How to Maximize US Bank FlexPerks with Massive Multi-City Flights

It ain’t easy, but it’s possible. US Bank FlexPerks flight rewards challenge the traveler to maximize value because flights are priced in price bands. Any ticket under US$400 costs 20,000 points and then each subsequent $200 adds 10,000 points. This is per person, each passenger is priced as a separate award.

FlexPerks flight costs

FrequentMiler noted in Maximizing value from the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Card that it is possible tack on flights for later trips to get better value. For instance a $300 New York – Chicago roundtrip can add a later $100 New York – Boston flight to max out the $400. If the FlexPerks website will price and issue the ticket.

Tickets must be booked on the FlexPerks website or over the phone. The phone agents are pretty good, though there are long hold times and outside regular US business hours there is only one person on a night desk.

The big complaint from travelers is that the FlexPerks website often seems a bit more expensive than sites such as Expedia. A $390 ticket might price in FlexPerks as $410 and trigger a new price band. I have found that to be the case. Sometimes forcing segment by segment itineraries can get it to price correctly where a general search did not. Other times you are out of luck.

The FlexPerks site is also really buggy. Here are some pictorial lessons of what I have learned.

1. The main multi-city search is limited to 4 flights and often errors out:

FlexPerks multi-destinationFlexPerks no flights available 2. When the search errors out, you are taken to the real Multi-City search that allows 6 flights:

FlexPerks real multi-destination3. Never click “Return to Search.” It takes you back to the main screen and you need to start over.

FlexPerks Return to Search4. If you see “Change Your Search,” usually during selecting itinerary options, it is ok to click.

FlexPerks Change Your SearchFrom Change Your Search you will need to then click “More Options” to continue:

FlexPerks Change Your Search options5. Complicated itineraries may seem to exist then you get “We apologize. Your last request could not be processed.” You need to try other options or call and see if the agent can ticket.

FlexPerks could not be processed6. When you change searches, particularly if you reduce flights, you will start getting errors. Example is you first search a 6-flight itinerary, then remove and search 5 or less. You may need to log out and remove the browser cookie to get it to reset. Look for cookies from go.travelpn.com Yes, very frustrating.

FlexPerks cookie 7. When you finally get your flights, it costs $1,002.90 and the websites wants an extra 10,000 points for the $2.90

FlexPerks Review the priceThen you call in and request that they charge the $2.90 to your credit card. Yes, it worked! My ticket was 50,000 points and $2.90 instead of 70,000 points.

Good luck.

So what did I book? I forgot to get a screenshot. Grrr. Here are the flights:

LIAT ATR at Dominica

Sun, Oct 12 2014
Depart from Grenada (GND) at 6:35 AM
Arrive in Barbados (BGI) at 7:30 AM
Flight LI 362ATR72-600

Sun, Oct 12 2014
Depart from Barbados (BGI) at 8:00 AM
Arrive in Antigua (ANU) at 9:25 AM
Flight LI 362ATR72-600

Sun, Oct 12 2014
Depart from Antigua (ANU) at 10:10 AM
Arrive in Dominica (DOM) at 10:50 AM
Flight LI 362ATR72-600

Sun, Oct 12 2014
Depart from Dominica (DOM) at 8:15 PM
Arrive in Antigua (ANU) at 8:55 AM
Flight LI 524ATR72-600

Tue, Oct 14 2014
Depart from Antigua (ANU) at 1:50 PM
Arrive in Guadeloupe (PTP) at 2:20 PM
Flight LI 321ATR42-600

Note: Guadeloupe – Martinique booked on a separate airline, though never flew it because LIAT never got me to Guadeloupe

Wed, Oct 15 2014
Depart from Martinique (FDF) at 9:25 AM
Arrive in St. Lucia (SLU) at 9:50 AM
Flight LI 371ATR42-600

Wed, Oct 15 2014
Depart from St. Lucia (SLU) at 10:15 AM
Arrive in Barbados (BGI) at 11:00 AM
Flight LI 371ATR42-600

Wed, Oct 15 2014
Depart from Barbados (BGI) at 4:50 PM
Arrive in St. Vincent (SVD) at 5:30 PM
Flight LI 737ATR42-600

Thu, Oct 16 2014
Depart from St. Vincent (SVD) at 7:15 AM
Arrive in St. Lucia (SLU) at 7:45 AM
Flight LI 310DH8-300

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Pingbacks

  • That is a wild trip – definitely looking forward to the post called “Caribbean Lesser Antilles Island Hopping Itinerary”!

    I love doing crazy trips like this – some friends and I visited all 88 counties in Ohio in 24 hours

  • Can

    Wait, so you booked the flight by calling in? -Then you call in and request that they charge the $2.90 to your credit card. Yes, it worked! My ticket was 50,000 points and $2.90 instead of 70,000 points.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    Can – yes, indeed.

  • Can

    Holy guacamole. Thanks. Good to know!

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Can – thanks for reading through to the punch line!

  • Jamie

    it’s absolutely amazing that they will let you charge the overage to a credit card! I wonder if they will only do it when it’s a very small amount like yours. otherwise, you would always be able to get the max value from your flex points by just charging the orphaned amount to a credit card?!

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Jamie – it seems no one had ever asked, at least to that agent. My assumption is that it will only work for very small difference like that, but the booking is handled by a separate travel agency and they may be willing to be more flexible than we would guess.

  • john

    Interesting. I would not have thought to try to phone in the overage. I had a heck of a time using my flexpoints as well; and yes as with most of the point portals it was pricing differently/not having flights.

    Your LIAT flight list is confusing. First four flights were all on a Sunday from 6:35AM to 8:55AM? and those flights dont actually give you any time almost anywhere (25 min in St Lucia; half hour in Barbados). am I missing something?

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @john – so the first 3 were the most direct way to get to Dominica, which has so few flights. The original plan was Grenada – Dominica that morning, which went according to plan, spend all day in Dominica, and get to Antigua late Sunday night. That’s where things fell apart as just before the plane came in from Barbados, the storms came in to Antigua and I was the only passenger in Dominica they didn’t bother coming in to pick me up and at least get me to Barbados. There I stayed for 2 unplanned days.

  • john

    Well not to be a pain; what I was commenting on was your Dominica to Antigua flight which clocks in at 24 hours and 40 minutes.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @john – I was copying from the updated itinerary and meant to correct it to the original, but messed up and you spotted it. I will correct. I wish it had only taken that long, I got to Antigua 39 hours late.

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  • Ted

    Hmm just tried calling to put the “difference” on credit card and they said no way to do it….

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Ted – all I recommend is hang up, call again and hope you have success.

  • Ted

    Tried again and they (supervisor) said they stopped allowing it since Feb, I’ll try again and see if night shift missed the memo.

  • HoKo

    @Ted

    Thank you for posting this update – I’m considering applying for this card and this is exactly the sort of negative change I was worried about. What happened with the night shift?

    @RTC

    Any other reports regarding this trick still working on a YMMV basis or officially being dead?

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @HoKo – part of the issue is no night shift. I have not had any other reports or chance to test it. Too bad if gone, allowed good value which in theory is what they promote with the card.

  • HoKo

    @RTC – Thx for the response. I think I’m going to hold off on applying for a flexperks card until we get some more data points on this. Would you mind commenting on this post once you have an update, or you can just email me directly.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @HoKo – will do, however I wouldnt choose the card based on these rounding issues. Even if you redeem for $350 or so it is good enough, we just have to convince ourselves that sometimes we can’t 100% max things. The charity 3x is great.

  • HoKo

    @RTC – Definitely agree about the appeal of the charity 3x but I have very limited experience with Kiva. I was thinking about it in the sense that things are great while your loans are performing well but if you had even one loan default that would wipe out a huge chunk of the profit that you been earning from 3x (and could obviously even send you into the red). Any thoughts?

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @HoKo – I have not gotten in to Kiva, from what I understand it is something to research carefully, The Miles Professor has good posts on it. I have used it small-scale for my own charity and while 2x grocery can be had elsewhere, I like it for that, too.