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U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa® Card Review

At a Glance
us bank flexperks travel rewards visa card
3.9 / 5
Rating

U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa® Card

This offer is no longer available.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 25,000 bonus FlexPoints (worth up to $375) when you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first 4 months
  • Rewards: Unlimited 2 FlexPoints per $1 spent on qualifying net purchases with charitable organizations and grocery stores; unlimited 1 FlexPoint per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Benefits: 12 complimentary Boingo WiFi passes for in-flight access per year; $25 airline fee allowance for each award ticket
  • Intro APR: None
  • Fees: $0 foreign transaction fee
  • Annual Fee: $49 (waived in the first year)
  • Credit Needed: Excellent

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

This offer is no longer available.

The U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa® Card is a premium travel rewards credit card that favors spending on charitable donations, mobile telecommunications, and your choice of airline, gas station, or grocery store purchases.

Though FlexPerks Travel Rewards cardholders can redeem their accumulated FlexPerks for pretty much anything, airfare and other travel purchases offer the best deal – making this a great card for folks looking to cut the cost of domestic or international travel, whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon getaway or a quick weekend getaway to San Francisco.

As a general-purpose travel card, FlexPerks Travel Rewards doesn’t force you to limit travel spending to a single airline or hospitality brand. Wherever and whenever you want to go, this card makes it possible.

Keep reading to learn more about its features, advantages, drawbacks, and overall suitability.

Key Features

Sign-Up Bonus

When you spend at least $2,000 within the first 4 months, you earn 25,000 bonus FlexPoints. That’s worth up to $375 when redeemed for select travel purchases (including airfare, hotels, and car rentals) and $250 when redeemed for cash.

Earning FlexPoints

This card earns unlimited 2 FlexPoints per $1 spent on qualifying net grocery store purchases and charitable contributions. All other qualifying net purchases earn unlimited 1 FlexPoint per $1 spent.

Redeeming FlexPoints

Redeem your accumulated FlexPoints for cash, travel, merchandise, and gift cards in the FlexPerks marketplace. The best value comes from Travel Rewards – loyalty currency that can be exchanged for travel purchases, including hotels, car rentals, and airfare.

Travel Rewards are reliably worth $0.015 at redemption. You can redeem with more than 150 airlines and never have to worry about seat restrictions or blackout dates. If you’re a frequent flyer with any participating airlines, you automatically earn frequent flyer miles on award travel.

Other redemption options include gift cards, statement credits, bank account deposits, and general merchandise. For most non-travel redemptions, you need at least 1,000 points ($10 value).

Travel Benefits

FlexPerks Travel Rewards has some useful, potentially valuable travel benefits:

  • Complimentary Boingo In-Flight WiFi: This card comes with 12 complimentary Boingo In-Flight WiFi passes, good for redemption on any domestic or international flight with Boingo In-Flight WiFi service.
  • Airline Fee Credit for Award Tickets: You’re entitled to a $25 airline fee allowance (credit) on baggage fees, in-flight purchases, and other eligible fees with each award ticket purchased with your FlexPoints. This allowance doesn’t apply to airfare purchased with U.S. dollars, however.
  • Boston Coach Discounts and Preferred Treatment: As a FlexPerks member, you’re entitled to preferred rates and service with Boston Coach, a chauffeured car service with locations worldwide.
  • Complimentary Rental Car Insurance: When you pay for your rental car in full with your FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature card, this Visa-backed benefit entitles you to complimentary loss and damage coverage.
  • FlexPoints Photo Contest: On your next award trip, snap a photo of something cool and submit it to the FlexPerks Photo Contest, a monthly draw exclusively for FlexPerks customers. 6 winners earn up to 20,000 FlexPoints each month – enough for a round-trip award flight, in many cases.

Additional Benefits

This card’s additional benefits include:

  • Overdraft Protection for U.S. Bank Deposit Account Holders: If you have an existing deposit account with U.S. Bank, or open one after receiving your credit card, you can protect against overdrafts and declined transactions by linking it to your FlexPerks Travel Rewards card. Once linked, transactions that would normally result in negative balances are instead consummated as normal. U.S. Bank then draws a sufficient cash advance against your FlexPerks Travel Rewards cash advance credit line to cover the shortfall. Each overdraft protection transaction (or one daily when multiple transactions occur in a single day) incurs a variable charge to your deposit account – most often $12.50 per day. Each transfer accrues interest at a higher cash advance rate as well, so it’s best to use this benefit sparingly and pay off your transfers as soon as practically possible.
  • Concierge Service: This Visa-backed perk entitles you to 24/7 concierge service at home and on the road. You can use it to secure restaurant or entertainment recommendations, find interesting spots in unfamiliar places, or book transportation and tours anywhere in the world.

Important Fees

The $49 annual fee is waived during the first year. There’s no foreign transaction fee. Cash advances cost at least the greater of $5 or 3%, but certain types of cash advances (including overdraft protection transfers) cost more. Balance transfers always cost the greater of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount. Late payments cost $38. Returned payments cost $35.

Credit Required

This card requires excellent credit.

Advantages

  1. Broad 2x Categories. You get two 2x categories with this card: groceries and charitable contributions. The latter is particularly appealing, as charitable donations are often tax deductible – though you’ll want to speak with a licensed tax professional to assess your specific situations.
  2. Solid Sign-Up Bonus. This card’s sign-up bonus is worth up to $375 when redeemed for award airfare, hotels, car rentals, and other qualifying travel purchases. Though $2,000 in 4 months is a steep ask for frugal cardholders with trim personal budgets, it’s not impossible – and it’s your ticket to a free flight or overnight stay in your next vacation destination.
  3. No Blackout Dates. When you’re ready to redeem for award travel, you don’t have to worry about blackout dates. You can redeem with more than 150 airlines on your terms – whenever, wherever you want to go.
  4. Earn Frequent Flyer Miles on Award Travel. As long as you’re already a member of the relevant loyalty club, you can earn frequent flyer miles on award travel when you redeem your FlexPoints for airfare. You don’t have to spend a single dollar out of pocket to qualify – quite literally earning something for nothing.
  5. No Foreign Transaction Fee. If you regularly travel abroad, you’ll love this card’s 0% foreign transaction fee. That’s a favorable contrast with some competing cards, which charge up to 3% on foreign transactions – usually more than offsetting the value of any earned rewards.
  6. No Penalty APR. FlexPerks Travel Rewards doesn’t charge penalty interest. That’s great news for cardholders who sometimes miss their statement due dates because of unforeseen expenses or irregular cash flows.

Disadvantages

  1. Has a $49 Annual Fee. FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature has a $49 annual fee after the first year. While that’s not as steep as some travel cards’ annual fees, it’s still a big ask for frugal travelers who seek only to maximize the value of their earned rewards. If you’re looking for a no-annual-fee alternative, check out the Expedia+ Card from Citi.
  2. Limited Travel Benefits. FlexPerks Travel Rewards doesn’t have a very generous lineup of travel benefits. In fact, they’re pretty thin. The most noteworthy is the $25 airline fee credit, but that applies only to award travel – meaning you can only take advantage of it once in a while. Other benefits, such as complimentary Boingo In-Flight WiFi, are more valuable. However, the in-flight WiFi benefit is limited to 12 occurrences per year, which probably isn’t enough for frequent travelers. If travel benefits are a top priority, it’s worth your while to pay a higher annual fee on a card like Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95 per year).
  3. No Point Transfer to Other Loyalty Programs. Even though you can earn frequent flyer miles on award travel, you can’t transfer your earned FlexPoints to other travel loyalty programs. Some competing travel rewards cards have sweet transfer deals: For instance, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve Cards have 1-to-1 point transfer arrangements with several popular airline loyalty programs, helping you stretch your reward dollars further without spending anything else out of pocket.

Final Word

In a world defined by endless choice, credit cards that let you build your own rewards program really stand out.

With the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa® Card, you don’t have to worry about remembering to activate quarterly rotating categories or settling for the same rigid bonus tiers even after your spending habits change. Instead, you can choose the 2x category that works best for your lifestyle and budget – and then start spending on products and services you’d purchase anyway.

Verdict
us bank flexperks travel rewards visa card
3.9 / 5
Rating

U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa® Card

The U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa® Card is ideal for big-hearted travelers with the means to donate money (as opposed to time, old possessions, or labor) to their favored charities. It’s also useful for people who spend heavily in at least one of the 2x categories: grocery stores or charitable contributions. It’s not appropriate for consumers who travel infrequently, nor those who can’t or won’t align their spending with the favored categories.

Key benefits include broad 2x categories, a very good sign-up bonus, no foreign transaction fee, no penalty interest, the ability to earn frequent flyer miles on award travel, and no blackout dates on award flights.

Drawbacks include the $49 annual fee, lack of point transfer options, and low-value travel benefits.

Overall, this is a flexible card for do-gooders who travel frequently and spend heavily enough to offset the annual fee.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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