Posted by William Charles on April 18, 2017
Credit Card Review

Published on April 18th, 2017 | by William Charles

75

Confirmed Details Regarding U.S. Bank’s Altitude Premium Visa Infinite Credit Card (Eligibility Requirements)

We’ve shared news and details about U.S. Bank’s new Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card before. We now have some more confirmed details thanks to Wallaby (and more again from Travel After Work).

  • Card will launch on May 2nd
  • Sign up bonus of 50,000 points after $4,500 in spend within 90 days of account opening. This is worth $750 towards travel, no higher targeted bonuses will be offered.
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 3x on mobile payments. This only includes NFC transactions (e.g it won’t included in app purchases or Samsung Pay purchases that turn a regular purchase into NFC, aka LoopPay)
    • 3x on travel booked directly (airlines, hotels, car rental agencies)
    • 1x on all other purchases
  • Annual fee is $400 for the primary cardholder and $75 for authorized users. You can offset the annual fee with 35,000 points (1.14¢ per point)
  • $325 annual travel credit. Can be used against purchases made directly from airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise lines. Update: This is based on a calendar year, yay! Update2: Travel After Work says cardmember, Wallaby says Calendar. Wallaby now says card member as well.
  • Priority Pass Select Membership. Limited to four visits and four guests visits each membership year.
  • Gogo Pass. 12 complimentary passes each membership year (same as what is offered on other U.S. Bank cards)
  • Visa Infinite Benefits. Unclear if it will have $100 saving on round trip flights or not (according to travel after work, this benefit doesn’t apply) Minimum credit line of $5,000 instead of $10,000 normally required.
  • TSA PreCheck/Global Entry Reimbursement once every four year.
  • Silvercar discount. Rent an Audi A4 with no lines or paperwork from airport locations in select cities and receive a discount of up to 30%  on rentals of two days or more.
  • GroundLink Black Car Service. 15% discount and $30 off first ride
  • Metal card.

Eligiblity

Only U.S. Bank customers with one of the following relationships will be eligible:

  • U.S. Bank Checking or Savings account
  • Certificate of Deposit
  • Mortgage
  • Home Equity Loan
  • Home Equity Line of Credit
  • Auto/Boat/RV Loan
  • Personal Loans and Lines
  • Private Banking account
  • Consumer Credit Card

Thankfully most people will have a consumer credit card with U.S. Bank already, if not setting up a small certificate of deposit is not difficult. The account does need to be open for a minimum of 35 days prior to submitting an application.

You also need to go to a local branch to be able to apply (branch locator here).

Transferring Points

U.S. Bank does not have any transfer partners for this card but you’ll be allowed to transfer Flexperk points to Altitude points at a 1:1 ratio. Not clear if you can transfer Altitude to Flexperk as well, if you can then those points are worth up to 2¢ each.

Our Verdict

Lounge access is very limited with only four free passes. Obviously lounge access is much better with American Express’ Platinum, but the fact that this card earns at such a high rate on mobile wallet purchases means a different market segment is more likely to keep the card and pay the annual fee long term.

It’s interesting that only NFC payments will earn that 3x rate, if that didn’t add that restriction then Samsung Pay users would have been able to earn 3x everywhere (really worth 4.5% towards travel). Still waiting to also find out if the travel credit is based on a card member or calendar year, fingers crossed it’s calendar!

This is another card where it’s extremely obvious to apply for it and get the sign up bonus and other benefits, but it’s less obvious if it really makes sense to keep it past year one. What are your thoughts?



75 Responses to Confirmed Details Regarding U.S. Bank’s Altitude Premium Visa Infinite Credit Card (Eligibility Requirements)

  1. Dima says:

    How’s US bank with MS?

  2. xiao says:

    Is having a Club Carlson Business makes you eligible?

  3. Ben says:

    How certain is the “must apply in branch” requirement? I was pretty excited until that last line. Not a US Bank within hundreds of miles of me.

  4. Jeremy says:

    I don’t see how it’s not worth it long term. For those of us who can’t get a CSR, this is the next best thing. $75 effective AF is lower than Amex EDP, CSP, or Citi Thank You Premier. Benefits are somewhat less than other premiums, but much better than cards with a $95 AF. The only thing I can think of is most of the places that accept mobile payments already get bonuses (is drug stores, grocery, etc.). If this gets $100 visa infinite credit, I think I’ll keep until they adjust the benefits. Anyone successfully churn USBank?

    • jnrfalcon says:

      You are both missing the point. If the card continue to offer such benefits over the years, then it’s a no-brainer best card for everything. However, it’s such a common thing that US Bank nerf great cards over time. Wait 2 years and you may not wish to keep it any longer.

      • Jeremy says:

        I forgot to include that. Yes, US Bank will nerf cards. Keeping it assumes no changes.

        • Jeremy says:

          I cant remember how many free nights I got from Club Carlson. At least 5 in Europe.

          • Mike says:

            Only 5? That’s an amateur amount! If you were smart you would have booked all your stays in 2 night increments so every second night was free. Never had a problem doing this and then having the front desk staff put a note on my room to make clear to house keeping, etc. how many nights I would actually be in the room so they didn’t both me. I must have had 20 free nights in 2014 alone.

    • I don’t agree that the AF is effective $75, travel credit =! cash. I also don’t think the cards with the $95 AF are worth holding long term either.

  5. Peter says:

    Only interesting for MS. CSR kills it otherwise.

    I also wasn’t aware the bank would be able to differentiate between the transaction format that Samsung Pay uses to complete the charge. Can you disable the LoopPay function within Samsung Pay to make sure you don’t accidentally earn 1% on a malfunction?

    • Phill says:

      +1 but tread lightly when MS’ing with these knuckleheads

      • Peter says:

        Yeah, I don’t have any U.S. Bank accounts (other than Fidelity via Elan) so this is completely not worth trying to take advantage of. I bet they issue low limits or quick shutdowns when any scale is attempted.

    • jnrfalcon says:

      I don’t think so either. Though I guess the merchant do categorized them into Swipe or NFC. That part need to be confirmed after release. But if so, Android Pay and Apple Pay may become much more favorable since both of them support a lot more banks than Samsung and there’s no chance of miss operation. Although I doubt bank will be happy with Apple much longer since they charge bank for people using Apple Pay, which is totally nonsense IMO.

  6. Alan says:

    Strange that it has to be NFR. I would think that if you use Samsung Pay it wouldn’t matter if it was MST (LoopPay). I’m surprised the credit card issuer would be able to know the difference of which tech was used.

  7. somy says:

    Any suggestions on how you can MS with it. I don’t see a lot of grocery stores with NFC payment setup.

    • jnrfalcon says:

      Drug stores are mostly equipped with NFC. It’s largely decided by the area you are in though since not all stores accept cc for VGC and such.

    • NFC says:

      Must be regional, a lot of supermarkets here have NFC. Wholefoods, which seems to have NFC everywhere, now sells VGC.

  8. eclipsor says:

    you had me at metal card

    • jnrfalcon says:

      Even Venture card from C1 offer metal cards now… It’s like couple dollar investment for banks but huge experience increase for the customers.

  9. stvr says:

    Booooo no transfers to Club Carlson or Korean. Come on, get creative, US Bank!

  10. Superchurn says:

    Wife got a targeted $200 bonus for US Bank’s Cash+ card, but this seems to be a far better bonus, so I think we’ll hold out for that.

    I might try to get one as well…

  11. jnrfalcon says:

    I highly suspect that the point system will merge with Flexperks somehow. Mostly merge into the new system altogether. It really makes little sense to keep two separate point systems

  12. Darv says:

    If those 50,000 points are Flexperks points, then I will definitely apply.

    It doesn’t make sense for US Bank to have two different travel rewards programs so I expect these are Flexperks points but this still hasn’t been confirmed.

    If I am reading the “travel credit” benefit correctly, it works just like the Arrival+ travel credit, and not like the Amex Plat incidentals credit. Am I right? If like the Arrival+ in that regard, this significantly helps the overall value of this card.

    I am intrigued. Thanks for this latest report.

    • They aren’t flexperks as it’s specifically mentioned flexperks can be transferred to Altitude points. Question is if the transfer can go in the opposite direction.

      • Darv says:

        When you put it that way, you’re right. And yes, let’s find out if they can go 1:1 to Flexperks.

        I just got their Gold card a couple months ago. That might hurt my chances. Talking to their recon, didn’t seem like decisions were available instantly.

        I have other spends to hit for next 45 days. Maybe by then we’ll see how eager they are to approve people.

  13. brett says:

    This is what I got..

    Q. How does the $325 annual travel credit work?
    A. Customers can earn up to $325 every cardmember year in automatic statement credits for travel purchases made directly from airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise lines. Net purchases during each billing cycle will be calculated for transactions that a merchant classifies as travel (such as purchases made directly with airlines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, limousines, passenger trains and cruise line companies) and a corresponding statement credit will be applied to their account the next time it cycles. This is the richest travel credit among premium rewards cards.

    Q. Will each cardmember on the account be eligible to earn the $325 annual travel credit?
    A. The annual travel credit maximum is $325 per cardmember year per account, regardless of which cards were used for the transaction(s).

  14. Grant says:

    I plan to call US Bank and see if they can product change / upgrade from another FlexPerks CC. I wonder if that is possible.

  15. JC says:

    I really like my FlexPerks Travel Rewards Amex with the $49 annual fee. I would love to get this card as a complement to that card and US Bank has given me very generous credit limits and been a great issuer to work with. I am really hoping that the Altitude Reserve points can be transferred to FlexPerks and vice versa. However, there is no USBank branch within several hundred miles or more from my house and I was hoping to get this card prior to a trip I am taking in May. As such, I am wondering whether it truly will be an in branch only application or if they will offer it online?

    It seems to make little sense to offer this product in branch only considering it is offering 3X points on mobile payments which targets a demographic that uses their phones for payments and thus likely also banks on their mobile phone which means it is less likely to reach their target demographic if they offer it exclusively in branch since by nature bank research has shown that customers who use their mobile phone for banking typically go into a branch 1 time or less per year.

    Also, I am curious about the calendar year versus membership year for the travel credits and whether the card will offer the $100 airfare discount similar to the Ritz Carlton card. I am perfectly fine with the 4 Priority Pass visits a year since I have a priority pass membership through my work because we have an Amex Platinum Business card.

  16. Superchurn says:

    this card must be just what i need to finally get rid of my US Bank College Visa with a $1000 limit on it!

  17. Dave says:

    Darn, I only have the USB CC Business card. Maybe I’ll open a small checking account of CD with them

  18. Mike says:

    @William Charles
    Please research on the proper use of commas. I don’t know if you’re a native English speaker, but I believe you are confusing yourself regarding the proper use of commas, semicolons, and periods. BTW, I do enjoy your website.

    • MarcoPolo says:

      @Mike
      Who cares.
      I am not a native English speaker but understand this blog postings very well.
      So, a native English speaker should not have any problems at all.
      I am only concerned about getting great deals 🙂
      Maybe you are at a the wrong website and were looking for websites like Sickdeals where “Grammar Police” like frequents ?
      Please Pardon my English.

    • H says:

      He speaks english pretty well. Sometime he will first publish a draft then make edits. But who cares?

    • Bob says:

      Dude who gives a shit? I write for a living so grammatical errors activate my OCD like no other but even I don’t care when reading this blog b/c it is a BLOG. Will runs this in his free time and it’s obvious many of his posts are written quickly because he’s managing so much so let’s not get into how he uses a comma in most places where there should be a semicolon instead.

    • lingua says:

      lol. wow

    • Hi Mike,

      Thanks for the comment. I generally don’t proof read any of the grammar on any of the posts I write. I have limited time to dedicate to this blog as it’s not my full time job. I made the decision awhile back to focus on writing more content and answering readers questions rather than making sure everything is grammatically correct.

      I’ll try to make more of an effort to use better grammar as I know it’s frustrating for a lot of readers. No promises I’ll succeed!

  19. Avi says:

    Has anyone heard how the points will be used for travel? Will it be Flexperks style – i.e., needing to book through their portal to get full value, or will it be more like the Arrival cards where you can select eligible charges to use points against? I’m really hoping for the latter – could make or break it for me.

  20. brett says:

    Wallaby’s source has changed it to “cardmember” year.

  21. Mordechai says:

    I don’t see how this is going to be a sapphire reserve killer (not your language, but many), if the initial launch is in branch only. Let’s not underestimate the laziness of most people (‘myself included).

    Chase built up a lot of buzz in the first few months and the insane amount of applications by consumers helped to generate even more buzz.

    Plus lounge access is inferior, and if the $325 is card member year it’s one of the lowest ranking of all airline credits. Plus it’s not cash so it isn’t knocking your fee down…

    • I don’t actually think the reserve is that good in terms of keeping long term, this card may or may not be better depending on the 3x it earns on mobile payments. That will be the big deal for most people.

  22. Miz says:

    It is unclear whether the travel credit works for Uber or Lyft. Technically Uber and Lyft are not considered “car rental companies, taxis, limousines”. I hope they are included. I will definitely can use that $325 for good if Uber and Lyft are included.

  23. Jeremy says:

    Will it work for tolls, parking, public transportation?

  24. NinjaX says:

    just wanted to mention something about NFC 3x since theres a lot of speculation and confusion. while nothing is confirmed about how things will code, Mobile Payment NFC and Samsung Pay MST are very very different tech. Its not even close to the same tech, but of course its made so the end user cant tell crap.

    NFC requires special terminals. MST does not. I would even guess that USB didnt want MST to work because it would lead to too much loss. MST is a ninja and codes as a CC swipe. Its not a mobile payment system via NFC. NFC codes very differently and will show up as android pay. Everyone on reddit is going crazy over NFC since a huge chunk are Apple users. Some even wanted to buy a Samsung just for MST or NFC 3x. regardless of what USB says, maybe MST will work. TBD.

    but consider this:
    1) many locations may be ignorant and refuse to let ur MST phone near their POS. this is location dependent. i have been rejected in SFO many times. but maybe this is irrelevant since USB will not allow MST anyway.

    2) NFC terminals are VERY limited with specific regional or store restrictions. so you think u can do CVS WG VGC NFC for 3x? try it and let me know how that goes. matter of fact, why wait for USB? go load up ur android pay with a CC right now and go to ur CVS and try to NFC a VGC. good luck.

    excited to see where USB goes with this. i wont be applying. i dont want my other USB accounts shut down. will wait it out.

  25. brett says:

    in-app and in-store mobile payment can earn 3x as well. wallaby have corrected this.

  26. Joe says:

    DoC, just wanted to see if you had any additional information regarding the freeze of a couple credit bureaus to increase odds of approval for US Bank. I’m referring to the comments in one of your posts http://www.doctorofcredit.com/two-credit-bureaus-you-should-freeze-before-you-apply-for-a-u-s-bank-credit-card/ Some of the commentors mentioned their apps weren’t even processed because these 2 small bureaus were frozen. Any legitimacy to these claims? Thanks again for all you do!

  27. Jeremy says:

    DP…I just tried using Android Pay at a favorite letter based pharmacy and it wouldn’t work. Android Pay gave me a check, but the register showed “must swipe or enter chip.”

  28. Ian says:

    You forgot these “obvious” benefits: *No foreign transaction fees for purchases made in foreign currencies. *The points never expire.

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