U.S. Bank FlexPerks Business Travel Rewards Card Review: Good Option for Your Business?
The U.S Bank FlexPerks Business Travel Card is a high-powered travel rewards credit card designed for business owners who are looking for a solid rewards card with a low annual fee.
The FlexPerks card is one of five business credit cards that U.S. Bank offers. What makes this one unique is that it is connected to the FlexPerks program, which as we’ll describe later, is one of the more lucrative travel rewards programs.
As you do your research on which business credit card is the best choice, you’ll need to have a detailed understanding of the card’s rewards, its benefits and the rates and fees you can expect to pay. You should compare the card to other business rewards card, too, just to make sure you got some context about how the card performs.
In this review, we’re taking the approach of showing you what the FlexPerks Business Edge offers (features, benefits, rates/fees) and then compare it to a few other business credit cards that provide travel rewards, too.
You’ve got two main ways to earn rewards with this credit card: the 40,000-point sign-up bonus and spending rewards:
Sign-Up Bonus: 40,000 Points
If you can spend $2,000 in the first four months of owning this card, U.S. Bank will give you 26,667 FlexPoints that you can redeem for $266.67 in cash or $400 in travel.
A few things to keep in mind are that any balance transfers you make won’t count toward your $2,000 requirement. Also, the points that you earn won’t show up right away. U.S. bank’s fine print says it will take between 6 and 8 weeks for the points to arrive in your account.
Spending Bonus: 2x and 1x
While the sign-up bonus you get is a nice perk, it’s a one-time perk. The real rewards power of this card comes when you use it for everyday spending. Each time you use your card, you’ll rack up FlexPoints. Exactly how many you get depends on what you buy.
You’ll get double points on cell phone expenses, charity donations and from the category from the following list in which you spend the most each month:
- Office supplies
All other purchases will earn 1x points.
Based on a yearly spending total of $30,000 with $6,000 coming from 2x categories, we believe you can earn 36,000 FlexPoints a year.
When it comes to redeeming your points, U.S. Bank gives you the option of doing it through your web browser, or through their app.
The app offers the advantage of convenience. When you activate FlexPerks rewards, you’ll get a notification each time you make a purchase through which you can click a Redeem button that automatically converts a portion of your points to pay for the transaction.
Exactly how many points U.S. Bank uses depends on the type of transaction you make. All non-travel transactions will require 1 point for every $0.01. So, a $75 purchase would require 7,500 points.
However, when you redeem those points for a travel purchase, the redemption rate gets better. If the $75 purchase you make is for a pair of airline tickets, then it will require 5,000 points instead of 7,500.
An additional perk you get is that, when you redeem your points for airline purchases, U.S. Bank’s fine print says you’ll get up to a $25 account credit approximately 4-6 weeks after you redeem your FlexPoints for an airline purchase.
The final reward you get is a unique one among the rewards business credit cards we’ve reviewed. If you can spend at least $24,000 a year on your card, U.S. Bank will waive the $55 annual fee they charge you after the first year of owning the card.
The main benefit you get with this card is a suite of business tools you can use to manage the type of spending your employees do with their cards.
Basically, you can set parameters for how much your employees spend, where they spend and when they spend. You also have the ability, U.S. Bank says, to select the payment due date for your employee cards and get alerts based on your preferences.
The main drawback to this card’s business tools is that you have to pay $10 per employee card per year, whereas many other major business credit cards don’t charge you.
Rates and Fees
In this section, we’ll review the interest rates and various fees you may have to pay when using this card:
- Purchase and balance transfer APR: 13.99% - 24.99%
- Cash advance APR: 25.99%
- Penalty APR: 29.99%
- Late fees: Up to $39
- Overlimit fee: $39
What you see here is pretty standard for business credit cards. The one rate that sticks out to us, though, is the penalty APR.
According to the card’s fine print, the penalty APR is applied to your account in the following four situations:
- Making two payments five days late or more
- Making a payment more than 30-days late
- Returned payment
- Exceed your credit limit twice in a 12-month period
You can get rid of the penalty APR by making six consecutive, on-time minimum payments and, according to the fine print, you don’t spend beyond the card’s credit limit.
How the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Business Travel Rewards Compares to Other Business Cards
When you’re considering a business card, it’s important to understand how it compares to other cards. Context allows you to bring a card’s strengths and weaknesses into sharper focus. The following table details the most important features of each card:
|U.S. Bank FlexPerks Business||Discover it Business||Chase Ink Business Unlimited||Wells Fargo Business Platinum||American Express SimplyCash Plus|
|Annual Fee||$55/ $10||$0||$95||$0||$0|
|0% intro APR||None||12||12||9||9|
|APR||13.99% - 24.99%||14.74% - 24.74%||14.99% - 20.99%||12.99% - 22.99%||13.99% - 20.99%|
|J.D. Power Satisfaction Rankings||3 circles||5 circles||3 circles||3 circles||5 circles|
Based on our calculations, we believe that the FlexPerks business card is the best choice for rewards, Now, this comes with a caveat. The $540 we list in the table is based on you spending your points on travel. If you’re just spending them on everyday purchases, your yearly total will be $360, which is roughly the same amount as the America Express SimplyCash business card.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that the U.S. Bank card’s yearly rewards are enough that the combination of your sign-up bonus and spending rewards would be the same as the cards from Chase and Wells Fargo and more than the Discover card.
Annual fees are an interesting category here because there are three cards without annual fees, which pretty much relegates the U.S. Bank and Chase cards to the bottom of the bunch. While the U.S. Bank’s offer to waive your annual fee if you spend $24,000 a year is nice, nothing in the fine print tells us that the fees of your employees’ cards will be waived.
If there is one glaring weakness in the U.S. Bank card compared to other cards, it’s the lack of an introductory 0% APR offer. Basically, these offers mean that you can carry a balance interest-free for, in this case, nine or 12 months.
This doesn’t work well for business owners who want a card they can use to make a big purchase in the next month or two, as they’ll most likely have to carry the balance for a few months before they pay it off. The U.S. Bank card will charge you interest on the balance, while the other cards won’t.
The card’s lowest APR of 13.99% is slightly above average, while its highest APR of 24.99% exceeds the four other cards we compared.
Finally, U.S. Bank’s customer service is, according to J.D. Power, average at best, while Discover and American Express are perennial #1 and #2 finishers in the yearly rankings.
Bottom Line: Is the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Business Travel Rewards Card Worth It?
Based on our research, we believe there are some very specific pros and cons to using this card.
As far as the positives go, we see some great advantages. First, the card’s 1.5x boost on travel points makes it, in our opinion, one of the best business cards for travel. You don’t earn any points for frequent flyer programs, which may be a deterrent for those who travel a lot for business.
However, there may be cases in which the great FlexPoints travel redemption rates are a better value than using travel points for frequent flyer programs. Second, we love how U.S. Bank will waive your annual fee if you can spend $24,000, a mark that we think most businesses can hit in less than a year.
However, as far as we can tell with the information U.S. Bank provides, hitting that spending requirement won’t absolve you of the $10 annual fee U.S. Bank will charge you for each employee card. And this, in our opinion, is the card’s main drawback along with the lack of an introductory APR offer.
Based on these pros and cons, we believe that the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Business Travel Rewards is a good fit for a business owner who:
- Has credit scores above 700 (to get the best APR)
- Has only a few employees or won’t give employee cards (to avoid the fee)
- Travels enough to use the 1.5x points bonus
If you fit this profile, then we think you will have the advantage of getting a good APR, avoiding extra fees for employee cards and maximizing the points you earn on your everyday spending.
» See Also: The Best Business Rewards Credit Card of 2018