Posted by William Charles on January 5, 2016
Loyalty Programs

Published on January 5th, 2016 | by William Charles

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How Much Are FlexPerks Points Worth?

Visa cardholders can now use real-time rewards to get 1.5¢ on travel purchases without having to go through the portal.

Significant updates are being made on January 1st, 2018.

U.S Bank offers five credit cards that earn FlexPerks Points (four personal and one business card) now that we know the American Express Fidelity card will be no more come July 1st, I suspect the two personal American Express cards will become more popular for loading Serve online (as we discussed earlier today). I’ve talked about FlexPerks points in the past, but I figured it would be useful to have a dedicated post that I can link to when discussing them in the future.

Here are the things your points can be redeemed for:

  • Airfare (maximum value of 2¢ per point)
  • Hotels, car rentals & cruises (maximum value of 1.5¢ per point)
  • Merchandise (value of 1¢ per point, waste of time)
  • Gift cards (value of 1¢ per point, also a waste of time)
  • Statement credit (value of 1¢ per point)
  • Annual fee (value of 1.4¢ per point)

There is no point in redeeming for gift cards as you could just redeem for statement credit at the same rate and then purchase the gift cards with your FlexPerks earning credit card and effectively get a discount (or just buy the gift cards at a discount in the first place). I’ve never seen a merchandise redemption that even remotely made sense, so we’ll ignore both of those options and look at the other options instead.

Airfare

This has the potential to provide you with the best value, but it’s important to understand how it works before you think you’re just getting an easy 2¢ per point. Basically you can redeem your points in chunks of 10,000 points (with a minimum redemption of 20,000 points) each 10,000 points is worth $200 towards airfare. This means is that a flight costs $200 it will set you back 20,000 in points, but if a flight costs $399 it will also cost you 20,000 in points. The optimal strategy is to find flights (that you need/want to take anyway) that fall just into the bracket you’re looking at.

flexperks tiered airfare chart

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Points needed are calculated on a per person basis (so two $199 flights would cost a massive 40,000 in points instead of just 20,000 points)
  • The annual fee cards give you a $25 airline allowance (per redeemed ticket), you have to manually call 877.978.7446 within 90 days to receive the credit. The allowance covers are any purchases made with your FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card that post to your account under the airline carrier providing your award travel flight between the dates of your award travel flight. U.S Bank specifically says the following are covered: baggage fees or in-flight food and drinks
  • Prices shown include all airline taxes & fees
  • These flights do earn qualifying miles, so sometimes it might make more sense to take a first or business class flight for the same amount of points that an economy flight would cost

Frequent Miler has an excellent post on different ways to maximize these points when redeeming for airfare. Travel With Grant also has a walk through that explains booking process.

Hotels, Car Rentals & Cruises

This works similar to how airfare works, but it’s slightly different in that the minimum redemption is 10,000 points instead of 20,000 and the maximum value of points is 1.5¢ per point. You should also keep in mind that the FlexPerks portal includes taxes and fees on the first page of booking (rather than the last like almost all over online travel agencies) and that nights booked won’t count towards elite stays and you may or may not have your elite status recognized. Freequent Flyer Book is the one that first got me onto these redemptions and has an extremely useful post on this subject which is worth a read.

  • 10,000 points = $150
  • 20,000 points = $300
  • 30,000 points = $450
  • 40,000 points = $600

Statement Credit/Annual Fee

These are extremely simple to understand, points can be redeemed for statement credit with one point = 1¢. Some of the FlexPerks cards also come with an annual fee, you can apply points to this annual fee. Their value depends on the card

  • U.S. Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express Card, annual fee of $85 can be paid with 5,000 in points (1.7¢ per point)
  • U.S. Bank FlexPerks TravelRewards Visa Signature Card, annual fee of $49 can be paid with 3,500 in points (1.4¢ per point)

Summary

FlexPerks have a minimum value of 1¢ per point (their statement credit rate) and a maximum value of 2¢ per point (although it’s difficult/impossible to get that perfect redemption every time). All in all, I like the FlexPerks program although it obviously be more advantageous if points were worth a flat 2¢ per point when redeemed for airfare, that is unlikely to be sustainable for U.S bank.



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Achanti
Achanti

I used 40,000 Flexperks points to book the round trip from India. Price of the ticket was $799.50 (but in direct airline site it shows 780 ish)

Keith
Keith

Great summary Will. Do you also have a summary for citi thank you points

Keith
Keith

Or better yet, do it for all the major rewards programs. I have so many rewards now, but only familiar with Amex, chase, and now flex perks

Caleb Kurtz
Caleb Kurtz

A good thing to do is book an erroneous Southwest flight for $399. Once they book it over the phone, just cancel the flight and you will have $399 in Southwest flight credit to use however you want.

ABC
ABC

Does this work with AA, AS, DL, B6 and UA?

Joanne
Joanne

Great idea Caleb, I like the way you think!!! Quick question don’t you have to use the funds in SW within a year?

dan
dan

has the flexperk amex or visa travel card had a sign-up bonus offer higher than 20K pts.? if so, around when of the yr.? thx

Dan
Dan

Do FlexPerk points expire?

Tom
Tom

Flexperks expire after 5 years

Alex
Alex

Can flexpoints be used to cover part of a fare? For example, can you use 20,000 points and $100 cash to pay for a $500 flight?

ABC
ABC

No, but check Caleb Kurtz’s comment.

T
T

if you open the credit card with the annual fee and you downgrade to one with fee. What happen to your flexpoints? do you get to keep them?

T
T

sorry, i meant downgrade to one without fee.

AlwaysLearning22
AlwaysLearning22

I guess you should call and find out.

Did you happen to try to downgrade?

Liface
Liface

I’m also curious about this. My annual fee is coming up soon.

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