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US Bank FlexPoints vs Chase UR points

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Frequent Contributor

US Bank FlexPoints vs Chase UR points

So I am going over points value and someone correct me if I am wrong but FlexPoints beat UR points. Follow my calculations here:
US Bank Altitude vs CSR
- both offer 3 points on travel = 4.5%

US FlexPerks vs Freedome Unlimitted
US bank gives following:
- 2 points on grocery stores = 3%
- $49 fee, if you spend at least $10,000 a year, this equals to 2.5%
Freedome gives following:
- 1.5% with CSR bonus gives 2.25%
- US Bank is a winner here

US Flex Perks Select vs Freedome unlimitted
- 1 point = 1.5% vs 2.25% on Chase
- Clearly Chase is winner here

I didn't incldue gas as there are better cards to be used on gas expenses, same for cells phones, utilities and internet and cable.

It seems to me like FlexPoints beat UR points at least in the grocery category and for me this is the biggest expense.
Message 1 of 18
17 REPLIES 17
Super Contributor

Re: US Bank FlexPoints vs Chase UR points

To me it's important to be careful relying on the inflated "values" that most sites throw around. Yes, you get a bonus w/ Chase points if you use the portal to book, but if the portal isn't your best or cheapest option, it's a wash and the "value" diminishes. I think if you're comparing them it's best to start with a very conservative value to make sure you don't overestimate one ecosystem.

 

I would check into the actual redemption you expect to make and go from there and see what the value you would get is. Many blogs throw around these values and IMO they can be misleading because not everyone is going to get the value, yet sites act like it's foregone conclusion.

 

There is really no best reward system as it just depends on your specific situation and what you want to redeem for.

Message 2 of 18
Super Contributor

Re: US Bank FlexPoints vs Chase UR points

OP how much of your spend is dining out? Neither of the US Bank cards has a dining category although depending on the fast food place, Altitude may be able to use mobile wallet. CSR gets three points on dining.

The grocery category also needs to consider whether the grocery store accepts contactless / mobile wallet, in which case Altitude wins there also.
High Bal Jan 2009 $116k on $146k limits 80% Util.
Oct 2014 $46k on $127k 36% util EQ 722 TU 727 EX 727
April 2018 $18k on $344k 5% util EQ 806 TU 810 EX 812
Jan 2019 $7.6k on $360k EQ 832 TU 839 EX 831
Message 3 of 18
Frequent Contributor

Re: US Bank FlexPoints vs Chase UR points


@NRB525 wrote:
OP how much of your spend is dining out? Neither of the US Bank cards has a dining category although depending on the fast food place, Altitude may be able to use mobile wallet. CSR gets three points on dining.

The grocery category also needs to consider whether the grocery store accepts contactless / mobile wallet, in which case Altitude wins there also.

US Bank Flex Gold gives 4.5% on dining for $85 fee. So essentially $165 vs $150 CSR. But we spend $200 a month on dining. So it is not worth it for us.

Message 4 of 18
Super Contributor

Re: US Bank FlexPoints vs Chase UR points

Maybe I missed it, but do you have either an iPhone or Android phone for mobile wallet? That is a potentially large influence in favor of Altitude.  

 

In your optimization be sure to note features overlap. Lounge access, rental car coverages, and other features of VISA Infinite apply similarly to Altitude and CSR. So the net AF on one of the cards means the second VISA Infinte card team has to earn out of that AF.  If dining is only $2,400 per year, CSR is only going to earn $108 of rewards for the $150 additional AF. Altitude will earn $36 in dining return, without adding more AF, and for many ( not all ) travel spend items, Altitude will earn the same as CSR, when the presumption is only travel rewards through the Portals.  

 

When Chase UR points are transferred to travel partners, the calculation changes yet again, in Chase’s favor, but the AF still needs to be considered.   

High Bal Jan 2009 $116k on $146k limits 80% Util.
Oct 2014 $46k on $127k 36% util EQ 722 TU 727 EX 727
April 2018 $18k on $344k 5% util EQ 806 TU 810 EX 812
Jan 2019 $7.6k on $360k EQ 832 TU 839 EX 831
Message 5 of 18
Valued Contributor

Re: US Bank FlexPoints vs Chase UR points

It all depends on how you're going to use each currency and the categories that you spend the most on. If you're converting URs to cash only, it is possible that you could get more value from USB depending on your spend. But, I could get a lot more value from transferring URs to partners depending on the circumstances, and if I have the patience and luck to deal with award availability. 

For instance, I have an upcoming reward stay at Hyatt that costs only 15,000 points per night, but the cash price is over $550 per night plus taxes. That's nearly $2,000 for a long weekend, but I'm using only 45,000 points. I can get those points pretty quickly with a combination of a few UR earning cards.

I love my USB AR, and I use it a lot with Samsung Pay, but it just can't compete with certain redemptions.

AMEX | BofA | Barclays | Cap One | Chase | Citi | Discover | PenFed | SYNCB (PP 2%, Lowe's, Amazon, PP Credit) | US Bank
Message 6 of 18
Frequent Contributor

Re: US Bank FlexPoints vs Chase UR points


@imaximous wrote:

It all depends on how you're going to use each currency and the categories that you spend the most on. If you're converting URs to cash only, it is possible that you could get more value from USB depending on your spend. But, I could get a lot more value from transferring URs to partners depending on the circumstances, and if I have the patience and luck to deal with award availability. 

For instance, I have an upcoming reward stay at Hyatt that costs only 15,000 points per night, but the cash price is over $550 per night plus taxes. That's nearly $2,000 for a long weekend, but I'm using only 45,000 points. I can get those points pretty quickly with a combination of a few UR earning cards.

I love my USB AR, and I use it a lot with Samsung Pay, but it just can't compete with certain redemptions.


I see. That's a pretty good deal. From what I read average UR point = 1.5 cents however. But now I know why some people were averaging is as higher 1.7 cents per point. 

Message 7 of 18
Mega Contributor

Re: US Bank FlexPoints vs Chase UR points


@Green456 wrote:

@imaximous wrote:

It all depends on how you're going to use each currency and the categories that you spend the most on. If you're converting URs to cash only, it is possible that you could get more value from USB depending on your spend. But, I could get a lot more value from transferring URs to partners depending on the circumstances, and if I have the patience and luck to deal with award availability. 

For instance, I have an upcoming reward stay at Hyatt that costs only 15,000 points per night, but the cash price is over $550 per night plus taxes. That's nearly $2,000 for a long weekend, but I'm using only 45,000 points. I can get those points pretty quickly with a combination of a few UR earning cards.

I love my USB AR, and I use it a lot with Samsung Pay, but it just can't compete with certain redemptions.


I see. That's a pretty good deal. From what I read average UR point = 1.5 cents however. But now I know why some people were averaging is as higher 1.7 cents per point. 


1.5cpp is the minimum with the CSR, as that is a guaranteed rate for travel purchased through the portal.   So people (generally) won't transfer and get a lower rate, so the average should be a bit higher.

Message 8 of 18
Senior Contributor

Re: US Bank FlexPoints vs Chase UR points

The 5x Freedom card often has a grocery quarter, but it's temporary and capped.

 

Neither system is particularly good for grocery spend. If you're shopping at places that fit within Amex's "supermarket" category, maybe look at something like Gold or EveryDay Preferred as a way to earn a lot of miles (if you can use the MR transfer partners or their codeshares).

Most spend: CSR, CFU, BBP
Rewards/AAoA ballast: CF, Discover, Costco, ED, Arrival, Double Cash
Perks: Schwab Platinum, IHG49, Hyatt75, Brilliant, Delta Platinum, Aviator Red
Bonus chasing / retention games: Savor, BCP
Message 9 of 18
Valued Contributor

Re: US Bank FlexPoints vs Chase UR points


@Green456 wrote:

@imaximous wrote:

It all depends on how you're going to use each currency and the categories that you spend the most on. If you're converting URs to cash only, it is possible that you could get more value from USB depending on your spend. But, I could get a lot more value from transferring URs to partners depending on the circumstances, and if I have the patience and luck to deal with award availability. 

For instance, I have an upcoming reward stay at Hyatt that costs only 15,000 points per night, but the cash price is over $550 per night plus taxes. That's nearly $2,000 for a long weekend, but I'm using only 45,000 points. I can get those points pretty quickly with a combination of a few UR earning cards.

I love my USB AR, and I use it a lot with Samsung Pay, but it just can't compete with certain redemptions.


I see. That's a pretty good deal. From what I read average UR point = 1.5 cents however. But now I know why some people were averaging is as higher 1.7 cents per point. 


1.7cpp is on the low end too. As LTL said, the minimum (not average) is 1.5 cents. I'm getting over 4cpp on that Hyatt redemption. Sometimes it's less but it can also be more if you find space in business/first class flights. It does take more patience and luck to extract the most out of your URs.

AMEX | BofA | Barclays | Cap One | Chase | Citi | Discover | PenFed | SYNCB (PP 2%, Lowe's, Amazon, PP Credit) | US Bank
Message 10 of 18
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