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Credit Cards or Cash at Snack Bar/Cafe Car?

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Does the snack bar/cafe car accept credit cards or do I need to have cash onboard? I normally don't carry cash with me but may want to purchase snacks and need to know if cash is required. I know that the dining car is supposed to accept credit cards so was hoping that the snack bar would as well.

Thank you!
 

jis

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Does the snack bar/cafe car accept credit cards or do I need to have cash onboard? I normally don't carry cash with me but may want to purchase snacks and need to know if cash is required. I know that the dining car is supposed to accept credit cards so was hoping that the snack bar would as well.
Thank you!
Snack bar/cafe accepts all the usual credit cards.
 

gswager

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Bonus: if you are a member of Amtrak Guest Rewards and have Chase Amtrak credit card, you'll get 2 points for each dollar amount on Amtrak related stuff like book a ticket or purchasing Amtrak meals
 

ThayerATM

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Does the snack bar/cafe car accept credit cards or do I need to have cash onboard? I normally don't carry cash with me but may want to purchase snacks and need to know if cash is required. I know that the dining car is supposed to accept credit cards so was hoping that the snack bar would as well.
Thank you!
While the bar/cafe/diners all accept major credit cards, I think that some cash is a good idea. I've never asked a car attendant to accept my use of AMEX for their tip. B)
 

AlanB

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And a bit of cash is also a good idea, just in case the credit card machines are down. It does happen on occasion.
 

WhoozOn1st

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And a bit of cash is also a good idea, just in case the credit card machines are down. It does happen on occasion.
It does happen on occasion, and I've seen people go kinda hungry and thirsty when credit/debit card gizmos were nonfunctional, and they didn't have the do-re-mi. Take cash.
 

RRrich

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And a bit of cash is also a good idea, just in case the credit card machines are down. It does happen on occasion.
This is a bit off topic but related.

Take Cash - usually I pay by credit card whenever I can, but when traveling in a sleeper I don't pay for my meals so I can't add the tip to the credit card slip - so cash is required.
 

wayman

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And a bit of cash is also a good idea, just in case the credit card machines are down. It does happen on occasion.
This is a bit off topic but related.

Take Cash - usually I pay by credit card whenever I can, but when traveling in a sleeper I don't pay for my meals so I can't add the tip to the credit card slip - so cash is required.
And it's always nice to tip your sleeping car attendant, for which you may want to keep some $5 or $10 bills handy. And you may want some $1 bills for the dining car, for the $1 or $2 tips appropriate for the relatively inexpensive breakfast or lunch.

So in addition to the general good advice to "travel with some cash", don't just hit up the ATM at the station and wind up with $20 bills ... but also make sure you've got a supply of small bills. (I've got to remember this for tomorrow, come to think of it!)
 

transit54

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If more people used cash, we wouldn't be in a bad Recession.
I beg to differ. The use of physical cash has nothing to do at all with the recession. I pay for 95% of my purchases on a card. It's my debit card. It has a Visa logo on it, and I can swipe it as a credit card. Am I running up huge credit bills? Nope, the money is just conveniently and immediately debited from my checking account, just as if I had paid cash, but without the hassle. I don't have to deal with pockets full of change, going to the ATM regularly, or waiting for a clerk to make change for me. In fact, many places I go I can just swipe the card and walk, no signature required for purchases under $25. And at the end of the month, I can look at an online, digital breakdown of where I spent every cent, in order to help with budgeting and keeping my spending under control.

People are free to choose how they want to pay, but a personal pet peeve of mine is people who assume that either all plastic is a credit card, and/or tell me that they only pay in cash because they don't want to put themselves into debt (this mostly comes up with services that do no accept cash and people argue with me that then then can't take advantage of that service). That's why they make debit cards.
 

RRrich

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I do use a credit card - and I pay it off in full EVERY MONTH - seems easier than a debit card.
 

trainfan

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I do use a credit card - and I pay it off in full EVERY MONTH - seems easier than a debit card.
I use a credit card for my business which I get 2% cash back and just pay it off

every month, Thats how I fund my yearly Long distance Amtrak trip every year!!!

This year the Empire Builder Chi toSea in March!!! Cant wait

Trainfan
 
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If more people used cash, we wouldn't be in a bad Recession.
I beg to differ. The use of physical cash has nothing to do at all with the recession.
I think rnizlek is on the right track. ;)

The recession/depression we have today, is caused by people who got and used credit, but had no way to re-pay it. We even came up with a better sounding name for such people, "subprime". That sounds so much better than "dead beat" or "high risk", doesn't it?

Anyway, too many people bought homes that they couldn't afford. That created more buyers and inappropriately expanded the market (the "bubble"), but that market collapsed when sanity prevailed, and unqualified buyers left (were driven out of) the housing market.

And that wasn't limited to just homes.

Think of it. If everyone paid cash for their homes, there would be zero foreclosures right now, right?
 

jis

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Think of it. If everyone paid cash for their homes, there would be zero foreclosures right now, right?
Yes, and the GDP would also be only a tenth of what it is. So would that be called a continuous stagflation over the last 40 years then? Just wondering. After all there is a relationship between the GDP and economic growth and the velocity of money.

Afterall if people could buy homes and cars only when they had the full price available in their pocket many fewer of those would be sold, which would then employ many fewer people to manufacture/build them and service them, which means that fewer people would have jobs, which means even fewer people would have the money to buy such things which means even fewer would be sold, etc. etc.

To get a feel for what would happen if only cash were used for everything take a look at India before 1990. Was not a pretty sight.

The real trick is in striking a proper balance, and keep people from getting too greedy, thus avoiding bubbles of the sort that we are in the process of deflating. :)
 

Everydaymatters

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Think of it. If everyone paid cash for their homes, there would be zero foreclosures right now, right?
To get a feel for what would happen if only cash were used for everything take a look at India before 1990. Was not a pretty sight.
When did credit cards come into existence? I don't think they were around until maybe the 1950's??? My guess is that people got mortgages for houses, but everything else was cash or checks that weren't made of rubber.

Back in the mid-1970's, having good credit was honorable. If you paid a bill by a certain date, you were given a 1% discount, so everyone made a good effort to pay on time. Then the accountants started reminding their clients that you're getting a 1% discount for paying early, but your bank was paying you 1.5% for keeping your money in the bank.

That has nothing to do with today's situation, but it's interesting to think about.
 

trainfan

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Think of it. If everyone paid cash for their homes, there would be zero foreclosures right now, right?
To get a feel for what would happen if only cash were used for everything take a look at India before 1990. Was not a pretty sight.
When did credit cards come into existence? I don't think they were around until maybe the 1950's??? My guess is that people got mortgages for houses, but everything else was cash or checks that weren't made of rubber.

Back in the mid-1970's, having good credit was honorable. If you paid a bill by a certain date, you were given a 1% discount, so everyone made a good effort to pay on time. Then the accountants started reminding their clients that you're getting a 1% discount for paying early, but your bank was paying you 1.5% for keeping your money in the bank.

That has nothing to do with today's situation, but it's interesting to think about.
The first credit card I remember seeing was a Master Card then called "Master Charge" in the late

60 s, I dont know if American Express was around before that !

Trainfan
 

MrFSS

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The first credit card I remember seeing was a Master Card then called "Master Charge" in the late60 s, I dont know if American Express was around before that !

Trainfan
From AMEX's page:

THE CARD ERAAmerican Express issued its first charge card in 1958. Within five years, more than 1 million cards were in use at approximately 85,000 establishments within and outside the United States. Soon, the company began introducing local currency cards in markets outside the United States, adding programs that made it possible for cardmembers to extend payment on large travel expenditures, and launching additional products, such as the American Express Gold Card in 1966. Within ten years, the card business was growing steadily and generating a healthy profit. And, to the surprise of many, so was the company's travelers cheque business.
 

Mine says member since 1969.
 

Anthony

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$2 bills won't be worth anything more than $2, as they are very much in circulation, and a ton of them were printed as recently as two years ago. :) Spend them and enjoy them.

Half dollars are also not rare - they are a little harder to get from your local bank than $2 bills, but most banks can get them in boxes of $500 from the Fed.
 

PRR 60

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IIRC, Diners Club was one of the first if not pre-Amex.
There was a local card run by a bank and merchants in Brooklyn NY in the late 1940's, but Diners was the first national card launched in 1950.
 

Anthony

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$2 bills and half dollar coins are great for tips on the train! :)
A man after my own heart. The Ike dollars get some attention also.
Hard to get one's hand on Ikes through traditional channels these days. Of course, the various newer dollar coins are easier to procure, but don't seem to garner as much attention. :)
 
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