Anonymous rumor/leak regarding new bank for credit card

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Michigan Mom

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Just received my latest statement. Paid more attention to some of the details :) So BoA definitely transfers over to Amtrak, 1 pt per dollar spend. However, on the AGR side, the bonus wasn't there. I called up Guest Services (have not done that in a while, long hold time) and asked why the bonus wasn't there. Apparently it's in the terms and conditions that it can take 8-12 weeks for Amtrak to issue the promotional credits, after the promotion period has expired. So I'll have to remember to watch for that.... remembering stuff not being my strongest suit. After I hung up the phone... called up the BoA number. Long wait time there, too. I asked about what the plans were for the AGR cards, how long BoA would be honoring the partnership with Amtrak, if there would be a replacement card if this product was discontinued.... well that only resulted in more hold time while she checked whatever, and came back to say she has no information. According to her, no rumors, no information, no plans by BoA to discontinue the current AGR cards. I shared with her some of the internet musings that say something quite opposite, but it was clear that she was not at liberty to comment even if she did know anything, which, she may not have.
We'll just have to wait and see.
 
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Michigan Mom wrote:
"This implies that Amtrak enthusiasts weren't using their cards enough for BoA."

Or perhaps most of us pay our balances in full most months, avoiding the interest charges, and making us less attractive to BOA.

I believe this may be the answer. Banks make their money from those with the worst credit and carry large balances. When interchange fees were limited several years ago by Dodd Frank banks' revenue took a major hit. Now they need customers who can't pay their full bill every month. With interest rates rising they will be in the cat bird's seat.
 

jebr

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When interchange fees were limited several years ago by Dodd Frank banks' revenue took a major hit.

That regulation only applies to debit cards, not credit cards. Merchant fees for credit card transactions are still unregulated, and the published rates for Visa appear to range between 1.5% and 2.5%. I don't know what Amtrak charges BoA for points, but my educated guess is that they probably charge a bit over a penny per point.

I doubt BoA is losing money on the card currently. It's possible that Amtrak is asking for a much higher cut, and BoA is stepping down because of that, but considering BoA has cut quite a few cobranded offerings BoA may simply be less aggressive in getting the contracts. After all, MLB has switched from BoA to Capital One, and I'm sure that's a more lucrative contract than Amtrak's.
 
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That regulation only applies to debit cards, not credit cards. Merchant fees for credit card transactions are still unregulated, and the published rates for Visa appear to range between 1.5% and 2.5%. I don't know what Amtrak charges BoA for points, but my educated guess is that they probably charge a bit over a penny per point.

I doubt BoA is losing money on the card currently. It's possible that Amtrak is asking for a much higher cut, and BoA is stepping down because of that, but considering BoA has cut quite a few cobranded offerings BoA may simply be less aggressive in getting the contracts. After all, MLB has switched from BoA to Capital One, and I'm sure that's a more lucrative contract than Amtrak's.

I stand corrected. My recollection was faulty and your analysis would appear to be solid.
 
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Spoke with an AGR rep about an unrelated issue and they mentioned that the B of A card will continue to earn points until Sept. 30. The planning and negotiations for a new bank are underway and an announcement will be forthcoming by late summer. Also, the rep said he expected a good introductory bonus offer to encourage everyone to sign up for the new card.
 

Bob Dylan

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Anyone having the current card should be aware that the card itself will still be active, but no AGR points will be awarded after 9/30. BOA may send you a new card with the same number but without the Amtrak logo.
I'll get the new AGR Card ( unless it's from Wells Fargo!) since BOA isn't in my top 10 as a Financial Company, and I have no other accounts with them.( Credit Unions and Chase have my other Financial Accounts)
 

jis

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I'll get the new AGR Card ( unless it's from Wells Fargo!) since BOA isn't in my top 10 as a Financial Company, and I have no other accounts with them.( Credit Unions and Chase have my other Financial Accounts)
It is highly likely that I will get the highest category of the new AGR Card and will terminate the BofA card.
 

jebr

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It is highly likely that I will get the highest category of the new AGR Card and will terminate the BofA card.
For me a lot of it will depend on whatever the new bank has for underwriting standards, particularly with newly opened accounts. I've been chasing a lot of sign-up bonuses lately and so if it goes to Chase, for example (and falls under their 5/24 rule) I'll probably be waiting at least a couple of years since I don't think I will hold off of applications entirely just to pick up an AGR card.

As for the BoA card, assuming they don't transfer the cards directly over to the new issuer I'll wait and see what they change it to. I wouldn't mind having another Customized Cash card for the online shopping category.
 
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As for the BoA card, assuming they don't transfer the cards directly over to the new issuer I'll wait and see what they change it to. I wouldn't mind having another Customized Cash card for the online shopping category.

My understanding with the AGR rep was that a new banking partner will be announced and brand new cards will be issued. There was nothing at all implied about existing BoA cards being transferred over to the new issuer.
 
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Anyone having the current card should be aware that the card itself will still be active, but no AGR points will be awarded after 9/30. BOA may send you a new card with the same number but without the Amtrak logo.
Same thing happened with the Chase to BofA change a few years ago. My Chase AGR card became a Chase Freedom card.
I later combined that card with an existing Freedom card I held. Chase was more generous with their credit limit too.
 

Shanson

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My understanding with the AGR rep was that a new banking partner will be announced and brand new cards will be issued. There was nothing at all implied about existing BoA cards being transferred over to the new issuer.
The new bank partner will NOT automatically issue the Amtrak card. If a customer wants one, they must apply for it. We will get an announcement in the US Mail. (Remember them?) There will also be an email announcement from AGR (or they will provide their email list to the new bank).
 

NorthShore

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For me a lot of it will depend on whatever the new bank has for underwriting standards, particularly with newly opened accounts. I've been chasing a lot of sign-up bonuses lately and so if it goes to Chase, for example (and falls under their 5/24 rule) I'll probably be waiting at least a couple of years since I don't think I will hold off of applications entirely just to pick up an AGR card.

As for the BoA card, assuming they don't transfer the cards directly over to the new issuer I'll wait and see what they change it to. I wouldn't mind having another Customized Cash card for the online shopping category.
If nothing else, I get free museum admissions from BOA
 

jebr

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The new bank partner will NOT automatically issue the Amtrak card. If a customer wants one, they must apply for it. We will get an announcement in the US Mail. (Remember them?) There will also be an email announcement from AGR (or they will provide their email list to the new bank).

Question: have you heard all of this from an Amtrak employee with knowledge of the situation? I wouldn't read too much into what a front-line agent is currently saying about the future of the AGR card, particularly when it comes to specific details.

When the card went from Chase to BoA I did have to re-apply, but Amtrak could have set up this transfer differently. I'm very much in a "wait and see" approach until we either have an announcement or something from someone higher-up than a front-line rep.
 

jis

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Question: have you heard all of this from an Amtrak employee with knowledge of the situation? I wouldn't read too much into what a front-line agent is currently saying about the future of the AGR card, particularly when it comes to specific details.

When the card went from Chase to BoA I did have to re-apply, but Amtrak could have set up this transfer differently. I'm very much in a "wait and see" approach until we either have an announcement or something from someone higher-up than a front-line rep.
Of late Amtrak has been announcing cancellation about one week before the event. ;)
 

jis

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Optimistic that we'll get a full week's notice! I'm waiting for the card to just randomly decline one day and that'll be my notice. 😶
The card won't be declined by anyone, because BofA has absolutely no incentive to let go of you as a customer. It will silently stop earning points. 😏
 

Shanson

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Question: have you heard all of this from an Amtrak employee with knowledge of the situation? I wouldn't read too much into what a front-line agent is currently saying about the future of the AGR card, particularly when it comes to specific details.

When the card went from Chase to BoA I did have to re-apply, but Amtrak could have set up this transfer differently. I'm very much in a "wait and see" approach until we either have an announcement or something from someone higher-up than a front-line rep.
No, but commomly it's the bank's call. They do not normally send out cards that are not requested, and they usually want to do a credit check. Your experience that you had to reapply last time is an indication of what will happen this time as well. And I could be totally surprized, but I'll bet you a dozen Round Rock donuts that it happens the same way.
 
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