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A month or so ago, I talked about three varieties of cash back style cards – Barclay Arrival, Citi ThankYou Rewards and CapitalOne Venture. It’s actually one of my more popular posts, and I continue to believe that these types of cards are best for most people to use when they’re not trying to meet spending requirements or in places where they earn at least a 3x category bonus.
I recently became aware of a pretty good signup offer for the US Bank FlexPerks card, which is a similar style of card. Typically the offer is for 20,000 bonus points after spending $3500 in the first 4 months of the card. They have a promotion going with the Winter Olympics where you could earn additional points based on the number of medals that the US Olympic team won.
I forget what the actual formula was that they used, but who cares about that – all we want to know is the final answer!!! :-).
As you can see, those 28 medals turned into 7,450 extra points. Now this is a limited-time offer – you do have to apply and be approved by March 7th – so only about another week to apply.
But what can 27,450 FlexPoints get you? Well, the annoying thing about FlexPoints is that you have to reach an exact level to redeem them. So a $400 airplane ticket costs you 20,000 Flex Points. But a $401 airplane ticket costs you…. 30,000 Flex Points. Ugh. Contrast this to something like the Barclay Arrival Card, where it would be 40,000 for the $400 ticket and 40,100 for the $401 ticket.
As a side note, am I the only one annoyed with the differing redemption values for these cards. I mean, can we decide whether we earn 2 points per 1 cent spent, but then each point redeems for 1 cent (Barclay) or do we earn 1 cent for each 1 cent spent, but each point redeems for 2 cents (Flex Points). I mean, they’re mathematically the same, but it’s annoying trying to remember which is which….
Note that when I (and the US Bank website) talk about redeeming for up to $400 “ticket value” – you have to book it through their travel portal. I believe it’s powered by Travelocity so it should typically find as good a deal as anywhere else.
You’ll notice that since you have to redeem in 10,000 point increments, a 27,450 point bonus isn’t THAT much better than a 20,000 point bonus. But, since you have to spend $3500 on the card to get the signup bonus, that will actually put you over the 30,000 point threshold, meaning that it will be good for up to a $600 ticket value. Obviously this does best when the ticket is as close to $600 as you can make it.
So what do you think? I plan on getting this card in my next churn – what about you?