Positive article on AGR Credit Cards

Discussion in 'Amtrak Guest Rewards' started by me_little_me, Aug 10, 2017.

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  1. Aug 10, 2017 #1

    me_little_me

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    me_little_me

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    "So are the Amtrak credit cards worth applying for? They can offer incredible value, especially to folks who regularly use Amtrak to commute, those who want to go on a cross-country adventure, and everyone in between. The sign-up bonuses may not seem like much, but they will provide decent value for those who want to save money on Amtrak fares."

    Read more at: What Can You Get With an Amtrak Credit Card? | Frugal Travel Guy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2017
  2. Aug 11, 2017 #2

    Aegis

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    I am going to get an Amtrak card before my next trip. Seems like a great deal to me..
     
  3. Aug 12, 2017 #3

    sechs

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    sechs

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    It's great if you travel Amtrak a lot. Not so much if you also do a lot of flying and staying in hotels.
     
  4. Aug 13, 2017 #4

    me_little_me

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    me_little_me

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    The pay card is:

    2X POINTS

    Earn 2 points for every $1 spent

    on other qualifying travel
     
  5. Aug 13, 2017 #5

    sechs

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    That's great if I travel Amtrak a lot. Not if I also, for example, fly American Airlines or stay at Starwood hotels a lot and want to be able to redeem there.

    Even before I had the Chase Sapphire Reserve (which gives 3x points on travel, but also has a hefty annual fee), I pretty much only used my AGR card for Amtrak purchases. With the program changes, it makes sense for me to purchase trips rather than redeem points more often. So, I'm earning more and burning less. I don't need more points.

    And, if you don't spend a lot of money on non-Amtrak travel, it's not a very useful feature.

    The AGR card has always been a poor value proposition. Even the link in the OP says that it's great for regular Amtrak travelers and that's about it. It's always made a bit more sense for folks who travel more widely to use another program and its card. SPG has always been a good choice, as was Chase's UR, when they had the AGR card.

    To be honest, the blog post linked in the OP is just a fluff piece. It's not so much positive as it is factual. They don't even have links to the cards' applications -- but they do send you over to pages with referral links on the SPG cards.
     
  6. Aug 14, 2017 #6

    diesteldorf

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    diesteldorf

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    It's also extremely hard to transfer points out of AGR. I've also been fortunate to get a lot of low bucket fares, so I'll also earn more and burn less. Lately, I've appreciated the flexibility of Chase points more than AGR.

    However, I'll probably keep the card, since it still offers value for me.
     
  7. Aug 16, 2017 #7

    sechs

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    sechs

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    The no-fee card is a no-brainer if you're going to be traveling Amtrak on a semi-regular basis.

    I just wouldn't consider it a core or, even, important card in my wallet.
     
  8. Aug 17, 2017 #8

    uppereastsider

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    I love the paid card. I consider the upgrade coupon each year worth the fee alone. But considering I book my own Acela tickets and get reimbursed by my company (unlike the rest of my travel which is paid on a corporate card), I can rack up a ton of points, which primarily go to upgrade coupons (lots of NYP to DC and NYP to BOS travel for me). It's a great card next to my Chase Sapphire Reserve (for all non Amtrak travel and dining) and my AMEX SPG (which I use for non bonus spend, which can also accumulate Amtrak points)
     
  9. Aug 26, 2017 #9

    Poindexter118

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    I've had the Amtrak card for quite a while now. I'm planning a 2-3 day trip with a sleeper car. According to the Amtrak website, the points I have accrued would just about pay for the train and the sleeper car. But, I have a question: I have 2 points. What are they good for?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  10. Aug 27, 2017 #10

    Poindexter118

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    Poindexter118

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    I posted earlier, and realized I made a mistake. I have quite a few points, but I also have 2 coupons. What are they for?

    I hope no one was confused by my previous post.
     
  11. Sep 25, 2017 #11

    dlagrua

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    Lets not overlook the full value of the BOA World Master Card for the points for shopping benefit. If you are purchasing furniture, renovation supplies, clothing, health/beauty stuff, books, home goods, magazines etc, the shopping mall offers in many cases offers multiple points per dollar plus some good values. I've used it for Walmart, Overstock.com, Home Depot, Magazineline,Vitacost, Macy's, Shoebuy and other places. If you do a lot of shopping the points can add up quickly.
     
  12. Sep 26, 2017 #12

    OlympianHiawatha

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    And I have stacked in a TONPOT of those 2x Points on airline tickets, hotels and especially rent cars.
     
  13. Sep 26, 2017 #13

    daybeers

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    Where is this info? I just got that card, and I only see 2x points on airlines, hotels and other travel.
     
  14. Oct 16, 2017 #14

    sechs

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    sechs

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    This isn't really a benefit.

    Most card issuers have their own portals of this sort, and there are third-party sites that offer cash back, or airline or hotel points -- sometimes of greater value.

    Look at a site like Cashback Monitor to see how to best leverage your purchases.
     
  15. Oct 16, 2017 #15

    Devil's Advocate

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    Thread title should state "Positive Article about AGR Card by Site that Makes Money from Positive Articles about Credit Cards." The technical details are generally correct but the conclusions are often flaky and nonsensical. Every time I see an article about average people living under crushing debt I'm reminded of the frivolously destructive nature of these types of sites.
     
  16. Nov 2, 2017 #16

    Pooh2

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    Do you lose your points if you close the card?

    Was thinking of closing the paid card since I did not use the coupons this year and applying for the no fee card next year but have about 6,000 points that I don't want to lose. Not sure if the fee is worth it to hold onto those points?
     
  17. Nov 2, 2017 #17

    jebr

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    As far as I know, once you've earned the points they're yours. The only thing is that I may apply for the no-fee card first and then cancel (with a transfer of credit line if that's an option, not sure) the fee card. This would mainly be to have the chance of preserving that credit line (to help with the debt to credit ratio) and ensure that there's something there for the 5% rebate on reward redemptions.

    At any rate, you shouldn't lose the points that you've earned with the card.
     
  18. Nov 3, 2017 #18

    sechs

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    I recently called in on my card. You can't product change it or transfer the credit line.
     
  19. Nov 3, 2017 #19

    Anderson

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    For me, the benefit of the fee card is the TQPs (which means that I don't have to struggle nearly as much to re-qualify for Select Executive).
     
  20. Nov 3, 2017 #20

    daybeers

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    daybeers

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    What do you mean by this? I just got the paid card back in September, but after a year, I'm going to downgrade to the no-fee card.
     
  21. Nov 3, 2017 #21

    AmtrakBlue

    AmtrakBlue

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    I think it means you have to open the no-fee card as a new card and close the fee card. You can't transfer your fee card to a no-fee card.
     
  22. Nov 3, 2017 #22

    daybeers

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    daybeers

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    Wow, that's too bad. Does that mean if I open the no-fee card, it will show up as another account opened on my credit report? I know that metric highly influences one's credit score, so is it worth paying for another year instead?
     
  23. Nov 3, 2017 #23

    jebr

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    I'm honestly a bit surprised that they won't product change it even to the no-fee Amtrak card. I could maybe see some hesitation moving it to a standard BoA card, but odd that they wouldn't let you do it even to the AGR no-fee card. Sometimes, though, at least from what I've read on other BoA experiences, it could be something where it's agent-specific (some will and some won't.) I'd still call or chat in and see if they'd work with you on converting it.

    I'll probably be considering this next November; somewhat accidentally my wife and I both got approved for separate fee cards from Amtrak. I wouldn't have done it intentionally, but having the 60,000 points between us will certainly be nice over the next couple of years. I don't think the benefits will work out to keep both long-term, though, but if we get good value out of the upgrades and companion pass we might still wind up keeping both around.
     
  24. Nov 3, 2017 #24

    daybeers

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    daybeers

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    That's a good point. When I decide to downgrade, I will give them a call.
     
  25. Nov 4, 2017 #25

    Tennessee Traveler

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    Bank of America controls the two credit cards not Amtrak. Likewise, once reward points are reported to AGR and they are added to your AGR account, AGR contols the AGR points so any action you do affecting the BofA credit cards has no affect on any of your already earned AGR points.
     

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