Chase Amtrak Conversions & Ultimate Rewards Transfer Status
Chase and Amtrak are ending their credit card relationship on September 30, 2015. Along with an entirely revamped (devalued) rewards program, Amtrak has announced that a new bank will be issuing their co-branded credit card. While the new issuer hasn’t been formally announced, based on the card art it seems that it will be Bank of America.
For a full breakdown of the changes to Amtrak Rewards and a good strategy before the devaluation, I recommend Frequent Miler’s post from this morning. With that out the way, two more questions remain. What will happen to current Chase Amtrak cardholders and will Amtrak continue to be a transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards?
Current Amtrak Cards Being Converted to Freedom
It seems the first of those two questions has been answered. The Point Princess is reporting that she received a notice from Chase that her Amtrak card would be converted to the Chase Freedom as of September 30, 2015. Up until that day the card will earn Amtrak points and after that day the points will accumulate on the Freedom.
I have to say this is probably bittersweet at worst. Sure current Amtrak cardholders lose the ability to earn Amtrak points and lose the ability to transfer from Amtrak to hotel partners like Choice, but they also pickup a Freedom card which can be valuable with its 5X bonus categories.
What About Ultimate Rewards Transfers to Amtrak?
The conversion news leaves one big question left. Will Amtrak stay as an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner? It is hard to say if Amtrak will remain a transfer partner of Chase. In the past Chase has signed separate contracts for some of their transfer partners that work outside of the co-branded relationship. It is impossible to know if that is the case here, but I would hope that Chase will give us some notice if the transfers will indeed end.
With the current cardholder conversion question answered, we now must wait to see if Amtrak Rewards will continue to be an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. Either way, huge changes have occurred and Amtrak is not nearly as attractive as it once. The days of $.05 per point Amtrak redemptions are gone and what we are left with just simply isn’t as nice.