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For the last few years a potentially valuable but somewhat under-the-radar credit card rewards program has been the US Bank FlexPerks program. Via this program and the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card you have been able to get as high as 2 cents in value for points redeemed for flights. Not only that, but the FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature awards as many as 2x – 3x points per dollar in some bonus categories making it easier to rack up points faster.
However, it wasn’t a slam dunk proposition for everyone because the bonus categories were a bit unique in that charity that paid out at 3x points and you got 2x on cell phone service + 2x on either gas stations, grocery stores, or airlines – whichever you spent the most at that month. That was unique but okay, however the more challenging aspect to maximize with this program was redeeming the points for maximum value.
The best redemption opportunities with the FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature were redeeming the points for airfare, but even then the value of the points varied widely depending on a somewhat strange airfare redemption chart where you wanted your airfare to fall very close to a particular pricing threshold such as $400, $600, $800, etc. If you used points to buy a $175 flight you wouldn’t even get 1 cent per point in value, but if you used them for $399 in flights then you would get close to 2 cents in value per point.
Big Changes Coming to FlexPerks Points on December 31st
However, this is all reportedly changing on December 31, 2017, when the award chart above becomes a relic and your FlexPoints on this card will become redeemable for travel at a fixed value of 1.5 cents per point. Not only will airfare redemptions come at a flat 1.5 cents per point valuation, but so will redemptions for car rentals and hotels. They will also be dropping the bonus paid out on charity expenses from 3x to 2x points per dollar.
The redemption changes honestly are neither all good nor all bad, though they are probably worse for readers of sites like this than for the average consumer. Back when I had this card I got more than 1.5 cents per point when redeeming for airfare, but I also have the opportunity to purchase airfare frequently, so I could be choosey about when to use FlexPoints versus another option. For those who only fly once or twice a year, it would be harder to ensure you were really getting as much value as possible from the points as your airfare expenses may or may not fall close to one of the pricing thresholds. In the case of a less frequent traveler, a flat 1.5 cents points valuation may actually be better than the current chart.
I have not yet seen any updates about what may happen to the current $25 airline allowance with every award travel ticket that is good towards airline baggage fees, in-flight food and beverages and more. While a somewhat off-label use, I know some have used this $25 credit towards buying an airline gift card on the day of travel. Hopefully this credit will remain as-is and potentially it could be used even more frequently if you start redeeming for multiple cheaper airline tickets than you did in the past since the pricing thresholds will disappear after the end of the year.
Will the coming FlexPerks changes impact how you use the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.