U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card: Is It Worth Getting?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

Editor's Rating

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A very good travel credit card, as long as you optimally take advantage of all its perks.
U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card
This product is not available through ValuePenguin.
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Editor's Rating

?
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers.","showIcon":false,"tooltipLabel":"?"}

A very good travel credit card, as long as you optimally take advantage of all its perks.
U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card
This product is not available through ValuePenguin.
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The information related to the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

The new U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card has the potential to be an outstanding credit card for those who optimally wield its reward points. Despite having an $85* annual fee, this credit card comes with enough perks to make it worthwhile, especially for medium to high spenders.

Review: Is The U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card Worth It?

The U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card is an excellent travel rewards credit card, as long as you effectively manage your FlexPoints. Cardholders can earn above-average rates on restaurant, gas station, and airline spending. How much you get out of the rewards heavily depends on how you redeem them. FlexPoints can be used to book travel with over 150 airlines through U.S. Bank’s online portal. Depending on the ticket you buy, your rewards rate can be anywhere between 1.3% and 6%. The high variability is a double-edged sword. On one hand you can get rewards better than even the top travel credit cards. At the same time, you can walk away with something that’s sub-par if you don't pay attention to how you redeem.

Good For…Bad For…
You're an optimizers looking to earn top rewardsYou want a simple rewards program that doesn't require you to think about redemptions
You need to use a credit card abroad, due to the card having no foreign transaction feeYou're looking for flexible credit card rewards that can be used on more than just flights

The card's welcome bonus can be both good or bad, for the same reasons we outlined above. Users who manage to spend $2,000 on purchases within the first four months will receive 30,000 FlexPoints – these can be valued at anywhere between $401 and $600. Most decent travel credit cards at this price-point offer bonuses worth $600 or more. You need to use the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card's bonus to get a ticket worth close to $600, if you wish for it to be competitive.

The U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card comes with extra perks that separate it from most general-purpose travel cards. The card compensates you for either Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® charges, and provides a $25 airline-fee credit on award flights. These are nice touches that are hard to come by on other popular cards on the market.

Bottom Line: The U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card is well worth the $85* annual fee if you’re willing to bide your time and effectively manage FlexPoints. Consumers looking for a simpler experience should consider other options, such as the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card Benefits & Features

The U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card awards users FlexPoints on all eligible net purchases. Cardholders get three points per dollar at restaurants, two points at gas station and on airline purchases and one point everywhere else. The number of points you receive depend on how merchants choose to classify themselves. If you book a flight with a travel agency, you will not receive the full two points per dollar unless the charge comes directly from the airline.

There is a 30,000 enrollment bonus available to new cardmembers. To qualify, cardmembers must spend $2,000 on net purchases within the first four months of receiving their card. Transferring a balance or taking out a cash advance will not count towards the $2,000 minimum.

American Express Benefits

The U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card comes with a set of perks for travelers – most of which are managed through the card’s network. Amex provides cardholders with reimbursement for either Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application -- whichever you charge to your credit card first. These services cost $100 and $85 respectively. Therefore, using this benefit covers a single year's annual fee.

Amex also gives cardholders free Boingo Wireless access. This perk gives complimentary Wi-Fi to U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card users at over one million worldwide hot spots. A similar plan purchased directly from Boingo would cost around $5 per month.

Redeeming FlexPoints

A single FlexPoint can be worth anywhere between $0.013 and $0.02. Though you have several redemption options, using them on flights is most worthwhile. By logging into your online account, you can use the points to book flights with over 150 airlines. The points needed for a flight follow a rigid structure outlined in the table below.

Points NeededReward
20,000Up to $400 ticket value
30,000Up to $600 ticket value
40,000Up to $800 ticket value
50,000Up to $1,000 ticket value
70,000Up to $1,400 ticket value
100,000Up to $2,000 ticket value
150,000Up to $3,000 ticket value
225,000Up to $4,500 ticket value
350,000Up to $7,000 ticket value
500,000Up to $10,000 ticket value

For example, let's assume you wish to book a ticket that costs $500. This airfare could be covered using 30,000 FlexPoints. That works out to a per-point value of $0.016 ($300 / 30,000). Generally, you should aim to always redeem your points at at least $0.015 per point. Otherwise, you will be getting returns that could easily be outdone by another credit card.

How Does The U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card Compare To Other Credit Cards?

Without proper context, it's near-impossible to determine whether a credit card is good or bad. To solve that issue, we compared the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card to some other leading options.

U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website
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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the premier credit cards for dining and travel. This is due to its 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide (2 points per dollar multiplied by the 1.25 bonus when redeeming for travel on the Chase portal), and flexible rewards program. If you want decent value, the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card locks you into using FlexPoints to book flights through its online portal. The points you earn through the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, called Ultimate Rewards (UR), can be used for cash back or travel statement credit. You can also transfer UR points to participating airline or hotel programs -- these include Southwest Airlines, and Marriott. If you value flexibility over getting the highest possible returns, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a reasonable choice.

Currently, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a better welcome offer, though it’s harder to qualify for. You need to spend at least $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. In return, you get 60,000 UR points, worth approximately $750. The U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card, on the other hand, requires you to spend only half as much, in two months. The bonus on the U.S. Bank card can be valued between $25 to $200 less depending on how you redeem it.

U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card vs US Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Card

The information related to the US Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Card has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

US Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Card
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The US Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Card is the other prominent card in the FlexPoints roster. This card comes with reduced benefits, and a reduced annual fee. The US Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Card awards you two FlexPoints per dollar spent at either gas stations, grocery stores or airlines (wherever you spend the most each month). Donating to charities awards three points per dollar, and all other net purchases give one point. Though you will be earning points at a lower rate, the annual fee on the US Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Card is $49 (waived Y1) – that is $36 less than the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card.

Due to the annual fee difference, choosing between the cards comes down to how much you spend at restaurants versus grocery stores. If you rarely dine out, the US Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Card is the way to go. The math can get a little tricky if you spend a lot of money on both groceries and dining out. In such a case, we recommend using our comparison tool below.

U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card vs Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
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The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is great for people who want a simpler rewards program. With this card, you don’t have to worry about optimally redeeming your points. Instead, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is fairly straightforward. You use the miles you earn to erase travel purchases on your bill. The card sports a 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. While it doesn’t match the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card on restaurant, gas, and airline purchases, it shines in other categories. If you make a lot of purchases at other merchants, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card will offer the superior value.

You don’t get the same travel perks on the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card as you do with the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card, although both offer the travel benefit of a $100 reimbursement for a TSA Pre/Global Entry application fee. Though you get less ancillary benefits, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has a higher annual fee -- $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.

Comparison Tool

Most reward credit cards offer different returns by merchant category. For most people, that means comparing between various offers can get difficult. We built a calculator that allows you to see an estimate for how much you can get out of a card, based on your spending profile.

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Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).

U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card
This product is not available through ValuePenguin.
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