An Amtrak marketing presentation reveals that their loyalty program is going revenue-based and that there will be two credit cards launching in September.
It also talks about onboard experience and marketing. For instance, Amtrak is looking at offering wifi-based onboard entertainment. I can’t imagine how Amtrak’s current connectivity could support streaming anything.
Of course they’re looking at installing trackside broadband to provide more reliable high speed connectivity… and ‘if funding is available’ envision completing it in “4-6 years.”
Most importantly though will be the elimination of Amtrak ‘zones’ which make getting good value out of points possible. “Amtrak Guest Rewards 2.0” will “[e]liminate the travel award ‘zone chart’ by aligning redemption point requirements with fares.”
The program re-launch will be announced August 31 and it will go into effect January 1.
After 15 years, even the most well oiled machine could benefit from a little tune-up.
Introducing the next stop for Amtrak Guest Rewards, where earning points is simpler,
building them up is surer, and redeeming them is easier. In short, it’s everything you’ve
always loved only better engineered to fit your life.
The new Amtrak Guest Rewards credit cards will launch September 12 (from a new issuing bank).
Points With a Crew writes that the name on these sample cards is a giveaway that the issuer will be Bank of America.
Interestingly Amtrak reports that getting the card drives Amtrak travel (rather than those with higher than average Amtrak travel leads one to get the card.
Increased Amtrak travel- Annual lifts increase by 49% and rail revenue increases by
33% after a member acquires a credit card
They make changes with no notice. Even multiple times in a matter of days. A practice they’ve engaged in for years, and been called out in the Wall Street Journal for. (Amtrak even eliminated their satisfaction guarantee because too many customers were dissatisfied.)