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Big Bonus On U.S. Bank Travel Card

The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature card offers a 20,000 point sign-up bonus when you spend $3,500 within the first four months.

20,000 points are worth as much as a $400 plane ticket.

The spending rewards going forward are compelling, too.

Among airlines, groceries and gas, you’ll earn 2 points per $1 in whichever category you spend the most each billing cycle. So, if you spend $400 one month on airfare, $300 on groceries and $200 on gas, you’ll get 2 points for every airline dollar spent and 1 point for each grocery and gas dollar.

You’ll earn another 2 points per $1 on telecommunication services and products, and 3 points per $1 on charitable donations.

On everything else, you’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent (www.flexperks.com).

And you get a free car rental day with National, too.

The card’s $49 annual fee is waived the first year. U.S. Bank Platinum Checking customers get the second year free, too. U.S. Bank has 3,000 branches in 24 Western and Midwestern states.

The card offers 3,500 bonus FlexPoints each year when you spend $24,000 in net purchases, but that’s an awfully high spending bar for such a small reward.

The FlexPerks card gives you numerous options for redeeming your rewards.

Unlike airline-specific frequent-flier cards, you can exchange points for a flight on any of 150 airlines. Award tickets come with a $25 allowance that you can use toward a checked bag fee or in-flight treats (though you have to call U.S. Bank after you travel to request a statement credit).

You’ll still earn frequent-flier miles during reward travel, and you won’t pay any fees as long as you book online.

To redeem your points for air travel, log into the FlexPerks Reward Center and search for a flight. The ticket price will be displayed along with the ticket’s FlexPerks point value, so you can make sure you’re getting a good deal.

While the card does have an EMV chip that many international merchants require, it also has a 2% fee on foreign transactions denominated in dollars and a 3% fee on foreign transactions denominated in a foreign currency.

If you don’t like to fly, you can redeem your points for Fairmont, Hyatt, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel stays; cruises with Carnival or Royal Caribbean; car rentals with National, Budget and Hertz; gift cards to vendors like Amazon, Macy’s and Starbucks; or a statement credit. The minimum redemption amount for these rewards is 5,000 points.

The FlexPerks card also has a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. The balance transfer must be completed within 30 days of account opening to qualify for the promotional 0% APR, and it has a 3% fee. Balance transfers after that cost 4%.

When the promotional period ends, the APR on purchases and balance transfers increases to 13.99% to 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.

If you aren’t approved for this card, you’ll automatically be considered for a lesser Select Rewards card with a 10,000 point sign-up bonus after you spend $1,000 in your first four months as a cardholder.

It will earn you just 1 point for every $2 spent. It has no annual fee, but it doesn’t offer double or triple points in any category or the $25 travel credit, and it doesn’t come with an EMV chip or free car rental day.

And since you need at least 20,000 points to redeem your rewards for travel, you’ll probably be redeeming this bonus for gift cards.

When your new card arrives, make sure you’re getting the card and the benefits you’re expecting.

There are better travel cards out there, but this isn’t a bad one to pick up for a free flight.

Compare this deal with other hotel credit cards and airline mile credit cards in our database.

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