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#1 greg1956a

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 04:34 PM

Does Amtrak accept cash credit or debit card on their LD trains
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#2 the_traveler

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 04:44 PM

Do you mean like for meals/food on the train? Yes for all three, if the debit card carries a Visa or MC symbol and can be used as a credit card. To buy tickets at the station, yes with the same restrictions. For sales of tickets on the train, credit card only.
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#3 fairviewroad

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 06:49 PM

Cafe/diners accept VISA, Mastercard, Discover and Amex in addition to cash.

If you use the Amtrak Guest Rewards Mastercard, you get double points for on-board purchases.



#4 zephyr17

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 07:50 PM

It used to be that only the diner took credit cards, back when they didn't have onboard registers. Now the both the diners and cafes take plastic for any and all onboard purchases. They only take debit cards if they are branded Visa or Mastercard. They won't take one that you must use a PIN with.

What they don't take is checks.

Edited by zephyr17, 24 June 2013 - 07:53 PM.

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#5 ericr

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 10:28 PM

For sales of tickets on the train, credit card only.

 

Did this change with eTickets?  I remember seeing someone pay with cash onboard, and when I had to pay onboard for a last minute ticket at the beginning of last year, the conductor asked if I was paying with cash or credit card.


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#6 Acela150

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 10:44 PM

I believe only the Keystones and Pacific Surfliners will take cash. 


These posts are my views and opinions.

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#7 the_traveler

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 10:51 PM

I believe so. Another big change is that even if you have a reservation at any bucket, onboard sales now are only at high bucket! So if your reservation is for (say) $65 but you board the train saying you'll buy your ticket from the Conductor, you will be charged the high bucket fare of (say) $180!
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#8 Aaron

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 04:34 AM

What they don't take is checks.


Except from organized groups. I'm on a bit of a blue book quoting spree, so here you go from page 8-184:


4. Personal Checks
Personal checks will not be accepted as a form of
payment in any Food Service Cars (Cafe, Lounge
or Dining Car) or food carts - except from groups
(booked and ticketed in a group PNR).



#9 Aaron

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 04:39 AM

For sales of tickets on the train, credit card only.

 

Did this change with eTickets?  I remember seeing someone pay with cash onboard, and when I had to pay onboard for a last minute ticket at the beginning of last year, the conductor asked if I was paying with cash or credit card.

 

The Amtrak website (at http://www.amtrak.co...ase-and-pick-up) still says that you can pay in cash:

 

Payment and Fares: In those limited circumstances when you are permitted to purchase your tickets onboard, you can pay with cash or credit card. Higher fares usually apply when purchasing on board the train.



#10 the_traveler

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 09:17 AM

That may have changed, as there is no higher fare than paying high bucket - as all onboard sales now charge.
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#11 AlanB

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:37 AM

That may have changed, as there is no higher fare than paying high bucket - as all onboard sales now charge.

No, that is the latest verbiage from the Amtrak site. And by "higher fares" they mean that someone seeing a low bucket seat, or any bucket price other than high on the website, will not see that price if they buy on the train.
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#12 roadman3313

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:50 AM

Higher fares may apply might also apply to the Capitol Corridor which is unreserved, however if you purchase your ticket on board when boarding at a staffed station there is a 25-50% surcharge. There is a flat fare (no buckets) on that route as well so the price displayed in the conductors princing booklet is the price including the surcharge. The surcharge does not apply to unstaffed stations along the route.



#13 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 02:11 PM

.........They only take debit cards if they are branded Visa or Mastercard. They won't take one that you must use a PIN with.

 

Does that also include Visa and MasterCard Credit Cards with a Chip that requires a PIN?

 

 

Here in Canada nearly all merchants have a terminal where you insert your credit card, enter your pin and the transaction goes through. If the merchant doesn’t have a terminal or the card doesn’t have a chip it’s just done the old fashioned way……they just swipe the card and you sign the receipt.



#14 ericr

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 02:30 PM

.........They only take debit cards if they are branded Visa or Mastercard. They won't take one that you must use a PIN with.

 

Does that also include Visa and MasterCard Credit Cards with a Chip that requires a PIN?

 

 

Here in Canada nearly all merchants have a terminal where you insert your credit card, enter your pin and the transaction goes through. If the merchant doesn’t have a terminal or the card doesn’t have a chip it’s just done the old fashioned way……they just swipe the card and you sign the receipt.

 

I believe Amtrak Credit Card terminals still do it the old fashioned way with the magnetic strip and a swipe (and maybe sign), not the chip and PIN that the rest of the world has migrated to.  They also don't accept debit cards that you swipe and enter a PIN, you have to use it as a credit card.

 

Edit: added clarification about the debit card


Edited by ericr, 25 June 2013 - 02:37 PM.

Routes: Regional, Acela, Pennsylvania, Keystone, Capitol Limited, Empire Service, Adirondacks (partial), Ethan Allen (partial)

NTD: SEA, PHL, PHL, WAS, NYG, PHL


#15 zephyr17

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 03:41 PM

 

.........They only take debit cards if they are branded Visa or Mastercard. They won't take one that you must use a PIN with.

Does that also include Visa and MasterCard Credit Cards with a Chip that requires a PIN?
 
 
Here in Canada nearly all merchants have a terminal where you insert your credit card, enter your pin and the transaction goes through. If the merchant doesn’t have a terminal or the card doesn’t have a chip it’s just done the old fashioned way……they just swipe the card and you sign the receipt.

 
I believe Amtrak Credit Card terminals still do it the old fashioned way with the magnetic strip and a swipe (and maybe sign), not the chip and PIN that the rest of the world has migrated to.  They also don't accept debit cards that you swipe and enter a PIN, you have to use it as a credit card.
 
Edit: added clarification about the debit card
It was the debit only card that you swipe and use a PIN with I was referring to, not a chip-and-pin credit card.

Amtrak uses "swipe and sign" credit cards, the normal US practice. My understanding is that chip-and-pin cards still carry the magnetic strip and can be swiped, which is probably why you don't hear Europeans moaning that they can't use their credit card at kiosks and automatic ticket machines the US like Americans do in Europe when their swipe cards don't work in them. So the PIN has to be one that clears through MasterCard, Visa and the like. If it is for the ATM networks like Interac or Plus, it won't work.

In terms of "everywhere else" Europe has gone largely to chip-and-pin, but I know for a fact South Korea is still swipe-and-sign and I think Japan is, too.
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#16 me_little_me

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 04:42 PM

That may have changed, as there is no higher fare than paying high bucket - as all onboard sales now charge.

Seems like no reason to buy onboard except for short trip if you have a smartphone and digital service. You simply buy your ticket online while on the train. If the conductor comes by first, buy a ticket from him to the next station then continue your online purchase for the remainder. :giggle:



#17 BCL

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 04:59 PM

That may have changed, as there is no higher fare than paying high bucket - as all onboard sales now charge.

Seems like no reason to buy onboard except for short trip if you have a smartphone and digital service. You simply buy your ticket online while on the train. If the conductor comes by first, buy a ticket from him to the next station then continue your online purchase for the remainder. :giggle:

 

Amtrak California service doesn't use bucket pricing.  There are also several stations (OAC, HAY, SCC)  that I've been to and don't have any means to purchase tickets at the station.  As such, there is no surcharge.

 

Outside of California, the only station I've been to without ticket sales was Exton, PA.  That place had a parking lot and platform, but not much else.





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