Published on February 12th, 2015 | by William Charles5
U.S Bank FlexPerk Reserve Cards: $500 Lounge Credit, Up To 4.5x+ FlexPoints & 20,000 Point Bonus
This post is part of our series on weird credit cards. Every Wednesday we let you know about a new credit card that you might not have heard about before. You can view other credit cards in the series here. I’ve posted this one a little earlier and that’s because we will have two Weird Wednesday posts today (yes, I realize it’s a Thursday).
By now everybody should be familiar with the FlexPerk credit cards offered by U.S bank, they offer a Visa & American Express version. These cards are interesting because FlexPoints can be worth up to 2¢ each when redeeming for flights and 1.5¢ each when redeeming for hotels.
U.S Bank FlexPerk Reserve Credit Cards
There isn’t a lot of information about the Visa version of this card. The information page basically states:
- You can start redeeming for airline flights starting at 20,000 points
- It has an EMV chip
- You get free access to some airport lounges, but it’s non specific
- There are no foreign transaction fees
- It comes with the ability to redeem for NetJet (starting at only 395,000 points per hour)
- Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection benefits
American Express Version
Fortunately there is a lot more information about the American Express version of the card.
- Earns at the following rates:
- 3x points on charitable donations
- 2x points on air, gas or grocery purchases, whichever you spend the most in each month
- 1x point on all other purchases
- Annual fee of $299 is waived the first year
- Sign up bonus of 20,000 points when you spend $3,500 or more within the first four months of account opening
- 50% Monthly Relationship Bonus
- Annual bonus of 20,000 points when you spend $60,000 or more in a Cardmember year
- $500 Airport Lounge Access each year (this is a one time reimbursement for a lounge membership. Cannot be used to purchase day passes for individual lounges)
- EMV chip & no foreign transaction fees
- Luxury concierge service
- Regus Businessworld Preferred Membership
- Preferred rates with BostonCoach
- National Car Rental Benefits: Free Weekend Day (2-day rental w/Saturday required), up to 25% discount on car rentals and Emerald Club privileges
- CONNECT from American Express
The relationship bonus seems particularly interesting, the fine print says that you must be a client of “Private Client Reserve” and you earn a 50% bonus on all points earned, less any refunds. This means that the card would actually earn at the following rate:
- 4.5x points on charitable donations
- 3x points on air, gas or grocery purchases, whichever you spend the most in each month
- 1.5x point on all other purchases
If you got the maximum value out of your points (and that is unlikely) this card would earn the following rates in cash back terms:
- 9% cash back on charitable donations
- 6% cash back points on air, gas or grocery purchases, whichever you spend the most in each month
- 3% cash back on all other purchases
Which would make it best in show for all of those categories and that’s before also taking into account the 20,000 point bonus after $60,000 in spend. Although obviously these calculations are kind of silly, because you’re not going to get the full value out of your points and you’re going to run out of paid flights to redeem your points for.
The Private Client Reserve is part of U.S. Bank Wealth Management, serving clients with
$3 million or more in net worth.
Having three million in net worth is probably achievable for a lot of people, the problem is U.S Bank probably wants to also manage all or if not most of that money. If you’re already part of private client reserve then I’d consider these cards, but for the majority of people (myself included) these aren’t an option.