US Bank Real-Time Mobile Rewards. What works where?

US Bank’s Real-Time Mobile Rewards offer a way to book travel outside of US Bank’s limited travel portal and still get 1.5 cents per point value from your points.  Unfortunately, the details about what works where are sketchy.  For example, the terms state that real time mobile rewards work only with US merchants, but their examples of airlines that it works with includes several foreign airlines.

The purpose of this post is to keep a running tally of exactly what works where, in practice.  First a short Q & A:

Q & A

  • Q: Which credit cards do Real-Time Mobile Rewards work with and offer 1.5 cents value towards travel?
    AAltitude Reserve card Flexperks Visa card, Flexperks Business Visa card.  UPDATE: As of 3/1/20, Flexperks cards no longer get 1.5 cents value this way.
  • Q: How do I activate Real-Time Mobile Rewards?
    A:
    See this post for details:  US Bank makes Real-Time Mobile Rewards awesome. Are you listening Chase? Amex? Citi?
  • Q: What happens if I redeem rewards for a purchase and the purchase is later canceled or the actual charges end up being lower than the amount redeemed for?
    A:
    You will receive a statement credit.  For example, if you redeem 20,000 points for a $300 flight via Real-Time Mobile Rewards, and you cancel that flight purchase, the $300 will be applied to your account balance. You will not get the 20,000 points back.
  • Q: Which types of travel purchases are officially supported by Real-Time Mobile Rewards?
    A:
    US Bank lets users enable purchases withing the following categories, and offers examples, as follows:

    • Lodging: Four Seasons,Hyatt,Marriott,Starwood,Hilton,Disney Resorts,Best Western,Westin,Wyndham
    • Airline: United,American,British Airways,Emirates,JetBlue,Southwest,Delta,Sun Country
    • Other Travel: “Examples are unavailable for this category.”
    • Car Rental: Hertz,Budget,Alamo,Avis,National,Enterprise
  • Q: What are the minimum purchase amounts necessary to trigger Real-Time Mobile Rewards?
    A:
    With most categories, the minimum is set by the user’s preferences to as low as $10. The Hotels category has a fixed minimum of $500; and the Car Rental category has a fixed minimum of $250.
  • Q: What does US Bank mean by “Other Travel”?
    A:
    I don’t know. I hope that this post will help figure that out.

US Bank Real-Time Mobile Rewards. What works where?

Please comment below with your findings and we’ll update this chart with any meaningful new data. Thanks!

Airline Charges

  • Aegean: FAIL
  • AeroMexico booked via Expedia: SUCCESS
  • Air New Zealand ticket: FAIL
  • Aer Lingus seat assignment: FAIL
  • Aeroplan award ticket fees: FAIL
  • Aeroplan lap infant fee: FAIL
  • Air Tahiti Nui: SUCCESS
  • Alaska Airlines: SUCCESS
  • Alaska Airlines ticket for multiple passengers: PARTIAL SUCCESS (Each passenger charge separate, only works for one)
  • Alaska Airlines buy miles: FAIL
  • Alitalia ticket purchased through alitalia.com: SUCCESS
  • Allegiant Air: SUCCESS
  • American Airlines purchase at airport: FAIL
  • American Airlines $50 e-gift card: SUCCESS
  • American Airlines $149 e-gift card: SUCCESS
  • American Airlines award fee: SUCCESS
  • Avianca Lifemiles award fees: SUCCESS
  • British Airways ticket booked with ExploreTrip: FAIL
  • Cathay Pacific award fees booked with Asia miles: FAIL
  • Delta e-gift card purchased via desktop browser: SUCCESS
  • Delta ticket purchased through Expedia: SUCCESS
  • Delta ticket purchased directly: SUCCESS
  • Delta award fee ($11.20): SUCCESS
  • Delta ticket from China to US purchased at delta.com: FAIL
  • Emirates online seat selection fee: SUCCESS
  • Etihad award fees: SUCCESS
  • LOT Airlines: FAIL
  • Lufthansa change fee processed in NY: SUCCESS
  • Hawaiian Airlines inter-island flight tickets: SUCCESS
  • Maya Air tickets purchased directly: SUCCESS
  • Norwegian Air: FAIL
  • Primera Air ticket purchased directly: FAIL
  • SAS Airlines ticket purchased directly: SUCCESS
  • Southwest Airlines ticket purchase: SUCCESS
  • Southwest Airlines gift card: SUCCESS
  • Southwest Airlines award fees: SUCCESS
  • Spirit Airlines ticket and $9 fare club: SUCCESS
  • TAP Portugal booked via Orbitz: SUCCESS
  • United award fees: SUCCESS
  • United baggage fees (via United app): SUCCESS
  • United flight booked through Orbitz: SUCCESS
  • United flight booked at United.com: SUCCESS
  • United award fees: SUCCESS
  • Vietnam Airlines ticket: FAIL
  • Virgin Atlantic seat upgrade: SUCCESS
  • Virgin America flight booked directly: FAIL
  • Virgin America $25 charge at check-in: FAIL
  • Vueling ticket purchased directly: FAIL
  • Vueling ticket purchased through Orbitz: FAIL

Hotel Charges

  • AVANI hotel in Africa. FAIL
  • Fairmont hotel in Canada: FAIL
  • Hotel booked through Hotels.com: FAIL
  • Sheraton in US: SUCCESS with initial hold charge

Car Rental

Car Services

Cruises

  • MSC Cruise: SUCCESS
  • Royal Caribbean, both over the phone and onboard: SUCCESS

Other Travel

Other

  • Buy retail gift card via United MileageX App: FAIL

Real-Time Mobile Rewards Terms & Conditions

The following terms were found here (must be logged in to access): https://rtr.myrewardsaccess.com/Offers/OfferSummary. Click “Terms and Conditions” then click “Program Rules” near the bottom of the Terms & Conditions page.

Real-Time Rewards

With Real-Time Rewards, you may instantly redeem Points for your credit card Purchases via text messaging. The Points redemption comes in the form of a credit to your monthly billing statement. Points will be deducted from your Points balance and a credit for the Purchase amount will be applied to your Account billing statement when you request redemption. For transactions which include a gratuity, fees, or estimated taxes, the statement credit may not equal your final Purchase amount. Auto bill pay transactions will be part of Real-Time Rewards text messages if the Purchase falls within your preference selections. Real-Time Rewards text messages are available only for transactions with U.S. merchants. You may sign up for Real-Time Rewards using your 10-digit U.S. mobile number. Only one mobile number may be used per credit card account. After you complete a brief enrollment profile, you need to confirm your enrollment within 24 hours by replying ‘YES’ to a confirmation message that Real-Time Rewards will send you. If any changes are made to your Account that will affect the card number, account ownership or your rewards program, you will need to re-enroll in Real-Time Rewards. Message and data rates may apply. The short code REDEEM (733336) is used by Real-Time Rewards to send redemption requests. Message frequency is based upon the preferences you select and the Purchases you make on your Account. Text ‘HELP’ to REDEEM (733336) for Help. Text ‘STOP’ to REDEEM (733336) to cancel your participation in Real-Time Rewards. All cancellations completed via text message will remove that mobile number from all accounts registered for Real-Time Rewards. Please visit rtr.myrewardsaccess.com for a full listing of the Mobile Terms and Conditions. For inquiries, to sign up to receive text alerts, to update your preferences or to cancel your enrollment, please visit the Rewards Center online or call the Rewards Center.

You will not receive Real-Time Rewards text messages until you confirm your enrollment and preferences. You will receive a Real-Time Rewards request text message if your credit card Purchase falls within the criteria you have set up in your Real-Time Rewards preferences. Merchants who accept Visa cards are assigned a merchant code based on the kinds of products and services they sell. U.S. Bank does not control how Purchases are processed by merchants or the merchant codes they use; therefore, U.S. Bank cannot guarantee that a specific transaction will qualify. Your Account must remain in good standing in order to redeem. You may redeem by replying ‘REDEEM’ within 24 hours of when the message was sent. You may only redeem the most recent Real-Time Rewards text message. Upon confirmation of a redemption request, Points will be deducted from your Points balance immediately, and a credit to your statement will be processed within three business days and will appear on your next billing statement. The Account statement credit for a Real-Time Rewards redemption will reduce the Account balance, but will not count toward the minimum payment due. All redemptions are final. If you return the item or service that you redeemed Points for to the merchant, the Points will not be reinstated, but you may receive a monetary credit to your credit card account (in accordance with the merchant’s return policy).

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