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US Bank just introduced a new and incredibly easy way to redeem rewards for travel. US Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card and US Bank FlexPerks cards are now eligible for instant point redemptions against travel purchases via its “Real-Time Mobile Rewards” feature.

Once enrolled, you’ll be able to redeem points against purchases right after you’ve completed the transaction. US Bank will send you a text message asking if you want to use points, and if so, you just reply with “Redeem.” US Bank had real-time mobile rewards before, but it had excluded travel purchases.

What makes this a valuable feature is that you don’t have to book through a travel portal to redeem your points. If you’re not transferring to a travel partner, a popular way to book travel is to go through a bank’s travel portal where points have a fixed rate and are treated like cash — like with the Chase Sapphire Reserve at 1.5 cents per point or Citi Premier Card for 1.25 cents per point.

Essentially, this move doesn’t restrict you to a bank’s travel portal, so you have the option of booking anyway you please. Bank portals can be hard to navigate, sometimes show higher prices than other options and can sell restrictive bulk airfares that can cause difficulties when trying to apply upgrades. You can also book through online shopping portals that can offer extra miles and points on purchases, and you should actually receive points for making the purchase itself too.

You’ll have to activate the feature under the ‘card benefits’ section by logging into your US Bank account on a desktop browser.

H/T: Frequent Miler

American Express® Gold Card

With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
  • Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
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Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
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Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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