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Intrigued by the thought of owning a travel rewards card, but don't want to fork over a hefty annual fee? You might like what the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards® Card offers — namely, a low cost of ownership, plus rewards tiers with a twist.
It doesn't have the razzle-dazzle of a premium travel card, but it does pay better-than-average rewards — called FlexPoints — in several everyday categories. Plus, it comes with some travel perks, to boot.
Here are five things to know about the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards® Card.
1. The card's rewards allow for customization
The card's rewards categories are structured in a unique way. You'll earn 2 FlexPoints for every dollar spent on cellular providers, 2 FlexPoints for every dollar spent on charitable donations (more on this later), and 2 FlexPoints for every dollar spent in one of the following categories (whichever you spend the most on each monthly billing cycle):
All other spending, including in the other two categories that weren't your top expenses for the month, will earn 1 FlexPoint per dollar spent.
Depending on how you view it, that's either a lot to keep track of or a weight off your mind. (The rewards earning in those categories is automated, so you don't have to actively choose bonus categories or "opt in" each month or quarter.)
2. Redeeming points for travel will net you more value
When you use your rewards to make travel plans, your FlexPoints will be worth 1.5 cents each, an excellent rate for a card with a lower-than-average annual fee of $0 the first year, then $49 thereafter.
Redeeming for cash back in the form of a statement credit will net you about a penny a point. You can also redeem for things like merchandise, gift cards and live events.
3. It comes with extras not usually found in a card at this price point
The card offers some nice perks, including a $25 airline allowance on award tickets, which can be used toward baggage fees or in-flight food and drinks. You'll also get Visa Signature benefits like travel and auto protections and insurance.
Plus, there's a decent sign-up bonus that could have you well on your way to your first free trip: Get 25,000 bonus FlexPoints after the first $2,000 in net purchases in the first 4 months. That could be worth as much as $375 if used toward travel. Eligible travel includes purchases made directly with airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise lines.
4. You earn rewards on charitable donations
This is an unusual enough feature that it bears repeating. A small handful of cards let you donate your rewards to a worthy cause, but the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards® Card actually lets you earn rewards when you use your card to make a donation to any merchant that classifies itself as a charitable and social service organization. When it comes to the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards® Card, it really does pay to be kind.
5. You get car rental discounts
If you have the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards® Card, you can get discounts on cars rented in the U.S. and Canada from National, Enterprise and Alamo. All three are preferred partners and offer various money-saving benefits like free upgrades and reduced rates.
Information about the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards® Card has been independently collected by NerdWallet and was not supplied or reviewed by the issuer of this card.