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Upcoming US Bank FlexPerks Visa/AMEX Credit Card Changes to “Grocery”; FlexPoints Purchase & Transfer Limits

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Good morning everyone.  After a busy morning of paying credit card bills, I spotted a few changes to the terms on my US Bank FlexPerks Visa Signature Credit Card and US Bank FlexPerks AMEX Credit Card.  The changes to the terms are identical for both credit cards.

On March 1, 2016, US Bank is going to change the 2x bonus category from “grocery” to “grocery stores.”  I’m not sure if this is going to be a big deal, but I assume this change will reduce the number of merchants that qualify as “grocery” (aka Target and other merchants).

US Bank FlexPerks Visa AMEX Terms Change

On February 15, 2016, the minimum amount of FlexPoints you can purchase will change from 2,000 FlexPoints to 3,000 FlexPoints.  I dug around on US Bank’s website and found the current US Bank FlexPerks Program Rules and this is what it says:

You can purchase additional FlexPoints to use for redeeming for rewards. Each FlexPoint is priced at $.03, a minimum number of 2,000 FlexPoints per purchase is required and FlexPoints must be purchased in increments of 1,000. The maximum number of FlexPoints you may purchase in a calendar year is 60,000. Purchased FlexPoints are available immediately. You do not earn additional FlexPoints for purchasing FlexPoints. All FlexPoint purchase transactions are final and FlexPoints cannot be returned.

Currently, 2,000 FlexPoints will cost you $60 (2,000 FlexPoints x $0.03), so the new purchase minimum will cost you $90 (3,000 FlexPoints x $0.03).  Raising the minimum purchase amount is not good for consumers and FlexPoints will never be worth more than 2 cents, so paying 3 cents a point is a terrible deal.  But don’t worry, you can always transfer FlexPoints… wait a second…

On February 15, 2016, the maximum number of FlexPoints you can transfer in a calendar year is changing from 120,000 FlexPoints to 20,000 FlexPoints.  I dug around on US Bank’s website and found the current US Bank FlexPerks Program Rules and this is what it says:

The amount of FlexPoints that you may transfer is limited to 120,000 FlexPoints in a calendar year. The amount of FlexPoints that you may accept as a transfer into your Account is limited to 120,000 FlexPoints in a calendar year. All transfers are final. You may not cancel a transfer request; you may only (if available) initiate a new transfer request back to the original account in order to reverse a transfer request.

This would imply that you will be able to transfer up to 20,000 FlexPoints and receive up to 20,000 FlexPoints per calendar year after the changes go into affect on February 15, 2016.  I personally have never transferred/received FlexPoints to/from another person, but this lower limit is not good.  US Bank must want to crack down on people buying and selling FlexPoints or booking travel for other people.  Does anyone have any other conspiracy theories?

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

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23 thoughts on “Upcoming US Bank FlexPerks Visa/AMEX Credit Card Changes to “Grocery”; FlexPoints Purchase & Transfer Limits

  1. askmrlee

    The last time I went to the teller at USB (yes I had a transaction that required a human teller), she tried to sell me one of these FlexPerks cards. Once I saw that the categories were very specific (i.e. not restaurants, but “fast food”, I realized they were being very specific with the MCCs). Ages ago, BofA used to show the exact MCC code in the transaction ID so that you would know how something is classified. Does any bank shows the actual MCCs anymore to us?

    1. Jonathan

      Rredeem Points for a statement credit in U.S. dollars to offset qualifying
      travel purchases

      – Airlines, Air Carriers (MCC 3000-3299, representing individual
      major airline carriers, and 4511-Airlines/Air Carriers)
      – Lodging—Hotels, Motels, Resorts(MCC 3501-3999 – representing
      individual major hotel/motel chains and 7011-Hotels/Motels/Resorts)
      – Car Rental Agencies (MCC 3351-3441 – representing
      individual major agencies; and 7512-Automobile Rental Agency)
      – Cruise Lines (MCC 4411)
      – Taxicabs and Limousines (MCC 4121)
      – Travel Agencies and Tour Operators(MCC 4722)
      – Passenger Railways (MCC 4112)
      – Transportation—Suburban and Local Commuter Passenger, including Ferries(MCC 4111)
      – Bus Lines (MCC 4131)
      – Transportation Services—not elsewhere classified (MCC 4789)
      – Real Estate Agents and Managers—Rentals (MCC 6513)
      – Timeshares (MCC 7012)
      – Campgrounds and Trailer Parks(MCC 7033)
      – Motor Home and Recreational VehicleRental (MCC 7519)
      – Tourist Attractions and Exhibits(MCC 7991)
      – Art Dealers and Galleries (MCC 5971)
      – Amusement Parks, Carnivals, Circuses,Fortune Tellers (MCC 7996)
      – Aquariums, Dolphinariums, Zoos, and Seaquariums (MCC 7998)
      – Boat Leases and Boat Rentals(MCC 4457)
      – Recreation Services—not elsewhereclassified (MCC 7999)

  2. Matt K.

    Well at least my purchases will be accurately described. I don’t buy $500 in groceries but it is at a grocery store. :)

  3. MrDioji

    Paying 3 cents a piece for 2,000 points world make sense under some circumstances. Like if you have 28,000 points and want to buy a $590 flight. 2 cents a piece would be better though

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  9. Steve

    It looks like they now require more points. I used to fly between DTW or GRR and LGA for 20k points. Now starts at 40k. Whats going on?

    1. Grant

      It’s based on the actual price of the ticket. If the ticket costs less than $400 per person, then the cost is 20,000 FlexPoints. If the price is between $400-$600, the cost is 30,000 FlexPoints. $600-$800 is 40,000 FlexPoints.

      1. Steve

        My mistake. Most search results are per person. They have a new format and I didn’t realize they were reporting total cost rather than per person so it appeared like the points cost doubled. Sorry.

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