Home > Delta, US Bank > Maximizing my first FlexPerks redemption

Maximizing my first FlexPerks redemption

Many people picked up the US Bank FlexPerks card in late August, when they offered a 33,150-point bonus related to the Olympics for spending $2500 in 5 months. The rewards are best used for paid air tickets, though the rewards categories are tiered. For 20,000 FlexPerks, you can buy any ticket up to $400. For a ticket between $400-$600, you’ll need 30,000 FlexPerks. This means that FlexPerks can be great for a $399.99 ticket (meaning you’ll get close to 2 cents per point value) but not so great for a $400.01 ticket (where you’ll get 1.33 cents per point). It also means that after making minimum spend, it’s best to try to go for 40,000 points to be able to redeem for two 20,000 point tickets.

I decided to take a trip last weekend where using regular airline miles wasn’t an option, and the cheapest fare was pricing out to $397.50. Talk about a good price for FlexPerks! As soon as my bonus points posted, I redeemed 20,000 FlexPerks for the ticket, meaning I got close to 1.99 cents per point value. Not bad! Best yet, I still earned Elite and Redeemable miles on my trip, since Delta saw it as a normal paid ticket. For a Los Angeles – Atlanta roundtrip, I earned 3892 base miles, 3892 medallion bonus miles (100% Gold Medallion bonus), 2000 segment bonus miles (for a targeted promotion), and 7500 customer relation bonus miles (my in-flight entertainment screen did not work on my outbound flight). In the end, I got a flight redemption + 17,284 redeemable miles + 3,892 medallion qualification miles by redeeming 20,000 FlexPerks. Pretty prettttty pretttttty good.

Better yet, whenever you redeem FlexPerks, US Bank will refund up to $25 of ancillary fees that you spend with the airline during your trip. It’s marketed as a reimbursement for checking a bag, but their materials say you can also use it to buy in-flight food and drinks. As a Delta Gold Medallion, I already get bags free (I didn’t even check a bag on trip) and usually get a free snack or drink whenever I print my boarding pass at home (with a free Have One On Us coupon).

20121101-161549.jpg

If you are Gold Medallion or higher and don’t get an upgrade before the airport, print out your boarding pass without adblockers and you should get a free “Have One On Us” coupon. I usually go for the $7 Flight Delights box.

I decided to see if buying a Sky Club day pass would work as a reimbursable expense. They cost $50 for a day-pass – Skymiles Amex cardholders can buy a visit pass for $25 that’s good for one club, but day passes can be used at multiple clubs on the same trip, including the next day if your flight is an overnight one. I already have a SkyGuide Club reimbursement membership (that I picked up for $20) to refund up to twelve club passes up to $50 each, so I bought one with my US Bank FlexPerks card. After the charge posted, I called the number on the back of my US Bank card and explained I wanted $25 of that reimbursed. All I needed to do was provide the days of my trip and I was done within 5 minutes! I just sent the club pass to SkyGuide for another $50 reimbursement, so I consider this a free $25 :).

As for the club pass, I used it to access LAX’s SkyClub, which was crowded on Thursday night when I flew out. I arrived in ATL pretty early in the morning, though I wasn’t meeting anyone until mid-afternoon, so I decided to use my club pass within the airport at the various SkyClubs to get some work done before leaving security. I landed in concourse A, so made a quick stop by the newer A17 Sky Club to get some coffee and catch up on emails (believe it or not, there’s another SkyClub just 300 feet away from this one … ATL is definitely the Delta motherland).

20121031-233938.jpg

Early morning in the ATL A17 Sky Club

Then I headed over to my favorite SkyClub in E-concourse, the old international concourse. It’s much bigger and quieter in some places. The views look out over a more international crowd of jets, and there’s a quiet relaxation room if you need to catch a nap. Best yet, it’s one of two SkyClubs at ATL with showers, great coming off a redeye.

20121031-234036.jpg

Relaxation room, in the back of the SC near the showers.

Afterward, I finally got a chance to try out One Flew South, an eatery in E-concourse. Everyone I know who has eaten there has told me that it is the best airport restaurant they’ve ever been to. I am now one of those people. The prices are a bit high, but that’s normal for an airport. There’s also an included 18% gratuity for every diner, though I’ve heard that you can negotiate that with your waiter — 18% doesn’t seem too high to me, I just didn’t add any extra tip.

20121031-234123.jpg

Facade, next to the Lufthansa Senator Lounge.

20121031-234154.jpg

Sushi at 1FS

20121031-234233.jpg

Pulled Duck Sandwich

On the return trip, my flight was departing from the new international concourse F, so I decided to buy another SkyClub pass to check that out. Unfortunately, MARTA is not exactly SMARTA, and 8:30am flights are pretty early for me, so I only got about 5 minutes in there to get a quick breakfast. The new F-club looks nice, but I’m still a bigger fan of the E-club.

As for why my domestic flight left the international terminal, that’s just a lucky aspect of having my life exist between two Delta international gateways. My flight was flown on a Boeing 777-200, which arrived in ATL from Johannesburg and needed to be at LAX for a flight to Tokyo. While I didn’t get upgraded to First class (which was actually Delta’s lie-flat BusinessElite offering), I was able to get an international Economy Comfort seat. I guess Delta doesn’t bother to change the in-flight entertainment system settings between international and domestic flights, so I also got free HBO/Showtime/movies. While I did miss out on having wi-fi (no wi-fi on primarily international aircraft), we arrived an hour early, in under 4 hours. That’s the fastest I’ve ever flown ATL-LAX westbound. Just another reason to pay attention to aircraft offerings on hub-to-hub routes ;).

Advertisements
Categories: Delta, US Bank
  1. Drü
    November 2, 2012 at 8:40 am

    The best perk about this card is the x3 on all charitable contributions! I am not aware of any other card that offers this benefit. This works out to up to 6 cents per dollars spent!

    • Amol
      November 2, 2012 at 9:36 am

      That’s true! I do all my Kiva loans on this card.

  1. September 26, 2013 at 4:11 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: