Posted by Chuck on July 13, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on July 13th, 2017 | by Chuck

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Flexperks Will be Worth 1.5 Cents in 2018 and Beyond [Down from up to 2 Cents]

[Update 7/13/17: Reposting since this is now confirmed. Picture at the end of post.]

Beginning January 1, 2018, US Bank Flexperks points will be worth a flat 1.5 cents per point toward travel redemption, down from the current tiered system where it’s worth between 1 cent and 2 cents.

Reddit user AlienBrainJuice got the following info from a US Bank insider:

Beginning Dec. 31, it will be easier to understand redemption of FlexPoints. Each FlexPoint will be valued at at 1.5 cents when redeeming for car rentals, airline tickets, hotel rooms and travel packages. Redemptions made prior to Dec. 31 will continue to use the current tiered rate schedule.

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, all earning tiers will be removed for all FlexPerks products. There will no longer be a cap for points earned at the 1:1 rate, regardless of the amount spent. Additionally, the definition of “charitable organizations” will expand to over 1,000 entities. The accelerated earn rate for charitable organizations will be 2X on all FlexPerks product with the exception of FlexPerks Reserve, which will continue to earn at 3X.

The big news, of course, is that Flexperks will be have a lower maximum value, although it’ll obviously be simpler. After the change, Flexperks and Altitude points will be the same, and I suspect they’ll make transferring from Altitude to Flexperks possible (something they mentioned might come in a future update). Currently, it’s only possible to transfer Flexperks > Altitude, not Altitude > Flexperks,

Also noted is that Charity will earn 2x, not 3x, as we reported previously, though the category will be broadened. Interestingly, the Flexperks Reserve will continue to earn 3x, something we didn’t know previously. And the expanded categories will be valid on the Reserve too, I assume, which could make for a real selling point on that card.

They also not that there will no longer be a cap for points earned at the 1:1 rate, regardless of the amount spent. Previously, there was a $120,000 annual spend limit, after which point the card only earned 1 point per $2 spent.

Update 7/13/17: These changes have now been confirmed. Here’s a picture being sent out regarding the changes. (Thanks to plainclothesbot on r/churning.)

 

 



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then they should let you redeem those points for ANY travel purchases, regardless if it was purchased from them or some other travel portal.

That would be too costly for them to be honest

The week of devaluation news. Yuk. Glad I’m using points for many things prior to all this devaluing across banks, airlines and hotels. Future travel is bleaker.

Not half bad, yiu dont usually utilize the full amount anyways unless you do the SW wallet trick. I called a flexperks csr yesterday, it costs $120 for 4,000 flexperks, I was at 36k, needed 4k perks for a 40k redemption.

What is the SW wallet trick if you don’t mind my asking?

You make a booking and then cancel, it will default to the wallet balance in South West I believe, I done it with merill+. I never did it bcus Southwest is too expensive n don’t bother w them.

Some loss in value at the expense of greater flexibility – in the aggregate I am ok with this as it simplifies a bit more the whole 17-page higher-order multivariable maths needed to solve which points/miles/cash to use for a ticket 🙂

This will be really useful when booking 2+ tickets, so now instead spending say 40K FP on 2x$200 tickets you will ‘only’ spend 30K,

I think this is a positive change, overall. Will make it easier to utilize points on less expensive tickets. Right now, the redemption starts at 20K points, which is great for $400 flight, but not so much for $150 or $401 ones. That said, I’m glad I recently used up my 40K points on a $700 ticket.

Exactly my thought!

UGH. I’ve been doing so well getting 1.9+ cpp value out of these and have been amassing these. Gotta start spending down …

This is definitely a devaluation, unless you were buying lots of tickets $400.01 to $449.99, you’re going to spend more points in January.

Exactly, I will stop MSing on this one. May just buy SW tickets for whatever amount I have left at the end of the year.
I normally use UR/CSR for cheaper tickets and FP for anything close to 20/30/40/50k FP.

The alaska airline trick should also suffice here, same used for the Merrill+ card.

If I just opened a FP card, are they obligated to honor the 2cpp until a year after opening it?

No, due to the fact that this is a change to the terms of the reward program instead of to the terms of your credit card.

I opened the Olympic Travel Perks with a dismal CL. Despite that, I did qualify for the bonus plus a little additional spending. I cashed out as much as the system would allow as I do not travel. Therefore, the devaluation announcement would have no meaning to me.
In anticipation of the annual fee come August, I closed my Travel Perks.card last week. Product change was not an option.

I have 20k points left to spend. Will definitely have to book something in the $350-400 range before AF hits card in August. Booked a $595 Emirates flight earlier this year for 30k points. That same flight would cost 40k in the new system. Huge devaluation and will be canceling my card when AF hits.

“Effective Jan. 1, 2018, all earning tiers will be removed for all FlexPerks products”

So this means no more 2x at grocery or gas?

If “all earning tiers will be removed for all Flexperks products” indicates that 2X grocery/gas is going away, then it is somewhat contradicted by the third sentence after that: “the accelerated earn rate for charity will be 2X”

If ALL EARNING tiers will be removed, then charity (at 2X) would also be removed….right? They can’t both be true.

Will points still expire 5 years after being earned?

US Bank is not even trying to compete. Honestly, why would anyone KEEP their cards… I got the Altitude, but no way I am keeping it. Already closed my FlexPerks from last year. Now, with the devaluation will have to redeem points in spouse’s FP too… lots of Southwest credit …

You can book Southwest with FP? I don’t recall seeing that when I was booking a flight late last year. Or, are you buying gift cards?

Have to call in. The strategy is to find a flight as close as possible to the thresholds, then call in book it, wait a day and cancel to get SW travel credit valid for 1 year from booking date.

Is the $25 travel credit per reservation affected? If not, don’t these changes arguable make the program more valuable?
Ie, buy cheap one way flights with points, and collect $25 credit (gift cards seem to work). I’ll use for short hauls, and collect those credits.

Yeah, no chance that’ll happen. It will go away.

Do you have to complete the flight before end of 2017 to get the 2x max rate or just make the purchase before 2018?

Data Point: There is a $30 fee to refund an airline redemption and it has to be done 24-30hrs max from time of initial booking by phone only, Unlike Merill points which you can cancel yourself until the next business day by 11EST for free online. CSR told me points reappear by next statement closing date, but possibly 7-10 business days, really is sub-par compared to other award refunds.

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