Review: U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Card

Photo (cc) by Tax Credits

Reward credit card users are constantly seeking the most valuable and flexible credit card programs available. This emphasis on flexibility has led many cardholders to turn away from products that earn airline miles, hotel points, or merchandise with a specific retailer.

U.S. Bank offers its FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa that earns FlexPoints for spending. Once earned, these points can be redeemed for travel on more than 150 different airlines with no blackout dates or redemption fees.

Advantages:

  • Earn a sign-up bonus. New cardholders earn 17,500 FlexPoints after their first $2,500 in spending.
  • Earn points from spending. Two points per dollar spent are earned on the category you spend the most on each month, such as gas, groceries, or airline travel. One point per dollar is earned on all other purchases.
  • Receive an annual bonus. Cardholders who spend $24,000 a year will earn 3,500 bonus points.
  • Use FlexPoints. Points can be used for many types of rewards. Air travel awards start at 20,000 points for a ticket up to $400 in value. Points can also be redeemed for cash back, merchandise, or other travel purchases.
  • Air travel award comes with a $25 fee credit. When redeeming an award for a flight, you can then be reimbursed for up to $25 when you use your card for purchases such as baggage fees, in-flight food, and drinks.
  • Smart chip technology. This is one of a growing number of credit cards that include an EMV smart chip. For more information, see Why Your Credit Card Might Not Work in Europe.

Disadvantages:

  • Annual fee. There is a $49 annual fee for this card after the first year.
  • Foreign transaction fees. There is a 3 percent foreign transaction fee on all charges processed outside the United States not in U.S. dollars. Even foreign transactions in dollars are subject to a 2 percent foreign transaction fee. Many credit cards aimed at travelers do not have this fee.
  • No promotional balance transfer offers. Many credit cards offer 0 percent APR financing on new purchases and balance transfers for at least a year. There is no such offer with this card.

Bottom line:

Get it if: You prefer flexible reward programs over airline miles or hotel points.

Forget it if: You hate annual fees, foreign transaction fees, or you need a promotional financing offer.

(Note: While we attempt to be completely objective when reporting on credit cards, this site may be compensated by issuers when a reader applies for a credit card through the links within credit card stories or on our credit card search page.)

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