- 1 U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card: A Great Travel Rewards Card
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U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card: A Great Travel Rewards Card
The FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature credit card from U.S. Bank is one of the better credit cards for travel rewards that we've come across here at ValuePenguin. The FlexPerks credit card offers a lot of opportunities to earn high-value travel points, and the best use is when it's redeemed for airfare at over 150 airlines for up to a 4% rewards rate. Outside of airline ticket redemptions, however, the card generally offers less value. The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card is recommended for anybody who is looking for a great way to earn airline travel rewards and isn't deterred by a slightly complicated rewards system.
- One of the higher travel rewards rates: up to 4% back on airfare
- Travel-friendly credit card: supports EMV Smart Chip technology, no foreign transaction fees ( based on credit worthiness)
- Low annual fee of $49 (waived in first year)
- Less rewards flexibility than similar travel cards
- Points expire after five years
- Some limits on point accumulation after certain spending threshold
FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Credit Card Review: A Great Option for Airfare Rewards
The FlexPerks Travel Rewards credit card from U.S. Bank is one of the best travel credit cards available. The rewards rate you earn with this Visa Signature card is greater than any of the other general-purpose travel cards – if used optimally, the card offers rewards rates of up to 4% when redeemed towards airfare. This rate is better than some of our top travel cards!
On top of offering great rewards when used for travel, the FlexPerks Travel Rewards card also showers cardholders with extra FlexPoints. You can earn double points on useful and common household categories, and up to triple the FlexPoints when using the card for charitable donations. The double points categories are gas, grocery, or airlines, which U.S. Bank offers some flexibility on. Only one of these three a month can earn cardholders double points, and U.S Bank determines that category automatically each month depending on which one has the most expenditure. If you generally spend very little money in two of the three categories this feature will not affect you much. However if your spending is more even across, it may be annoying not being able to squeeze more points out of all three, or at least two, of those categories. Spending in other categories stays fixed at a dollar for FlexPoint ratio.
The rewards on the FlexPerks Visa Signature are a great deal for a relatively low annual fee. High-end travel cards, which offer similar features, tend to cost more per year than the card’s $49 annual fee (waived the first year). This annual fee is effectively reduced to $0, if cardholders spend at least $24,000 per year. Doing so will trigger a rewards bonus which can be redeemed for the annual fee. Therefore, if your spending patterns exceed $2,000 per month and you plan to redeem your FlexPoints each year, the FlexPerks credit card can become a ‘no annual fee’ travel rewards credit card, increasing its value.
What limits the FlexPerks Travel Rewards credit card from being the best travel credit card is less flexibility. Some of the best credit cards for travel, such as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, have broader categories when it comes to redeeming for travel expenses. For example, miles earned on the Barclaycard can be applied to hotel stays or car rentals on vacation. Ironically, FlexPoints aren’t that flexible - if you are not spending them on airplane tickets, you are not getting the most out of the FlexPerks Visa card.
Below is a more detailed breakdown of all benefits and features offered by the card.
- Earn 20,000 FlexPoints after you spend $3,500 in net purchases on your card within the first four months.
- Earn 1 FlexPoint for every $1 of eligible net purchases charged to your Card
- Earn 2 FlexPoints for every $1 spent on gas, grocery or airline net purchases - whichever you spend most on each monthly billing cycle - and on most cell phone expenses
- 3 FlexPoints per $1 on qualifying charitable donations
- Redeem FlexPoints on airline tickets, statement credits, gift cards and more
- No foreign transaction fee
- EVM chip technology for added security abroad
- Receive an airline allowance of up to $25 with every award travel ticket to use toward baggage fees, in-flight food or drinks and more
- Subject to credit approval
Unlike most other U.S. Bank credit cards we've covered, the FlexPerks Travel Rewards credit has a somewhat more complex point accumulation system.
You earn 2 FlexPoints for each $1 spent on either gas, groceries, or airline purchases. Out of those three, the category you spend the most money on in a monthly billing cycle will be the one for which you will earn double points that month. The other two categories, along with all other net purchases not specified above earn you 1 FlexPoint for each $1 spent. Most other credit cards have fixed bonus points for specific categories of spending, so the FlexPerks's point structure allows some flexibility in this regard. For those consumers whose spending in these three categories is seasonal, the FlexPerks Travel Rewards credit card will automatically adjust to reward a bonus point on the highest category that month. Another category that earns double the FlexPoints is cell phone expenses, which is a rare bonus category on a travel rewards credit card. Cell Phone expenses include any charges made to a major cellular telecommunications provider in the United States (be it the smartphone or your recurring phone bill).
Note that once credit card spending exceeds $120,000 for the year, the point system with the FlexPerks credit card falls down to one point per $2 of net purchases.
How to Redeem FlexPoints on the FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card
How can cardholders redeem the FlexPoints they've earned on their FlexPerks Travel Rewards credit card? FlexPoints can only be redeemed through U.S. Bank's online portal. Cardholders need to log in to U.S. Bank’s website and there they will be taken to a store where they can choose how to spend their FlexPoints. Users can decide to redeem their points towards rewards such as airline tickets (through the affiliated Orbitz portal), gift cards, statement credits, and more. Note that there is an important difference between FlexPoints and miles earned with more traditional travel cards. Unlike miles, when used for travel, FlexPoints can be redeemed to purchase new airline tickets only – not seat/class upgrades, hotel stays, or previously purchased flights. For these other types of travel spending, FlexPoints would have to be converted to statement credits and applied towards those purchases. If used as statement credits towards travel, however, cardholders would be earning less than the maximal 4%. In these cases, the FlexPerks Travel Rewards card works like a cash back credit card where you are directly transferring your points towards cash value products, and each FlexPoint spent can be worth anywhere between $0.01 to $0.02.
To cardholders who like to save their points up for an extended period of time before redeeming them, there is a point after which FlexPoints expire – specifically, after 5 years. This point lifetime is long enough that most card users should not have any trouble with points expiring. The rate at which you gather FlexPoints with the FlexPerks credit card is good enough to accumulate redeemable points.
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