Posted by William Charles on April 20, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on April 20th, 2017 | by William Charles

57

More Information Regarding U.S. Bank Altitude Card (Available Online & More)

Frequent Miler has just posted ‘US Bank Altitude Reserve Complete Guide‘, it looks like he was able to get his hands on the full guide to benefits or similar so we now have some more details (also readers you’re slacking – we’ve received no leaks on this card at all).

frequent miler

Most of this we already know and was covered in our previous posts on this card, but some of it is new. I’ll do a quick recap and then touch on the new items.

  • Sign up bonus of 50,000 points after $4,500 in spend within 90 days of account opening.
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 3x on mobile payments (Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay & Microsoft Wallet)
    • 3x on travel purchases made directly with airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise line companies
    • 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.
  • 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. Does not come with $100 saving on round trip flight
  • 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.
  • No foreign transaction fees

New Information

  • Card will be available May 1st & available online and in branch
  • Will not come with the $100 saving on round trip flight benefit that is offered on some Visa Infinite cards.
  • You can transfer FlexPerks to Altitude Points, but you cannot transfer Altitude Points to Flexperks
  • Travel is defined in two seperate ways:
    • Earning 3x points & using your $325 travel credit “travel” is defined as purchases made directly with airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise lines
    • Using your points at a value of 1.5¢ per point “travel” is defined as airfare, hotel stays, and car rentals booked through US Bank’s Rewards Center
  • Mobile Wallet’s have been defined:
  • Authorized users:
    • Do not get their own travel credit
    • Do not get lounge access
  • Primary car rental collision damage waiver for both primary and authorized users

Our Verdict

Biggest new detail is that the card will be available online as well as in branch. It’s also interesting that in app and online purchases will count for the 3x. Biggest unknown is still how MST (‘LoopPay’) transactions will code, this is huge for anybody that has access to Samsung Pay has it turns regular swipe terminals into ones that accept mobile wallets. We were originally told that they won’t earn 3x, but I guess we will wait until this card is actually launched for sure.

Overall I think this is a good card, the lounge access is weak but the annual fee is lower than other cards when you take into account the travel credit is larger than other cards offer. It will definitely be a keeper for some people and that number will rise significantly based on how the 3x codes for mobile payments.



57 Responses to More Information Regarding U.S. Bank Altitude Card (Available Online & More)

  1. TanT says:

    Another important information is that “No ability to transfer points to loyalty programs”. It looks like the only way to redeem points is using US Bank Rewards Center.

  2. bluecat says:

    The “annual” in “annual travel credit” is rumored to NOT be calendar year.

  3. NinjaX says:

    i feel like this is some kind of a trap…

    • Jan B says:

      No, but they are stretching the criteria to qualify beyond other bank card benefits. Seems being competitive is not the goal as much as eliminating less than perfect peeps with lesser financial foundation and catching those who with better scores or histories.

      And, gleaning that all important public information for the database to sell for marketing and gov’t cooperation.

  4. bluecat says:

    Any word on how competitive the “US Bank’s Rewards Center” is? (Same as, say, ThankYou points travel portal?)

  5. NinjaX says:

    whats the point of transferring to Alt from FP? i guess if ur short by a few pts. USB totally knew what would happen if Alt went to FP. not only that, wtf is up with their thought process on 2 different point programs? thats like Chase having UR and UR Elite or MR Elite. why didnt they leave it as FP? sigh. oh well…

    • stvr says:

      They wanted that magic “3x.” Someday a genius card company will make points worth 0.5 cents each and call their bonus category “6x”

      • Jivepicnic says:

        You mean like Hilton already does? The future is now!

        • Ewejay says:

          Look at PNC’s CCs for a vision of dystopia.

          • Dukie02 says:

            Exactly! Was just going to say that!

          • DGS says:

            Ugh! Don’t get me started on PNC and how their Points program works. It seems that the PNC Points earned on the Points card and the Flex card are two separate programs. You need A LOT of points to redeem for anything of value. My PNC cards now sit in the dark corner of my wallet now…rarely used.

    • Darv says:

      I agree it seems foolish to have two different points programs. Especially after years of cultivating the Flexperks brand. I actually think the new Altitude points system sounds better if it’s a straight 1.5 cpp application toward redemptions. Then no games like with Flexperks, trying to maximize the 10k intervals.

      If it’s straight 1.5 application with Altitude points, I’ll probably transfer my Flexperks bank into Altitude. Still have the 1 cpp cash redemption option, so no apparent loss unless we find the elusive $199 or $399 flights.

    • DGS says:

      Amex has three tiers of Membership Rewards, MR Express (Blue, Blue for Business), MR First (Platinum, Centurion) and regular MR (Green, PRG, EDP etc.)

  6. Ender says:

    Visa Infinite Benefits. Does not come with $100 saving on round trip flights or not

    I guess the “or not” is a typo?

  7. E Dantes says:

    Still seems worth it if you can get approved, just for signup bonus.

    The one perk I don’t understand: Why do people care so much about getting a metal card? Can’t figure out why that perk is worth anything. Am I missing something?

  8. Ryan says:

    Does anyone know of any active checking account bonuses with US Bank? I don’t have any cards with them, and would like to go the checking route to establish relationship. If not, any thought on when another might happen?

  9. Jason says:

    Do you still have to be an existing US Bank client?

  10. ted says:

    I want to get 2 more Chase cards before I jump on this one. I’m 4/24 and plan to do 2 applications in one day hoping that they both go through. I already have ChaseSapphirePreferred, ChaseSapphireReserve and Slate. Any recommendations

    • H says:

      for air travel then it’s United/SW, for hotels then it’s either marriott, IHG or hyatt. You pick one from UA/SW. For the hotel card, if you can redeem 2n Hyatt cert at 6 or 7 then go Hyatt, then based on your travel plan then IHG. Note that hyatt and IHG worth keeping for long term, the cert you get offset annual fee. I do not value marriott that much, mostly because the 30K SPG is much better and SPG:Marriott is 1:3. For me Marriott and UA is a one year card. Downgrade your annual fee sapphire to no-fee version and freedoms and keep a healthy relationship with Chase. Hope this helps.

      • TomT says:

        Chase Hyatt and IHG cards are NOT subject to 5/24, so why would you suggest that he applies for either of those with his last 5/24 opportunity? Should be Marriott, Freedom or Freedom Unlimited. Better yet, Chase business cards (Ink Preffered, Ink Cash, United or Southwest), so his 4/24 does not increase, and then apply for 2 Chase personal cards that are subject to 5/24

        • NinjaX says:

          cuz hes a n00b. thats why. no shame being a n00b but giving crap advice is. look at this guy recommending UA beatdown and hotel CCs. not even a word of anything from the most critical UR family. haha.

    • Jan B says:

      If you are in the market for a travel card, there is a 10K point referral for the latest SW Visa approval and bonus spend.

      Find someone with the card and let the referral begin. (Yes, I do have the SW Visa card myself) 🙂

    • Terri Clark says:

      I’d say one of them needs to be a Freedom or Freedom unlimited so you will have a no annual fee ultimate rewards earning card. Or you can plan to downgrade either your CSP or CSR to one of those when the AF comes due, leaving room for another choice now.

  11. John555 says:

    Good for first year obviously. Meh after that. Another great ice scraper tho!

  12. Dave C says:

    Just an observation, that’s the same hot quasi-Asian girl from the Amex Travel Partners page, when you go to transfer MR.

    • Bob says:

      Definitely Asian. Definitely hot. Need more details on her..

    • JohnFromATL says:

      Hmm. Not just the same girl, but the exact same picture. Could be just that both companies picked the same shutterstock image, but if so, whoops – marketing egg on face. But it could also be that this “brochure” is something someone in the the community hacked together in order to make things look “official”.

      I assume it is just a marketing embarrassment since I can’t understand why anyone would make something like this up.

      • artgriego says:

        Actually, it’s a very slightly different photo. Look at the hair on (her) left shoulder – on the Amex photo it’s coming up and off, jutting off the shoulder. On the US Bank photo, it’s resting flat on the shoulder. The plot thickens…

        Oh, how I’d love to meet her in a Centurion Lounge someday!

  13. TomT says:

    Not sure what you are trying to say here: “Visa Infinite Benefits. Does not come with $100 saving on round trip flights or not”. Can you fix it?

  14. MBP says:

    MSing will likely cause them to nerf the card, but for the time being it is an interesting proposition.

  15. Darv says:

    You probably have a guide somewhere although a quick search didn’t reveal it, for Flexperks valuations/use. Is that somewhere?

    I’m wondering if it would be advantageous to roll my Flexperks points into this new points pool for the Altitude card.

    From my experience the Flexperks are kind of a pain. The Flexperks game nudges me toward cash redemptions.

    But…if I can pool into the Altitude points for better flexibility, maybe that would be great. If the points can still be worth 1 cpp for cash redemption and much better flexibility in Altitude travel redemptions, then I might just transfer them all over.

    I guess we’ll find out more as the card rolls out and the redemption options are available for review.

  16. Tom says:

    Would you need to use the points before closing the card before the 2nd annual fee?

  17. Joshua says:

    Four Priority Pass visits?

    WutFace

  18. Ryan says:

    I wonder if it will have a minimum SL of $10K+ like CSR or City National Crystal. US Bank is known for giving lower initial credit limits and being a bit of a tough cookie to get in with.

  19. NewHere says:

    Had no relationship with USB. Tried to apply for CD but was declined (I didn’t know that there is such a this as to be declined for CD;) because no USB in my state (NJ). So it looks like the offer is only for those who live close enough to USB branches… Meanwhile I had a trip planned for CA in May and was planning to use it as opportunity to open CC; however, if there is no way to start relationship with USB beforehand for those of us who have no USB branches in our state, so it looks like this CC will only be available for people who live close enough to USB branches ;(

  20. CongestionCharge says:

    Why do you not value the travel credit the same as cash?

  21. DW says:

    Would it be of benefit to freeze the two smaller credit bureaus like suggest for the Flex Perks cards?

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