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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 18, 16, 7:32 pm
  #406  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,707
Originally Posted by NovaEngr View Post
I can see the 2017 dates out to one year from the expiration of my coupons (expires 10/22/16).

Jan. 1-2, 2017
Feb. 17, 2017
Feb. 20, 2017
Apr. 13-14, 2017
Apr. 17, 2017
May 26, 2017
May 29, 2017
Sep. 1, 2017
Sep. 4, 2017
Oct. 9, 2017
Thank you; wiki updated. If anybody else has the blackout dates for the rest of 2017, please post.
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Old Oct 22, 16, 6:22 am
  #407  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 37
I was just approved for this card. The black out dates for 2017 showing in my account are:

Jan. 1-2, 2017; Feb. 17, 2017; Feb. 20, 2017; Apr. 13-14, 2017; Apr. 17, 2017; May 26, 2017; May 29, 2017; Sep. 1, 2017; Sep. 4, 2017; Oct. 9, 2017; Nov. 21-22, 2017; Nov. 25-27, 2017
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Old Oct 22, 16, 11:00 am
  #408  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,707
Originally Posted by 3hearts View Post
I was just approved for this card. The black out dates for 2017 showing in my account are:

Jan. 1-2, 2017; Feb. 17, 2017; Feb. 20, 2017; Apr. 13-14, 2017; Apr. 17, 2017; May 26, 2017; May 29, 2017; Sep. 1, 2017; Sep. 4, 2017; Oct. 9, 2017; Nov. 21-22, 2017; Nov. 25-27, 2017
Added to the wiki. Thank you for the update.
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Old Oct 28, 16, 7:31 am
  #409  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Programs: AS MVP
Posts: 269
Originally Posted by danib62 View Post
Have they ever offered a sign up bonus better than 20k points? I had the old Chase card and have been holding out on getting the new one...
Probably too late now but I too had the old Chase card and just received an email from AGR with a 30k offer. It specifically mentioned that I was a former cardholder. Also includes a 15k offer for the fee-free card. May pull the trigger on that one in December (offer expires 12/31).
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Old Oct 28, 16, 12:00 pm
  #410  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Boston environs
Programs: AAdvantage
Posts: 559
Originally Posted by Exiled in Express View Post
Much delayed response. I completed the downgrade last month ahead of the annual fee. It is not a very smooth process, I ended up being transferred several times from the customer service number on the back of the card. Ended up with customer relations who submitted a request for the product change and advised I would have an answer in 7 to 10 days. Email confirmation came on day 7. They had to reissue the card as well, new account number. Pretty sure there were several days between deactivating the old card and arrival of the new as well.

If I were not minding my inquiries, I would have probably just applied for the no fee and then cancelled the premium for less hassle and more points.
Thank you! I had a smoother time than you did with the same process, but then my number was compromised (they called me and asked if I really authorized thousands of dollars to Venmo...um...) and I said, just close it; I'm planning to reapply for the no-fee version to get the points. In retrospect, I should have cancelled instead of going for the downgrade.
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Old Oct 28, 16, 12:04 pm
  #411  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: DCA
Posts: 165
Originally Posted by SOCguy View Post
Probably too late now but I too had the old Chase card and just received an email from AGR with a 30k offer. It specifically mentioned that I was a former cardholder. Also includes a 15k offer for the fee-free card. May pull the trigger on that one in December (offer expires 12/31).
Doh. That's what I get for being impatient.
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Old Oct 31, 16, 4:02 pm
  #412  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Detroit, Michigan USA
Programs: Marriott lifetime plat prem, Delta FO, Hilton gold
Posts: 5,289
Was told by BOA that if I downgraded, I would be given a new account number. So, instead of downgrading, I cancelled, and opened up a new Platinum account. Will be 12,000 points richer; and either way would have received a new account number.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 11:16 am
  #413  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 511
Are these cards churnable like the Alaska airline cards, i.e cancel and reapply every 3-4 months and get fee waived?
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Old May 4, 17, 10:09 am
  #414  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NYC
Programs: Amtrak Select Plus, Marriott Lifetime Gold, Hilton Silver
Posts: 2,981
Anyone else having problems with the 1,000 TQP per $5,000 spend in 2017? Had no issues last year; they posted quickly and accurately.

This year, I had 1,000 TQP post early/incorrectly (they were counting some 2016 dollars towards 2017), which were later removed. Then, when I legitimately reached $5,000, not a word.
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Old May 4, 17, 12:35 pm
  #415  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Washington, D.C.
Posts: 325
I just applied and was approved for this card again. I first opened it in Jan 2016 and cancelled it when the annual fee came due in Jan 2017. I then waited 3-4 months before reapplying. Hopefully I'll be able to do this every year! Essentially buying 20K Amtrak points for $79 every year.
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Old May 4, 17, 12:42 pm
  #416  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: NYC
Programs: Delta Platinum, United Silver, Hyatt Globalist, Bonvoy Titanium / LTG, Amtrak Select Executive
Posts: 655
Originally Posted by vatraveler View Post
Anyone else having problems with the 1,000 TQP per $5,000 spend in 2017? Had no issues last year; they posted quickly and accurately.

This year, I had 1,000 TQP post early/incorrectly (they were counting some 2016 dollars towards 2017), which were later removed. Then, when I legitimately reached $5,000, not a word.
I had the 1k TQP post early (and get removed) for me as well. I'm currently $2200 in spend away from the 5k target, but debating if its worth it (mainly because based on my current patterns, I should be able to easily re-qualify for S+)

Keep us updated!
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Old May 9, 17, 6:26 am
  #417  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 545
Just applied for the WMC version - I am traveling back to Philly from Providence this fall after a Cape Cod trip and it was a lot cheaper to take Acela than fly, plus I can use the upgrade to First Class. I applied on the home page, only to then discover that I could apply for the card when purchasing the train ticket and then be able to use it immediately. It's odd both options use the same application page, yet you can't use your account instantly if you don't apply when booking travel. I ended up booking on another card just to make sure I secured my seat.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 2:19 pm
  #418  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Washington, D.C.
Posts: 325
Has anyone had an issue with churning this card and building up companion & upgrade certs? My first card renewed in Jan of this year, and I got my anniversary upgrade and companion cert. I then cancelled the card and didn't pay the annual fee, and the certs stayed on my AGR account. I then opened up a new card in May and have already received another 20K points, but have not received additional upgrade or companion certs. I also never received a Club Acela day pass. Has anyone had success in getting multiple of these certs on their account at the same time?
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Old Jul 20, 17, 5:42 pm
  #419  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: SFO
Posts: 59
FYI, there's a new public offer for 30K after $1K in 3 months, $79 annual fee not waived:

https://www.applyonlinenow.com/USCCa...ntry?sc=VACTKC

Applied for two of these cards today. First was automatic approval, second was pending. Called into reconsideration and was told the second was flagged as a duplicate. Told the representative that I wanted both cards and after a brief hold was approved for the second card as well.
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Old Aug 3, 17, 8:27 am
  #420  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1
Hello everyone, I'm considering getting the Guest Rewards World MasterCard and wanted to make sure that I understand everything correctly and that it would be the best choice for my situation. I have some questions and would appreciate any input that anyone could offer on them.

Brief background, I'm going to be a grad student making frequent trips between NYP and BAL (along with my girlfriend). I would guess that we'll take 30 Amtrak trips per year.

First question: for the $1,000 you have to spend to unlock the offer - obviously it's best to spend this on Amtrak travel to get the most points, but it's also impossible for us to accurately plan our dates of travel this far in advance. Is there a way to make this work? Would a $1000 Amtrak gift card count towards the 3x points or is there some other way to get the credit and points?

Secondly, it's 5x points for Amtrak travel right? 3x for the card and an extra 2x for guest rewards normally?

Lastly, the money spent on saver and student discount tickets counts towards earning points yes? I know you can't *redeem* points for these tickets, but we'll be buying saver and student discount tickets as much as possible so I wanted to be sure these tickets will still give full points.

Unfortunately on the BoA and Amtrak websites the offer seems to now be 20,000 points not 30,000, but even then it seems like for someone in my position it is a good decision to get this card. I'd appreciate any thoughts. Thanks!
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