The Two Travel Cards I went for to Start 2017 & my Change in Award Strategy!

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renes new cards FlexPerks AMEX and USAA cash back card

This is going to be an interesting travel year. Soon, very soon, we will learn what changes Delta is going to make to the 2018 Medallion program. At first glance and from what we know, the changes will be good news and it had better be as negative changes after we are already earning status for 2018 would be, shall we say, rather poorly received! But on top of that we have the plans for what points to earn going forward because it sure is not SkyMiles!

limitless cash back rewards from usaa

This card is one you likely will not be able to get. USAA has a number of cash back cards, and anyone can join USAA, but unless you are military or have had family that were military and joined USAA and can gift you in so you too can become a FULL MEMBER you are not eligible for this amazing new 2.5% Unlimited cash back card. Not only is this a great rewards card but considering the current environment, every day I see cash as a better and better option allowing me to pick any flight any airline and any hotel I want!


The next one, the US Bank AMEX branded FlexPerks card,  really is another one of those no-brainers since each FlexPerk point is worth ~2 cents toward a ticket of my choice. Plus, I tend to dine out quite often and getting 3x or 6% back at restaurants just works. Not just that, but it pays 2x or 4% back at gas station and 7/11’s happen to code as a gas station. And guess what, they happen to sell VDGCs. Thus, like the Visa version of this FlexPerks card, I can end up with up to a $400 Delta ticket that earns full Delta points (including SkyMiles, MQMs, MQD and MQSs) for under $100 in cost to me. You know, that works just fine for me. Plus, after meeting the minimum spend at said gas stations, I will get 34,000 FlexPerks points or well over $600 in travel cash (see why I went for this card).

Bottom line is I am still all about travel. I am still all about earning my elite status and flying Delta but to do that I need to “buy” tickets with either cash or points that act just like cash. Both of these cards do that for me. So I say again, like I did Friday:

Are we learning yet? – René


  1. @Amanda – Limited to certain states. You saw the drop down I am sure if you apply and if not in targeted state no. Hope it expands to all soon!
    From site: This product is currently available to members residing in the following states: AL, AZ, CO, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, MI, NM, NV, NY, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX and WA. It will become available in additional states at a later date.

  2. Yeah. Was actually just looking to replace my USAA card that I had with my ex husband. I will just wait till it *hopefully* comes to LA. Told my folks about it though. They have PenFed which they love because of the 1.5 back on everything but this will be great for them.

  3. ha no Florida love yet didn’t know about this either 2.5 is solid beats the 2.25 with Chase

  4. Is Flexperks redemption through TA like UR uses Expedia? Or is it redemption credit like Barclay’s Arrival miles? I can’t remember and I’m sure there’s a post here somewhere… still disappointed I missed the black flexperks personal Amex products a yr or so back.

  5. @Young – Portal like Expedia. But I have had success in past calling and getting higher fare class to get as near $400 (for example) as I could.

  6. Hi Rene…oh how I wish I was doing a Reader Guest Post from the Phoenix Open right now…such is life in Minnesota in the Winter!

    I have a couple of the US Bank Flex Perks Cards already, the Travel Rewards Visa and the Select + AMEX, so I was curious about the Gold card. I saw one perk that came with this card that some may find useful:

    “TSA PreCheck or Global Entry automatic statement credit reimbursement for whichever program you apply for first. Upon approval, enjoy expedited travel screening at participating airports. ”

    One quick question, do you know if one can hold all three of these cards? With the 30,000 Point Bonus, I’m thinking it makes sense for my wife and I to both apply. We both did the Travel Rewards Visa back in August and netted over 36,000 Points each with the Olympic Medals Promotion they ran.

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