My Completely Stupid Mistake & How US Bank “Got Me”

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How US Bank Got Me

My Completely Stupid Mistake & How US Bank “Got Me”

We love to talk about our wins in the miles and points hobby.  We flaunt trips we booked, 8 cent per point redemption rates, new welcome offers we snagged etc. I love doing it myself, it is fun to share your wins. It is just as important to show your defeats as well, something I learned from my parents.  Defeat really is the best teacher of all, and let me tell you I feel defeated right now. You could say I really put my foot into it. I did something pretty stupid and I am the only one to blame.  I do think US Bank got me a little bit with some vague wording, but the fault still lies with me. Enough hyperbole, let’s get into the details.

My Application Mistake

We have some large purchases coming up for around the new cottage / investment property and of course I thought that is the perfect time to get a new card.  Preferably a card with a juicy welcome offer of course. One that could help offset some of these mounting costs.  That is when the US Bank Business cards came to mind.  I had grabbed one for myself when the offers were first launched and the bonus was just used in my monthly college savings plan.  So I figured a US Bank card was a perfect fit for this situation, we would be able to get a $500 discount on our repairs.

When I went to the application page I saw this and quickly registered, perfect we are all set.

How US Bank Got Me

We went through the application process and my wife was approved. I was ecstatic and then decided to go back and check what the minimum spend was again.  I had thought it was $4,500 and wanted to confirm it.  That is when I got a sick feeling in my stomach.  If I had taken the time to fully read the offer instead of assuming (you know what assume means) it was the same $500 offer I would have noticed it had changed.

Welcome offer

3% cash back on all purchases. New cardmembers can earn up to $500 in additional cash back in the first 180 days of opening your account.

Whomp, whomp.  The offer had been updated to a 3% back offer.  That isn’t a terrible offer but it isn’t what we were looking for.  And with her paltry $3,000 limit the 3% will not go very far over 180 days. It was essentially a waste of our time 😥.

Final Thoughts

I will give US Bank a lot of credit. They played off the old $500 offer well and I am sure they duped a few more people into signing up, thinking the offer had stayed the same. Or, at least I hope I am not the only idiot out there 😂. Don’t get me wrong, I am the one to blame here.  I didn’t take the time to look things over like I normally do.  We were in a rush and that led to mistakes.

I was so mad at myself but I was able to quickly moved on.  I sent her a referral to the Amex Green Business card and double dipped that offer.  She will get 25,000 points after $3,000 in spend and I got a $100 statement credit for the referral.  While it is not the $500 we were hoping for, it should bring in over $400 if we decide to cash out the points via the Schwab Platinum. So not all was lost, besides 20 minutes of our time and that egg that ended up on my face.

Have you ever had a brain fart like this before?  Confess your sins below in the comments 😄.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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    • More or less worthless than your comment though? Keep fighting the good fight BJ and thanks for reading champ.

  1. US bank bait and switched me on this same card. It was for 500 back and 0% of 15 months. I know I applied for that one, I ended up getting 0% for 9 months and 250 cash back. I was so mad. I have my main accounts with them also, thinking about cutting ties with them completely

    • That blows. I usually take screen shots when applying just for this. Even so one time Citi wouldn’t do anything even with it.

  2. There was that one time I had 500k american miles and 2 q suites tickets confiscated by AA. That hurt but maybe wasn’t my fault.

    Another that comes to mind is back when 1 way BA shorthops were 4.5k one way I had a flight home booked for the family, 5 tickets from a 4th of july trip. I got so drunk the night before when I woke up in the morning I decided I didn’t want to fly. Can’t cancel BA within 24 hours for a refund. Went back to sleep and got 5 new tickets for the next morning. Prob my biggest waste of miles

    • At least it was only 4,500 each. I call that a win 🙂 – most people would have to saddle up and fly out feeling like garbage lol

  3. The error most make (including myself more than once, I hate to admit) is the phrase “up to” which is wholly misleading. Seldom does this prize mean what it we interpret it to be. Learn people: “up to” means just that – but expect no more than the minimum; anything else is a bonus.

  4. I ordered grocery delivery from Amazon/Whole Foods the other day and forgot to uncheck my gift card balance for payment. Hubby has a new Chase Freedom Unlimited with 5X groceries + we have Chase 10% back offers on 6 cards between us.

    • I hate when I do stuff like that. Hopefully you got some bonus points on buying the gift cards at least 🙂

  5. I was on target for the CSP card spend bonus when I accidentally put the card back in my wallet in the wrong spot. I started using the wrong card after that. I think it was the Ink, but I don’t recall. This was 5+ years ago. When I finally figured it out, I missed the 90 day and $3000 spend. When I called Chase….. LOL. It was a 50,000 point error, one that I never made again. What really pissed me off was this was a rookie mistake, and I wasn’t a rookie.

    • I know a lot of people have a story just like that. It hurts for sure – especially after 5/24 rolled out 🙁

  6. Us bank got me a bit differently. A joint account but the spend had to be only on the primary card and not the joint card my wife had. They are sneaky and have since decided to close all my accounts with US Bank, even my REI card.

  7. They got me on not 1 but 2 accounts. A personal account. ( needed to open a money market acct, too. Missed that and the person who helped me never mentioned it to me. My bad for not paying closer attention. A business account. Direct deposit which I researched and found transfers from USAA worked with US Bank as DD. Except that now that banks use zelle or Venmo to transfer funds and that doesn’t work as DD anymore. Womp, womp!


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