New outbound transfer rule?

Old May 8, 08, 1:54 pm
  #1  
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New outbound transfer rule?

(I apologize if this has been posted before, but I searched and couldn't find it.)

In another thread, PointsGalore mentioned a $200 annual Amtrak travel spend on the AGR credit card requirement in order to transfer points out of AGR:
http://flyertalk.com/forum/showpost....9&postcount=17

I was about to question this, when I double-checked the AGR T&C, and, sure enough, found this gem:

https://amtrakguestrewards.com/index...rtimageheight=
Effective May 1st, 2008 the option to redeem Amtrak Guest Rewards points for airline miles, hotel points and experiential rewards will only be available to: 1). Members with current Amtrak Guest Rewards Select or Select Plus status, or 2). 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. Eligible members are still subject to the 25,0001 and 50,0002 annual point transfer caps as outlined in the program Terms and Conditions.1 Members that are 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 up to 25,000 points per calendar year.2 Members with current Select or Select Plus status may redeem up to 50,000 points per calendar year.
There is no note about this elsewhere on the AGR website that I can find. Indeed, the "News" page still contains info about the 1/1/08 transfer change. (EDIT: the Hotel and Airline redemption page contain the new language.)
https://amtrakguestrewards.com/index...Rules1207.html

Also, what is an "experiential reward"?
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Old May 8, 08, 2:13 pm
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Originally Posted by soitgoes View Post
Also, what is an "experiential reward"?
Aren't these the 'once in a lifetime' awards like the World Series, the Masters, etc...? link and link
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Old May 8, 08, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by bitburgr View Post
Aren't these the 'once in a lifetime' awards like the World Series, the Masters, etc...?
Ahh...so they are. They are even categorized as such:
https://www.amtrakguestrewards.com/i...lEntertainment

Seems like a waste of points to me. Plus, I have nowhere near 360,000 points, let alone 1.3 million!
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Old May 9, 08, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by soitgoes View Post
Seems like a waste of points to me. Plus, I have nowhere near 360,000 points, let alone 1.3 million!
And you only get one ticket to the event!
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Old May 9, 08, 5:54 pm
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Originally Posted by trainman74 View Post
And you only get one ticket to the event!
I didn't even notice that. That's absurd.
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Old May 22, 08, 6:12 am
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Subtle Change in Xfer Out Policy

Beginning May 1, AGR members who hold the AGR Mastercard but are not S or S+ members will not be allowed to transfer points to air or hotel partners if they have less than a $200 Amtrak spend on the Mastercard in the calendar year. They way I read that, if you are not elite but hold the card, you will now be blocked from transfers beginning January 1 until such time as you post $200 of Amtrak charges to the card.

From Amtrak:
1 Members that are 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 up to 25,000 points per calendar year.
EDIT: Sorry for the duplicate topic. I missed the other thread below.
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Old May 22, 08, 7:08 am
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Not that I plan on transfering out, but I have to vent somewhere: I was stupid and bought about $30 or $40 worth of on-board purchases in the cafe car last week (the diner was down, so I kept going to the cafe to buy hot dogs, sodas, etc.), and I didn't use my AGR MasterCard! I lost out on 30 or 40 potential bonus points (above what I made on my Amex!), since you get double miles on Amtrak purchases!

Oh well...lesson learned! At least it wasn't a $200 sleeper ticket that I missed out on (I did buy that with my AGR card).

And on top of that, although I am over the $200 Amtrak spend cut-off and am not worried about it, had I not decided to upgrade to sleepers on my CS trip this weekend, the on-board purchases might have counted towards this benchmark! Since I live so far from Amtrak, I often don't spend more than $200 per year on it.
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Old May 22, 08, 4:34 pm
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Merged two threads on the outbound transfer policy.

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Old May 23, 08, 2:50 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Not that I plan on transfering out, but I have to vent somewhere: I was stupid and bought about $30 or $40 worth of on-board purchases in the cafe car last week (the diner was down, so I kept going to the cafe to buy hot dogs, sodas, etc.), and I didn't use my AGR MasterCard! I lost out on 30 or 40 potential bonus points (above what I made on my Amex!), since you get double miles on Amtrak purchases!
Don't feel too bad. In my past experience, I've never received double points on my Amtrak Cafe purchases, only on my railfare purchases.
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Old May 24, 08, 9:20 pm
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Refundable Amtrak Tickets?

Due to the no notice change, I got caught with 5k of points in Amtrak and need to move them.

Can you purchase Amtrak tickets that are fully refundable? If so, I assume I could purchase a refundable ticket on my card, make any desired transfers, then refund the Amtrak travel. Correct?
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Old May 25, 08, 7:16 am
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Amtrak tickets are usually refundable, just don't have them mailed or pick them up, otherwise you stand to lose 10% of the value when you request the refund.

There are actual Amtrak awards that you can cash in for 5000 points too.
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Old May 25, 08, 6:30 pm
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Originally Posted by SWG View Post
There are actual Amtrak awards that you can cash in for 5000 points too.
Flyer737 sounds like one of those that AGR is trying to eliminate - those who don't care to travel on Amtrak!
Originally Posted by Flyer737 View Post
Due to the no notice change, I got caught with 5k of points in Amtrak and need to move them.
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Old May 26, 08, 2:40 am
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Originally Posted by Flyer737 View Post
Due to the no notice change, I got caught with 5k of points in Amtrak and need to move them.

Can you purchase Amtrak tickets that are fully refundable? If so, I assume I could purchase a refundable ticket on my card, make any desired transfers, then refund the Amtrak travel. Correct?
Any refund of Amtrak ticket purchases results in a reversal of points and will probably reduce your Amtrak spend for the year as well. If Amtrak doesn't reduce your Amtrak spend, it will render their new policy meaningless, so I am sure they have already planned for that.
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Old May 26, 08, 7:26 am
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Originally Posted by DCBob View Post
Any refund of Amtrak ticket purchases results in a reversal of points and will probably reduce your Amtrak spend for the year as well. If Amtrak doesn't reduce your Amtrak spend, it will render their new policy meaningless, so I am sure they have already planned for that.
Sure the Amtrak points would be reversed, but how do you know the point transfer will be reversed? It seems like a bit of trouble for Amtrak to detect this.
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Old May 26, 08, 10:04 am
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Originally Posted by DCBob View Post
Any refund of Amtrak ticket purchases results in a reversal of points and will probably reduce your Amtrak spend for the year as well. If Amtrak doesn't reduce your Amtrak spend, it will render their new policy meaningless, so I am sure they have already planned for that.
1. There would be no "reversal" of points by Chase if the points (for the purchase) haven't yet posted by the time you do the refund. For example, if you do the purchase right after your AGR CC statement closes, you have several weeks to refund before Chase will post any points for the purchase. Meanwhile, as I understand it, no one (involved in the ticket transaction) other than Chase will post any points until you actually ride the train.

In fact, that issue begs the question if the policy is really as stated in writing. They claim it has to be $200 charged to your AGR CC, yet they are able to see it within days, before it's posted any Chase points. So do they have access to your "statement in progress" over at Chase, or are they simply looking for $200 in ticket purchases (and the need for it to be charged to your AGR CC is baloney)?

2. AGR didn't think through the loopholes of any of their previous policies. Why do you expect them to have suddenly gotten so smart?
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