Should You Consider the New US Bank AMEX Cards?

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US Bank has launched 2 new FlexPerks credit cards, both of which earn points that can be redeemed for airline tickets, statement credits, and more.

It’s always good news when banks introduce new credit cards that get Big Travel with Small Money!  Let’s see if these cards are worth considering.

What’s the Deal?

Link:   US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express Card

Link:   US Bank FlexPerks Select+ American Express Card

US Bank has 2 new FlexPerks cards, both of which are American Express branded cards.

These cards earn FlexPoints, which can be redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, or paid airline flights.  They can NOT be transferred to airlines.

The US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express Card gets you:

  • 20,000 FlexPoints after you spend $3,500 in purchases in the 1st 4 months of opening your account
  • 3 FlexPoints per $1 you spend on charitable donations
  • 2 FlexPoints per $1 you spend at restaurants and on cell phones (telecommunications services and products)
  • 2 FlexPoints per $1 you spend on either groceries, gas, or airline tickets (whichever you’ve spent the most on in a billing cycle)
  • 1 FlexPoint per $1 you spend on everything else
  • Up to $25 statement credit per award ticket for airline expenses (checked bag fees, in-flight food and drink)
  • NO foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee of $49, waived for the 1st year
Should You Consider The New US Bank AMEX Cards

Get $25 Back per Award Ticket, Including Checked Bag Fees

If you prefer a card with no annual fee, the US Bank FlexPerks Select+ American Express Card gets you:

  • 10,000 FlexPoints after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the 1st 4 months of opening your account
  • NO annual fee

For an annual fee of $49 (waived for the 1st year), the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express Card earns a LOT more points and statement credits (which can easily offset the fee).  That’s a much better deal.

What Can You Get With FlexPoints?

You can redeem FlexPoints for statement credits, gift cards, or airline tickets.

Points are worth 1 cent each when used towards statement credits and gift cards.  But you could get a better value redeeming them for airline tickets.

Should You Consider The New US Bank AMEX Cards

You Can Use Points Towards Tickets on Over 150 Airlines

That’s because you could get as much as 2 cents per point, and you earn airline miles on the ticket!

You can redeem points for paid flights on 150+ airlines, including most US airlines.

Should You Consider The New US Bank AMEX Cards

You Can Redeem FlexPoints for Paid Airline Tickets – AND Earn Airline Miles!

Keep in mind, you’ll only get the best value from your points if you can find an airline ticket for the maximum amount.  For example, you’ll pay 20,000 points whether your ticket costs $150 or $400!

But if you’re looking for seats during busy travel times, or you’re traveling in a group, these cards could be a very good deal for you.

That’s because those are situations where it can sometimes be difficult to find the award seats you want.   With FlexPoints, you’re buying a paid ticket with points.  And you’ll earn frequent flyer miles!

Should You Consider The New US Bank AMEX Cards

Need a Lot of Seats? You Can Use Points If There’s a Paid Ticket Available

However, folks who like to book Business or First Class seats won’t do well with these cards, because the number of points required depends on the cash price of the seat.

Should You Consider The New US Bank AMEX Cards

Is This a Good Deal? It Depends on How You Like to Travel

For example, a $4,500 1-way Business Class ticket to Europe costs 225,000 points (ouch!).  But you could get there using other frequent flyer programs (like United Airlines) for 57,500 miles.

Note:  If you’ve had a lot of recent credit card applications, US Bank is known to be picky about approving new credit!

And because these are American Express cards, they’re considered different card products from the FlexPerks Visa cards.  So you should be able to get these if you already have the Visa versions.

That said, I wouldn’t rush out to apply for these cards.  The sign-up bonus is worth $400 (plus a $25 statement credit) at most.

There are better cards available with higher sign-up bonuses and more flexible points (which CAN be transferred to airlines and hotels).

But if you already have lots of cards and are looking for something new, these cards might be worth considering.

Bottom Line

US Bank has 2 new cards that could get you Big Travel with Small Money!

The US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express Card has a sign-up bonus of 20,000 FlexPoints after meeting minimum spending requirements, and the $49 annual fee is waived for the 1st year.

And the US Bank FlexPerks Select+ American Express Card has a 10,000 point sign-up bonus and no annual fee.

These cards could be good for folks who like to redeem points for inexpensive coach class tickets.  And you’ll earn frequent flyer miles!

But if you prefer Business or First Class, these cards probably aren’t the best deal for you.

And you can NOT transfer these points to airlines and hotels.  So there are other cards I’d recommend first.

Please share your experiences with US Bank FlexPoints in the comments!

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6 responses to “Should You Consider the New US Bank AMEX Cards?

  1. The Select+ card may make a ton of sense for me since I give to my church each month. Do you know how to find out if my historical charges were coded as charity?

  2. I’m a tad confused.

    The article implies that these cards, unlike cards earning miles or points that can be redeemed for miles, can NOT get Big Travel (which, I take it would mean business class or first class travel–or, at the very least, expensive tickets) for Small Money. For instance, you note that “because the number of points required depends on the cash price of the seat,” miles, rather than Flex Points, are the best bet for more expensive tickets.

    And yet, your “Bottom Line” is that “US Bank has 2 new cards that could get you Big Travel with Small Money!”

  3. @El Turk, for me Big Travel means the ability to travel places I couldn’t normally afford on my budget. So I generally use my miles and points in economy to travel farther and frequently with my family. I consider this is Big Travel for Small Money!

  4. @Kajun, I have the Visa version of the FlexPerks card which also gives 3x points for charitable contributions. I give monthly to my church via an automated credit card charge. However, I had a BIG dispute with US Bank because the contributions to my church were not giving 3x points despite the church being coded as a charitable organization. They couldn’t explain why it was not giving 3x points so for a few months agreed to give me the additional points manually. Well, that became a hassle for both of us, with me having to call each month to get them to do it (it was enough annually to get me 1.5 tickets, so worth the time). They finally said they wouldn’t do it anymore. So I switched to a different credit card. So I wouldn’t count on 3x points for contributing to your church, unfortunately. I hope you have better luck than I did!

  5. Since, in each FlexPoints redemption tier, you can earn a minimum of 1.33 cents per FlexPoint and a maximum of 2 cents per FlexPoint, that means the average value of a FlexPoint (assuming you don’t always wait for a ticket priced close to the top of a tier) is about 1.66 cents.

    So that means I’m earning about 3.33% at restaurants, my cell phone bill, and one of gas/grocery/airfare. The one that really stands out is restaurants, since it’s hard to find cards that beat 3.33% at restaurants (unless you’ve still got one of the old Citi Forward cards that earns 5% at restaurants).

    So, yeah, I think these are some pretty compelling cards.

  6. Pingback: Miles and Points, Pretty Card | Miles For Family