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Must Read If You Are Or Thinking About Being A US Bank Customer




I am a US Bank Flexperks cardholder for a little over 2 years, I like the additional benefits the card offers and the bonus categories. It’s interesting to see that they added an American Express version that is virtually identical except there’s the addition of 2x on restaurant spend. Then apparently there’s the Reserve Versions as well.

The other week, I product changed from the Visa into the American Express. It looks like product changes aren’t as liberal as Citi where it seems like any Citi product can be product changed into a different Citi card. US Bank appears to be like Chase Ultimate Rewards where the rewards must be the same in order to product change as I called twice about a product change and what the available offerings were.

What US Bank Is Offering?

US Bank wants to expand their consumer business with additional product offerings. As long as you have a credit card with US Bank you will be eligible to open a Gold Checking account, regardless if you are in US Bank’s in branch business areas. Here are the terms of a mid tier, Gold Checking:

With Gold Checking, you pay no monthly maintenance fees as long as you also have an open U.S. Bank personal loan, line or credit card.2

Don’t have a U.S. Bank credit card?

You can apply for one when you open your Gold Checking Package. Select from more than 30 cards, including our popular U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Card or U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards American Express® Card, which let you choose the travel rewards you really want.

Other financing needs?

U.S. Bank offers competitive rates on auto loans, home equity loans and lines, and personal loans and lines – and as long as you have one of these accounts open, your Gold Checking monthly maintenance fees will be waived.

Prior to writing this post, I received a letter from US Bank about the Gold Checking with no monthly fees for being a US Bank customer as long as you have any credit card, as mentioned above. While researching for this post, I saw it online so I shredded the letter.

With S.T.A.R.T. Savings Today And Rewards Tomorrow®, you can earn up to $100 in rewards when you save $1,000!5

For START, you need to put $1000 into a savings account, and they will give you $50, then after 1 year, you will earn another $50. If you fund the account to the $1000 on day 1, then on day 366 you should receive the second $50 for a total of $100 for an APY just shy of 10%. The $100 bonus is a one time bonus.

If you decide to open the checking account, US Bank even advertises the ability to fund the account with credit or debit.

Simple

Use a credit or debit card to make your opening deposit.

This play is a great way to earn some extra spend on your cards that Doctor of Credit guest posted a while back and an up to date post on Free-quent Flyer. You will be limited to $500 as the max load. Because of this advertisement, I imagine it would count as a purchase to the credit card, otherwise, people will not be happy if it was a cash advance touting its simplicity. In addition, there is capability to accept American Express as many of the banking product funding does not accept AMEX.

Why Even Consider The Offer?

I’m a big proponent of opening and hanging onto credit cards that offer me additional value after the initial sign up bonus. In the aforementioned letter, it explicitly said that the American Express version has the annual fee waived if you have the Gold Checking package. That is why I product changed into the AMEX version, in addition, there is no hard pull for the product change. Before writing the post, I was able to find the offer, but can not at this time. If a reader is able to find it, that would be very helpful. I should have bookmarked the links.

The Chat:

For the long story, if you want to read the dialog with the agent, I’ve removed her name and called her “Friendly Agent”:

We’re here to help. A U.S. Bank Chat Banker will be with you shortly.

You are now chatting with Friendly Agent. Your chat transcript will be saved for quality purposes.

Friendly Agent: Hello, my name is Friendly Agent, how may I help you?

You: Hi Friendly Agent, I have a US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express, I received a letter about opening a Gold Checking account and my Travel Rewards American Express annual fee would be waived as long as I have the checking account. Can you confirm if that offer is still valid?

Friendly Agent: Thank you for asking! Yes, that is absolutely still valid! Your monthly fees would be waived each month on the Gold Checking because of your credit card! This account has added benefits such as extra Easy Checking account for free if needed! It has no balance requirements either.

Friendly Agent: You can also open our Package Money Market Savings that is free with the Gold Checking. With our Package accounts you can enroll in our S.T.A.R.T. Program which rewards you for savings. Would you like more information about that?

You: What about the credit card annual fee, will that be waived?

Friendly Agent: Yes, that is correct! It would be waived because of your relationship with us.

You: And could you explain the START a little further? Are the $50 bonus for every $1000 unlimited?

You: Or is it just the first $1000?

Friendly Agent: S.T.A.R.T. stands for Savings Today and Rewards Tomorrow. All you have to do is set up an automatic transfer from your Package Checking account into your Package Money Market Savings account. Once you have saved $1000 you will earn a $50 Visa Rewards Card and if you keep that balance for a year you will get another $50 Visa Rewards Card!

You: What happens on the second $1000 and hold it for 1 year, would I receive another $100?

Friendly Agent: Great question. The offer ends with the second $50 Visa Rewards Card. It does not continue on after that. Still, you would be rewarded for saving!

You: Thanks. Last question, if I have the Travel Rewards Visa would that credit card’s annual fee be waived as well? Or is it only the American Express version?

Friendly Agent: Great question. Let me check on that! One moment?

You: Sounds good

Friendly Agent: Thank you for your patience. I am not finding an offer for that. I am sorry!

You: Thanks that’s what I thought as well.

Friendly Agent: Let me check one more area! Okay?

You: Ok, thanks

Friendly Agent: I am sorry, I still am not finding an offer like that for you!

You: As you were researching, I saw this: “Use a credit or debit card to make your opening deposit.” could I use the Travel Rewards American Express?

You: And what is the maximum that I could fund with the credit or debit card?

Friendly Agent: Yes, you can. Great question! Let me check!

Friendly Agent: That would be a total of $500.

Bottom Line:

Putting away $1000, half of which will be charged on a credit card with the other half from a regular checking account to earn $100 will be easy. The extra gravy is going to be the annual fee waiver for the Flexperks card. So if you don’t have the Flexperks, you should consider signing up. I don’t need another checking account, but the $49 fee waiver seals the deal for me. I did miss out on the sign up bonus for the American Express Flexperks version, but that is OK to me because I don’t chase sign up bonuses. If you’re not convinced on the FlexPerks system’s usefulness, there’s this post on Rapid Travel Chai that is a must read for the redemption side.

21 comments… add one
  • I wonder , how they could convert Visa to Amex – they cannot preserve a CC number.

    I also thinking about getting Amex version of FlexPerks, but I believe there are 2 disatvantages – target/wm are “grocery”stores for my flexperks visa, but usually for Amex cards these 2 stores are not. And for Visa Flexperks you can do BP at WM, while with Amex card you’ll miss such opportunity.

    Reply
  • Where do you see that annual fee for Amex version of Flexperks is waived when you have a Gold checking?

    Reply
    • It was found in a letter they gave me, since shredded. I double checked with an online representative about the annual fee waiver and she confirmed it is only available on the AMEX version.

      You’re definitely right, they can’t preserve the credit card number. You raise valid points on your thoughts with skipping on the sign up offer on the AMEX version if you do the product change as well as the categories of vendors.

      Reply
  • Wow, this could be an awesome way to get the FlexPerks annual fee waived, but I just chatted with US Bank and they told me that it’s only the Platinum checking that will get Flexperks annual fee waived, not the Gold.

    Don’t know who’s right.

    Reply
    • That sure is confusing when it comes to trying to get a consistent answer!

      Reply
  • Thanks for the info CTP. I haven’t really looked into flexperks but the one card that i would want from them for sure is the club carlson. They would only waive on their flexperks amex product?

    Reply
    • That’s a really great question I didn’t think to ask. I only know of the Flexperks AMEX because of a letter I received. Not sure about the Club Carlson. I know that if you have the Club Carlson card, it’ll waive the checking account fees, but the credit card annual fee I don’t know.

      Reply
  • The Gold Checking account trick appears to be true. I mysteriously got my AF refunded last month after PCing to the Amex product. I guess the CC and gold checking acct cancel each other’s fees!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the feedback. I finally got around to signing up for the checking account

      Reply
  • Confirmed: earned flexperx for funding Surve with my/this card. No fuel or fees wasted. Lazy MS is the best MS.

    Reply
  • I understand the love of the annual fee waiver. But I don’t understand why you would give up a sign-up bonus that’s worth $400 for the travel? The spending requirements are easy and definitely worth $400 worth of travel. Plus they usually have one or two bonus promo’s a year that wipes out the $49 fee. It seems we’re leaving a little cash on the table here. I realize I’m adding to an old post ( in response to tweet activity) but what am I missing?

    Reply
    • You’d want to sign up for the Visa version get the sign up bonus, then product change into the AMEX version when the annual fee comes up. Prior to the AMEX conversion, you could also apply for that card, and then product change so you get both sign up bonuses.

      After all of it, then you get a free Flexperks for as long as you have a checking account.

      Reply
      • Thx. I get it this way. I thought you said you didn’t care you didn’t get the sign up bonus for the Amex.

        Reply
  • does this work with new flexperk amex card that earns 3x on restaurant? also how does their gold checking have sign up bonus?

    Reply
    • often* not does.

      Reply
      • I’m not sure how often the sign up bonus comes for the gold checking. Best to check Doctor of Credit for that one

        Reply

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