UPDATE 9/9/2015 2:30PM: The business class fare sale mentioned below appears to be dead, but you may still find value in the general approach described here for using FlexPerks points .
US Bank’s FlexPerks points are, in my opinion, great to have around as a backup redemption option. You can get excellent value from your points, but only when flight prices happen to be near the top of each fare range in the FlexPerks award chart. For example, you can use 20,000 FlexPerks points to buy a $100 round trip flight or a $400 round trip flight. Obviously, the $400 flight is a much better value. Take a look at the award chart:
|Ticket Price Range||FlexPoints Required|
|$0 to $400||20,000|
|>$400 to $600||30,000|
|>$600 to $800||40,000|
|>$800 to $1000||50,000|
|>$1000 to $1400||70,000|
|>$1400 to $2000||100,000|
|>$2000 to $3000||150,000|
|>$3000 to $4500||225,000|
|>$4500 to $7000||350,000|
|>$7000 to $10,000||500,000|
If you’re willing to plan ahead and do a bit of travel hacking, you can get top value from your points all the time (see: Maximizing value from the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Card). That’s a lot of work and planning. I prefer to keep FlexPerks around for those situations where flight prices just happen to hit the sweet spots: as close to the top of a price range as possible, without going over. So, for example, when flight prices are around $375, $575, $775, etc., I’ll take a look at my FlexPerks balance to see if I can buy the flight with points.
This morning, via Quick Deals, I announced a Oneworld fare sale in which many business class flights to Europe are pricing at just under $2,000. Interesting… That happens to hit one of FlexPerks’ sweet spots. With FlexPerks, flights priced between $1400 and $2000 can be purchased with 100,000 FlexPerks points. Sure enough, the FlexPerks flight search engine found many 100K options, including this business class flight next summer from Seattle to Rome and back:
A great thing about using bank points to buy flights is that you will earn airline miles for the flight as long as you attach your frequent flyer number to the booking. And, since many airlines (including AA) offer extra miles for those flying business class, flights like these can be very rewarding.
I plan to follow-up soon with other options including paying with Citi ThankYou points, and how to get these flights cheaper by booking through British Airways.