston South Station. Access is limited to those with a First Class Acela Ticket or Sleeping Car accommodation, Select+ status or AGR Exec status, Chase UC card holders, United Club members and day pass ticket holders. I also have seen access for sale at the Boston ClubAcela.

The complementary snacks will make any domestic airline club look like a 5 star restaurant. Expect packaged muffins and pastries in the AM, and pretzels and goldfish in the afternoon. Also complementary fountain soda, coffee and tea.

For commuters in the NE, these clubs offer a big advantage. In DC, you can enter the tracks through the club and beat the lines. In Boston/NYP/Philadelphia, they'll announce the track numbers before they announce it to public. And you can easily snag a red cap and beat the lines. This is essential at NYP if you want to claim a prime seat.

Oh and the bathrooms will beat the bathrooms at any of the stations... which is also an advantage. Especially at NYP.

Last edited by uppereastsider; Aug 11, 15 at 10:40 am Reason: Added more ClubAcela entry options
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Old Aug 10, 15, 11:19 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,693
Originally Posted by uppereastsider View Post
This is the Amtrak version of an airline club... it can be found in Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York And Boston South Station. Access is limited to those with a First Class Acela Ticket or S+ Status.
Or holders of the Chase United Club credit card. But I digress....
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