Published on August 9th, 2015 | by William Charles4
New Amtrak Credit Card Will Launch In Fall 2015 With New Benefits
Anthony Rizos (Director, Member Experience Solutions at Amtrak) has announced on Flyertalk that a new Amtrak credit card will be launching sometime in Fall of 2015. Here is the direct quote (emphasis mine):
The new Amtrak Guest Rewards® MasterCard® credit card arrives Fall 2015. More information will be coming soon about the new benefits and features that will make our card even more rewarding.
If you have the Amtrak Guest Rewards® MasterCard® credit card from Chase, you can continue to use your card and will continue to earn Amtrak Guest Rewards points. You will receive communication in advance prior to any changes being made to your Amtrak Guest Rewards credit card from Chase.
Will The New Card Be Issued By Chase
At the moment we don’t know for sure, my guess is that it won’t be issued by Chase because it says the new Amtrak Guest Rewards® MasterCard® credit card rather than saying the Amtrak Guest Rewards® MasterCard® credit card from Chase (which is how Anthony Rizos later refers to the existing card).
If the new card is not issued by Chase, then chances are that Amtrak will also no longer be a transfer partner for Chase Ultimate Rewards points. There are a few options on what would happen to existing cardholders:
- New credit card issuer buys the back book and Chase Amtrak cardholders have a forced product change to the new card.
- New issuer doesn’t buy the back book:
- Chase Amtrak cardholders are grand fathered and keep the same card and benefits as they currently enjoy (this is largely what happened with Barclaycard & American Airline airlines when US Airways merged)
- Chase Amtrak cardholders will receive a forced product change to another Chase card (likely the Chase Freedom or Chase Sapphire)
The least likely option is that the cards will be grandfathered, this typically only happens when there has been a merger between two loyalty programs. Amtrak and the new card issuer would probably want the back book to be bought, but that would depend on how expensive it is and the contract that Chase & Amtrak have in place.
Obviously this is a moot point if Chase continues to be the Amtrak card issuer, I imagine we will find out more about this in the coming months. Whatever happens, I hope two things remain the same:
- Chase Ultimate points are able to be transferred to Amtrak (at a rate of 1:1)
- Amtrak points are able to be transferred to Choice hotels (at a rate of 1:3)