As you are probably well aware, the release of Chase Sapphire Reserve is the biggest miles and points news item of the summer, if not this year. And for a good reason, it’s an incredible offer if you can get approved. But what if you are way over 5/24 limit and don’t live near Chase branch? If you are looking for a lucrative sign-up bonus, you should seriously consider current US Bank FlexPerks Visa offer.
First, here are the main details:
- Get 34,800 points after spending $2,000 in 4 months. That amount is worth approximately $700 in value on flights and $522 towards hotels, cruises and car rentals.
- Earn 1 FlexPoint for every $1 of eligible net purchases charged to your card.
- Earn Double FlexPoints for every $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores or airlines – whichever category you spend most on each monthly billing cycle – and at most cell phone service providers. (Business Edge Travel Rewards cardmembers earn Double FlexPoints for every $1 spent at gas stations, office supply stores, or airlines – whichever category you spend most on each monthly billing cycle.)
- Earn Triple FlexPoints for charitable donations. Choose from a wide range of eligible
local, national and international charities
- First year annual fee is waived, after that it’s $49.
- Direct non-affiliate link. You have to apply before 9/3/2016 and make your first purchase before 9/30/2016
At first glance it may not look all that spectacular compared to other offers on the market, but I think it’s a pretty good deal for regular families. Here is why:
1) Minimum spending requirements are quite manageable at $2,000 in 4 months.
Most likely, both spouses can apply for this card and double dip.
2) You won’t be able to get this offer again for at least two years, and it probably won’t be as high.
US Bank brings this promo around the time of Olympics, so it should be back in time for winter games two years from now. Unfortunately, the medal count is usually lower compared to summer games. For example, during last winter games, the bonus was 27,450 points, almost 7,500 points less than the current offer.
3) While US Bank cards can be tough to get, reportedly, they are churnable.
That means you can get the bonus again. So, if you applied for this offer four years ago (like I did), you should be able to qualify for it again. Personally, despite my lengthy churning history, US Bank seems to have no problem handing me more credit cards. YMMV
4) You can redeem points on flights, hotels, gift cards or statement credit.
Yes, you’ll get the best bang for your buck if you redeem them on airfare or other travel purchases, but it’s nice to have the option of cashing out your points and using them for everyday needs. Those 34,800 points are almost enough for $350 in cold hard cash, which isn’t too shabby. If you want to maximize value on airfare, you will want to put $5,000 on your card within the first year, possibly less if you take advantage of categories that earn 2 or 3 points per dollar.
That way, you’ll have 40,000 points redeemable towards up to $800 airline ticket. While Southwest flights aren’t bookable online, you can call US Bank and do it over the phone. And remember, Southwest gives you full refund if you cancel, so you can always use your $800 for another flight.
Three years ago I actually booked a ticket for my mom and used Flexperks points because burning miles wasn’t as good of a deal. I also wrote a post on US Bank Flexperks Visa where I made an argument that this card can be a good “keeper” for some families. For the most comprehensive overview of FlexPerks program, I recommend this post on DoC How Much are FlexPerks Points Worth?
According to that post, here are the best options:
- Airfare (maximum value of 2¢ per point)
- Hotels, car rentals & cruises (maximum value of 1.5¢ per point)
- Statement credit (value of 1¢ per point)
- Annual fee (value of 1.4¢ per point)
5) If you open a US Bank checking account before September 9th, you’ll get an additional $50 credit card bonus.
Honestly, doing US Bank checking account promo (read details here) is worth it on its own since you’ll get $150, but this potential extra $50 sweetens the deal. I recommend you open checking account first and then apply for US Bank Flexperks Visa.
The closest Chase branch is more than an hour from my house, but I plan on going there in the next week or so. Why? I want to open a business checking account in order to get $500 bonus. While I’m there, I’ll check if I’m pre-approved for Chase Sapphire Reserve. If the answer is yes, I’ll apply. If not, I’ll come home and apply for US Bank Flexperks card in mine and my husband’s names.
I like Flexperks points for their flexibility and outsized value on airfare redemptions. I’m always looking for ways to bring my mom so she can spend more time with her grandkids. I’m hoping US Bank can subsidize it. As I’ve said at the beginning of my post, if you have a way to apply for Chase Sapphire Reserve, go for it! US Bank offer is good, but it pales in comparison. Otherwise, Flexperks bonus (pays me no commission) is most definitely worth the look if you are a regular Joe or Jane.
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.