Booking Amtrak tickets with Amtrak credit card sends me to fraud dept

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seat38a

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Ah the good old BofA CC fraud decline.Similar issue with Capital One but it was never as bad as BofA was. I now have the Chase United Club Card and the Amex Platinum. When I called both to notify them of my upcoming travel when I first got the cards, they both told me it was not needed.

Chase tried to explain how my card has a chip and some blah blah blah no more need to notify of upcoming travel, but I didn't pay attention at the time.
 

AmtrakBlue

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Both of my AGR cards were not accepted when I checked into the hotel last night. She said the 1st one was declined and the 2nd one was giving some type of error. I had notified them last week that I was traveling. One of those cards worked fine when I bought Clipper Card at the SFO BART Station.
Luckily I had gotten an Amex card this year and had it with me. As stated above, you don’t need to notify them.
I need to check my BoA account because last night it showed a pending charge for the hotel. If it goes through I hope the hotel can reverse one of the charges.
 

JayPea

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Everyone seems to have favorite and least favorite companies. Id cancel the companies card you have trouble with and should help the situation thus saving you the aggravation.
There are those who would rather complain about their problems rather than do something about them.;)
 

jis

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There are those who would rather complain about their problems rather than do something about them.;)
I see some have run out of any significant contribution to the discussion so are now reduced to posting platitudes :p

One of the uses of these discussion groups is to share experiences, in case we have lost sight of why people participate here.

It is quite reasonable IMHO to discuss whether ones own experience is similar to what others are experiencing or if one is just unlucky, and also what procedure for engaging with the company in question works or not to resolve issues. And in passing some idle bitching is part of human nature.
 
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Bex

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Everyone seems to have favorite and least favorite companies. Id cancel the companies card you have trouble with and should help the situation thus saving you the aggravation.
There are those who would rather complain about their problems rather than do something about them.;)
Everyone has their priorities. Mine is free travel and Acela lounge access which the BoA card gets me through points and TQP's. The price for that is putting up with BoA's annoyances. They're minor in the scheme of things but irritating nonetheless. I suppose the one thing I could do is bring these issues to the attention of Amtrak so as to get them to switch banks (they used to be with Chase about which I had zero complaints and still have other cards with) but let's be real, they won't switch because they have a deal in place and presumably it's working for them. So it's lucky for me there is a forum where I can vent about this minor annoyance in my life. ;)
 

Bob Dylan

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Both of my AGR cards were not accepted when I checked into the hotel last night. She said the 1st one was declined and the 2nd one was giving some type of error. I had notified them last week that I was traveling. One of those cards worked fine when I bought Clipper Card at the SFO BART Station.
Luckily I had gotten an Amex card this year and had it with me. As stated above, you don’t need to notify them.
I need to check my BoA account because last night it showed a pending charge for the hotel. If it goes through I hope the hotel can reverse one of the charges.
You probably know this Betty, but you need to call BOA and also talk to the Hotel Manager( Desk Clerks dont have much authority).

This can happen to anyone, but it seems to be more frequent in this age of Free for All Finances, outsourced IT Departments and hackers everywhere.
 

west point

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Found out I was using a new card. So called the card company first telling them was traveling to such and such states by AMTRAK , dates, and had no problem on the trip or booking. Every time go to Florida in car have to call.
 

basketmaker

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Is it just me, or is it happening to others as well?

About a month ago, I decided to get some 'last real dining car' meal service before they're gone or converted to boxed dog food on 10/1. So, I booked at trip to WPB and back for later this month and after entering my credit card info, and clicking 'purchase ticket', a 'card verification' screen comes up and after a couple seconds reports I have to call a phone number that turns out to be Bank Americas' credit card fraud department. After talking with them and confirming I'm the real owner of the card, after re-entering the card info, every thing worked fine.

So, just now, I decided to do a similar trip on the Crescent and booked a trip to ATL and back the last week of September and it's off to the fraud department again! Of course, both times, the phone number information only stays on the screen for 10 seconds or so before the Amtrak booking system takes me back to the credit card info screen, which, of course, has lost all my credit card info.

I asked the agent I talked with WHY was I being referred to the fraud department. He indicated that Amtrak now has some kind of 2-step credit card 'authentication' process and for whatever reason thinks I'm not legit. Perhaps if I use the 'new feature' where Amtrak stores my credit card number the fraud would go away? But then, some hacker hacks the Amtrak computer and gets the credit card info. So far, other than my bank and credit card companies, only three very large well known companies have my credit card on file. So far, none of them have been hacked, as far as I know. Oh yea...I forgot about Experian!
A lot of companies are using a 2nd authentication nowadays. Usually to your email address or text to your cellphone number on file in their system.
 

jis

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True. But only BoA has a validation system that crashes and burns halfway through never to return with any conclusion this way or that [emoji849]
 

basketmaker

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I get a text alert within 10 seconds of something hitting my Chase VISA/Debit card. Had one that apparently someone got the number and charged $35 for gas at a local grocery store that was closed at 02:30 but pumps work 24hrs. And it isn't the store where I have gotten all my fuel purchases from for 5 years. Made a 5 minute phone call to Chase and it was cancelled and a new card was sent. Only stink is updating all the "autopay" accounts that draw from it. I do as much as possible on-line from all banking and all the way to grocery delivery. Not sure why the US Mint still stamps coins or prints paper? I only carry a few $2 bills for tips for the valet in my wallet. Last paper check I've written was back in February of 2017.
 

AmtrakBlue

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True. But only BoA has a validation system that crashes and burns halfway through never to return with any conclusion this way or that [emoji849]
Yep, they did that to me twice recently. 1st AGR card “something wrong” but couldn’t tell me what (online transaction) but 2nd AGR card went through fine.
Then my hotel issue. Accepted 1st AGR card at a vending machine across country but denied it at the hotel in the same state. Then gave an undefined error to the hotel for the 2nd card. The 2nd card showed the transaction as pending later - after I had to use a non-BoA card for the hotel. I’m not happy that I lost all those points. Also, the denied card worked fine the rest of the trip since I had gotten a notification email and I confirmed the card was indeed used by me. Why couldn’t they have denied the first use of it on my trip so I could verify it then and used it at the hotel later that day? [emoji35]
 

AFS1970

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I don't have BoA and I have run into an additional layer of authentication on Amtrak's site, although it hasn't happened in a while. I know my bank was using such a service for a while that required another password when I made certain online purchases.
 

Duane Witte

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I tried using my BoA card to pay for my upcoming Amtrak trip. Instantly tripped fraud alert. Would not let me use the card even after I talked to the fraud department. I ended up driving down to KCUS to book my trip and using a different card. That is the only time I have ever had that problem. I have since paid for all my motel rooms for my trip with it with no issues. BoA may not necessarily be the best company to deal with but nobody will match the rate I have with them.
 

Duane Witte

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I have checked into credit unions. The credit Union i belong to has good rates on everything except they can't beat my credit card rate with Bank of America. They don't even come close. I have what been with BOA for a very long time and have a VERY good rate.
 

Bob Dylan

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I have checked into credit unions. The credit Union i belong to has good rates on everything except they can't beat my credit card rate with Bank of America. They don't even come close. I have what been with BOA for a very long time and have a very good rate.
Good for you, I have Excellent Credit also, but my Credit Union Visa has the Lowest Interest Rate of any Card currently on offer ( I pay off my Credit Card Bills Monthly).
 

JRR

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I recently was on the phone with VIA purchasing a ticket and BOA was rejecting the card. I contacted BOA and they cleared it and stayed on the line until VIA confirmed th charge went through.

Later I determined that BOA had texted me but I had the ringer silenced and didn’t know about the text. If I had seen and responded to the text, it would have been immediately cleared the first time. (I was able to have two conversations going by using my wife’s phone).
 

Devil's Advocate

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My most recent Amtrak purchase was also declined. Normally when this happens I receive an alert from the issuing bank asking if the charge was legit. If I say yes then it goes through on the next attempt, but that didn't happen this time around. When I called my bank they said there was no alert because it wasn't them blocking the purchase. I asked several follow-up questions to make sure I understood the situation correctly and my bank repeatedly confirmed that it was Amtrak blocking their own sales. Same passenger, same address, same card, same trip, and same service level as dozens of prior trips, but Amtrak still thinks it's fraud and auto-declines. Which begs the question, is Amtrak really suffering more fraud than every other company I do business with, or is Amtrak the only business willing to discourage legitimate sales with excessive fraud mitigation measures?
 
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bratkinson

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My most recent Amtrak purchase was also declined. ... Same passenger, same address, same card, same trip, and same service level as dozens of prior trips, but Amtrak still thinks it's fraud and auto-declines. Which begs the question, is Amtrak really suffering more fraud than every other company I do business with, or is Amtrak the only business willing to discourage legitimate sales with excessive fraud mitigation measures?
I beat 'em at their own game when I booked a trip on the Crescent the last week of September before the diner is converted to boxed dog food. I indicated 'remember the card number' and it went through without a problem. Or maybe BofA 'marked' my card to not be declined for Amtrak tickets.

Or, perhaps Amtrak and or BofA figured out that the same customer, same address for the past 20+ years, same card (subject to being compromised twice and replaced in the past 4 years or so, and same service level (roomettes), really =IS= a legitimate charge!
 

Devil's Advocate

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Same experience here but different bank. It's almost like Amtrak decided to deem the first transaction as fraudulent unless and until you call your issuing bank and go through the challenge/response process to prove you really Really REALLY want to purchase their tickets. Most of our members would probably be willing to jump through these hoops, at least once anyway, but some people will say to hell with it and give up or move on to other options. Imagine someone who has rough credit or a high balance seeing a refusal like that. They'd probably just move along and forget about it.
 

John Bredin

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Could Amtrak transactions being red-flagged by BoA result from the fact that the location of Amtrak charges shows as Washington DC? In other words, the BoA anti-fraud system sees a bunch of charges marked as the area you live, and then suddenly on the same day you buy something near home, a charge appears clear on the other side of the country. That looks fraud-ish, especially if you don't routinely make out-of-town or online purchases. Lots of credit card fraud has been caught by, say, an afternoon gas-station charge in Baltimore ostensibly by a person who bought lunch in Chicago.

Recently, I bought a ticket for DB, the German railway, for an upcoming trip. Immediately upon clicking "purchase" on the DB website, I got a call from BofA confirming that I actually was making the purchase rather than some fraudster. I said yes, the bank clerk said OK, and the transaction went through right after. Easy-peasy.

Unless we're positing a BofA anti-rail conspiracy ;) I don't see what the huge problem is, considering that credit card fraud and identity theft really are a huge problem that most of us do want BofA and other banks to do something about. Also, I would imagine credit unions have anti-fraud systems too. :rolleyes:
 

jis

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I hold credit cards from multiple companies, and all I can do is notice how BofA has way more problem doing their fraud protection than the other companies I deal with. I am sure BofA is not partial to passenger trains or Amtrak in their incompetence. Interestingly, over the last 5 or 6 years they also have had the largest number of events that caused them to replace my card on their own, when compared to my other card providing companies, and I don't even use the BofA card that much. I suspect they have a horrible security leak somewhere that does not involve me in any way.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Could Amtrak transactions being red-flagged by BoA result from the fact that the location of Amtrak charges shows as Washington DC? In other words, the BoA anti-fraud system sees a bunch of charges marked as the area you live, and then suddenly on the same day you buy something near home, a charge appears clear on the other side of the country.
That's not how online and phone based transactions are flagged.

That looks fraud-ish, especially if you don't routinely make out-of-town or online purchases. Lots of credit card fraud has been caught by, say, an afternoon gas-station charge in Baltimore ostensibly by a person who bought lunch in Chicago.
Chicago and Baltimore are blocked at under two hours nonstop so lunch in Chicago followed by afternoon petrol in Baltimore could be perfectly legitimate.

Recently, I bought a ticket for DB, the German railway, for an upcoming trip. Immediately upon clicking "purchase" on the DB website, I got a call from BofA confirming that I actually was making the purchase rather than some fraudster. I said yes, the bank clerk said OK, and the transaction went through right after. Easy-peasy. Unless we're positing a BofA anti-rail conspiracy ;) I don't see what the huge problem is, considering that credit card fraud and identity theft really are a huge problem that most of us do want BofA and other banks to do something about. Also, I would imagine credit unions have anti-fraud systems too. :rolleyes:
This isn't a once in a blue moon purchase from Deutsche Bahn, it's a routine financial transaction we've performed dozens of times in the past being declined by a self-defeating merchant account.
 
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Bex

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I have bought many tickets since that initial week and not had a problem since so either they do clear it up once you call the first time or they've just worked out whatever issue it is.
 
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