Amtrak credit cards no longer available

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As reported by Doctor of Credit yesterday, the Amtrak credit cards are no longer available for new applicants. Doctor of Credit speculates that this has to do with Amtrak potentially moving to a new bank partner (Bank of America has been the issuer of the Amtrak credit card). Given the end -of-year timing, that certainly seems plausible.

Hopefully we’ll see a return of some sort of Amtrak credit card. Amtrak points are quite valuable for those who travel by train. I collect Amtrak points now and then through the shopping portal and I’ve often been pleasantly surprised by the value one can get when redeeming Amtrak points for train travel.

Years ago, Amtrak was a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. It would be great to see Amtrak partner up with a bank program that would enable transfers from a bank points currency. Hopefully at the very least we see Amtrak and Bank of America work things out to offer these cards again, but a new issuer probably wouldn’t hurt.

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Boraxo

No loss- BofA is one of the worst issuers in the business. No incentives whatsoever to spend $1 on this card except to keep points active.

Hopefully the next partner will buy the portfolio as Amex did w Hilton.

abelucky

You can still transfer Chase UR points to Amtrak Guest Rewards indirectly thru JetBlue at 2:1 rate. 1. Send min. 1000 Chase pts to JetBlue. 2. Register JetBlue and Amtrak programs thru Points.com. 3. Transfer JetBlue pts to Amtrak, e.g. 1000 JetBlue pts = 500 Amtrak pts. This takes a couple days to process but it works.

Nate

Based on the new pricing, using Amtrak points for business class on regional trains is a nice value. However—I’m seeing less and less value to the card. I used to use the annual companion pass a lot, but now that prices have readjusted I find you can only use the companion pass on the mid-tier fares so the savings is minimal. I keep the card for the 5% point rebate in award redemptions and the upgrade cert. I haven’t ridden Amtrak in since March 2020 but I’ve kept the card just in case I start again.

spud

it’s hard to tell the difference between the biz class and regular class carriages in the north-east at least – apart from the price.

JoeSchmo

The assigned seat and fewer people in the car is where I get value in biz class.

Nate

Selecting a seat on Amtrak when traveling with 2+ people is worth so much money to me

Neil

Oh yes, the primary pain point of taking the Acela on Northeast Corridor is the 300 person lineup for boarding in Washington and then the mad scramble for the correct track in Philadelphia and New York. I’ve been elbowed in the face at the choke point near the escalators in Penn Station.

Blood pressure significantly down since Acela went to assigned seating. You can board after the rush, this isn’t a plane, there is so much overhead space. And of course if you are traveling with someone, guaranteed seats together (maybe not true if you booked packed train at last second, but then at least both people have assigned seats and you don’t have to deal with people who’ve put their stuff all over an empty seat and studiously look away in the hope they’ll score an empty row).

As some have pointed out, Amtrak points aren’t that useful when promo fares are available (I’ve taken the Acela DC-NY for $50 a few times over the past year) but they are great when there are no saver and promo fares. If you book well in advance and have a fair amount of schedule flexibility when booking you won’t get great value from Amtrak points (still better value than most US domestic flights) but if you have some schedule constraints then the points will save you good $$$$.

Certainly hope the card comes back. I’ve had it a few times (previously, with Chase?, the standard offer was 20,000 points and there were brief times when it went up to 30,000), very glad I got in on the recent 50,000 points offer. I’m surprised they are pulling this so quickly after just offering everyone 5X points on $800 spend. Assuming we’ll all be able to get it again with a new issuer so that’s a plus.