A lot of hoopla has been made over the fate of the Fidelity Amex card, whose portfolio was bought by Elan Financial Services (a US Bank subsidiary), with the cards being reissued as Visas. In particular, many wondered and speculated that the card would earn (or be convertible to) Flexpoints, US Bank’s pseudo-fixed value rewards currency. Doctor of Credit has a great explanation of them here, but I’ve included the award chart for reference:
A few posts, including one from Project Endpoint and one on Reddit, claim to have confirmed the card as a Flexperks-earning card. Having finally converted over from my Amex, I can confirm this is true, with one major caveat:
Points earned with the Fidelity Visa card can be redeemed for travel through the online rewards portal as if they were each worth 0.5 Flexperks.
So it’s the same chart, but with all the values doubled. Let’s run a few searches.
Looking for a one-way, we see flights with prices all less than $400. On the original Flexperks chart, these would cost 20,000 points each.
However, running the search on Elan’s portal, we see the price is 40,000.
Obviously, that isn’t proof in itself, so I decided to see if I could find flights on the margins of the award tiers to see if/how the prices changed. Doing the same search, but for round-trip, non-stops on American, we see flights ranging from $562 to $660. These would straddle the 30,000 ($400.01-$600) and 40,000 ($600.01-$800) price bands on the Flexperks chart.
Sure enough, we see a cutoff at the same point, but the prices are 2x — 60,000 and 80,000 respectively.
Given that the Fidelity (Elan) Visa doesn’t have any bonus categories, and the value of Flexperks are capped at 2 cents (and usually less than that), it doesn’t actually make any sense to treat this card as anything but a 2% cash back card, since you can’t get any better value than 1 cent per point through the travel portal.
The one silver lining is that the points transfer screen still loads properly, so once my balance becomes non-zero, I’ll give it a go and see how many points wind up on the other side. It would be a silly loophole for them to transfer 1:1, so if it works, you might not hear from me about it 😉