Don’t Fight With the US Bank Travel Portal Anymore!  Introducing Real-Time Rewards!

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Don’t Fight With the US Bank Travel Portal Anymore!  Introducing Real-Time Rewards!

Million Mile SecretsDon’t Fight With the US Bank Travel Portal Anymore!  Introducing Real-Time Rewards!Million Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Lots of folks like earning Big Travel with Small Money with cards that earn cash back, or miles & points that you can redeem for cash back.  With these types of rewards, you don’t have to worry about blackout dates.  And you can earn frequent flyer miles from your free flights!

But in order to get the highest redemption rates per point, you’ll usually have to book through the bank’s travel center or have a specific credit card to get the best deals. 🙁

Not anymore!  US Bank has introduced a new, potentially more valuable way to redeem certain US Bank points!

How To Activate US Bank Real Time Rewards
With US Bank’s Real-Time Mobile Rewards, You Can Redeem Your US Bank Points When You’re on the Go!

US Bank has several credit cards which earn points you can redeem for 1.5 cents each toward eligible travel expenses.  In the past, to get this increased redemption rate, you’d have to book your travel through the US Bank travel portal.

But now US Bank has introduced Real-Time Rewards, which allows you to skip the US Bank travel portal and stack discounts on top of your points redemptions!

Being able to redeem your US Bank points without having to navigate the US Bank travel portal has some great benefits.  But not all US Bank cards are eligible for this service.

So let’s take a look at how you can increase your savings with US Bank Real-Time Rewards.  And I’ll let you know which cards are eligible and show you how to activate the service, step-by-step.

How to Use Real-Time Rewards to Your Advantage

Link:   US Bank Real-Time Rewards

Once you’ve activated your Real-Time Rewards, you won’t have to book your travel through the US Bank travel portal ever again!

Instead, every time you make a qualifying travel purchase you’ll get a text message asking if you want to redeem points for it.  Simply text back “Redeem” and the points will automatically be credited at 1.5 cents each toward the purchase!

So you don’t need to waste time trying to find the flight or hotel you wanted on the US Bank travel portal.  And you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re getting the best price.  Because you can find the best deal from any site and just pay with your eligible US Bank card to use the service.

Because you can book directly with the travel provider, you’ll earn miles & points on top of your award travel!  And you should earn credit card points on these purchases as well.

How To Activate US Bank Real Time Rewards
Because You Don’t Have to Book Through the US Bank Travel Portal Anymore, You’ll Be Able to Take Advantage of Shopping Portal Bonuses!

One of the biggest advantages to redeeming rewards this way is you can still make your purchases through shopping portals!

For example, you could click through the RetailMeNot cash back portal to save $50 off a $500 IHG booking.  Because you’re still booking directly with the hotel, you’ll be able to earn IHG points, take advantage of any current hotel promotions, and have your elite status recognized.

And if you make the purchase with a U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card, you would earn 3 Altitude Reserve points per $1.  Because you’re paying for the travel first and then redeeming your points to erase the charge!

Then you’d be able to use the extra 1,500 US Bank Altitude Reserve points ($500 x 3 US Bank Altitude Reserve points per $1) to save ~$23 on another travel purchase (1,500 US Bank Altitude Reserve points X 1.5 cents each)!

Which US Bank Cards Are Eligible for Real-Time Rewards?

Not every US Bank credit card is eligible for Real-Time Rewards.  You’ll be able to register if you have one of these US Bank cards:

Card Card Details
U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card50,000 US Bank Altitude Reserve points after spending $4,500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

- 3X Altitude Reserve points per $1 on all eligible mobile wallet and travel purchases

- 1 Altitude Reserve point per $1 on all other eligible purchases
U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Business Edge™ Travel Rewards Card25,000 FlexPoints after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 4 months of account opening

- 2X Flexpoints for eligible charitable donations

- 2X Flexpoints on the category you spend the most on (gas, office supplies or airline) and most cell phone expenses during each billing cycle
U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Card25,000 FlexPoints after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 4 months of account opening

- 2X Flexpoints for eligible charitable donations

- 2X Flexpoints on the category you spend the most on (gas, grocery stores or airline) and most cell phone expenses during each billing cycle

Real-Time Rewards is currently not available for the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Select+ American Express® Card or the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card.

How to Activate US Bank Real-Time Mobile Rewards

First you’ll need to log into your US Bank account.

Step 1.   Click “My Rewards”

Select the “My Rewards” tab to continue.

How To Activate US Bank Real Time Rewards
Once You’ve Logged Into Your Account, Click the “My Rewards” Button

Step 2.   Select “Redeem Rewards & Access Card Benefits”

Next, click the “Redeem Rewards & Access Card Benefits” button.

How To Activate US Bank Real Time Rewards
Select “Redeem Rewards & Access Card Benefits”

Step 3.   Click “Card Benefits”

Now you can select the “Card Benefits” tab.

How To Activate US Bank Real Time Rewards
Click the “Card Benefits” Tab

Step 4.   Choose “Real-Time Rewards”

To continue, select “Real-Time Rewards“.

How To Activate US Bank Real Time Rewards
Select “Real-Time Rewards”

Step 5.   Accept the Terms & Conditions

To accept the terms and conditions, click the “OK” button in the bottom right corner.

How To Activate US Bank Real Time Rewards
Click “OK” to Continue

Step 6.   Set Your Reward Options

You are able to choose the minimum purchase amount for redeeming your US Bank points.  You’ll also need to choose which categories of purchases you want to redeem your points for.  Or you can simply click the “Select All” button at the top to choose every category.

When you are ready, click the “Next” button to finish your registration!

How To Activate US Bank Real Time Rewards
You Are Able to Select Which Categories of Purchases You Want to Redeem Your US Bank Points For

No matter what you set your minimum purchase amount to, the minimum redemption amount for hotel purchases will be no less than $500.  And the minimum purchase amount for rental car redemptions will not be less than $250.

Step 7.   You’re Good to Go!

Now you should see this confirmation page letting you know your setup was successful!

By now, you should have received a text from US Bank asking you to confirm your enrollment.  Reply to the text with “YES” to finish your activation.

How To Activate US Bank Real Time Rewards
You’re All Set! Now You’re Ready to Start Redeeming Your US Bank Points for Big Travel With Small Money!

Bottom Line

If you like the simplicity of redeeming miles & points for cash back, you might like US Bank’s new Real-Time Rewards.

Once you’re registered, you can redeem your US Bank points for 1.5 cents as a statement credit toward travel purchases.  And you do NOT need to go through the hassle of booking through the US Bank travel portal!  Not all US Bank cards qualify.

When you make a qualifying purchase on an eligible US Bank card, you’ll receive a text message asking if you want to redeem your US Bank points for the purchase.  To redeem your points simply response by texting “Redeem” and you’re done!

You should still earn credit card rewards for your purchases.  And because you’re not booking through the US Bank travel portal, you’ll be able to take advantage of shopping portal deals!

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U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

  • Exclusive to U.S. Bank customers
  • New Cardmember Bonus: 50,000 bonus points worth $750 on travel when you spend $4,500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening
  • Up to $325 annual statement credits for eligible net travel purchases
  • Earn 3X points for every $1 on eligible net travel purchases & mobile wallet spending
  • Complimentary Gogo® Inflight Wi-Fi – get 12 passes per year
  • Airport Lounge Access to 1,000+ Priority PassTM lounges worldwide
  • TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry – up to $100 statement credit reimbursement for the application fee once every four years
  • See additional U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card details
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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I’ve just had a go-round with CS. Yes, RTR will reimburse travel at 1.5. But you have to have 1:1 available to cover and trigger it. So my $850 hotel bill that only needs 57k points didn’t trigger and is not eligible for RTR because I don’t have 85k points. Not cool.

Ah – that is frustrating. I know it’s one reason people love Capital One Venture miles because you can just redeem them to offset a travel purchase paid for with your card.

US Bank is painfully slow for anything, compared to other banks. I get a substantial amount of credit in a snap from Amex, and could spend right away. 3 days later the card shows. US Bank it takes weeks. And then they drag for weeks and weeks on giving you your points even when you pay quickly. Forget them

Thanks for this write up! I have been wanting to use some of my flex points to buy a plane ticket for my nephew but the flex travel site is so slow! Now I know I can buy a ticket via other travel website, pay with my registered flex card, receive a txt to confirm I want to redeem the points and voila! 🙂 Thanks!

Do all the categories in those checkboxes qualify for 1.5cpp, or which ones do?

Million Mile Secrets

I believe only travel purchases will qualify for the 1.5 cents per point redemption rate. I haven’t used this yet, but I’m assuming other purchases are 1 cent per point, which is the rate for a statement credit.

Please let us know if you have a different experience.

Just to clarify, for travel category redemption it will give 3x but for other categories it is only at 1x?

Million Mile Secrets

The US Bank Altitude Reserve card earns 3X Altitude Reserve points per $1 spent on travel AND eligible mobile wallet purchases. All other purchases with this card are 1X.

Not all airlines included. Alaska not.

Million Mile Secrets

Are you saying you didn’t earn 3X Altitude Reserve points on Alaska Airlines purchases? Or that you couldn’t redeem US Bank points for 1.5 cents each toward an Alaska Airlines purchase?

I’m saying that there are airlines (more than just Alaska) and hotels (more than a few) that you cannot redeem points for. It’s deeply buried in the footnotes. I booked an Alaska flight and didn’t get the immediate text for redemption. I called in and, after a solid hour with 3 reps and an eventual VP, found out that there are a whole bunch of exemptions…..and they track with the limitations that their portal used to have.

BTW….even with the hotel/car/airline exemptions, this is an astonishing improvement to their card and, by my eye, given the 3X mobile purchases, makes this, BY FAR, my go to premium card given the instant 1.5X redemption. It truly makes it a 4.5X earning card. And I DO NOT think this will last.