US Bank’s Real-Time Mobile Rewards offer a way to book travel outside of US Bank’s limited travel portal and still get 1.5 cents per point value from your points. Unfortunately, the details about what works where are sketchy. For example, the terms state that real time mobile rewards work only with US merchants, but their examples of airlines that it works with includes several foreign airlines.
The purpose of this post is to keep a running tally of exactly what works where, in practice. First a short Q & A:
Q & A
- Q: Which credit cards do Real-Time Mobile Rewards work with and offer 1.5 cents value towards travel?
A: Altitude Reserve card
Flexperks Visa card, Flexperks Business Visacard. UPDATE: As of 3/1/20, Flexperks cards no longer get 1.5 cents value this way.
- Q: How do I activate Real-Time Mobile Rewards?
A: See this post for details: US Bank makes Real-Time Mobile Rewards awesome. Are you listening Chase? Amex? Citi?
- Q: What happens if I redeem rewards for a purchase and the purchase is later canceled or the actual charges end up being lower than the amount redeemed for?
A: You will receive a statement credit. For example, if you redeem 20,000 points for a $300 flight via Real-Time Mobile Rewards, and you cancel that flight purchase, the $300 will be applied to your account balance. You will not get the 20,000 points back.
- Q: Which types of travel purchases are officially supported by Real-Time Mobile Rewards?
A: US Bank lets users enable purchases withing the following categories, and offers examples, as follows:
- Lodging: Four Seasons,Hyatt,Marriott,Starwood,Hilton,Disney Resorts,Best Western,Westin,Wyndham
- Airline: United,American,British Airways,Emirates,JetBlue,Southwest,Delta,Sun Country
- Other Travel: “Examples are unavailable for this category.”
- Car Rental: Hertz,Budget,Alamo,Avis,National,Enterprise
- Q: What are the minimum purchase amounts necessary to trigger Real-Time Mobile Rewards?
A: With most categories, the minimum is set by the user’s preferences to as low as $10. The Hotels category has a fixed minimum of $500; and the Car Rental category has a fixed minimum of $250.
- Q: What does US Bank mean by “Other Travel”?
A: I don’t know. I hope that this post will help figure that out.
US Bank Real-Time Mobile Rewards. What works where?
Please comment below with your findings and we’ll update this chart with any meaningful new data. Thanks!
- Aegean: FAIL
- AeroMexico booked via Expedia: SUCCESS
- Aer Lingus seat assignment: FAIL
- Aeroplan award ticket fees: FAIL
- Aeroplan lap infant fee: FAIL
- Air Europa ticket: FAIL
- Air Europa purchased through Orbitz: SUCCESS
- Air New Zealand ticket: FAIL
- Air Tahiti Nui: SUCCESS
- Alaska Airlines: SUCCESS
- Alaska Airlines ticket for multiple passengers: PARTIAL SUCCESS (Each passenger charge separate, only works for one)
- Alaska Airlines buy miles: FAIL
- Alitalia ticket purchased through alitalia.com: SUCCESS
- Allegiant Air: SUCCESS
- American Airlines purchase at airport: FAIL
- American Airlines online purchase of upgrade while in Dominican Republic: FAIL
- American Airlines $50 e-gift card: SUCCESS
- American Airlines $149 e-gift card: SUCCESS
- American Airlines award fee: SUCCESS
- ANA: FAIL
- Asiana award fees: SUCCESS
- Avelo: FAIL
- Avianca Lifemiles award fees: SUCCESS
- Avianca Lifemiles buy miles: SUCCESS
- Avianca ticket purchase: SUCCESS
- British Airways ticket booked with ExploreTrip: FAIL
- Cathay Pacific award fees booked with Asia miles via phone: FAIL
- Cathay Pacific award fees booked with Asia miles online: SUCCESS
- Delta e-gift card purchased via desktop browser: SUCCESS (and again)
- Delta ticket purchased through Expedia: SUCCESS
- Delta ticket purchased directly: SUCCESS
- Delta award fee ($11.20): SUCCESS
- Delta ticket from China to US purchased at delta.com: FAIL
- Emirates online seat selection fee: SUCCESS
- Etihad award fees: SUCCESS
- Iceland Air checked bag fees: FAIL
- LATAM via trip.com: FAIL
- LOT Airlines: FAIL
- Lufthansa change fee processed in NY: SUCCESS
- Hawaiian Airlines inter-island flight tickets: SUCCESS
- Maya Air tickets purchased directly: SUCCESS
- Norwegian Air: SUCCESS
- Primera Air ticket purchased directly: FAIL
- SAS Airlines ticket purchased directly: SUCCESS
- Southwest Airlines ticket purchase: SUCCESS
- Southwest Airlines gift card: SUCCESS
- Southwest Airlines award fees: SUCCESS
- Spirit Airlines ticket and $9 fare club: SUCCESS
- TAP Portugal booked via Orbitz: SUCCESS
- United award fees: SUCCESS
- United baggage fees (via United app): SUCCESS
- United flight booked through Orbitz: SUCCESS
- United flight booked at United.com: SUCCESS
- United award fees: SUCCESS
- Uzbekistan Airways ticket: FAIL
- Vietnam Airlines ticket: FAIL
- Virgin Atlantic seat upgrade: SUCCESS
- Virgin Atlantic Award Fee (flight originating in US): SUCCESS
- Vueling ticket purchased directly: FAIL
- Vueling ticket purchased through Orbitz: FAIL
- Wizzair: FAIL
Hotel & Lodging
- Airbnb: FAIL, FAIL, SUCCESS (for 2nd payment), SUCCESS
- AVANI hotel in Africa. FAIL
- Campgrounds and RV Parks: FAIL
- Fairmont hotel in Canada: FAIL
- Hotel booked through Hotels.com: FAIL
- Hyatt in Jordan: FAIL
- Sheraton in US: SUCCESS with initial hold charge
- VRBO: FAIL
- Avis pay-now rental in France booked on U.S. website: SUCCESS
- Enterprise: SUCCESS
- Hertz in Canada: FAIL
- Hertz in US: SUCCESS
- Turo: FAIL
- Vipcars.com: FAIL
- Lyft: SUCCESS
- Taxi: SUCCESS
- Uber (within US): SUCCESS
- Uber (in Canada): FAIL
- Uber Cash purchased in Uber app: SUCCESS
- Carnival Cruise: SUCCESS
- MSC Cruise: SUCCESS
- Royal Caribbean, both over the phone and onboard: SUCCESS
- Amtrak: SUCCESS
- Daily Getaways: FAIL
- FasTrak: FAIL
- Reserve America: FAIL
- Swiss Travel Pass (train tickets): FAIL
- Washington DC Metro: FAIL
- Buy retail gift card via United MileageX App: FAIL
- Uber Eats: FAIL (it used to work. workaround is to pay for Uber Cash in the Uber app)
- Tour payment for G Adventures: FAIL
Real-Time Mobile Rewards Terms & Conditions
The following terms were found here (must be logged in to access): https://rtr.myrewardsaccess.com/Offers/OfferSummary. Click “Terms and Conditions” then click “Program Rules” near the bottom of the Terms & Conditions page.
With Real-Time Rewards, you may instantly redeem Points for your credit card Purchases via text messaging. The Points redemption comes in the form of a credit to your monthly billing statement. Points will be deducted from your Points balance and a credit for the Purchase amount will be applied to your Account billing statement when you request redemption. For transactions which include a gratuity, fees, or estimated taxes, the statement credit may not equal your final Purchase amount. Auto bill pay transactions will be part of Real-Time Rewards text messages if the Purchase falls within your preference selections. Real-Time Rewards text messages are available only for transactions with U.S. merchants. You may sign up for Real-Time Rewards using your 10-digit U.S. mobile number. Only one mobile number may be used per credit card account. After you complete a brief enrollment profile, you need to confirm your enrollment within 24 hours by replying ‘YES’ to a confirmation message that Real-Time Rewards will send you. If any changes are made to your Account that will affect the card number, account ownership or your rewards program, you will need to re-enroll in Real-Time Rewards. Message and data rates may apply. The short code REDEEM (733336) is used by Real-Time Rewards to send redemption requests. Message frequency is based upon the preferences you select and the Purchases you make on your Account. Text ‘HELP’ to REDEEM (733336) for Help. Text ‘STOP’ to REDEEM (733336) to cancel your participation in Real-Time Rewards. All cancellations completed via text message will remove that mobile number from all accounts registered for Real-Time Rewards. Please visit rtr.myrewardsaccess.com for a full listing of the Mobile Terms and Conditions. For inquiries, to sign up to receive text alerts, to update your preferences or to cancel your enrollment, please visit the Rewards Center online or call the Rewards Center.
You will not receive Real-Time Rewards text messages until you confirm your enrollment and preferences. You will receive a Real-Time Rewards request text message if your credit card Purchase falls within the criteria you have set up in your Real-Time Rewards preferences. Merchants who accept Visa cards are assigned a merchant code based on the kinds of products and services they sell. U.S. Bank does not control how Purchases are processed by merchants or the merchant codes they use; therefore, U.S. Bank cannot guarantee that a specific transaction will qualify. Your Account must remain in good standing in order to redeem. You may redeem by replying ‘REDEEM’ within 24 hours of when the message was sent. You may only redeem the most recent Real-Time Rewards text message. Upon confirmation of a redemption request, Points will be deducted from your Points balance immediately, and a credit to your statement will be processed within three business days and will appear on your next billing statement. The Account statement credit for a Real-Time Rewards redemption will reduce the Account balance, but will not count toward the minimum payment due. All redemptions are final. If you return the item or service that you redeemed Points for to the merchant, the Points will not be reinstated, but you may receive a monetary credit to your credit card account (in accordance with the merchant’s return policy).
Thanks everyone. I’ve updated this with the latest datapoints.
Tour payment for G Adventures did not work
Uzbekistan Airways ticket didn’t work
Fail confirmed 7033 Campgrounds and RV Parks resort does not trigger rewards real time rewards on altitude reserve
LATAM via trip.com FAILED
Updated post with all recent comments. Thanks for data points!
One update to my comment below. While buying Avelo Airlines tickets did not trigger real time rewards, it did at least code as travel and earn 3x points.
Avelo flight looks like it didn’t work.
Asiana (award taxes, ~$214, booked over phone via US call center) DID trigger trigger Real Time Rewards message
WizzAir did NOT trigger Real Time Rewards message (categorized as “Auto and Transport.”
Rental Car data point: vipcars.com FAIL
I paid for a $352.43 rental car reservation at vipcars.com with my Altitude Reserve and it did NOT trigger a real time rewards text.
[…] could only find a handful of data points for this, so posting my […]
Upgraded AA economy seat to 1st class seats online on aa.com while in Dominican Rep, and did NOT trigger
Added. Thank you
Worked on a pay now reservation for a one way Avis Rental in France purchased on the US website.
Carnival Cruise payments towards the cruise also worked.
Thanks. I added these.
Thanks all. I’ve updated with the latest datapoints.
Paid taxes and fees for Virgin Atlantic award ticket and it DID trigger the 1.5x. FWIW the flight was round-trip to Europe, originating in SLC.
Does anyone know if Delta/American/United club lounge day passes or memberships count as travel trigger?
Uber cash from Uber app still works to this day. Uber app itself might place a restriction on the card (1 purchase per card per 24h?) I see some other ppl having the same issue. The error messages can be completely random, but it’s on Ubers end.
Hertz within US works
Air Europa on orbitz works.
Air Europa directly on air Europa.com did NOT work
Updated with all recent datapoints (thanks everyone)
Purchase with Turo car-sharing service did NOT work.
Just purchased Avianca Airlines ticket from San Jose Costa Rica to Lima Peru for $252 and it worked
DL electronic gift card purchased on desktop still works.
I tried paying for baggage on Icelandair. No text with option to redeem.
Hyatt in Jordan: Fail
I’ve recently tried several Uber Cash charges through the app and none of them have triggered. Am I missing some special way of purchasing this? Or is it dead now? Was really hoping to use for dining.
It’s been a few months since I last tested it. Some questions:
Any idea whether expenses on WeChat or Alipay (the most used mobile wallets apps in China) would registered as mobile payments?
Allegiant Airlines successful. Booked 3 tickets at once, got RTR offer for the whole total.
[…] Pay, or Samsung Pay. Given that points can be used at a value of 1.5c each to book paid travel (in some cases quite easily and directly), this card has been the hands-down best card for in-person spend for […]
[…] It also lets you redeem points at 1.5 cents each to pay for travel purchases via a feature called Real Time Mobile Rewards. So, as an experiment, I linked PayPal Key to my Altitude Reserve card and then used PayPal Key […]
I have a counter/clarifying DP on CX AsiaMiles. CX/AsiaMiles taxes and fees when booking online did trigger the AR’s 1.5x RTR feature but calling in to CX and booking via the itinerary prepared by the phone agent did not trigger RTR. Guessing it’s because CX’s phone itinerary merchant code shows up as outside the US.
Very helpful! Thanks I’ve updated accordingly.
DP: Avianca Lifemiles buy miles also triggered the real-time rewards SMS
VRBO – FAIL (codes as real estate). Have always had success with AirBnB, both in earning 3ppd for travel and in redeeming Real-Time Rewards
do you have a $500 min for AirBnB or VRBO for the RTR redemption?
I don’t know…all my Air BnB redemptions were over $500.
[…] UPDATE: Please also see: US Bank Real-Time Mobile Rewards. What works where? […]
Uber Eats has stopped working for me, but I found that reloading credit into the Uber app does still work so that’s a workaround.
Thanks, I was surprised just now that didn’t work. I’ll try workaround.
[…] Real Time Mobile Rewards: Redeem points for 1.5 cents each for travel purchased directly with the US merchants. See: US Bank Real-Time Mobile Rewards. What works where? […]
I was checking this page out to see if Amtrak worked and noticed that Norwegian Cruise Lines isn’t listed as working. I can say that NCL charges do work and I’ve done several RTR redemptions on NCL charges and the dollar amount doesn’t matter. I’ve redeemed for over $1k and also for $50 as well as lots of amounts in between.
Has anyone had an issue with the RTR texts stopping? I used to reliably get redemption texts but recently they have stopped coming which means there is no way to redeem. Alternately is there some way for customer service to manually apply credit? I’d like to maximize ~9500 points before I close the card but the response I get is they can only do increments of $50 credits.
Transactions I’ve tried are UA via united.com and DL via delta.com, both transactions should have been covered by my points balance.
I don’t know the answer to either question. I haven’t had any qualifying travel purchases for a while now. The UA and DL transactions definitely should work if they are for airfare above $10
So I opened a case with the bank but kept digging by myself. I tired a few different cellphone numbers to see if that would make a difference. The system would take them but when I clicked on the edit button all the fields in the summary area would appear empty. So I unenrolled from RTR completely and the re-enrolled and that seemed to do the trick. Got a confirmation of enrollment text and a subsequent charge triggered the redemption. Hopefully this will help someone.
Thanks! I just found yesterday that RTR wasn’t working for me with an Uber Eats order. I’ll try your workaround. If successful, this will make a nice quick tip to post to the blog
[…] Frequent Miler: US Bank Real-Time Mobile Rewards. What works where? […]
American Airlines website booking successful
Aeroflot does not work. Booked a ticket hoped to use points.
[…] about a possible devaluation of FlexPerks Rewards. Since 2018, FlexPerks redemptions made via Real-Time Mobile Rewards have been at a rate of 1.5c per point, but multiple data points today indicate typical travel […]
I paid for travel on sun country today. Last fall got 1.5 with RTR. Today only 1.0. After 30 mins on hold and with two different people I was informed as of March 1st yes only 1.0 on travel with RTR. I asked if we informed of that on our last statement and she said no it was just changed as of March 1st.
Yes, unfortunately they stopped offering 1.5 cents value for Flexperks cards, but still do for the Altitude Reserve (at least for now)
[…] worth 1.5c per point when redeemed for travel through US Bank’s travel center or via Real-time Mobile Rewards. That means the 3x mobile wallet category bonus returns a value of 4.5% when used toward travel in […]
Do you have to have enough points in order to redeem? not sure if you had 10,000 points but were buying a $200 airline ticket if it would let you 0 out your account or not. Edit: NVM, Greg answered YES, you need all the points.
Yes you have to have enough points for the full redemption
I just booked an Avianca flight, and it did not activate realtime rewards.
My flexperks balance: 3066 points
Minimum perchase set to $10, airlines enabled
Full-fare ticket purchased for $42.
I recently experimented with undercovertourist – that site can be used to buy disney and other orlando tickets at a small discount – but what attracts me is that I know that it codes as travel, at least for the Arrival+. So I tried paying for one ticket through the altitude reserve, hoping I could use realtime rewards. It did not work. (Arrival+ still codes as travel, so I’ll use points to redeem at least some of the tix.)
royal caribbean onboard no longer works
Norwegian flights are bookable via call center at 1.5c per point redemption value!
Since there are negative datapoints for reimbursements I searched for a flight on the online tool – no joy, but calling the travel center they are able to manually process tickets for Norwegian (takes a good 30-45 minutes on the phone), at a rate of 1.5c per point redemption. **But be aware there’s a **3% fee** for all Norwegian redemptions (it sounded like it’s a fee the call center itself is having to pay to Norwegian, not waivable). Also, they can book all the varying classes (so you can prepay for your checked bag/meal/seat assignment with the 2nd lowest fare package. This is something most reps have never done, and may require some HUCA or a supervisor request.
Trying to trigger 500 at RC – If I include spa purchases as well as room upgrade charge will get above 500 – think this will trigger? I called hotel and it all goes as 1 room charge (although there is breakdown on bill).
Is the RC in the US? If so, that plan should work. Also, keep in mind that it requires that you have enough points to cover the full charge.
Success: Princess Cruises via Vacations To Go.
Is anyone else getting an error when teying to redeem points with the realtime rewards? I keep getting message blocking error when i text back redeem. Never had this issue before. I tried it on 2 different phone and numbers and same error
I haven’t redeemed in the past week, so I can’t say
Page has been updated with latest reports. Thanks everyone!
avianca award fees triggered the rtr for me.
Fail to trigger RTR:
Uber Canada (both billed directly and through Google Pay) – but did trigger travel credit
Aeroplan award (billed by Air Canada in CAD) – but did trigger travel credit
[…] that way, just letting the points pile up seemed like a waste. Flexperks at 1.5 cpp also only work with U.S. merchants, so that was another major […]
Does anyone know if cruise booked through costco travel will trigger the Real-Time Mobile Rewards? Or other agents such as Cruise Critic?
I booked a cruise through Costco, I didn’t get the RTR text to redeem. However, I don’t have enough point to cover the deposit. So not sure if that matters.
Just paid $950 (I had about 65K points in my account) toward my $4K final payment to Princess Cruises via Vacations To Go (travel agency). Charge went through; immediately got the text to redeem 63.333 points toward the charge, typed ‘REDEEM’ and hit ‘send’, and the redemption went through successfully.
Costco definitely works because Costco doesn’t actually charge your card, the cruise line does. I’ve booked 2 NCL cruises through Costco and RTR worked for all payments against those purchases (I paid online thru the Costco website).
any data points on what happens if you have not used your annual travel credit? do you get RTR plus annual credit–i.e. double dip? Say I have 325 rental car charge and have not used any of my annual credit. I will get a text for RTR and can redeem that way, but do I also automatically get the 325 annual credit. Do both post for the same charge? Used to be this way- is it still?
Yes both post for the same charge.
Washington DC Metro (public transit): fail, multiple times over the past couple years. Seems that Altitude likes taxis and Lyft (Success for both for me) but not subways and buses, at least in DC.
Were the metro charges over $10? RTMR only works with $10 or more
Yes, they were over $10 and I had plenty of points to cover the charges. I’ve tried this multiple times since the advent of real-time rewards and it never works. Lyft, on the other hand, works for me without fail (assuming the charge is more than $10).
Aegean via aegeanair.com – FAIL
Anybody have experience with Norwegian Air? If not, I’ll probably roll the dice anyway and have a DP for them within the next few days.
Sorry for late response, Norwegian Air failed March 2019.
Real-Time Mobile Rewards triggered by Spirit Airlines at 1.5 redemption value for both a ticket and their $9 fare club.
The charges were billed separately in 2 transactions though so I could only redeem towards the latest charge which of course was the lower one. I tried calling US Bank and both representatives had no idea how to redeem towards the 1st transaction. 🙁
You can only do the most recent transaction. So go to you real time rewards profile and increase the amount of the airline category so that you don’t get notifications for small airline charges like fees & taxes, etc… when billed separately. Also need to be careful cause there are some airlines such as Allegiant that bill each ticket separately so it is best to book individual tickets instead of a group so you can respond to each ticket individually.
SAS (Scandanavian) worked for me
Awesome. This was a ticket purchased directly from SAS?
[…] what other travel purchases triggered Real-Time Rewards, so I googled that question and found this Frequent Miler post (US Bank Real-Time Mobile Rewards. What works where?). Surprisingly, there were 2 data points about Airbnb and both said that Real-Time Rewards did not […]
I paid the taxes/fees ($250+) for a Cathay Pacific business class flight with my US Bank Altitude Reserve. I did not get a real-time text alert, but it did count toward the $325 airline travel credit.
Was this an award using Cathay Asia miles?
Yes, award ticket using Asia Miles.
Greg, I want to point out that RTR did NOT work for this Cathay Pacific flight, but instead it triggered the annual $325 credit. It’s listed as a success in this RTR post (incorrectly)
[…] Real-Time Rewards. If you want to learn more about Real-Time Rewards, here is the US Bank page. Frequent Miler and Freequent Flyer Book wrote about using Real-Time Rewards recently and show what travel […]
Fail: Aer Lingus seat charges
Added dp. Thanks.
Any update on whether you need to have reward amount enough to fully cover charge? And if this is at the 1.5 or 1.0 ratio? I saw statements earlier that for a hotel someone said they needed to have a 1 to 1 amount to cover it, even though they actually redeemed at 1.5. Is this still true? Is it the same for Airlines?
i.e. if I have 50K in points and book a $501 hotel stay it will not trigger? What about a $501 Airline ticket?
Yes you need enough points to cover the charge. I don’t know the answer to whether it needs to be at 1cpp or 1.5 since I’ve heard conflicting datapoints.
Replying to an old comment, but I needed to make a purchase just under 1.5x (didn’t need 1x) my remaining points to make RTR trigger the text message. Worked with both United and Delta.
Greg–I was looking through the terms to see where it said US transactions only and didn’t see anything. Any idea where it might say that? I’m wondering how the PH Maldives would be treated. They charge in USD but are obviously outside the US. Maybe I’ll ask them to do a test charge. Thanks.
I listed the terms & conditions at the bottom of this post. There it says “Real-Time Rewards text messages are available only for transactions with U.S. merchants”. Also there are many datapoints showing that it doesn’t work with merchants outside of the US. If Park Hyatt processes the payment from the US it would work though. So maybe you can do something like buy Hyatt gift cards here and then use them at PH Maldives (not sure if they work internationally)
I think there is a specific type that works internationally. I’ll take a look. Thanks for pointing out the T&C. I was looking for a link and totally missed them :).
March 2019 – Taxes for AAdvantage award on EY
October 2018 – Taxes for United award on SA
July 2018 – Tax on EY award on AA (billed in USD by Etihad NY)
August 2018 – Buy AS miles (posts as Points.com)
August 2018 – AirBNB (billed in CAD) – although it did trigger the travel category credit
July 2018 – Taxes on EY award on WY (billed in USD by Etihad NY)
Added dps. Thanks!
[…] for more on that). The good news is that Greg confirmed that loading Uber Cash worked to trigger US Bank real-time mobile rewards and would therefore likely also trigger travel credits on the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Citi […]
Buying Uber Cash through the Uber App works
Allegiant Airlines successful.
Vietnam Airline $1,000 ticket did not trigger it as of12/25/2018
Thanks. Updated page.
Can confirm it works on Hawaiian Airlines inter-island flight tickets.
Thanks. Updated page.
Booked a Swiss Travel Pass (train tickets) and paid using my US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa. The charge was pending for close to a week, and it did not code as travel. The representative had no clue that customers are supposed to be able to redeem at 1.5 cents per point and said I could only get that valuation booking through the travel portal.
Bummer. Thanks for the comment — I’ve added your data point. I’m neither surprised that the representative didn’t know how it works nor that they couldn’t do it over the phone (as it is only supposed to work with US merchants), but it’s still frustrating. Thanks again for updating us!
I tried buying a retail gift card through the United MileageX App. My hope was that it would look like travel to US Bank (since the purchase is handled by United). It didn’t work.
Real time rewards worked on Royal Caribbean. $500 charge for deposit while on ship and a separate $100 charge over the phone.
Awesome! Thanks for the datapoint. I added a new category (Cruises) to add this datapoint.
I gave you MSC cruises also in Nov. It’s under other travel. I love it that cruises work.
Thanks for the reminder. I moved that datapoint to the Cruises section
Update: Royal Caribbean cruises worked for me this week.
Thanks all. I’ve added the latest datapoints
AeroMexico flight for 2 booked via Expedia – SUCCESS
BA flight booked via ExploreTrip – FAIL
TAP Portugal flight booked via Orbitz – SUCCESS
Both transactions ~$550 each if that matters
Interesting about TAP Portugal working. I wouldn’t have guessed that. Does it show up through US Bank as a TAP Portugal purchase or Orbitz or something else?
DP: Southwest GC success, amount between 150 and 200
Datapoint: LOT Airlines (direct) – FAIL
Sad to see Avianca LifeMiles fails. The miles them selves and that $30 “processing fee” would be much sweeter if the 1.5 cpm cost could be lowered
Would love to see more DPs for Award/Taxes/YQ ….
Anyone have a DP for VS (Virgin Atlantic)?!
Yeah, I’m disappointed about Avianca too. It would be nice if buying miles worked at least
Data points – purchased domestic NZ flights from Air NZ, not triggered.
Purchased Alaska flights using companion pass and set min threshold to 100 so it wouldn’t be triggered by the separate charge for companion pass, thanks for that suggestion! The text came through for the main flight booking.
Hey Grey, I booked a refundable SW ticket and it triggered a msg to redeem. I did. But if I have a change of plan can I cancel and get my points back? Thanks!
Why do you want the points back if you have cash (statement credit)?
If you cancel, you’ll get statement credit on your credit card. That means that you’ll have effectively cashed out points at 1.5 cents each. That’s great — no reason to try to get your points back.
How sure of this are you exactly? Is this across the board or only through specific airlines/hotels? It would be awful to try to cash out your points just to have them vanish.
I’m not sure what you mean. What do you fear will happen?
Thanks for all of the recent reports. I’ve updated the page.
I had a charge at Atlantis hotel and Casino in the Bahamas. It was originally not credited, but when I called customer service, they made it happen. The reason given was, “The real-time rewards program is exclusive to us, and we take it very seriously. Its like our baby. We always want to make sure the program works as it should.” I would recommend you call on any charge that doesn’t automatically process. I mean the hotel was like $620.
And did you verify that they gave you 1.5 cents per point value? e.g. a $620 charge should have cost approx 41,333 points
Twice in 2021 I have had similar situations, and the CSR’s would not budget. It if didn’t trigger, and was not a tech glitch, they were not letting me redeem 1.5c against it. A year or two ago they were much nicer, and would even send me 10k pts for the aggro of having to call in. They dont like RTR 1.5c redemptions anymore…
I hear horror stories of account shutdown for buying GCs, yet this article mentions one could buy airline GCs and redeem them for points earned as bonus. What am I missing? Are the shutdowns actually for retail Visa /Mastercard GCs ? How is that different from airline GCs ? I just dont get it.
Yes, if you have a pattern of spend that looks like you may be manufacturing spend through gift card purchases, US Bank will likely shut down your Altitude Reserve account. The difference here is that people are spending much smaller amounts on airline gift cards (less than $500, for example). Plus, the shutdown stories were related to using mobile wallet payments to get 3X rewards for gift cards. That’s not a factor here.
Booked a Delta round-trip ticket on Delta.com from China to US to China. RTR was not triggered. Called CSR/manager, was told Delta billed such Foreign-US-Foreign around-trip tickets from the foreign country(out of US), so RTR won’t apply to such tickets. Don’t know if it’s only Delta bills like this
Purchased a $50 American Airlines e-gift card and received a text asking to redeem 3,333 points (SUCCESS)
Alitalia ticket purchased from alitalia.com was successful
United ticket purchased at united.com: SUCCESS
I just bought a $25 Alaska Airlines gift card and real time rewards were triggered but it asked me to redeem 2,500 points. Does that mean I am not getting the 1.5 cents/point or will this adjust later?
That’s very weird. Yeah you’re not getting 1.5. Don’t do it.
I purchased a $25 Alaska gift card and it did not trigger real-time rewards.
Maybe you only have RTMR set up for travel? IIR, there are various checkboxes when you enroll.
Does Alaska Airlines not code as travel? I only had the checkboxes ticket for the categories which give 1.5 cents per point: lodging, airline, car rental, and “other travel”.
Based on Jared’s experience it seems that Alaska gift cards are NOT coding as travel
$149 American Airlines virtual gift card purchased via desktop worked
$50 Delta e-gift card bought via desktop browser: SUCCESS
Sheraton USA — Initial hold triggers the message not the final charge.
Alaska ticket purchase – If you book ticket for multiple people Alaska separate the charge per person and you will get multiple message same time. If you respond with REDEEM, it will works only for the first message. No way to get redemption for other message. Calling doesn’t help with real-time rewards to get redemption but customer care profesional might give you 5-10K worth points.
Thank you. Updated
Amtrak worked for me
The reps at US bank are clueless and cocky idiots. “manager” was telling me that real time rewards a re 1:1 redemption because its “statement credit”. So I said, fine I will make a dummy Delta booking and we will see. Sure thing, he apologized but still refused to cover my $1200 direct hotel purchase with 80K points. Go figure. Worst experience ever.
MSC cruise worked for me, so I assume all cruises work.
Thank you. Added.
Alaska Airlines works
Air Tahiti Nui works
Ran into problems with the taxes and fees charged separately. I made 2 companion fare bookings on Alaska and the the taxes were charged separate from the purchased ticket. As I completed the purchase on the Alaska website, the ‘text-to-redeem’ message came through for both charges at the same exact time with not enough time to REDEEM between each one. I lucked out on one airfare purchase and had the larger amount come in as the second text message. I wasn’t so lucky with the second booking – Since you can only redeem the last text message, I was only allowed to apply the points toward the $28 fee, not the $268 purchased ticket fee. Altitude Reserve reps were pretty much useless and said they could not apply the points manually and could only confirm that the last text message received was for the $28 fee and there’s nothing they can do. Watch out for separate charges and make sure to change the minimum for RTR on airline purchases prior to booking.
Added Alaska and Air Tahiti Nui.
Thanks too for the caution about what happens with quick successive charges. Yikes.
Datapoint: Used Uber 3 separate times in Canada (Montreal). Did NOT receive RTR text alert either after the rides or when the transactions posted.
I can only assume this might be because of the fine print: “Real-Time Rewards text messages are available only for transactions with U.S. merchants.”
Thanks. Will update to specify Uber in US only.
Are you positive that Flexperks enjoys the same benefits? From what I can see from US bank website:
Participating categories exclude gas stations, restaurants, and travel.
I have an Amex version so I cannot test, can somebody please confirm?
See the Q & A at the top of this post. Visa Flexperks is included. Amex is not. Yes I’m positive.
I’m an idiot. I completely missed that it doesn’t work with non-US merchants, even though it’s totally highlighted in your post! Does RTR work to cover partial charges, or will it only work if you have enough points to cover the whole charge?
You have to have enough points for the whole charge
Thanks for this!
Haven’t gotten a text after booking direct with an AVANI hotel in Africa. Non-refundable advance-pay rate has been authorized but not yet posted.
[…] UPDATE: Please also see: US Bank Real-Time Mobile Rewards. What works where? […]
Page has been updated with recent reports. I’ll add that I’ve now used RTMR with Uber and Lyft successfully several times.
If you redeem rewards for travel and then cancel, aren’t you essentially getting a cash back reward at 1.5 cents per point (up to 4.5%)?
Greg, Since you had success with uber I wanted to know if uber outside of the US would count as well or it shouldn’t matter ?
No, Uber only works with RTMR within the US
I just rented a car today with my Altitude Reserve at a neighborhood Enterprise location. They pre-authorized the ~$130 charge of the rental plus a standard $150 that will drop off the bill assuming I return the car in decent shape. I did not expect Real-Time Rewards to kick in, but I got the text alert, I assume since that total was >$250. I did not decide to use it yet, but my guess is it would work for me to convert points into ~$280 of statement credit which would only be offset by a $130 charge. Since I am still meeting minimum spend, I opted not to use Real-Time Rewards on this one.
Just tried AirBnb – did not work.
Can I confirm whether this was domestic? Was it over $500? I’m bummed because it seems airbnb usually codes as Travel.
Yeah, that is a bummer!
I can confirm that RTR works for Airbnb. Purchase was close to $800 USD.
Airbnb no longer works. Confirmed letter from US Bank stating that Airbnb does not count as travel.
United Award fees worked. Emirates online seat selection fee worked. Virgin America $25 charge at checkin did not. Reserve America booking did not(thought it might code as other travel…).
My wife checked into a Westin and gave the front desk my Altitude Reserve. They authorized an amount about 10% higher than the reservation amount, and I immediately got a text to redeem my points, which I did. Got a credit for the redemption the next day, and when she checked out a few days later, the final Westin charge was about 90% less than the credit I received, so I guess I snuck in a bit more redemption at the 50% bonus rate for travel, which I’m obviously not going to complain about.
Fail: Daily Getaways $144 purchase of Choice points did not trigger RTMR. I had hoped it would come in under “other travel”
How are the travel delay protections on this card? And also do you get 2x airfare points for purchasing the flight (even though it gets reimbursed at 1.5 cpp via RTR)?
When you say “this card” do you mean Altitude Reserve or FlexPerks Visa? For the former, trip protections are compared to other cards here: https://frequentmiler.com/ultra-premium-credit-card-travel-insurance/
I expect that you do get 3X travel points for purchasing the flight, but I haven’t confirmed that yet.
Whoops I meant to say FlexPerks Visa. Either way I believe that getting 2x on travel for redemption is a nice little perk too, along with acceptable Travel Protections.
Used it to purchase groupon through the chase portal = success.
Groupon Vacation/Hotel? Or just some Local Groupon Deal?
Stay Lucky, please tell us more. Did you buy travel through Groupon? Did you get 1.5 cents value?
Thanks for the datapoints! I’ve updated the page and highlighted the US only restriction
I posted on FlyerTalk a few weeks ago that I was able to redeem for a Lufthansa purchase that comprised of a change fee and a change in fare for a ticket I bought months ago that I needed to change. I read that international airline purchases are hit or miss, but I think mine was successful, because it was processed by Lufthansa’s New York office in US Dollars.
I also had two fails with RRR, both international purchases (Hertz in Canada and Fairmont in Canada). No text. Reading the fine print you posted above, it says it must be a US merchant. Please do consider updating this post to highlight that fact. Thanks.
I’ve had a lot of luck with RTR. I’ve had Delta tickets, Virgin Atlantic seat upgrades and multiple Lyft rides trigger the redemption. In all case, the credit actually cleared into my account before the charge actually hit,
Virgin America flight booked directly failed to trigger RTR. Called in to see why and the rep didn’t know that RTR travel booking was supposed to be 1.5 cents per point.
success, united booked via Orbitz.
Did this show as United or Orbitz on the charge?
WN award fees worked here. Received a message within few minutes, replied, got a credit posted immediately.
Thank you. Added that datapoint
Your “What Works Where” is both Timely & Valuable. I have yet to find anyone in Altitude support who knows why Real-Time Rewards fails — although they seem happy to spend time with me on the phone talking about it. They do have a multitude of [incorrect] guesses. A couple examples: you updated your category minimums late yesterday and they need the overnight update; you haven’t used your travel $ reimbursement yet this year [absolutely wrong!] and that must be used before R-TR kicks in.
I was also told that the minimums I selected would override the default hotel $500 and car rental $250 (which although it seems quite logical because otherwise why would you be allowed to change them?) — demonstrated to be wrong by your tests. I booked a non-chain hotel in Europe that I would have loved to pay for with points — nope. Iberia airline ticket — nope.
I have been playing with R-TR since I signed up in early March, and have yet to get it to work. If I ever do, I will excitedly share that success here!
I purchased a Southwest ticket. Initially, when I tried to redeem, I got a message “unable to redeem at this time. Call Rewards Center for assistance”. I tried again an hour later, and was able to redeem the points successfully.
So you actually got a text message?
Thanks. I guess I’ll add this to the page as a success w/ Southwest. When you say that you tried again an hour later do you mean that you made another purchase an hour later or that you texted back “REDEEM” an hour later?