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US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card Review: Solid Travel Rewards, a Low Annual Fee, and a GREAT Card for Charitable Donations

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US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card Review: Solid Travel Rewards, a Low Annual Fee, and a GREAT Card for Charitable Donations

Chris CampbellUS Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card Review: Solid Travel Rewards, a Low Annual Fee, and a GREAT Card for Charitable DonationsMillion Mile Secrets Team

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INSIDER SECRET: You can earn a $25 reimbursement toward fees for checked bags or inflight spending on round-trip flights purchased with points from this card!

When it comes to credit card rewards for hotels, flights and other travel, US Bank FlexPerks is not the most talked-about program. This makes sense with some of the incredible bonuses and perks available through programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards. But the US Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card is no pushover, particularly if you like to redeem points for travel and want to minimize annual fees.

Right now, you can earn an enrollment bonus of 25,000 US Bank FlexPoints after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first four months from opening the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card. That’s worth $375 in travel when you redeem your points for flights, hotels, rental cars and more through the US Bank Travel Portal.

The US Bank Flexperks Travel Rewards Card is one of the few cards that offers bonus points on charitable contributions, where you can earn 2x FlexPoints per dollar. You will also earn bonus points for purchases with airlines, gas stations, grocery stores and cell phone providers.

You can apply for the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card here.

You can earn a sign-up bonus of 25,000 points (worth $375 toward travel) when you sign up for the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card. (Photo by Maridav/Shutterstock)

US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card Review

Apply Here: US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card

 

With the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card, you’ll earn 25,000 US Bank FlexPoints after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first four months of opening your account. That’s worth $375 in travel when you redeem your points for travel through the US Bank Travel Portal. Since the card has no annual fee for the first year ($49 after that), you are guaranteed to come out ahead if you meet the minimum spending requirements.

US Bank FlexPoints are generally worth 1 cent per point when used as a statement credit, or redeemed for gift cards (more on that shortly). The most valuable way to use FlexPoints is for airfare, hotels and car rentals booked through the US Bank Travel Portal, where your points are worth 50% more (1.5 cents per point).

So, if you sign up for the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card and spend $2,000 on purchases in the first four months, you will be able to redeem your FlexPoints for at least $405 worth of free travel:

  • 25,000 point enrollment bonus + at least 2,000 points from purchases = 27,000 points
  • 27,000 points x 1.5 cents per point for travel = $405

With $405, you could:

  • Book 3-4 short round-trips during a Southwest fare sale, where prices start at $49 one way
  • Book up to 3 nights at a Hyatt hotel, such as the Hyatt Place Baltimore Owings Mills, where rates are often $117 per night
  • Rent a car for a week or more using Hertz, National or Budget

The US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card does not allow you to transfer points to airlines or hotels like some other cards, but the 50% bonus for travel booked through the US Bank Travel Portal is a huge perk, especially when the cash cost for airlines or hotels is better than award rates.

For example, last year I stayed at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. As a Hyatt Category 4 hotel, one night in a standard room goes for 15,000 Hyatt points, but the hotel had cash rates for $149 per night. Instead of using up 15,000 valuable Hyatt points, I booked the stay through the travel portal for only 9,934 points ($149 / 1.5 cents per point). This saved me a ton of points and allowed me to keep my Hyatt points for a better deal.

You can save a ton of money by using the travel portal to book an award stay instead of using Hyatt points. (Photo by Dancestrokes/Shutterstock)

How to Earn Points With the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card

In addition to the 25,000-point enrollment bonus, the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card earns 2x points per dollar in one of the following categories:

  • Airlines
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores

To earn the 2x points, you don’t have to select one of the categories. Instead, US Bank will award the bonus points in whichever category you had the most spending each month. If you book a few flights in January and that is your highest spending category, you’ll get 2x Flexpoints on all of your spending with airlines that month. In the next month, if your highest spending is at grocery stores, you’ll get 2x points at grocery stores that month.

Aside from these three bonus categories, the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card offers 2x points on all spending with cellular service providers and charitable organizations. According to US Bank, purchases with any merchant that classifies itself as a “charitable or social service organization” are eligible for 2x points. Other cards such as the The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express allow you to earn 2x points on all purchases (up to $50,000 in spending per year, then 1x after), but this is the only card I know that specifically offers 2x points on purchases with charitable organizations.

The US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card is a great way to earn more points on your purchases with charitable organizations. (Photo by Oatawa/Shutterstock)

Purchases outside of these bonus categories will earn 1x points per dollar, and there is no limit to the number of points you can earn. The US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card has no foreign transaction fees, so you can earn points anywhere in the world Visa cards are accepted without an additional fee.

How to Use US Bank FlexPoints

Similar to other credit card points, you can use US Bank FlexPoints in a variety of ways. Using your FlexPoints for travel booked through the US Bank Travel Portal is by far the best value, because your points are immediately worth 50% more. But if you don’t have any travel plans, there are a number of other ways to use your points.

Through the US Bank website, you can use FlexPoints for purchases with certain major online stores like Apple, Sony, Dell and North Face. You can also redeem FlexPoints for gift cards with many major retailers, including Amazon, Macy’s, Best Buy and Starbucks. When redeeming for purchases online or gift cards, FlexPoints are worth 1 cent per point. So the 25,000-point enrollment bonus would be worth $250 toward online purchases or gift cards.

Similarly, US Bank FlexPoints can be used as cash back or a statement credit. To do this, you simply log in to your US Bank account and redeem points for cash back. US Bank also has a program called Real-Time Mobile Rewards, which allows you to instantly redeem FlexPoints as a statement credit. Here’s how it works:

If you sign up for the Real Time Mobile Rewards program, you will receive a text message each time you use your US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card for a purchase. The text will ask if you would like to redeem FlexPoints to offset your purchase as a statement credit. By replying “Redeem,” your FlexPoints will instantly be used toward a statement credit to cover your purchase.

When redeeming for cash back or to offset non-travel purchases through Real Time Mobile Rewards, your FlexPoints are worth 1 cent per point. Reports online confirm you should still receive a value of 1.5 cents per point for most travel purchases.

According to US Bank, FlexPoints expire five years from the end of the calendar quarter in which they were earned and your account must be open and in good standing to earn and redeem FlexPoints and benefits.

US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card Benefits

One nice feature of the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card is a $25 reimbursement toward fees for checked bags or inflight food and drink purchases when you redeem your points for airfare through the US Bank Travel Portal. Here’s how the perk works:

  • Redeem your FlexPoints for round-trip airfare through the US Bank Travel Portal
  • Use your US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card to pay for checked bags or inflight food or beverages
  • Call the US Bank phone number printed on the back of your card and request a reimbursement for up to $25 within 90 days of the purchase
The $25 reimbursement on incidentals for airfare booked using FlexPoints through the US Bank Travel Portal can really come in handy when you have to check bags. (Photo by lightpoet/Shutterstock)

According the US Bank website, you will receive a statement credit within 4-6 weeks of requesting the reimbursement and you are eligible for the statement credit for each round-trip flight booking you make with FlexPoints through the US Bank Travel Portal. That means you can receive a lot of $25 statement credits if you regularly book award travel!

Note: Effective July 1, 2019, you must redeem a minimum of 10,000 FlexPoints per round-trip airline award ticket in order to be eligible for the $25 airline allowance.

Visa Signature Card Perks

As a Visa Signature card, US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card comes with the standard Visa Signature benefits:

  • Luxury Hotel Collection: Best rate guarantees, automatic upgrades when available, free internet, complimentary breakfast, late check out and more at select hotels
  • Visa Signature Concierge: Complimentary 24/7 concierge service that can assist you with booking travel, dining reservations, sports tickets and more
  • Purchase Security: Covers items purchases with the card from damage or theft for 90 days after purchase (up to $10,000 per purchases and $50,000 per year)
  • Warranty Management Service: When you register your items with this service, Visa will keep the terms of the warranty on file for you and double the length of the manufacturer’s standard warranty period on eligible warranties of three years or less
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Provides reimbursement for damage from collision or theft up to the actual cash value of most rental vehicles (coverage is secondary in your country of residence)
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services: Complimentary 24/7 service to help you find medical, legal and transportation assistance
  • Zero Fraud Liability: No liability for fraudulent purchases
  • Travel Accident Insurance: Coverage for you and your family members for certain accidents that occur while traveling

Is the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card Worth the Annual Fee?

Because the $49 annual fee is waived the first year, you will come out ahead as soon as you earn the 25,000-point enrollment bonus (worth $375 towards travel). However, there are a number of travel rewards cards that have better welcome bonuses:

While there are better sign-up bonuses available, none of the above cards offer the option to redeem your points for travel at a value of 1.5 cents per point. To do that, you would have to sign up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which has an annual fee of $450, or the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card, which has an annual fee of $400. If you are primarily looking to redeem your points for travel, the best value is typically found in cards that allow you to transfer points to airline and hotel partners. Either of the Chase Sapphire cards or any American Express card that earns Membership Rewards points will allow you to do this.

The other benefit in the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card that stands out is the 2x earning rate on purchases with charitable organizations. While your credit card points probably shouldn’t drive your charitable contributions, this is a great way to earn more points on giving that you were already making with a credit card.

So if you prefer a travel rewards card with a low annual fee, or if you have a lot of credit card spending with charitable organizations, the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card could be a great option for you! Folks who prefer to redeem points for bookings through travel portals (like the US Bank Travel Portal) will love that their FlexPoints are worth 50% more.

Does the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Charge Foreign Transaction Fees?

No.

Who Is Eligible for the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card?

US Bank is known for having strict application rules, especially if you open a lot of credit cards. If you’ve applied for lots of cards recently, it may be difficult to get approved for this card.

Should You Consider Other Cards?

The US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card will mainly appeal to people looking for a travel rewards card with a low annual fee. If you don’t mind paying a higher annual fee, there are a number of cards with bigger perks and more earning potential. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has an annual fee of $95, but earns 2x points on dining and travel and you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to a number of airline and hotel partners. The Chase Sapphire Reserve has an annual fee of $450, but comes with up to $300 in annual travel credit, earns 3x points on dining and travel (excluding $300 travel credit), and also earns Chase Ultimate Rewards that you can transfer to airline and hotel partners.

If you don’t want to a pay any annual fees, a card like the Citi Double Cash Card earns 1% cash back when you purchase and another 1% cash back when you pay, all with no annual fee, or you could go with the Chase Freedom, which offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases combined each quarter in rotating quarterly categories when you activate, also with no annual fee.

Bottom Line

If you sign up for the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card, you’ll earn 25,000 US Bank FlexPoints after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first four months of account opening. That’s worth $375 in travel when you redeem your points for travel through the US Bank Travel Portal.

The card has no annual fee for the first year ($49 after that). In addition to the enrollment bonus, you will earn 2x points on purchases with charitable organizations and cellular service providers. You’ll also earn 2x points on your highest spending bonus category (airfare, gas station or grocery store purchases) each month.

You can apply for the US Bank Flexperks Travel Rewards Card here.

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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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The problem when trying to redeem the points is that you have to speak to customer service agent from US Banks Flexperks over the phone. Recently, I booked a flight and hotel room using Flexperks points. However, after reviewing the itineray within one hour that was sent to my email address, I was unable to correct an error in the hotel reservation. They had booked my hotel room a day before my flight departure. This cost me 30,000 points. When I called back, the customer service agent said the hotel was non-refundable. They use Hotelbeds.com and said they would not refund the extra night that was booked. I would not recommend use US Bank Flexperks until they have an online booking system, and I am no longer using the card. Instead, I am using my cash back ViSA CitiBank card and just search online travel discounts websites for the best prices on Air, Room and Car.

When using their travel portal to book a rental car, is it possible to use codes/coupons for the major car rental companies in order to lower the number of points needed for redemption, as is the case when renting directly and paying with $ with the rental car company?

Author
Chris Campbell

Hi Ron,

I don’t know for sure for every rental car company, but I have not been able to use any codes or coupons on the rentals I have made through the travel portal.

I do not see anything about points expiring, and I believe they do in five years, GLARING omission if they do, in fact expire.

Author
Chris Campbell

Hi Greg,

Thanks for kindly pointing that out. We’ve updated the post to include information regarding the points expiring.

Cool, I want this card, but the expire of points IS my main reason for not apping…

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