U.S. Bank FlexPerks Program Review, Tips & More
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U.S. Bank’s credit card rewards program operates under the brand name of FlexPerks. Featuring a few consumer cards and business cards, the program is fairly minimal and straightforward. Members earn FlexPoints whenever they spend money (some credit cards earn at much more favorable rates than others), and these FlexPoints can then be redeemed for travel, cash back, gift cards or merchandise. Unfortunately, given that U.S. Bank provides only four redemption options – compared to the standard five or six – we aren’t too sure how flexible these FlexPoints actually are.
Continue reading our review below for more insider details about the FlexPerks program as well as a detailed breakdown of how it compares to other issuers’ rewards programs. After all, it’s integral to have all of the necessary information when shopping for a new rewards card (or trying to capitalize on one you already have).
Credit Cards Eligible for FlexPerks
Not all of U.S. Bank’s rewards credit cards belong to the FlexPerks program. Several of them either have their own individual rewards program or are co-branded cards that belong to a rewards program outside of U.S. Bank.
With that being said, you can refer to the table below to view the cards that actually belong to the FlexPerks rewards program:
Best FlexPerks Credit Card
We typically select a rewards program’s best credit cards by consulting our WalletHub Editor’s Best Picks, which are based on a regular analysis of more than 1,200 credit cards in order to find the top offers serving various consumer groups. Unfortunately, none of U.S. Bank’s rewards credit cards have been attractive enough to warrant inclusion. However, from a rewards standpoint, we’d have say that the following offer is the best credit card in the FlexPerks rewards program:
U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Card
This card offers 20,000 bonus points to those who spend at least $2,000 during the first 4 months they have it.
Earn More FlexPoints
Every credit card in the FlexPerks rewards program earns at a different base rate.
However, in addition to these base-earning rates, FlexPerks credit card users can take advantage of the following methods to accrue more points:
- Enrollment Bonuses – Certain FlexPerks credit cards provide spending-based initial rewards bonuses. For instance, the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card gives you 20,000 bonus points if you spend $2,000 in the first 4 months.
- “FlexPerks Promotions” – U.S. Bank offers sporadic points promotions – spend $3,000 in this month of November and earn 4,000 extra points, for example. These promotions vary drastically by credit card, geographic location and time period, rendering them very difficult to predict. To find out if you are eligible for a promotion, you must check periodically online, entering your credit card number into the promotions box and seeing if any offers turn up.
- No Rotating Categories – None of the FlexPerks credit cards have rotating bonus categories. You can therefore forgo the trouble of having to check the schedule every few months, as well as having to sign-up in order to earn extra.
- No Earning Cap – U.S. Bank doesn’t impose a maximum limit on how many points you can earn.
- No Minimum Threshold – You don’t need to spend a certain amount on your credit card in order to begin accruing points.
- Points Can Be Shared – You can share your points with other members of the program and/or combine points from multiple accounts (if you own more than one card).
Earning Restrictions to Watch Out For:
- Points Expire – All points expire 5 years from the end of the month in which they were earned. This is a significant drawback compared to the other rewards programs currently being offered.
- Earning Rate Varies Based on Amount Spent – For 3 of the 5 cards in this program, the earning rate of 1 point per dollar spent only holds for the first $120,000 per calendar year. If you’re a big spender, this could be a big disadvantage. Furthermore, U.S. Bank also fails to disclose this information prominently enough on their website.
- Extremely Low Earning Potential – The FlexPerks® Select Rewards Visa® Card only earns 1 point for every 2 dollars spent, which boils down to half a point per dollar spent. Not only does that put the card at a huge disadvantage in terms of rewards redemption, but it’s also one of the lowest earning rates we’ve come across – and we’ve reviewed a lot of rewards programs.
- Selling Points at Exorbitant Prices – U.S. Bank sells its points at a minimum rate of $60 for 2,000 points ($30 per 1,000 points thereafter). This is a rip-off, as it equates to paying 3 cents for 1 point – and each point is only worth around a cent in return, as you’ll see in our table below.
Redeeming FlexPoints for Maximum Value
Now that we’ve covered how to maximize your earnings, it’s time to discuss how to best liquidate your FlexPoints. So, which FlexPerks redemption option offers the most value per point?
We did the calculations (as you can see below), and it appears that redeeming for travel is the clear winner.
How Much is FlexPoint Worth?
The table below shows a detailed breakdown of the graph above. It specifies the monetary value of each point when redeemed through the different options offered by FlexPerks.
|Redemption Option||Dollar Cost||Points Needed||Raw Point Valuation|
|Airfare using booking tool*||$400.00*||24,540*||1.63 cents*|
|Hotel using booking tool*||$150.00*||11,810*||1.27 cents*|
|$50 Store Gift Card||$50.00||5,000||1.00 cent|
|$100 Store Gift Card||$100.00||10,000||1.00 cent|
|$200 Store Gift Card||$200.00||20,000||1.00 cent|
|$50 Statement Credit||$50.00||5,000||1.00 cent|
|$100 Statement Credit||$100.00||10,000||1.00 cent|
|$150 Statement Credit||$150.00||15,000||1.00 cent|
|$200 Statement Credit||$200.00||20,000||1.00 cent|
|$49.99 Item||$49.99||5,000||1.00 cent|
|$89.95 Item||$89.95||9,800||0.92 cents|
|$199.99 Item||$199.99||20,600||0.97 cents|
|$299.00 Item||$299.00||30,800||0.97 cents|
|$399.99 Item||$399.99||47,000||0.85 cents|
*Point pricing for airfare and hotel redemption is averaged from the chart system shown below.
Note: The customer service representatives at U.S. Bank were very reluctant to disclose information regarding the program to non-members, so we were unable to acquire specific details for the merchandise and gift cards.
- Decent Point Valuations Across All Redemption Options – All of the redemption options offer you around a cent per point. This is fairly decent, especially in comparison to many other rewards programs that give you as little as 0.5 cents (especially in cash back) for your point. However, note that this perk is somewhat counteracted for those holding the FlexPerks Select Rewards Visa Card, since they only earn 1 point for every 2 dollars spent.
- Fair Travel Prices – The FlexPerks travel booking tool is operated by Orbitz, which ensures fair prices for flights, hotels and more. This is good news since their booking tool is your only available option when redeeming for travel.
- Airfare Yields High Point Valuation – Your points are worth up to 2 cents when redeeming for airfare, which is one of the highest valuations we’ve seen. However, you won’t always get this maximum amount, as you’ll see in the airfare chart below.
Redemption Restrictions to Watch Out For:
- Limited Travel Options – Travelers cannot transfer their points into any external loyalty programs or offset purchases with a travel credit. Your only option is to use the program’s internal booking tool.
- Minimum Threshold on Redemption – You must wait until you have a certain number of points before you can redeem them. For example, redeeming for cash back begins at 5,000 points.
Redeeming FlexPoints for Airfare & Hotels
The U.S. Bank FlexPerks rewards program uses the following price chart to determine how many points are needed to pay for any given airfare ticket from their booking tool:
As you can see, your points can be worth up to 2 cents. For example, if your airfare ticket happens to cost $600, then it’s covered by 30,000 points. Likewise, if your ticket costs $1,000, it’s covered by 50,000 points. Ideally, you want your ticket price to come in just below the price ranges listed in the table (because if not, you’d be paying 40,000 points for a ticket priced at $600.01, rendering your point’s worth at 1.5 cents).
A similar chart is used for hotel redemption:
FlexPerks Transfer Partners
The FlexPerks rewards program does not have any transfer partners. Thus, if you want to book travel directly using points, your only option is to do so through the FlexPerks booking tool (either online or via telephone).
Pros & Cons of FlexPerks
Now that we’ve analyzed the program, reviewing it from both the earning and redemption angles, it’s time for the final say – what are the chief pros and cons of the FlexPerks rewards program? And what features are effectively ignorable?
- Decent Point Valuations Across All Redemption Options – All of the redemption options offer you around a cent per point.
- Fair Travel Prices – FlexPerks’ travel booking tool, powered by Orbitz, ensures fair prices for flights, hotels and more.
- Airfare Yields High Point Valuation – Your points can be worth up to 2 cents when redeeming for airfare.
- No Rotating Categories – None of the FlexPerks credit cards have rotating bonus categories.
- No Earning Cap – U.S. Bank doesn’t impose a maximum limit on how many points you can earn.
- No Minimum Threshold For Earning – You don’t need to spend a certain amount on your credit card in order to begin accruing points.
- Limited Travel Options – Your only option is to use the program’s internal booking tool when redeeming for travel. You do not have the ability to transfer your points onto external loyalty programs, which some issuers let you do.
- Minimum Threshold on Redemption – You must wait until you have a certain amount of points before redeeming for rewards. For instance, you need 5,000 points to redeem for cash back.
- Points Expire – All points expire 5 years from the end of the month in which they were earned.
- Earning Rate Varies Based on Amount Spent – For 3 of the 5 cards in this program, the earning rate of 1 point per dollar spent only holds for the first $120,000 per calendar year. Furthermore, U.S. Bank isn’t very explicit about disclosing this on their website.
- Selling Points at Exorbitant Prices – U.S. Bank sells its points at a minimum rate of $60 for 2,000 points ($30 per 1,000 points thereafter). As is the case with most issuers who sell points, this is a rip-off.
- Merchandise – Points are worth just under one cent when redeemed for merchandise. Since points are worth 1 cent for cash back, you might as well redeem for cash back and purchase your merchandise with that money elsewhere. Not only does it provide more value per point, but it’s also far more flexible.
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