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It’s actually not all about Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards, there are other credit card rewards programs that are not to be ignored in the world of lucrative travel rewards. There a few very exciting happenings surrounding the US Bank FlexPerks program I want to catch you up on in case this is a program that hasn’t been very high on your radar.
Final Days for Increased FlexPerks Olympic Sized Sign-Up Bonus
First, US Bank is offering a temporarily increased sign-up bonus on their US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa (not an affiliate link) to correspond with how well Team USA did at the 2018 Winter Olympics. In addition to the standard bonus of 25,000 points after $2,000 in spending on the card in the first four months, you can also get 500 additional points for each Team USA Gold, 250 points for each Silver, and 100 points for each Team USA Bronze medal if you apply by March 10, 2018, and make your first purchase by April 6, 2018.
In South Korea, Team USA won nine Gold medals (4,500 bonus points), nine Silver medals (2,000 bonus points), and six Bronze medals (600 bonus points). This comes to 7,100 bonus points in addition to the standard 25,000 point bonus. With FlexPerks, your points are now worth 1.5 cents each towards booking travel, which means that the limited-time Olympics bonus is worth $106.50 on top of the $375 value of the regular bonus.
That comes to a total of $481.50 towards travel if you act quickly!
The US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa is a pretty unique card as it also gives you a $25 airline allowance towards baggage fees, in-flight food and drinks, or a seat upgrade on each airline award redemption. You also get 12 GoGo In-flight WiFi passes each year, which is extremely valuable and worth well over $100 if you need to stay connected when you fly on a somewhat regular basis. This card has a $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then a reasonable $49 in subsequent years.
For your everyday earning on this card, you get 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores, or with the airlines – whichever one you spend the most with that billing cycle. You also get 2x points with most cell phone providers and on charitable donations and 1x elsewhere.
FlexPerks Points Now Much Easier to Use Towards Travel
This increased Olympics bonus was already worth considering since it only comes around every two years or so, but this week the FlexPerks program made their line up of Visa FlexPerks Cards much more interesting. Per Frequent Miler, you can now book travel on your FlexPerks Cards directly with the airlines, hotels, and car rental companies and then use a brand new real-time mobile rewards feature to redeem your points at 1.5 cents in value against these travel charges! They have had instant mobile rewards for a couple years, but only at a 1 cent in value return against any charge, not at the higher 1.5 cent rate specifically for travel. Be aware that there are some minimums purchase amounts to use your points at 1.5 cents each towards travel, but it seems you may be able to set your own minimums.
This is a huge change in how you use FlexPerks points because previously you had to go through the US Bank travel portal to use your points at 1.5 cents each towards travel, and thus were restricted to their selections. You couldn’t book directly with hotels and airlines and take advantage of direct booking benefits, additional fare selections, direct booking discounts, and more. I haven’t had a FlexPerks credit card in a few years, but now I really want one again. This new way to use points not only applies to the FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa that has the increased Olympics sign-up bonus for a few more days, but also to the US Bank Reserve Card that awards 50,000 points worth $750 in travel after you spend $4,500 in the first 90 days. This premium card has a $325 annual statement credit to use towards travel and a $400 annual fee. It awards 3x points on travel and mobile wallet purchases and can be thought of as a Chase Sapphire Reserve challenger.
Being able to redeem points at 1.5 cents each towards travel you book directly with hotels, airlines, etc. makes FlexPerks a much more relevant points currency, and this new feature was released with perfect timing for the final few days of the increased Olympics sign-up bonus.
If you have a FlexPerks Visa, have you tested out their new way to use points against travel charges?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.