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This summer, Amtrak announced significant changes to its Guest Rewards program, included revenue-based points earning and vastly different redemption rates. Essentially, all redemptions will be based on the cost of the ticket (and the type of train), come January 24, 2016. Shortly after that announcement, Amtrak shared the news that it would no longer be partnering with Chase on a co-branded credit card — that card will become unavailable as of this Wednesday.
Unfortunately, Amtrak just shared more bad news today. As of December 8, you’ll no longer be able to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Amtrak. A company representative shared the following on FlyerTalk this morning:
Effective December 8, 2015, the option to transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Amtrak Guest Rewards® will be discontinued. Eligible Chase Ultimate Rewards customers can transfer points into Amtrak Guest Rewards through December 7, 2015. To see if your Chase card is eligible or to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Amtrak Guest Rewards, visit http://www.chase.com/ultimaterewards.
In many cases, it may make sense to move your points over. TPG values Chase points at 2.1 cents apiece, and Amtrak points at 2.5 cents each. Once the new rates kick in, you’ll be able to redeem Amtrak points for between 2.5 and 2.9 cents each, depending on the train (2.5 cents for Acela), however prices will be based on prices in the “Value” category or above — deep-discount “Saver” tickets won’t be available for redemptions.
The good news is that we have a fair amount of notice — you still have 10 weeks to transfer points from Chase to Amtrak, such as those earned with the Sapphire Preferred Card. Additionally, points post instantly, so you could even wait until December 7 to initiate a transfer if you need to.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Credit Rating|
|N/A||16.24%-23.24% Variable||Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95||0%||Excellent Credit|