Last Updated: 2/28/2013
The USBank FlexPerks travel card is quite a strong credit card if you are fine with redeeming your points for airline tickets (due to the very favorable redemption rates for airline tickets provided by this card, discussed below). Other forms of redemption, such as gift cards, cash back, and merchandise, offer far more “ordinary” value for your hard-earned points, and the FlexPerks Travel Card won’t make much sense in these redemption scenarios.
Key Rewards,Fees and Benefits of the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Credit Card
Here’s a quick table summarizing some of the key features of the USBank Travel Card:
|Reward Program Name||FlexPerks (you earn FlexPoints)|
|Base Rewards||$1 of spend = 1 FlexPoint|
|Bonus Category Rewards||
|Other Bonuses||Airline travel allowance of up to $25 with each reward ticket for baggage fees, in-flight food, drinks, etc.|
|Points Caps||After passing $120,000 in spend per year, you will earn 1 point for every $2 of spend.|
|Points Expiration||FlexPoints expire 5 years from the from the end of the calendar quarter in which they were earned.|
|Value of Points||$0.01 when redeeming for cash
$0.0175 when redeeming for airline tickets
|Redemption Details||Redeem FlexPoints for merchandise, hotel stays, car rentals, cruise gift certificates, gift cards and statement credits.|
|Optimum Redemption||Airline tickets (no blackout dates)|
|Annual Fee||$49 per year; free first year.|
|Foreign Transaction Fees||2% of each foreign purchase transaction (or ATM) conducted in US Dollars; 3% of each foreign purchase transaction (or ATM) conducted in a foreign currency.|
|Balance Transfer Fees||$5 or 4% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.|
Earning Rewards With the FlexPerks Travel Card: Nothing to Write Home About
This USBank Travel Card doesn’t offer much on the earnings side of the equation. The base rewards are average (1 point per dollar of spend), and the double points are only for 1 spending category (chosen from gas, airline or supermarket purchases, whichever is highest each month). Given that the Blue Cash PreferredS® Card from American Express gets you 6% cashback at supermarkets, and 3% cash back at gas stations and drug stores, there is clearly plastic out there with more earnings power.
The signup bonus of 17,500 FlexPoints (if you spend $2,500 within 5 months of opening the account) is better than a majority of cards, but not earth-shattering either.
Read on though, to see where the US Bank Flexperks Travel Card really excels.
Redeeming Rewards: The FlexPerks Travel Card Looks Like The Muscles From Brussels
If you are willing to redeem for air travel, this is where the USBank FlexPerks Travel Card really shines. The key is in the redemption schedule.
As the table below shows, when redeeming for airfare, the value of FlexPoints ranges from about $0.0130 to $0.0200. Notice that the sweet spot ticket price range is between $801 and $1,000, where even at the lowest end of the range (redeeming your rewards for a ticket costing $801), you’re still earning $0.0160 per FlexPoint. GetDebit actually uses a value of $0.0175 as our official estimate of the value of a FlexPoint when redeemed for airfare.
|Ticket Cost||Points Required||Value of Points (Low Range)||Value of Points (High Range)|
|Up to $400||20,000||$0.0000||$0.0200|
|$401 to $600||30,000||$0.0134||$0.0200|
|$601 to $800||40,000||$0.0150||$0.0200|
|$801 to $1,000||50,000||$0.0160||$0.0200|
|$1,001 to $1,400||70,000||$0.0143||$0.0200|
|$1,401 to $2,000||100,000||$0.0140||$0.0200|
|$2,001 to $3,000||150,000||$0.0133||$0.0200|
|$3,001 to $4,500||225,000||$0.0133||$0.0200|
|$4,501 to $7,000||350,000||$0.0129||$0.0200|
|$7,001 to $10,000||500,000||$0.0140||$0.0200|
FlexPerk Travel Card Fees
There is a $49 annual fee for this card, although the fee is waived for the first year. US Bank also has an interesting structure regarding foreign purchases (something we haven’t seen before), whereby if the foreign purchase is conducted in US dollars (for example, taking USD out of an ATM), then you are only assessed a 2% transaction fee, whereas if its done in a foreign currency, then it’s the more commonly found 3%.
GetDebit’s Final Assessment of the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Credit Card
The USBank FlexPerks Travel Card is a reasonably strong card when used to redeem for air travel, but doesn’t pack the earnings punch of some other cards out there in the plastic universe. Feel free to take our GetDebit Ranking Engine for a spin. Just by entering your estimates of how much you spend on each major category (supermarkets, gas, etc) GetDebit will calculate which cards will give you the most rewards, net of annual fees.