Posted by Chuck on April 20, 2017
Credit Card Review

Published on April 20th, 2017 | by Chuck

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More News on the U.S. Bank Altitude Card (New Customers, Flexperks & MCC’s)

Details of the upcoming U.S. Bank Altitude card continue to emerge – we wrote a full roundup earlier today, and it landed in the conventional news outlets today on WSJ and others.

A few more key points are apparent from an internal memo that U.S. Bank is sending out to their employees, found on Milestomemories.

us bank altitude

Existing Customer Requirement

35-Day Wait

It’s been widely reported that there is a 35 day wait after becoming a U.S. Bank customer before you can apply for the Altitude card. In this memo it’s clear that there isn’t any rule indicating such a thing, rather the system simply won’t recognize you as a customer for up to 35 days. But the 35 day wait can be manually overridden.

If you go in branch after May 1, you can open an account with U.S. Bank and immediately apply for the Altitude card. The banker will be able to contact the underwriters and have them process the application. Moreover, the issue will be fixed in a future system release so that no wait will be necessary.

Business Customers

Similarly, it’s been noted that in order to apply for the Altitude you need to have a consumer relationship with U.S. Bank, not a business relationship. Again, the memo indicates that this is not, in fact, the case. Rather, the system will not recognize you and will instantly deny the application. This issue can be manually waived. And it, too, will be fixed in a future system release.

What happens if someone applies for U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve with no U.S. Bank relationship?

The application will be automatically declined.

 

I have a new customer who is bringing their banking relationship to U.S. Bank? Does a new customer need to wait 35 days to apply for U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve?

No, bankers will need to contact underwriting to ensure the new customer application is not declined. Altitude Reserve uses an automated underwriting process that validates applicants are U.S. Bank consumer customers. New customers will not appear in our systems as ‘customers’ for approximately 35 days. This will be addressed in a future system release.

In the meantime, use the existing underwriting escalation process to notify underwriting and credit operations about the new customer application. Underwriting / Credit Operations will locate the application, manually validate there is a U.S. Bank relationship in Hogan, and submit the application through the underwriting process. Relationship must be confirmed within 10 business days of application.

 

My customer has only has a business relationship with U.S. Bank. Will the automatic underwriting process recognize the customer as a ‘customer’?

No, bankers will need to contact underwriting to ensure the business customer application is not declined. Altitude Reserve uses an automated underwriting process that validates applicants are U.S. Bank consumer customers. This will be addressed in a future system release.

Follow the process outlined in the above question.

Which MCC’s Will Earn 3x?

As with all card, the 3x bonus earning for travel will depend on the Merchant Category Codes (MCC). There are a few specific one’s mentioned there that will work:

  • MCC 7011 Lodging – Hotels, Motels, Resorts, Central Reservation Services is included
  • MCC 4121 Taxicabs is included

And these won’t work:

  • MCC 4722 Travel Agencies, Tour Operators are not included
  • MCC 6513 Real Estate Agents and Managers – Rentals are not included

Are transportation companies like Uber and Lyft included in the travel category?

It depends on the Merchant Category Code (MCC) the merchant uses for these transactions. MCC 4121 Taxicabs is included.

 

Are travel companies like Homeaway, Airbnb and VRBO included in the travel category?

It depends on the MCC code the merchant uses for these transactions.

  • MCC 7011 Lodging – Hotels, Motels, Resorts, Central Reservation Services is included
  • MCC 4722 Travel Agencies, Tour Operators are not included
  • MCC 6513 Real Estate Agents and Managers – Rentals are not included

 

Are travel bookings through sites like Expedia and Travelocity included in the travel category?

No

Flexperks Transfer

The memo notes two things with regards to Flexperks transfers.

  • At launch, customers will not be able to transfer FlexPoints to Altitude Reserve. The ability to transfer to Altitude Reserve may be available in a future system release.
  • Transfer over 20,000 points annually will require calling in.

What is the maximum number of points customers can transfer from FlexPerks products to U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve?

At launch, customers will not be able to transfer FlexPoints to Altitude Reserve. The ability to transfer to Altitude Reserve may be available in a future system release.

When available, FlexPerks cardmembers are limited to 20,000 points in and 20,000 points out annually through the online Rewards Center. This limit applies to online point transfers from FlexPerks products to Altitude Reserve. Customers need to contact Cardmember Service directly for transfers over 20,000 points.

Important! In 2017, FlexPoints have a higher average travel redemption value than Altitude Reserve points so it may not be in a customer’s best interest to switch to Altitude Reserve immediately.

 



36 Responses to More News on the U.S. Bank Altitude Card (New Customers, Flexperks & MCC’s)

  1. Dan says:

    “When available, FlexPerks cardmembers are limited to 20,000 points in and 20,000 points out annually through the online Rewards Center.”

    So what would you transfer altitude points out to, if they can’t be transferred to flexperks?

    • Frank says:

      Probably they will do something like CSR, fix a 1.x value for the point by booking through their system.

    • Chuck says:

      You’ll be able to transfer Flexperks TO Altitude points in the future, but not the other way around.

      Altitude points will be able to be cashed out at 1 cent per point or used toward travel via the US Bank portal at 1.5 cents.

  2. MarcoPolo says:

    I was a US Bank customer about 7 years ago but closed the CC.
    Now I am wondering if this card is worth opening an account with them?
    But I have already opened 10+ bank accounts in last 3 months and would rather not waste a CHEXsystems inquiry.
    I am hoping with this kind of competition CSR might stage a comeback? 🙂 );

  3. JL says:

    Does this confirm that the application have to be submitted in-branch? Nothing close to the NYC area.

  4. Darv says:

    The redemption values are confusing to me. Flexperks it seems like you’re always teetering between 10k intervals. So the points are rarely worth the maximum. If the Altitude points are applied 1.5 cpp and no intervals, then they would seem more valuable. Exactly how Altitude points are redeemed would be nice to know. If straight 1.5 cpp, not sure that Flexperks are truly more valuable.

  5. Greg N says:

    This language about transferring points – “Important! In 2017, FlexPoints have a higher average travel redemption value than Altitude Reserve points so it may not be in a customer’s best interest to switch to Altitude Reserve immediately.” to me sounds like they are going to devalue FlexPerks in the future. Why else the, in 2017 points are worth more…? Maybe they don’t want their premium product to have a redemption rate that is less than their other product? Of course you have to have a $399 flight to get maximum value with FlexPerks, but still.

  6. Andrew says:

    So does non-NFC Samsung Pay transactions count for 3x bonus? The memo doesn’t mention anything about that.

  7. ray says:

    i tried opening a savings account (to become a customer) and they denied. i have never heard of savings account denial.

    • NinjaX says:

      well did u ask why? did u chk ur Chex?

      • Ray says:

        I didn’t ask. Figured didn’t want the hassle of fighting for this and getting rejected for altitude. I didn’t Chex but I opened 4 new bank accounts and 3 new cc in last 6m

        • If you were denied you should have received a notice of adverse action, this will list the reasons why you were denied. Maybe you have a derogatory item on your ChexSystems.

          • Ray says:

            I did call after ur note and the told me since I live in Texas checking and savings product are not available. Not sure if true but as I said I am not keen on us bank so let it go.

          • If that’s the case you’re application should have never been accepted in the first place.

  8. Dima says:

    Would be interesting to know if Fidelity Visa credit card holders are considered US Bank customers.

  9. P says:

    Wish I had known about the requirement to be existing USB customer when I was in SF last week. I could have opened a bank account with them.

  10. gabriel says:

    guys any sign up bonus for us bank checking account ? In the past they offered 200$

  11. CN says:

    U.S. Bank currently has a $200 promotion for opening a new consumer checking account with direct deposit. This promotion ends by May 31st.

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