Posted by William Charles on February 24, 2018
Credit Card Offers

Published on February 24th, 2018 | by William Charles

105

U.S. Bank Adds Real-Time Mobile Rewards – Get 1.5¢ Per Point On Travel Purchases (No Need To Use Their Travel Portal)

U.S. Bank has added some called “Real-Time Mobile Rewards”. This new feature allows you to redeem points for 1.5¢ on travel purchases and there is no need to use the U.S. Bank travel portal.

How To Activate

This feature needs to be activated to be usable. You’ll want to do the following:

  • Login on usbank.com
  • Click “My Rewards”
  • Click “Redeem Rewards & Access Card Benefits”
  • Click “Card Benefits”
  • Click “Real-Time Mobile Rewards”
  • Click “Activate”
  • Select the categories you’d like to enable (you’ll want to select the travel categories only)

You might also get 500 points for enrolling in real-time mobile rewards.

How It Works

After you’ve made a qualifying purchase you’ll receive a text message asking if you want to redeem points for it. You then select redeem to use points to pay for the purchase instead of cash. On travel purchases points will be worth 1.5¢ each, all other purchases and points are worth 1¢ each so I’d recommend you only select travel categories to avoid only getting 1¢ per point. There is also a minimum amount for some categories to eligible:

  • Lodging transactions must be at least $500
  • Car rental transactions must be at least $250

What Triggers The 1.5¢ Per Point?

Please share what purchases worked and didn’t work to trigger the 1.5¢ per point redemption and we will add them here.

  • Allegiant: 1
  • Frontier: 1,

Our Verdict

Previously it’s been possible to get 1.5¢ in value when booking through the U.S. Bank travel portal, now that isn’t necessary. This gives you a lot of added flexibility and also means you can:

  • Price compare
  • Stack other discounts and savings
  • Go through a shopping portal

This should be available on the U.S. Bank Altitude & Visa FlexPerks earning cards.

Hat tip to Frequent Miler

 



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Avi
Avi

I think it’s important to note that for redemptions towards Car Rental purchases, the minimum purchase is $250, and for Lodging purchases it is $500.

bellevuemike
bellevuemike

Anyone know if Priceline rentals are billed as Priceline or as the rental car company. They will not reimburse 1.5:1 for Priceline line items.

zizaozi
zizaozi

Priceline rentals will be billed as Priceline purchases. Just booked and traveled a few weeks ago.

Chucks
Chucks

It depends on whether or not you’re prepaying through the Priceline site or not. If you prepay, Priceline. If you’re paying at the counter, not Priceline

Sa
Sa

Do you know if there is a minimum for other purchases that count as travel? This would solve the problem of not being able to book with points and cash.

Lrdx
Lrdx

I read it’s the *default* minimum to get a text for the purchase, you can change it some smaller value.

Avi
Avi

It’s a pre-set minimum for these categories that can not be changed.

From the page where you can select which transactions to receive texts about and the minimum purchase selection: “Minimum purchase amount for Lodging is pre-set at $500.00. Minimum purchase amount for Car Rental is pre-set at $250.00. All other participating categories will follow the minimum purchase amount selected below. “

emergdoc67
emergdoc67

I enabled this last summer when I got the US Bank Altitude card. I forgot it existed until I bought a spirit flight that was cheaper to buy from spirit by like $30 than it was through their travel portal. I immediately got the text message asking if I wanted to be reimbursed and pay with points (using the 1.5x multiplier). Worked perfectly, immediately.

I really do think that the Altitude card is the best card on the market right now (better than CSR). $400 annual fee (vs $450 for CSR), $325 back in travel reimbursement, 3x points (~3% cash back) on everything bought with apple pay or android pay, and a 1.5% multiplier if redeemed on travel…means 4.5% returns on everything I buy in person (for which I use android pay).

That’s a return of 2.5% more than using the citi double cash card (2% cash back).

bellevuemike
bellevuemike

Completely agree. I’ve hammered that card for just that reason.

Smitty
Smitty

Where exactly are you using Android pay the most? It’s a real hassle in restaurants, and can’t use it online for many of my large bills. I want to use mobile payments more, but find it’s still a very small percentage of my spend. Any tips would be appreciated.

Lrdx
Lrdx

Non-restaurant retailers. Anywhere you see the NFC logo ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contactless_payment#/media/File:Universal_Contactless_Card_Symbol.svg ) should work since the rebranding to Google Pay. (Last week or so. Update your app) Also you can pay with it online from the Chrome browser on your phone / tablet.

Jack
Jack

Does this work for Uber/Lyft?

Points Adventure

Not for me

ThomasP
ThomasP

set it up to use google pay

sj0

this feature makes Altitude Reserve an even better card and it was already a top contender imo.

US Bank will eventually nerf it, likely by raising the minimum limit and making sure it can’t be lowered.

PhDTravel
PhDTravel

Forgive my ignorance (never had any US bank cards), but does this mean you can book rooms directly from hotels (and get loyalty points) and then redeem points for that purchase? If that’s the case, it’s an amazing feature.

Hari
Hari

That is correct

kk
kk

Does not work with the amex select+ card. I did not see such an option.

Michael H
Michael H

So basically I can use 40,000 altitude points to book a $600 ticket on upside and finally get my free Bose headphones?

Nice

thomasp
thomasp

the most annoying part of this card is that you can’t pay cash + points, so if i book a flight that’s more thn the points i have. I can’t redeeam anything.

Chuck

This could also make it much easier to cash out the points by buying gift cards for Southwest, Delta, AA, etc.

pizzywoah
pizzywoah

if you sell the gift card and get about 80 cents on the dollar, then you’d be cashing out flexperks at about 1.2 cpp. Not horrible.

Chuck

Right, I was hoping for more like 90% for 1.35%.

Joe S
Joe S

So…if I use the card for a refundable travel purchase, use points, then cancel the purchase, will I have a cash credit on my account that I can get refunded via a check? Similar to the Barclay Arrival card?

pizzywoah
pizzywoah

I am thinking yes. It seems risk free to test it out since it is a refundable purchase.

Rick
Rick

Given that US Bank is kinda strict on a lot of things, I think this would work, but might backfire.

Michael H
Michael H

Does anyone know if you earn 3x points on the original purchase dollar amount that gets reimbursed, like how the Amex Plat does it?

emergdoc67
emergdoc67

i know for a fact you do, looking at my last statement. $80 paid at spirit airlines, 5300 points utilized for $80 reimbursement, 240 points awarded (which, when used for travel, will be worth $3.6)

Michael H
Michael H

That’s good news, thanks for answering.

Peyo
Peyo

Is this supposed to be available on the U.S. Bank Flexperks Gold Amex? I don’t see the “Real-Time Mobile Rewards” option after clicking “Card Benefits”.

Michael H
Michael H

Personally, I have only seen it on the Altitude Reserve and the Flexperks Visa. It doesn’t show up on my Flexperks Gold.

pizzywoah
pizzywoah

It looks like it is only available for Visa flexperks cards.

Steve
Steve

I still don’t see how this makes holding on to the Altitude Card worth it in year 2. It’s still paying $75 for a card with no other real (or at least unique) benefits.

Ben
Ben

The unique benefit is mobile payments. If you have mobile payment and count the spend at 4.5% back, the break-even point vs a double cash card is ~$2,550 in spend for the year. Most people advise to not ms with US Bank, but even with natural spend it’s a daily driver for people like me who use Samsung pay (MSP > NFC) pretty much anywhere I would otherwise swipe.

emergdoc67
emergdoc67

Should be $3000 right? 4.5% of 3000 is $135, 2% of 3000 is $60, so for using $3000 in a year you get $75 more value from Altitude –> offset of the annual fee

If I ended up using $2000 and coming short $25, for that 25 bucks I got 4 priority pass visits + 4 visitor visits, 12 gogo passes

Justin
Justin

Yeah, $3000. Or $3750 for a 2.5% (USAA limitless, or Amex BCP + Schwab) in my case.

I personally have some value to the free Gogo. So trying to decide if I should keep it when the AF is due (also will try retentions).

Yuri
Yuri

Schwab is $550.

Avi
Avi

It depends on your use… in addition to the 3x earning on mobile wallet purchases, I put value in the 12 annual domestic gogo passes and the Primary CDW on auto rentals (I don’t have another card that offers this).

Usernamechuck
Usernamechuck

Is it really 1.5 on other travel? I thought, to quote a great website: “You can redeem points for airfare, hotels & car rental at a rate of 1.5¢ per point.” https://www.doctorofcredit.com/u-s-bank-altitude-reserve-review-50000-point-sign-bonus-750-towards-airfare-325-travel-credits/

Usernamechuck
Usernamechuck

(It didn’t seem possible to lower limits beyond $500 and $250 for lodging and rentals)

Justin
Justin

I’ve been looking and see the same. Maybe if you call, which I might, but just looking at the website I can’t find anywhere to change the limits.

USB
USB

What if I didn’t have enough points to cover the entire purchase? Can we do points + cash (credit)?

progapanda
progapanda

No, you cannot with the USB.

PG
PG

The wording makes it sound to me that the presets for lodging and car rental can not be lowered, but I could easily be wrong, since it doesn’t seem that I can actually see what my min purchase amounts are after setting them.

“Minimum purchase amount for Lodging is pre-set at $500.00. Minimum purchase amount for Car Rental is pre-set at $250.00. All other participating categories will follow the minimum purchase amount selected below.
Purchases below the minimum purchase amount will not be eligible for redemption.”

bellevuemike
bellevuemike

I called the card. They said to call CS to make the adjustment. They are allowed to force a redemption for amounts lower than the category minimum.

In reality, why not periodically just buy a fully refundable airline ticket, exhaust all your points, cancel the ticket, and see your points go back into your account as a cash credit at 1.5X? The bank will leave the credit or send you a check. It doesn’t go back to points.

And that’s to the earlier poster’s point about 4.5X on everything.

Mike L
Mike L

I did that to redeem my CSR travel credit last year when I couldn’t travel. Make a refundable purchase, the credit posts and then cancel the purchase. The entire purchase is refunded to the card. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work here.

MoreSun
MoreSun

You can try it but we’re talking USB here. USB RAT > Amex RAT. I feel like they’ve already anticipated this, but a “feeling” is NOT a DP! The DPs will be interesting.

Ryan Goldstein

My only US Bank card is the Cash+, and I do not see a “Redeem Rewards & Access Card Benefits” button; it only says “Redeem Rewards”. I don’t see anywhere to access this option.

Atrain
Atrain

It’s only for Flexperks Visa Cards

Ben
Ben

Can you guys put together a database for datapoints for what redemptions can be done at 1.5? Thanks for all you guys do!

Frank
Frank

But, if we use US BANK Portal to book flight, points will be worth a max of 2c, is that right? Higher than 1.5c?

Frank
Frank

Oh. I see, that is the old way, now, everything is 1.5c….sad….

Vic
Vic

I don’t know about you guys but this is the biggest churning news for me so far this year. Now I just hope this last longer.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

I think I double dipped on this data point. 😀

Silvercar rental (about $350 including their $200 deposit) charged when I picked up the car. Immediate text message offering to redeem points at 1.5 cents/pt towards charge, which I did.

A few days later when I returned the car, the charge finalized at about $150. This got credited off as part of my annual $325 travel credit.

John
John

Wondering how this would work with a hotel transaction that won’t necessarily “settle” right away. Looking at a 3-night stay that would likely fall just over $500 initially, but using a free night certificate to bring it closer to $350 in the end. Wondering if I’d get the option to redeem points at 1.5x when the initial charge is posted at check-in…

Michael H
Michael H

It’s based on the pre-authorized amount. I found that out when uber eats preauthorized my card for $78. I got the redemption offer for that amount, even though the final bill amount charged to the card was $3.

GM
GM

Can anyone confirm that they received 1.5 cents per point when redeeming their Flexpoints using Real Time Mobile Rewards towards a travel category purchase within the past couple of weeks?

I just called US Bank Flexperks customer service and a supervisor told me that the redemption value for Real Time Rewards in the travel category is the same 1 cent per point despite the postcard showing a sample redemption at 1.5 cents per point.

Michael H
Michael H

Yes.

GM
GM

***UPDATE***

Despite what I was told directly by a US Bank supervisor, I was able to redeem points at a 1.5 cent value through Real Time Mobile Awards towards an airline ticket.

I swear the incompetence of these front line reps is incredible even when you ask them to double check when you believe they are telling you something incorrect.

Hope that helps someone.

M
M

I just had a lengthy discussion with CS. I was told you have to have enough POINTS AVAILABLE to cover at 1:1, but then if travel within right criteria, it’ll go thru as 1.5:1. That’s why RTR wasn’t triggered for my stay. I had enough points when calculating at 1.5, but not 1:1. Not a happy camper here.

Michael H
Michael H

Uber Eats qualified for me this evening and I got the redemption text message at 1.5. I declined to use the points, though.

CongestionCharge
CongestionCharge

Thanks makes sense. Still a good DP

Michael H
Michael H

What is really interesting is that it bases the redemption cost and return on the Pre-Authorized amount.

I was actually using $75 of Platinum Uber credits to pay for the food, and my final amount charged to the Altitude Reserve ended up only being $3.00.

It makes me think that had I said YES to the redemption, I would have spent ~5000 points for a $75 account credit on a $3 bill.

Good way to cash out at 1.5%, no?

Helen
Helen

I am curious as why Uber doesn’t count yet Uber eats count?

Michael H
Michael H

No luck on MPX. I doubted it would work to begin with, but still. I just HAD to try it.

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