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Earlier this month US Bank announced a promotion in honor of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi new applicants for the FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa who apply between January 31, 2014 – March 7, 2014 and make eligible purchases ($3,500 in 4 months) will earn not only the 20,000 regular bonus points for signing up, but the following bonus points based on how many medals Team USA won – 500 per Gold, 250 per Silver and 100 per Bronze.
Well, the 2014 Winter Olympics are over and the tallies are in. The US Olympics team won 28 medals: 9 gold, 7 silver, and 12 bronze medals. So that’s 7,450 extra points.
9 gold medals x 500 points = 4,500 points for gold medals
7 silver medals x 250 points = 1,750 points for silver medals
12 bronze medals x 100 points = 1,200 points for bronze medals
So that means new cardholders who sign up through the promo link will earn a total of at least 30,950 points if they make the $3,500 in eligible purchases to score the full bonus. FlexPerks are kind of like a hybrid fixed-value and variable points program where each point is worth between 1.33-2 cents apiece depending on how much the ticket you redeem them for is worth, so the sign-up bonus with the Olympics promo and the minimum spending is worth just about $600.
You can use FlexPoints to redeem for any available airfare at any time with no blackout dates, but it’s on a sliding scale. Remember, you also earn elite qualifying miles as well as redeemable miles when redeeming FlexPoints since it’s just like paying for an airline ticket.
You also get an extra $25 in value on award tickets in the form of an airline allowance for expenses like checked bags, food/drink and entertainment. You can also redeem points for hotels and car rental gift cards at a rate of 1 point per cent in 5,000-point increments for which you get gift certificates to use at chains like Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Avis, Budget, Hertz, Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean. Points are also redeemable for merchandise or cash back statement credits at 1 cent per point in increments of 5,000 points.
As a reminder, here are the other features of the card:
- Award travel starts at just 20,000 FlexPoints (up to a $400 ticket value) on over 150 airlines with no blackout dates or redemption fees
- Earn one FlexPoint for every $1 of eligible net purchases charged to your card
- Earn two FlexPoints for every $1 spent on gas, grocery or airline purchases – whichever you spend most on each monthly billing cycle – and on most cell phone expenses
- Earn Triple FlexPoints for your charitable donations
- $0 Annual Fee the first year, after that $49
These cards also make a lot of sense for people who spend a lot of money in charitable donations as well as gas, groceries or airfare thanks to the bonus spending categories.
If you’re looking for a solid fixed-value travel points credit card, I’d still suggest the Barclaycard Arrival, which currently carries a bonus of 40,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in 3 months, since the card earns 2x miles per $1 on all purchases and when you redeem for travel (not just airline tickets) you get 1 cent per mile in value plus a 10% mileage refund that all equates to 2.27% back on every dollar you spend, if you already have that or the Capital One Venture, which gives two points per dollar on all purchases, the points are worth 1 cent apiece for 2% return on your spending, then the FlexPerks Visa is a solid choice, especially since the bonus is higher than usual thanks to America’s Olympic medals.