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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 12, 21, 3:43 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.
 
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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, and steamship/cruise lines. In cases where the merchant of record is not Amtrak, this 2pts/$ category also includes travel agencies, passenger railways, and commuter railways. (The last two were originally excluded, but are included as of 2021 or possibly earlier.)
  • 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 31, 15, 6:41 pm
  #106  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: DCA/RIC
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Originally Posted by ctownflyer View Post
A 2nd Freedom is actually pretty darn useful, don't see why you would cancel.
I have 3
I do not MS (anymore) and have yet to reach the max limit on my Freedom Card for the bonus categories since I have held it the last few years.
isle-hawg is offline  
Old Aug 31, 15, 6:43 pm
  #107  
 
Join Date: May 2002
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Any information yet on a signup bonus for the BofA AGR CC?
Tanic is online now  
Old Aug 31, 15, 9:12 pm
  #108  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Programs: Amtrak Guest Rewards (SE), Virgin America Elevate, Hyatt Gold Passport (Platinum), VIA Preference
Posts: 2,567
Originally Posted by beltway View Post
Not to range too far off topic, but anyone who uses the Chase Freedom as a 1% cash-back card is Doing It Wrong®. I use mine exclusively for the quarterly categories earning 5 pts/dollar, which can--assuming you also hold a premium Chase UR card--be transfered 1:1 to AGR or various hotel/airline programs.


You'll end up with a second Freedom card, which will be useful if you ever hit the $1500 cap on quarterly category spend on your first Freedom card. (Many couples accomplish the same result by having each partner hold a Freedom card.)
Fiddling around with categories is something that I am (generally) not a fan of. I actually wound up opting not to get my bank's new CC largely because it was oriented towards Category Games. I find such to be supremely annoying on a good day (with the very occasional exception if it plays into a "cashable gift card" purchase (e.g. a VGC I can offload via Target).

The other end of it is that my AGR card is one of my older cards so I'd rather not terminate it anytime soon.
GrayAnderson is offline  
Old Aug 31, 15, 9:47 pm
  #109  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by AGR Insider View Post
If you have an eligible Chase Card with Ultimate Rewards, you can continue to transfer points to Amtrak Guest Rewards until further notice.

Anthony Rizos
Director, Member Experience Solutions
Amtrak
Washington, D.C.
So does that mean the Chase UR points transfer to AGR will for sure end at some point? Just no date set yet?
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Old Aug 31, 15, 9:51 pm
  #110  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by printman2000 View Post
So does that mean the Chase UR points transfer to AGR will for sure end at some point? Just no date set yet?
That is, respectfully, my interpretation of the remark. It could be 09/30, it could be 10/31 or 12/31, it could be indefinitely retained, and it might not even be fully negotiated yet.
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Old Aug 31, 15, 10:08 pm
  #111  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
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Originally Posted by printman2000 View Post
So does that mean the Chase UR points transfer to AGR will for sure end at some point? Just no date set yet?
Maybe it does. But then, maybe it doesn't. Or you could argue it will continue forever unless, of course, there is further notice.
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Old Aug 31, 15, 11:22 pm
  #112  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: PDX
Posts: 466
Thanks for the answer to my question! I received a letter in the mail today from Chase, telling me that they'd be converting the Amtrak card to a Chase Freedom card. Looks like I have two freedom cards now.
redtigeriii is offline  
Old Sep 1, 15, 8:58 am
  #113  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
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Originally Posted by redtigeriii View Post
Thanks for the answer to my question! I received a letter in the mail today from Chase, telling me that they'd be converting the Amtrak card to a Chase Freedom card. Looks like I have two freedom cards now.
So goodbye to the Chase MC benefit of non-expiring AGR points. And BOA???
ohmark is offline  
Old Sep 1, 15, 10:08 am
  #114  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,409
Originally Posted by ohmark View Post
So goodbye to the Chase MC benefit of non-expiring AGR points. And BOA???
Are you asking whether the new card will also suspend points expiration? If so, yes--the AGR website says that explicitly.
beltway is offline  
Old Sep 1, 15, 3:13 pm
  #115  
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Originally Posted by beltway View Post
Originally Posted by ohmark View Post
So goodbye to the Chase MC benefit of non-expiring AGR points. And BOA???
Are you asking whether the new card will also suspend points expiration? If so, yes--the AGR website says that explicitly.
Yes, but as I already asked AGR Insider Anthony above (but no reply yet), what hasn't been explained is:

1. Will the BofA card be available sufficiently before Sep 30 that one could have it opened by the time the Chase card stops being an AGR card?

2. If not, will Amtrak suspend expiration (for previous Chase AGR cardholders) for some time after Sep 30 until the BofA card is available?

That's my concern: That there might be a gap between Sep 30 (when the Chase card stops being an AGR card) and when the BofA card is available, and that Amtrak's glitchy system somehow starts expiring points in the meantime!

(There are multiple reports in other threads of people without the card transferring points into AGR only to find those transferred points expired in less than a month after that. So I don't trust AGR expiration very much, other than with the card.)

I'd be nice if they'd take the part about points not expiring until N years of non-activity and implement that NOW, rather than waiting until January, to cover any possible timing gap between Chase and BofA cards.
sdsearch is offline  
Old Sep 1, 15, 5:04 pm
  #116  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 38
Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
Ok, just called Chase and here's what I was told:
-Regardless of statement closing date, purchases through Sept. 30 will earn AGR points.
-They can't convert the card to anything but a Sleazedom account, but once that is done, conversion to Chase's other programs is possible on a case-by-case basis.

I informed them very politely (no, really, I was as nice as can be about this) that I understood the situation and that if I can't convert to another workable card (Sapphire, etc.) then I would cease using the card. FWIW, I don't see this as much of a negotiation...if Chase cannot make a move to another desirable card, then while I have another account with them I have no desire to use the changed card. I won't necessarily be closing the account until I can "age up" another card or two and get an authorized user transferred over elsewhere, but the card will be largely put out of use.

Please dont do that conversion. If you really want sapphire, apply for one before closing this card. You would atleast end up with 40K (or depending on your timing more) sign up bonus.
stevester is offline  
Old Sep 1, 15, 5:48 pm
  #117  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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I called Chase too. I was told that Amtrak themselves chose Freedom for the conversion, and I couldn't switch to another card (I already have a Freedom), all I could do was move my AGR limit over to my current Freedom. I chose to do that for simplicity's sake.

But that wasn't the fun part. Nooooo. THREE TIMES she repeated that Amtrak is doing away with having a credit card altogether--they will NOT be replacing Chase with another bank... they are keeping the AGR program, but no more credit cards. I just held my tongue, played dumb, and let her talk.
Freckles68 is offline  
Old Sep 1, 15, 6:49 pm
  #118  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Originally Posted by Freckles68 View Post
I called Chase too. I was told that Amtrak themselves chose Freedom for the conversion, and I couldn't switch to another card (I already have a Freedom), all I could do was move my AGR limit over to my current Freedom. I chose to do that for simplicity's sake.
I do not challenge that you were told this but of course it is complete BS. Since Amtrak is severing ties - they have zero pull in what happens to Chase's card that they have divorced/discarded other then to sever all ties to it.
isle-hawg is offline  
Old Sep 1, 15, 6:58 pm
  #119  
Company Representative - Amtrak
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: Amtrak Guest Rewards (Select Executive)
Posts: 528
We will extend a grace period from 8/27/15 to 1/24/16 when the new rules regarding point expiration will be in place. During this time, members with qualifying earning or redemption activity under the new program rules in the last 36 months will be exempt from point expiration. This includes members who had the Amtrak Guest Rewards MasterCard from Chase on 9/30/15.

Anthony
AGR Insider is offline  
Old Sep 1, 15, 8:23 pm
  #120  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Programs: AGR Select/Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum
Posts: 102
New BOA AGR Cards

Originally Posted by AGR Insider View Post
We will extend a grace period from 8/27/15 to 1/24/16 when the new rules regarding point expiration will be in place. During this time, members with qualifying earning or redemption activity under the new program rules in the last 36 months will be exempt from point expiration. This includes members who had the Amtrak Guest Rewards MasterCard from Chase on 9/30/15.

Anthony
Thanks Anthony , its a sensible policy!

More clarification needed on AGR Affinity Card(S)

What about the "Gap" between the Expiration on 9/30/15 of the Chase AGR MC, and receiving the new BOA AGR card?

Does this mean we won't earn AGR Points on. Amtrak Trains and for using AGR Shopping Partners on the AGR Website?

I have a Chase Freedom Card already and dont need 2! Also not interested in a Sapphire or Ink Card, I'm retired and only travel for pleasure so interested in the Affinity Card from AGR only! Can you please share some information as soon as possible, today is Sept. 1!!??

Chase is sending out Letters explaining the conversion of their Card, but we have heard Nothing from or about the new BOA Card?

Shouldn't there be a "grace period"for those of us that are interested in applying for and getting the New BOA Card or are we just SOL ?

This is would seem to be good Customer Service IMHO,??

Last edited by jimhudson; Sep 1, 15 at 8:30 pm
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