When NorthWest Airlines was still around, US Bank was the issuer of their affinity card. But after they merged with Delta, Delta chose American Express to be the sole issuer of the combined entities card (Delta already had their cards issued with Amex). That meant that US Bank would lose their World Perks cardholders because they would have to get a Delta Amex card.
In fact, US Bank sent their existing WorldPerks Visa card holders that Flexperk cards as replacement cards. They weren't really identical replacements because they were simply not Delta/NorthWest cards where you can earn and transfer miles into your Delta Skymiles account.
The was a heated battle for market share as American Express went on a massive campaign to win over the old NorthWest cardholders while US Bank battled to keep those customers. While, they may have lost quite a few to Delta (quite inevitable), they have actually managed to come up with a card that has won a couple of awards. For example, So what is it about this card that allowed it to win awards? In 2009, Kiplinger nominated this card as one of the best for travel rewards1. In 2010, they received another award1. Let's take a closer look at it's features.
How to earn points? - This card functions like most other ones in terms of how points are earned. The base rate is 1% (or rather one point for every dollar that you spend on the card). The expenses like gasoline, groceries and airline ticket purchases, you get to earn double points.
To top it all, you can earn an extra 3,500 FlexPoints (the name of their reward points) if you spend $24,000 a year on the card.
Redeeming Points for Airline Tickets - But perhaps the best highlight of this card is that you get more value for your points when you redeem them for airline tickets. How is this so? On their website and marketing points, US Bank tells us that all you need is 20,000 points for an airline ticket of up to $400 in value. So if you do get a $400 ticket, you need only 20,000 points compared to 40,000 points for most programs. This is the factor which I believe led it to win the awards and praises of consumers. We'll explore this in greater detail in our next section.
1. Kiplinger nominated this card for their travel rewards pick
2. Another Award for US bank FlexPerk