With the coming changes to the Guest Rewards program from Amtrak, there are some credit card changes in the work as well. A few months ago, Amtrak stopped issuing new credit cards to customers. At the time Chase was the backing bank on Amtrak's reward cards. Well the Chase partnership with Amtrak was shut down when they stopped offering the cards and the rail company started seeking another company to issue their credit cards.
This week brought the news that Amtrak had found that partner and was beginning to issue new cards from Bank of America. Nope I am not a big fan of Bank of America due to some poor experiences in the past, and they have continued to disappoint in certain areas. Overall the cards look to be pretty good, but the yearly fee is not waived the first year. This yearly fee method is one that Bank of America appears to like, as the Alaska Airlines card is done the same way and has the same $79 per year fee, but with a minimum spend requirement on the Amtrak card, they should really be waiving this fee for the first year.
The new cards come in two different varieties, one with the yearly fee and one without. As you may expect, the yearly fee edition card has a much better bonus on it and the point earning structure is much better as well. The card with the fee has a 20,000 point sign up bonus after spending $1000, and the other card has a 12,000 point sign up bonus. The are more bonuses like extra points for Amtrak purchases, no foreign transaction fees and more. Amtrak and Bank of America have a full list of credit card details at their websites if you need to know more about what each card is providing.
Head on over to Amtrak's website if you travel with them on a regular basis and grab a card if they at all sound interesting to you. Personally I do use Amtrak on a fairly regular basis, so it will be a pretty useful card for me to pick up at my next card sign up round.
It is also important to note that owners of the old Chase version of the Amtrak credit card will no longer be able to earn on that card. Chase will be transitioning all of their Amtrak customers over to another Chase card. Chase appears to be contacting Amtrak card holders and informing them of the change and their options. So if you are an owner of the Chase Amtrak card, be on the lookout for this information or go take a look at Chase's website for the details of the coming changes.