Posted by William Charles on August 13, 2015
Credit Cards

Published on August 13th, 2015 | by William Charles

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Additional Information Regarding New Amtrak Credit Cards (Issued By Bank of America)

A few days ago we let you know that the new Amtrak credit card will be launching this fall, we also did a bit of speculating about what might happen. We now have a bit more information thanks to a leaked document (thanks to @calwatch on Twitter). First of all Amtrak is going to be move towards a redemption value based system (e.g number of points a booking will cost is dependent on the ticketing price), you can read more about this in the PDF or Frequent Miler or Points With A Crew.

New Credit Cards

I’m really just concerned with the credit cards at this stage, this is what we know thanks to that PDF (P29).

amtrak guest rewards credit card

We’ll likely see one card with no annual fee and another card with an annual fee with additional benefits and earning rates.

Who Will Issue The New Cards?

There is no bank logo on either of the cards, but @KennyBSAT (author of the excellent blog Miles4more) has noticed that the card holder name is the same name that Bank of America uses as their place holder name. In addition to this @BoonDR also noticed that the card numbers are exactly the same as well. I’d be really surprised if Bank of America doesn’t issue these cards, which is fitting given how similar their logos are in appearance.

bank of america amtrak

Will Chase UR Still Be Able To Be Transferred To Amtrak?

Bank of America doesn’t have it’s own loyalty point program that can be transferred to travel partners, so it’s possible that Chase Ultimate Rewards will still be able to be transferred to Amtrak. Bank of America currently has four airline partners (Alaska, Asiana, Spirit & Virgin Atlantic), let’s look to see if any of these transfer-ability with any other programs.

  • Alaska: Starwoods Preferred Guest & Diners Club can be transferred here
  • Asiana: Starwoods Preferred Guest can be transferred here
  • Virgin Atlantic: Starwoods Preferred Guest, Diners Club, Membership Rewards & ThankYou points can be transferred here
  • Spirit: No flexible point partners

Basically it’s a crap shoot, Chase UR might still be able to be transferred and they might not. If you want to transfer your points, I’d do it now rather than later. If you want to know what might happen to existing cardholders, read this.



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Kent C
Kent C

Nice detective work.

Keith H.
Keith H.

Does anyone know if you currently have a Chase AMTRAK credit card will it be transferred to the new issuer or just be cancelled?

Thanks.

John
John

Chase is issuing new freedom cards to replace the Amtrak MC. The current card will continue to earn Amtrak points until 9/30 but will not after that. The new freedom cards will be issued automatically and will arrive 6 to 8 weeks after 9/30 date. The old Amtrak card can be used until the new one arrives and will earn freedom points after 9/30.

HORACE
HORACE

Great detective work!

William, I really don’t see any optimism for one expecting UR transfers to continue after a certain point — not that I care, but none of those entities ever had a Chase card before that was then ended.

I actually am hoping that with a move to a new revenue based system, there will be some benefits for those who had not considered AMTRAK in the past. At least one blog has noted the end to the embargo on rewards during black out dates — which would mean the possibility of using same during holidays — which could be a welcome move.

Finally, I am hoping that some sort of Choice beneficial transfer was maintained, as well and it would be neat for me to finally get a BofA credit card.

I actually like the idea of free museums, etc.

Query, does being a BofA cardholder have any other particular benefits, like being a US Bank cardholder?

The reason I ask is that since I am a no-fee Club Carlson credit card holder from US Bank, I am able to get free Gold checking from them, which is a nice benefit, especially having qualified for their recent Power Up offer thanks to your bringing that to my attention on this very blog!

Robert
Robert

Will, don’t forget that BofA does have its own point system – “WorldPoints”, currency for the Fidelity Amex card and the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card. If BofA has enough time on its hands, this might be a great opportunity to establish transfer partner there.

korrinda
korrinda

Redemption value based system sucks! That makes AGR points completely useless. Goodbye family bedroom redemption for 25000 points for 4 people, they will probably charge at least 4 times more in the new system. I was able to redeem AGR points for more than 10 cents per point in the past.

ed
ed

Nothing could be worse than moving to a revenue based system. The whole premise of finding value in Amtrak was based on last minute redemptions on NE corridor, and rooms/roomettes in a single region. The only scenario this could work is both fixed-mile awards AND variable-point-awards could be used. The idea that amtrak needs dynamic pricing is also absurd. The savvy customer like myself just won’t use them, that means leftover inventory. What a waste.

HORACE
HORACE

The saavy customer would never have used their points on the NE corridor in any event, when there were less expensive options for sale, such as with the bus lines.

Will S
Will S

what an incredibly presumptuous comment. Comparing a ride on Amtak, say along the NE regional express corridor, to a miserable, multi-stop ride on Greyhound signals your level of NON experience with the issue. More than a few times, in a pinch, I was able to do the quick Chase transfer of 4K points to Amtrak then obtain a one-way for decent travel on Amtrak.

Those days are gone. And don’t give me your arrogant nonsense that I wasn’t being “savvy.”

HORACE
HORACE

Just goes to show what you know — NOTHING — about train travel on the NE Corridor.

Amtrak travel on the corridor, be it the Acela or the slower trains are not NON-STOP as you would have others believe. There are a few stops on the Acela and even more on the regular corridor trains.

To put an even finer point on it, the buses that ply the roads on that NE corridor make about the same stops as does the Acela — if you had actually consulted their schedules you would have noticed this — and make far fewer stops than the regular trains.

So, who truly is being presumptuous, one who has taken both means of transportation numerous times, or a tyro who just spouts off what he comes into his vacant little noggin?

LOL

HORACE
HORACE

By the way, since you seem to be stuck in a time warp of thinking that only GreyHound plies this territory, take a gander at Megabus, BoltBus, TripperBus and the like and you will see that the have very few stops to each of their respective listed destinations.

Usually they are point to point service with perhaps a bathroom break and perhaps one intermediate stop on each of the routes served.

‘Nuff said.

JD
JD

We used to always take the train between Phila. and NYC. However, due to pricing, we started the bus (Greyhound). The cost for our group each trip has been a small fraction of the Amtrak (Regional or Keystone) fare, and the bus makes no stops along the route. (I think it’s the premium reserved seating option for the bus, or something like that; definitely no special promotional or group pricing/discounts involved.)

sechs
sechs

This explains the barrage of 0% offers from Chase on my AGR card. They might be puffing up the value of the AGR MC book for sale.

calwatch
calwatch

I get those for Freedom too, so I don’t think it has that much to do with it (although AGR are generally offering BTs at 1% or 2% for 15-18 months, while Freedom is doing the usual 3% fee).

Will S
Will S

Great post indeed, pulling together much good detective work being done by inquiring minds. Ironically, for a lot of us, the main incentive to want the Amtrak card was as a conduit for a good transfer rate of CUR points to Choice…. Take away the CUR option and that goes away.

HORACE
HORACE

My god! You actually have noticed the REAL value of the card!

I am truly amazed that you actually can comprehend this, as opposed to your nonsense above.

Well, better late to the party, I guess.

trackback

[…] of Credit has some information about how the new Amtrak Guest Rewards card is going to be issued by Bank of America. I should probably transfer some points from Chase and book another trip with the cabins…but […]

trackback

[…] is changing to a revenue-based redemption program. Of course, that might not even matter because Chase lost the Amtrak credit card and might not even offer it as a transfer partner before long. You could argue Amtrak was never […]

Michael
Michael

I work at BofA and it is our new card, the left card is NAF, the right $79/annum. The Chase Amtrak cards will not be converted. You must apply for this new card.

george
george

Sooooo, thus if we don’t want to continue using the Chase card it is eventually canceled (ding on your credit score) for non-use. And, a ding on your credit for applying for BoA (remember BoA had the Amtrak account a few years ago and only for a short period of time). Shame on Chase and Amtrak for not transitioning the cards to BoA….AS WAS SMOOTHLY DONE WHEN CHASE STARTED THE AFFILIATION WITH AMTRAK.

Question: How does one cancel the Chase cc w/o it being deemed a cancel for credit purposes?

trackback

[…] Miler and Doctor of Credit report Amtrak’s loyalty program is changing to a revenue-based system.  This means the price […]

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[…] I’m starting to think that I might be an idiot, this one is of course wrong as Bank of America now manages the Amtrak portfolio. […]

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