I'm working late this evening, and thought I might want to ride home on a Northeast Regional, as MARC service get's a bit spotty after 6:30 PM. I had a little time in Baltimore waiting for my train, so I thought I'd buy my return ticket using the Amtrak app, like I usually do. Searching for the trip, I found the low bucket fare of $19 and business class for $35, "only 1 seat left." Unfortunately, my AGR BOA credit card is out of commission until the new one comes, as the bank detected possible "fraudulent" activity, and yanked my card pending investigation. No problem, I thought, I'll just use my other credit card. (This is a good reason to always have 2 credit cards.) It turns out that for all credit cards except the AGR BOA credit card, Amtrak has a bank verification process that involves secret codes being sent to your email. My phone isn't set up for email, so I was out of luck. I then decided to try again and see if my AGR BOA credit card really was cancelled (it was), and lo and behold in the intervening 5 minutes someone had purchased the last $35 BC seat, and they were quoting a price of $41. I then tried to use the Quick trak machine, but the one in Baltimore only sells tickets from Baltimore to other places in the northeast, it doesn't sell one-way tickets from other stations to Baltimore. Oh well, I board my train, ride down to DC, head for the Club Acela and have my coffee and New York Times, and on my way out, about two hours after my failed attempt at purchasing a ticket, I decided to try the Quick-trak machine in Washington. Well, Well, they had a business class ticket for the same train at $35! Then I realized that I qualify for senior fare, so I got $1.90 discount off the coach part of the fare, and my total fare as $33.10. By the way, the Qick-Trak machine had no problem with my other credit card and did not require any sort of secret codes for verification. Anybody ever had an experience with the bucket fares rising and then falling again so quickly? And is credit card fraud such a problem that Amtrak needs to make it hard for people to spend their money on Amtrak tickets? Maybe it's time for "chip and pin" to come to American credit cards.