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U.S. Bank is planning on rolling out some big changes to its FlexPerks Rewards program. According to a tip from TPG reader Richard S., starting January 1, 2018 FlexPoints will be redeemable towards travel at a fixed value of 1.5 cents per point, and U.S. Bank will be getting rid of the current tiered redemption system. FlexPoints can be earned through cards like the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Visa Signature.
Now this isn’t all bad news, as FlexPoints currently can range in value from 1 to 2 cents per point — and it can be tough to redeem FlexPoints for 2 cents apiece since rewards are redeemed through tiers. For example, if you wanted to buy an airplane ticket up to $400, it would cost 20,000 FlexPoints. So if your ticket was $399, you’d be getting a great value of 2 cents per point. However if you were redeeming points for a ticket worth $401, you’d be kicked up to the next tier and would have to shell out 30,000 points, which would only value your FlexPoints at 1.34 cents per point.
The new program will have a fixed value of 1.5 cents per point when redeeming towards car rentals, airline tickets and hotels, making FlexPoints much simpler to use. The current tiered rates will still apply for travel booked before December 31, 2017.
Earning Flexperks will also become easier for those who spend more than $120,000 in a calendar year — purchases will now earn one FlexPoint per $1 spent, an increase from the current rate of one FlexPoint per $2 spent. Charitable donations will will only earn 2x FlexPoints per $1, down from 3x points per $1.
The change to FlexPoints comes shortly after the launch of the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card, a premium travel card that competes with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the American Express Platinum Card. The Altitude Reserve’s points are also worth 1.5 cents per point, making FlexPoints on par with U.S. Bank’s new card. Given the identical value, it’s likely that it’ll become possible to transfer points between the cards in 2018.
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The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees