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?
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.
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.
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.