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Points Expired

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Jody

Train Attendant
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Aug 31, 2007
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Just curious. Why doesn't Amtrak give you a countdown warning about points about to expire? 15,000+ points (husband's) zeroed out. Ouch.
 

PRR 60

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Just curious. Why doesn't Amtrak give you a countdown warning about points about to expire? 15,000+ points (husband's) zeroed out. Ouch.
You're not the first person who wondered that. I belong to several airline FF programs, and some do not get much activity from me. Each will send out a warning in advance of miles expiring. it's true that Amtrak's three-year time for points expiring is very liberal, but it sure would be nice if they would send out some kind of tickle before nuking your points.
 

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
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I lost 40,000+ points on UA's Mileage Plus after I missed some changes to their policies one year. Where does AGR list when your personal points will expire? I logged in and looked around but couldn't find a date anywhere. Yeah, I could just add three years to the last transaction but that sort of casual attitude is what allowed me to overlook UA's changes.
 

the_traveler

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Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
I agree that Amtrak's expiration policy is very liberal compared to the airlines. Some airlines are only 18 months!
My sister has "few" AGR points (compared to me
) but she takes a $10-$20 "ride to nowhere" every 2 years to extend her AGR points!
 
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PRR 60

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Just curious. Why doesn't Amtrak give you a countdown warning about points about to expire? 15,000+ points (husband's) zeroed out. Ouch.
Good question. Here's another: Why didn't hubby ride a train - free even - for over three years?
Free travel does not reset the AGR clock. Only paid travel does that.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Free travel does not reset the AGR clock. Only paid travel does that.
And that's where AGR is more conservative than domestic airlines I've flown where virtually any activity at all (free travel, paid travel, and non-travel points earning/using) reset the clock.

If this is the same Jody I'm thinking of, her husband was in Iraq for a period of time. That would explain why he hasn't traveled for a while.
If that's the case he could inquire if there is any exception for expiration during active military duty.
 

amamba

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I would absolutely inquire for an exception if your husband was overseas with active duty military. Thank you for the sacrifices that your family has made for all of us at home!
 

SP&S

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
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Just as a tip for others, as long as you have the Chase AGR MasterCard your points won't expire.
 

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
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Is there really no place on Amtrak's AGR site where it spells out the date your points are set to expire?!

 

PRR 60

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Is there really no place on Amtrak's AGR site where it spells out the date your points are set to expire?!

No, there isn't. You have to pull up your transactions, open-up the time frame to include three years, and look to see when your last paid travel trip took place. Pretty lame.
 

amamba

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Maybe that is something that can be suggested as an improvement over to the folks at AGR. It does seem like it would be appopriate to let members know when their points expire.
 

The Davy Crockett

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I can't believe that it would be that tough (or expensive) for AGR to send out an email or a snail mail to folks 6 months or so before their points expire. They have no problems sending out promotional material (not that I'm complaining, as I actually like getting 'junk' mail from Amtrak and AGR) and the goodwill generated from sending out a warning is surely worth something. Sounds like something to suggest at 'FlyerTalk' when I get a chance.
 

PRR 60

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Maybe that is something that can be suggested as an improvement over to the folks at AGR. It does seem like it would be appopriate to let members know when their points expire.
It's been a constant complaint on the Flyertalk Amtrak forum which AGR monitors.
 

AlanB

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In the meantime, until AGR does something, if one is actually worried about having points expire, be they Amtrak or any other rewards program, one can sign up for a free service called AwardWallet. One registers with them and they monitor all activity for all of your awards accounts, giving you a one page glance at the status of every account; showing total points, latest updates, and expiration dates amongst other things. And they will send you an email reminder that you've got points about to expire if you don't do something to stop it.

They also offer Apps for smartphones so that you can access your info from your phone too, as opposed to your computer via a web browser.
 

Devil's Advocate

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In the meantime, until AGR does something, if one is actually worried about having points expire, be they Amtrak or any other rewards program, one can sign up for a free service called AwardWallet. One registers with them and they monitor all activity for all of your awards accounts, giving you a one page glance at the status of every account; showing total points, latest updates, and expiration dates amongst other things. And they will send you an email reminder that you've got points about to expire if you don't do something to stop it. They also offer Apps for smartphones so that you can access your info from your phone too, as opposed to your computer via a web browser.
Sounds like a useful service for folks who use multiple accounts irregularly. Is this sort of third party middleman access authorized by Amtrak? I don't care if something like AmSnag breaks their rules because it's not tied to my account and the worst than can happen is I discover the pricing was wrong when I go to buy the tickets. But in the case of a discrepancy with my points I don't want to risk Amtrak's wrath if they happen to find out my account was accessed in an unauthorized way.
 

AlanB

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In the meantime, until AGR does something, if one is actually worried about having points expire, be they Amtrak or any other rewards program, one can sign up for a free service called AwardWallet. One registers with them and they monitor all activity for all of your awards accounts, giving you a one page glance at the status of every account; showing total points, latest updates, and expiration dates amongst other things. And they will send you an email reminder that you've got points about to expire if you don't do something to stop it. They also offer Apps for smartphones so that you can access your info from your phone too, as opposed to your computer via a web browser.
Sounds like a useful service for folks who use multiple accounts irregularly. Is this sort of third party middleman access authorized by Amtrak? I don't care if something like AmSnag breaks their rules because it's not tied to my account and the worst than can happen is I discover the pricing was wrong when I go to buy the tickets. But in the case of a discrepancy with my points I don't want to risk Amtrak's wrath if they happen to find out my account was accessed in an unauthorized way.
Well there is nothing in Amtrak's T&E that prohibits it. And it's not a data mining service, which is something that Amtrak does prohibit, as they don't look at every AGR account, only those for people who have given permission for their accounts to be monitored.

So Amtrak would have to first change their rules, something that I rather doubt that they would do, before it would become a problem for people to use the service. Besides, Amtrak can't really tell who is making the request for the data, you or AwardWallets computers.
 

DivMiler

Lead Service Attendant
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Nov 12, 2007
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Central Pennsylvania
In the meantime, until AGR does something, if one is actually worried about having points expire, be they Amtrak or any other rewards program, one can sign up for a free service called AwardWallet. One registers with them and they monitor all activity for all of your awards accounts, giving you a one page glance at the status of every account; showing total points, latest updates, and expiration dates amongst other things. And they will send you an email reminder that you've got points about to expire if you don't do something to stop it.
How secure is this and how trustworthy is AwardWallet? I feel uncomfortable at the prospect of just handing over any/all of my frequent traveler numbers and PINs/passwords...
 

AlanB

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In the meantime, until AGR does something, if one is actually worried about having points expire, be they Amtrak or any other rewards program, one can sign up for a free service called AwardWallet. One registers with them and they monitor all activity for all of your awards accounts, giving you a one page glance at the status of every account; showing total points, latest updates, and expiration dates amongst other things. And they will send you an email reminder that you've got points about to expire if you don't do something to stop it.
How secure is this and how trustworthy is AwardWallet? I feel uncomfortable at the prospect of just handing over any/all of my frequent traveler numbers and PINs/passwords...
Well of course no one can guarantee anything 100% these days, but I'd say that they're very secure. I've been with them for over 6 months now myself without incident. And since you don't provide other personal information, things like address & phone to them, it would make it harder for anyone to do things if they did have a breech.
 

gatelouse

OBS Chief
Joined
Jun 25, 2011
Messages
524
As much as I love AGR, the lack of communication regarding events that could adversely impact members is worse than any other FF program. Not displaying the expiration date for miles is a good example. But what irks me even more are the rule changes and (though rare) redemption level increases, which are just about always without warning. Most airlines give several months' notice before adjusting point eaening and redemption policies and rates.

About the only communication I can credit AGR for is their advance announcement of blackout dates and the lack of changes to said dates once announced.
 

FunNut

Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 13, 2010
Messages
170
Location
Rowe Mesa, NM
Actually, airline and hotel and other points programs would have a vested interest in allowing points to expire. Then they don't have to "give away" seats, beds, etc. that they could have sold.

I got a Continental credit card to ensure that the 200,000 miles in my account would be safe. But I don't want to get multiple credit cards to protect all my accounts. I do think the OP should write a letter to Amtrak's CEO about points that expired while the family member was on active duty overseas. Those 15,000 points are worth several hundred dollars in roomette travel.
 
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