The US Bank FlexPerks cards have been receiving quite a bit of buzz lately and rightly so because the points they earn are incredibly valuable. Recently U.S. Bank released a new Amex version of the card---the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express Card---in addition to the U.S. Bank Perks+ Visa Signature Card®.
However there is even another more hidden version of this card called the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Reserve American Express Card only offered to private clients. This card out earns both of the normal version and it worth taking a look at if you have a significant amount of net worth to qualify for the card.
What’s the big draw to these cards? They earn FlexPoints which are worth 2.0 cents each and the cards earn an incredibly attractive 2X points at grocery and gas station purchases.
Apart from the standard versions of the FlexPerks cards the private client version of the card will get you even more benefits.
The caveat is that to qualify for the US Bank Private Client Reserve card you have to be a U.S. Bank Wealth Management client, which requires one to have $3+ million in net worth. I can’t say for sure if U.S. Bank is firm on confirming this requirement before approving someone for the card, but it seems like a tough requirement.
Here are the marketing points for the card:
“The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Reserve American Express Card is an exclusive credit card offered only to U.S. Bank’s most valued clients, providing over $1,599 of value in the first year. Travel in a whole new way with $500 towards the airport lounge of your choice, luxury 24/7 lifestyle and travel concierge, VIP experiences and a leading luxury hotel program.”
U.S. Bank FlexPerks Reserve American Express Card Review
To fully understand the potential value of the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Reserve American Express Card lets break down the benefits and costs of the card.
The card currently has a 20,000 FlexPoints welcome bonus after spending $3,500 within the first four months of account opening.
Each FlexPoint is worth 2.0 cents each when redeemed for airline tickets, so the value of this welcome bonus is worth $400 in airfare. You’ll get 1.5 cents in value per point when redeeming points for hotels.
The main draw to U.S. Bank FlexPerks cards are the card’s points earning structure. With the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Reserve American Express Card you will earn the following:
- 3X FlexPoints for every $1 spent on charitable donations.
- 2X FlexPoints for every $1 spent on air, gas or grocery — whichever category you spend most each month (most cell phone expenses also qualify).
- 1X FlexPoint for every $1 spent on everything else.
The most interesting aspect of the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Reserve American Express Card is that you earn a “50% Monthly Relationship Bonus on Net Purchases.” For any big spenders within the bonus categories this is likely the most valuable aspect of the card and bumps up the cards points earning potential substantially.
With the 50% bonus on monthly net purchases the card actually earns:
- 3.5X FlexPoints for every $1 spent on charitable donations.
- 2.5X FlexPoints for every $1 spent on air, gas or grocery — whichever category you spend most each month (most cell phone expenses also qualify).
- 1.5X FlexPoint for every $1 spent on everything else.
This adds quite a bit of value since FlexPoints are worth 2.0 cents a piece when redeemed for paid airline tickets. This would mean earning 5% back on all grocery and gas purchases!
The card also comes with some generous travel benefits including:
- Luxury Concierge Service – 24/7 concierge service offering personal attention for any travel and lifestyle requests.
- Smart Chip Technology - great for anyone who travels abroad frequently.
- $500 Annual Airport Lounge Allowance - each year you will received a reimbursement for an airline lounge membership of your choice.
- Regus Businessworld Preferred Membership - 12-month access to over 1,500 business lounges
- BostonCoach benefits - get preferred rates on transportation in 1000+ cities worldwide.
- Extra National Car Rental benefits - you’ll get benefits such as a Free Weekend Day on 2-day rentals including a Saturday, up to 25% discount on car rentals and Emerald Club® privileges.
- CONNECT from American Express - special travel benefits, including VIP offers, & entertainment access.
- 20,000 FlexPoints Annual Bonus - when you spend $60,000 net spend purchases per cardmember year you'll earn an extra 20,000 FlexPoints.
Annual Fee and Foreign Transaction Fees
U.S. Bank FlexPerks Reserve American Express Card does not have any foreign transaction fees and the annual fee with waived the first year. After that the card does have a $299 annual fee.
Introduction to U.S. Bank FlexPoints
U.S. Bank FlexPerks earning credit cards earn rewards points called FlexPoints. These points can be redeemed for paid airline tickets, paid hotel stays, statement credits, or gift cards.
Unlike other bank-points such as Chase’s Ultimate Rewards and Amex’s Membership Rewards these cannot be transferred directly to travel partners (airline and hotel programs).
The best use of FlexPoints is to redeem for paid airline tickets. You'll get 2.0 in value per point and have ultimate flexibility of which rewards flight you want. You just purchase a flight from any of the 150 airlines that qualify and redeem FlexPoints for a statement credit.
With the 20,000 FlexPoints earned from the welcome bonus you can get a free flight up to $400.
What are FlexPoints Worth?
Value of FlexPoints:
- Redeem for statement credits/gift cards: 1.0 cent each
- Redeem for paid flights: 2.0 cents each
- Redeem for paid hotel stays: 1.5 cents each
FlexPoints can be redeemed for statement credits and gift cards, but you’ll only get 1.0 cent in value per point.
You can also redeem FlexPoints for paid hotel stays and will get a slightly better 1.5 cents in value per point.
You will get much more value when you redeem FlexPoints for paid airline tickets. Each point is worth up to 2.0 cents a piece when redeeming 20,000 points or more.
U.S. Bank breaks down FlexPoints redemptions into ticket price categories, so to get the highest value per point make sure you redeem FlexPoints at the maximum ticket value allowed within each category.
Another benefit is that you earn airline miles for flying on the flights you redeemed FlexPoints to pay for.
Best Use of U.S. Bank FlexPoints
FlexPoints are most useful for purchasing airline tickets when you cannot use traditional airline miles to book a flight, such as during peak travel seasons and last minute travel. An added benefit is that you will earn airline miles on these flights as well.
You can redeem 20,000 FlexPoints for any airline ticket up to $400 in value. This means FlexPoints are worth up to 2.0 cents each when you redeem them at the maximum allowed ticket price within each category on the award chart.
You will pay the same 20,000 points for an airline ticket that costs $100 or $400, so make sure you redeem at the upper threshold of each redemption category!
You will get the most value when you buy an airline ticket at the maximum allowed within each FlexPoints redemption category ($400, $600, $800, and so on following the reward chart).
The Bottom Line
The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Reserve American Express Card may be worth looking into if you have the qualifying $3 million in net worth and are willing to be a U.S. Bank Wealth Management client. The requirements are certainly high for a credit card and given there are many options out there this card may only be worth it for VERY big spenders within the bonus spending categories or anyone that is already a U.S. Bank customer.